Wood species is a scientific delineation based on characteristics inherent in the tree. While wood species identify and group types of trees, the names are used by woodworkers as a common way of referencing the various properties inherent in each species. There is an incredibly large number of species in the world, but there are only a small number of woods that are considered appropriate for cabinet construction. Remember that the internal frame and box of most cabinets are made from manufactured wood, which does not adhere to the properties of any one species because it includes a bonding agent that alters the compositional wood’s properties.
The wood species that are most frequently used for cabinets are Douglas Fir, Mahogany, Western Hemlock, Eastern Knotty Pine, Poplar, Maple, Red Oak, Cherry, Knotty Alder. These are not nearly all of the woods available, but they represent some of the most common used in today’s styles. Each wood has unique properties, but it is their aesthetic characteristics that are usually most influential in determining which one to select for one’s kitchen cabinets.
Black Walnut is in a class all its own, with a rich, smooth grain and deep color. A very durable hardwood, Black Walnut grain patterns range from straight to irregular and display a natural luster. Natural color variations range from dark chocolate to lighter browns and blond or white sapwood. We have chosen Toffee as the “natural” stain on Black Walnut, as it tones the lighter sapwood and accentuates the grain beautifully.
A range of grain patterns and varied colors appear on the same panel and adjacent door and drawer fronts will not match. These are natural characteristics and are not considered a defect.
Black Walnut is a plentiful species throughout the Eastern U.S. The beautiful grain and rich color made it popular for furniture, paddles, gunstocks and even coffins. The shells of the Black Walnut fruit contain natural dyes that stain anything they come in contact with and were used by early American settlers to dye hair.
Maple is a stiff, strong heavy wood with a tight, uniform grain pattern and a smooth surface. Characteristics include burled grain, pin knots, and caramelizing.
It varies in color from nearly white to yellow, pink, light purple and slightly reddish brown. The smooth, even surface of Maple makes it the wood of choice for paint and stain colors and burnished stains. Known for its strength and consistent look, Maple has been used to make furniture in the U.S. since the early Colonial days. We offer Maple in all of our product lines (in most door styles).
Cherry is moderate in hardness, weight, and strength, with a fine to medium grain pattern and a relatively smooth surface. Characteristics include gum spots, pin knots, and sapwood. Colors vary from off-white to light red to dark, reddish brown. Light-sensitive Cherry will mellow as it ages and will take on a rich patina with exposure to sunlight and day-to-day use. Over time, cabinets in different areas of the same room may appear quite different due to light exposure.
A range of grain patterns and colors may appear on the same panel, and adjacent door and drawer fronts may not match each other. These are natural characteristics of Cherry and are not considered a defect. Cherry is a beautiful species, with a smooth, satiny touch and a distinctive luster that makes it highly desirable for cabinetry and fine furniture. Light-sensitive Cherry will mellow and deepen in color as it ages, taking on a rich patina
Red Oak is a dense, heavy wood that is very hard, with an open grain pattern and textured surface. Many characteristics show, including mineral streaks, ray flecks, and pin or closed knots. Red Oak ranges in color from white and cream to a warm, pale brown, tinted with red. The bold grain and subtle-to-rich color ranges provide the character Red Oak is known for. When painted, the wood grain creates a unique visual texture, a look that can be enhanced with glazing.
A range of grain patterns and colors may appear on the same panel, and adjacent door and drawer fronts may not match each other. These are natural characteristics of Red Oak and are not considered a defect.
Red Oak is the most abundant U.S. hardwood and is favored for its affordability, warmth, character, and durability.
Poplar is a stiff, strong wood with a tight, uniform grain pattern and a smooth surface. Characteristics include grain streaking, pin knots, and caramelizing. Maple varies in color from nearly white to yellow, pink, light purple and slightly reddish brown. The smooth, even surface of poplar makes it the wood of choice for many cabinet makers to use for there paint grade projects.