Discover The Types of Wood Being Used in Kitchen Cabinets

Learn the characteristics of wood being used in kitchen cabinets today.

Kitchen cabinets are the major focal point in every kitchen. Cabinets must strike a balance between style, support, and functionality. Choosing the right material and quality of workmanship is paramount to creating an aesthetically pleasing design that will stand the stresses of everyday use for many years. Here’s a look at some of the most common cabinetry materials used in the construction of kitchen cabinets.

Quality, Workmanship, and Materials Create Kitchen Cabinets That Last

Professional cabinet makers are artists that create stunning, classic, sophisticated cabinetry using select hardwoods and beautiful veneers. A quality cabinet maker creates kitchen cabinets that showcase the unique beauty of the materials used, and offer durable construction as each cabinet is crafted, joined and finished. For many homeowners, the variations of color and grain meet their creative vision. Others who seek a more uniform look favor paints and stains for a more consistent appearance.

Here are some of the most popular wood choices being used to create kitchen cabinets. (Looking for kitchen design and inspiration? Click Here!)

Popular Cabinet Woods

  • Oak – By far the most popular choice for solid wood cabinets, oak offers a strong “flowery” grain that is visible through any color stain. If you are looking for a lighter, less red patina, consider white oak. If you want more depth of color, red oak will take a darker stain. To truly enhance the grain of red oak, consider using a cherry stain.
  • Pine – The only “softwood” commonly used in kitchen cabinet construction, pine is a pale yellow color and often shows knots. It’s stunning in distressed or antiqued finished in a rustic kitchen. It’s often featured in English, French and American country kitchens. Eastern and Western white pine is sometimes used in select semi-custom cabinetry.
  • Cherry – Cherry is durable and resists knocks and marring. It’s an elegant wood that is often used in formal cabinets with raised panels. Cherry offers a versatility that can provide a contemporary personality for your kitchen.
  • Hickory – Hickory offers a similar grain pattern and strength to oak while being a “lighter” wood. Its rustic style means that it’s a rare choice for semi-custom and custom cabinetry.
  • Birch – A very pale, durable wood that accepts stain well, birch is often used in contemporary cabinets that feature raised and recessed panel doors.\
  • Ash – Another wood that is similar in strength and durability to oak, it has a lighter color and very little noticeable grain. It’s often used in cabinet interiors and takes both veneer and stains well.
  • Hard Maple – While hard maple takes stain well, it’s light color and fine grain is often naturally finished to provide a light contemporary look in the kitchen.

Common Natural Grain Patterns and Characteristics

Wood is a common choice for kitchen cabinets because it brings a warmth and texture that stands apart

from the other elements in the kitchen like modern stainless steel appliances and tiling. All natural wood offers unique and defining natural characteristics that enhance its beauty and those “imperfections” can be brought out by using stains and glazes.

  • Bird Pecks – small marks in the grain caused by birds. No, really!
  • Burls – swirls or twists in the wood caused by a “disease” that affects the wood during growth. Burls do not contain knots.
  • Gum Streaks – Mineral like streaks of color only found in cherry wood.
  • Heartwood – The mature, darker wood that extends from the sapwood to the pith.
  • Sound knots – solid knots across the face that show no signs of decay.
  • Mineral Streaks – Color, usually olive to blackish brown that typically follows the grain pattern of the wood.
  • Sapwood – The lighter colored parts of the wood that grows from inside the bark to the heartwood
  • Wormholes – Small holes in the wood that range in size up to 1/16th of an inch.
  • Sugar Tracks – yellowish to dark brown streaks that run throughout the wood.
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Choosing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing between custom, semi-custom and stock cabinetry generally comes down to your budget. Your family spends a lot of time in the kitchen and your cabinets are one of the most used elements in your kitchen so it makes sense to opt for the highest- quality, most durable cabinetry you can afford.

Custom cabinets will last the longest and usually come with a longer warranty, but you can mix and match, for example, using custom cabinets for hard to fit areas or as focal points in your design.

The wood you choose for your kitchen cabinets affects their aesthetic look, as well as how they will stand up to daily use. Most cabinets are made from solid hardwoods, but to lower costs, the woods are often applied as veneers over another layer such as plywood.

A design build contractor or kitchen designer can help you understand your options when it comes time to choose your kitchen cabinets. If you are considering a kitchen remodel or home renovation in Greater Dallas, contact us to learn more about our design build services. We will take into account your lifestyle, how you use your kitchen, and your budget to help you choose the cabinets for your dream kitchen renovation!

Kitchen Cabinet Construction | Shop Made or Manufactured?

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TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT CABINETS FOR YOUR HOME.

Kitchen cabinets are a major focal point in any kitchen. They can establish your style while being a functional element of any design. In fact, some of the most important decision you’ll make when remodeling your kitchen involves your cabinetry. What type of wood, what door and drawer style, what accessories do you want, what finish is right for your home?

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One other decision you’ll need to make is the choice between custom cabinets and manufactured or box cabinets. Many homeowners believe that custom cabinets are the better choice, but the truth is, it depends on the construction of the boxes, and the quality of the workmanship.

If you’re seeking a semi-custom or even custom kitchen cabinets that will last a lifetime, consider a large manufacturer. They will have the equipment, skills, and flexibility to craft cabinets that you’ll love!

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CUSTOM OR MANUFACTURED?

Custom cabinets are made specifically to order for your project. There isn’t a catalog of standard sizes or details, they are created to meet the specification and style of your home, and are typically made in a local shop. Custom cabinets can include round cabinets, refrigerator panels, and non-standard heights or depths.

Box or manufactured cabinets are made in standard sizes with a variety of options like interiors and finishes. They’re ordered from a catalog using specific wording to describe each cabinet. They are produced in a factory setting and tend to be less expensive than custom made, of course, this can vary depending on the materials and finish you choose.

The bottom line, the quality, finishes and kitchen cabinet construction along with the stability, consistency, workmanship, and reputation of the factory or shop are the most important considerations when choosing your cabinets.

Top Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

In the photo: A beautiful custom made kitchen in Colleyville, Tx. Click here to see more!

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KITCHEN CABINET CONSTRUCTION: MANUFACTURED OR LOCALLY BUILT?

Over the past 40 years, the cabinet industry has transformed thanks to the technology available. Today, more durable finishes and environmentally friendly options have made factory-made custom kitchen cabinet construction extremely popular. Let’s look at some of the differences between custom cabinets made at a local shop versus in a larger factory.

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CABINET FINISHES

Factory made custom cabinetry offers some important benefits including:

  • The manufacturing process is controlled, humidity is controlled using misters to ensure the air and wood have the perfect moisture content
  • Finishes are applied in a specific, dedicated area with positive airflow to eliminate the risks of dust.
  • Doors and drawer fronts are sanded with a combination of hand and computer aided equipment to assure the smoothest surface possible before applying finishes.
  • A chemical baking process creates a durable finish that is resistant to staining from most food or liquids and can stand up to heavy use.

Small local cabinet maker’s kitchen cabinet construction process is often very different. Smaller shops tend to:

  • Finish in a room at their site or right on the job site where high levels of dust exist and there are no controls for environmental dust.
  • Use orbital hand sanders and paint sprayers which cannot achieve the same level of consistency, durability, and depth of factory finished cabinets.
  • Often let finishes air dry, which means that never completely cure. Air dried finishes can absorb dirt and food particles, which can give them a gummy look and feel.

Unless your local cabinet shop is equipped with the latest high-tech baking booth technology, their cabinets will not have the same quality as factory-finished cabinets.

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MATERIALS AND QUALITY

Top quality cabinets use the highest quality materials, and like good furniture, are made with the highest standards of care and workmanship. The belief that factory made cabinets are “mass produced” and of lower quality is not the case at all. A large facility will:

  • Use the highest quality materials like hardwood plywood, durable particle board or MDF, high-end panels and premium face veneers
  • Measure and control moisture content before and during manufacturing to ensure the highest standards of materials and construction.
  • Offers doors and drawer fronts in any wood or finish you want.

Small Cabinet makers:

  • Usually, do not take advantage of the many benefits of durable particle board or MDF.
  • Often use lower grade, multi-purpose materials.
  • Do not offer inset cabinet construction because of their inability to control the moisture content of the materials enough to ensure quality construction.

True custom kitchen cabinet construction allows you complete flexibility in your kitchen design and gives you a fitted look that you just can’t get with stock cabinetry. The major difference here between manufactured and locally build custom cabinetry is the choices you’ll have.

Large manufacturing facilities have access to a large pool of talented designers giving you a much larger selection of cutting edge designs. They can also custom make decorative pieces and typically have a large selection in stock. Local shops often have much less design experience and training. They may not have a large selection of displays or samples available. Looking for kitchen remodeling ideas and cabinetry selection? Click Here

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DELIVERING YOUR CABINETS

Large manufacturers can guarantee delivery of your cabinets by a specific date with proper lead times. Because they are smaller, if a local shop owner or a member of their team becomes sick or otherwise incapacitated, delays can occur that can hold up your project. Other times, they can meet the delivery time for cabinet boxes, but without doors and drawer fronts, which are completed after installation, and again can slow down your project.

Manufacturers also tend to offer lifetime warranties on the construction of your cabinets while smaller companies will offer more limited warranties. Finally, if you’re concerned with the environmental impact of your cabinets, larger manufacturers are typically more green employing policies for waste reduction and recycling as well as energy conservation. Most local shops can’t afford to sustain earth-friendly processes lacking the resources to provide truly green products.

Your kitchen cabinets are a major element in your kitchen remodeling. When planning your project, consider the benefits of using manufactured custom cabinetry. If you do choose to work with a small shop, make sure that they have the technology available to provide the highest-quality cabinets and that they stand behind their work. Because kitchen cabinetry is such a large part of your project, make sure to do your due diligence and work with a company that can provide you the quality of construction and choice of materials to meet your needs

The professionals at Joseph & Berry Remodel Design Build specialized in custom cabinetry and designed and remodeled many award-winning kitchens and bathrooms, call us today to schedule your consulting meeting with our professionals!
Kitchen Cabinet Construction | Shop Made/Manufactured just call us now:(800) 371-8970