Posts Tagged 'wood species'

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

Bob Russo: Cabinet Wood Species & Colors

Cabinet Wood Species

When you are talking to designers about your kitchen project, at some point you will be asked whether you are thinking about stained or painted cabinets. If you say stained, there are things you should think about. If painted, there are other things to consider.

Wood is a product of nature; within a tree, there are both heart and sap woods.  In some woods, color can very greatly, while others are more consistent. So always ask, are there any characteristics you should be made aware of in the species you are thinking of selecting?

You should also see more than a small sample.  Samples of 4” x 6” (more or less) will never tell you all you really need to know of any wood. Even a full door, sometimes, will not show every characteristic. Knowing what to expect in the wood you have selected: knot holes, pin holes, mineral stains, and heave of light grain details, just to name a few, will minimize surprises later. So, the more you see the better. Ask if a full kitchen exists in that particular species, even in another showroom, if they have more than one.

Also, ask about the wood’s hardness; even in hardwoods, they are not all the same.  Some will dent and scratch much easier then others. In an active kitchen, these softer hardwoods may not hold up as well as you expected.

Colors (Stains and Paints)

In the world of colors and stains just a couple of quick notes:

Paint – When thinking of painted cabinets, please keep in mind that all paint is susceptible to chipping, if struck hard enough. You may also see hair line cracks in time (sometimes even right out of the box) where any two pieces of wood are joined together.

Stains – When selecting very dark stains, sometimes characteristics (in a lighter stain) which give the wood its personality, may look like a flaw or defect. Always ask to see large samples of full doors before selecting the stain you wish to use.

You can always count on the Kitchen Views design team to be a knowledgeable resource to help you in making educated decisions about these important aspects of your kitchen design.

Bob Russo, ACSD/PKBP
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St. Newton, MA 02461

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