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Kitchen Cabinets Choosing the Right Wood Type For Kitchen Cabinets

Rebecca Groskreutz

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When choosing new kitchen cabinets, it is important to consider the type of wood species that you will use. It will have a huge impact on the look and feel of your kitchen. Some of the many choices are oak, maple, knotty alder, pine, cherry and hickory. Here is a list of the characteristics of each type of wood species you will come across as you shop for kitchen cabinets:

Oak: Features a prominent grain, very durable and resilient, a hardwood that will last for a long time, abundant strong and heavy. Oak is typically the least expensive of all wood species.

Maple: Strong close-grained, mostly off-white in color, dense and hard, will mellow with age. Most popular choice and works well with all styles including traditional to contemporary. Use a natural finish to show off the simplistic grain.

Knotty Alder: Features large open knots and a rugged, distressed appearance. Random knots can lead to waste, so expect to pay more for this premium wood. Works best in a country setting.

Pine: Features swirling grain and random knots. Used in its natural state, pine lends itself to a lodge/cabin feel.

Cherry: A rich hardwood with a subtle color variations and grain, cherry will darken or mellow with age. Featuring small knots and pinholes, it is moderately strong and more costly than oak or birch.

Hickory: A strong open-grain wood with strong variation in color. Very hard and coarse-textured, every door will feature strong shades of both light and dark.

Birch: Featuring dramatic color variation, smooth grain and dramatic color and shade variation, birch is light in weight but strong. A popular choice due to it is similarity to maple, but less expensive than maple. Birch works well in any type of setting.

Whether your budget is small or large, there are many wood species to choose from. Select a wood that will hold up to your lifestyle, and that fits your setting!

Kitchen Cabinet Design and Woods to use - See pictures and ideas as Becky shares her ideas on her site at


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