Posts Tagged 'wood cabinets'

Characteristics to Consider When Selecting Wood Cabinets

Real wood is specified for cabinetry when one is interested in enjoying the naturally occurring variations that make each piece uniquely beautiful. The amount of variation from one piece to the next depends on the species chosen. However, it must be remembered that while general characteristics will remain the same for the species, the installed product is likely to vary from the showroom model.

Variations are the result of soil and climatic conditions affecting the growth characteristics, grain and coloring of the wood. Fine hardwoods will display mineral streaks, gum spots and knots, which give unique character and beauty to the wood. These natural characteristics cannot be subdued or hidden with a finish process. Carefully consider these aspects before selecting a wood species for your project.

JSI Cabinetry's Madison Craftsman Wood Cabinets

JSI Cabinetry's Madison Craftsman Wood Cabinets

The effects of moisture must also be considered when selecting real wood for cabinetry. Normal minor fluctuations in humidity are expected and there will be insignificant changes in the wood if the relative humidity is maintained within a range of 40%-50%. Uncontrolled extremes (above 80% or below 20%) is likely to cause problems, such as expansion and contraction, which can cause joint separation or bowing of cabinetry components.

This general information is provided as a brief guide. Your designer will provide thorough explanations of wood species selections for your particular project. The cabinetry brands which Kitchen Views features use carefully selected kiln dried woods to ensure stability in climate controlled homes. Our goal is for you to be satisfied with the long term use of your cabinetry as well as the design layout.

Kitchen Views at National Lumber

Cabinets and the Winter Time – Bob Russo

Bob Russo, ACSD/PKBP

Now that we are back into winter, you need be aware of how this time of year can affect your cabinets. When the heat is on, in a lot of cases, our homes get very dry. We apply lotion to our skin to stay moist, but we don’t think of the home needing moisture, as well. Your kitchen cabinets and furniture can be a sign or an overly dry (or moist) home.

If you see unfinished wood on the cabinet center panels next to the door styles and rails (door frame work), one or two edges, opposite each other, it may be a sign that the center panel has shifted (easily fixed by tapping it back into place). But, if you notice that the center panels on your cabinets are showing an unpainted or stained line (see picture below) on three or all four sides, this is a sign that the wood is drying out and shrinking. You need to get some moisture back in to the air in your home. Room or home humidifiers work well to do this.

wood shrinkage from lack of moisture

Once you get the humidity levels back to a neutral state, you should see the lines around the center panel go away. If the panels are allowed to shrink up too much or are not controlled, they may not go all the way back and you may need to do some touch-up work. You may even notice that doors that were lying flat on the cabinet face start to cup or warp away from the cabinet face. This type of movement is normal, not a defect in the wood and is a natural occurrence; wood will always breathe and look for water.

But be careful not to introduce too much moisture into the home; it can have the opposite effect: doors can swell. Butt doors (double door cabinets where the two doors close against each other) can rub or ever start to overlap. A meter to check the moisture level of your home can be purchased for very little money.

When your cabinets are being built, every aspect is controlled, even the environment. Once you get them, it’s up to you to do the same,  so you can enjoy them for many years, trouble free. So watch your cabinets; they can tell you a lot about what is going on in your home.

Bob Russo, ACSD/PKBP
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St. Newton, MA 02461
Phone: 617-244-8020

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