Choosing a wood species option for your cabinets

by Lutes Custom Cabinetry on 2018-01-22 20:36:53

While there are many decisions to make when it comes to selecting cabinets, one of the most important is what kind of wood species to use. The type of wood can drastically impact the look of a room, and it is important to choose a material that will work with your design preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Here are some options to consider:

Red Oak

A classic favorite for cabinets, red oak is known for its strength, durability, affordability, and distinctive open-grain patterns with varying flared appearance. The porous nature of red oak makes it ideal for staining or painting it to fit many design styles.

Quarter Sawn White Oak

Unlike red oak, white oak is non-porous and is more resistant to moisture. In fact, it is a choice wood for boats and outdoor furniture for this reason. Quarter sawn white oak reveals dramatic flecks and rays as a result of how it is cut, giving cabinets a unique appearance. Quarter sawn white oak can complement styles ranging from traditional to modern. Due to the way it is cut, it generally costs significantly more than red oak.


Cherry has long been a popular wood choice for kitchen cabinets, with a fine-to-medium closed-grain pattern, smooth texture, and medium durability. Exposure to light will cause cherry to gradually darken as it ages, which can add even more depth to its rich, beautiful color. Cherry is a great choice for traditional kitchens, but works well with most design styles.


Another popular choice for kitchen cabinets, maple has a smooth texture and fine, subtle grain pattern, which makes it the perfect backdrop for many different design styles. Maple is strong and durable, and looks great with stains or paint.


Birch is a strong wood species that offers a very consistent, smooth, closed-grain pattern. Birch is comparable in appearance to maple, but generally costs less.


Like oak, hickory is an open-grain species, but with drastic changes in contrast and grain pattern throughout. Due to the distinctive look of hickory, it is favored in rustic and country kitchen designs. Because hickory has such bold patterns, it can create a busy look if the overall kitchen design doesn’t offset it with a more subtle look. Hickory is one of the hardest and most durable wood species available, but it can also be one of the more costly options.


With its rich color and intriguing grain pattern, walnut can enhance traditional or modern designs with a slightly rustic charm. Though not as durable as oak or hickory, walnut resists everyday wear and tear well, requires little maintenance, and is moisture-resistant. Walnut is not as common as some of the more popular wood species, and is generally more expensive as a result.


Lyptus is wood produced from a hybrid of two species of Eucalyptus trees, and is grown on plantations in Brazil. The trees can be harvested in just 15 years, which is much faster than most other wood species. Lyptus is a very strong and durable wood with a fine, even grain pattern and is comparable to mahogany in appearance. It works well in a variety of design styles, from traditional to modern. Lyptus does have a higher shrinkage rate than other wood types, so it does best in areas where moisture and humidity are controlled.


The light color and distinctive grain pattern of bamboo make it an excellent option for modern kitchens. Bamboo gets its unique look from strips of bamboo stalks that are placed side-by-side and glued together. The varying grain pattern can run vertically or horizontally, depending on how the stalks are arranged. Bamboo cabinets are very durable, which is why bamboo is also a popular material for flooring. Unlike wood, bamboo resists warping due to moisture. Bamboo can be stained, although many homeowners choose to highlight its light, natural beauty by selecting a natural finish.

If you’re considering custom-built cabinets, give us a call! We can help you choose a solution that’s just right for your home!


Choosing a wood species option for your cabinets

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