Types of Cabinetry
Custom or Shop Built Cabinetry
- Locally built
- Cabinet type varies widely in quality
- Can match any color and have almost no style or fit limitations
- Typically the most expensive type of cabinetry
- Requires a minimum of 6-10 weeks for delivery
- Flexibility is the name of the game
- Partly stock and partly custom
- Built to suit with a wide selection of doors and finishes
- Standards range significantly from company to company
- Typical delivery is just 4-6 weeks
Stock or Production Cabinetry
- Good, durable finish
- Limited number of styles, finishes and accessories
- Entry-level price point
- Available within a few days
Cabinet Wood Types
Maple is a medium to hard wood with a straight, wavy or curly grain. Popular for its shock resistance and durability, maple has a light, uniform appearance that produces a smooth, clean look when stained. Another plus is that it can also be finished to resemble other, more expensive hardwoods and softwoods such as cherry and cedar. Maple is a great choice for a light, airy kitchen or a dramatic kitchen with darker finishes.
Oak is a very hard, heavy wood with a coarse grain that varies from straight to a distinctive sweeping arch pattern. Found in both red and white varieties, oak is a great cabinetry choice because it is timeless, blending beautifully with many different design styles. And it stains well in standard finish colors.
Birch is a smooth hardwood with straight, wavy or curly grains with a high shock resistance that takes any stain well. Birch is mostly a light-colored wood, and varies from cream to light yellow. However, the wood found in the center of the tree, or heartwood, takes on a darker reddish brown color, which may result in unique color variations in your cabinetry. It is versatile and can achieve any look, from a more casual space to a refined setting.
Hickory is one of our strongest, hardest and heaviest woods with random natural streaks that add unique accents to your cabinetry. Hickory has an array of naturally prominent colors ranging from very light cream to dark reddish brown to sometimes nearly black which easily can be enhanced by light or natural stains.
Cherry is well known for its smooth grain and unique color that mellows and deepens as it ages—like fine wine. This “mellowing” effect is enhanced by exposure to bright light and, depending on the amount of exposure, will tend to darken several shades over time. Considered a luxury wood due to its expensive price, cherry has pinkish-brown hues and occasional shades of white, green, or gray. Its dark color brings a warm elegance to any room.
Natural Wood Expectations
A wood product is typically affected by environmental conditions that may alter its appearance from what it looked like when it was new. Here are a few conditions to keep in mind:
- As wood ages, the appearance of the finish may change or darken over time due to environmental factors such as interior lighting, sunlight and humidity.
- Finishes react to prolonged exposure to tobacco smoke, resulting in discoloration, which is especially noticeable on white and lighter finishes.
- Ovens and ranges emit heat and steam during operation. To protect the finish of adjacent cabinets, we strongly recommend the use of heat shields. On thermofoil cabinetry, heat shields are required.
- Showroom cabinetry samples, depending on age, room lighting and environmental factors, may look different from the new cabinetry installed in your home. To ensure satisfaction with a finish color, it is best to view a new sample in your home environment.
Wood is in a constant state of expansion and contraction. This normal movement may cause some hairline cracks at the joints in the finish surface on cabinet doors and face frames. This is a natural occurrence and does not weaken or diminish the strength of the joints.
End grain surfaces are softer in composition than other areas of the wood. As such, they absorb more stain and often appear darker. This is a natural reaction and potential variances cannot be prevented.
In nature, mineral deposits may form in the wood as the tree extracts nutrients from the soil. Common in many wood types, these mineral deposits cause blackish-blue streaks in the grain. When a finish is applied to mineral streaks, it may appear lighter or darker than other areas of your cabinetry.
The grain is the identifying feature of each wood type. This grain will “telegraph” or show through the stain. Open or coarse-grained wood (oak, hickory) will telegraph more than closed or fine-grained wood (maple, cherry).
Certain wood, such as cherry, will continue to mellow and darken over time. This brings warmth to lightly-stained cherry and increases depth below darker stains.