There isn’t a better cabinet material than wood. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wood kitchen cabinet, wood storage cabinet, or a wood bathroom cabinet. There’s something special about the warm feel and beautiful look of wood that sets it apart from any other cabinet material.
If you’re looking to purchase wood cabinets, there is a wide range of choices to choose from.
The following are some wood cabinet basics that will help you choose the right cabinetry for your home.
Face Frame vs. Faceless
There are two types of cabinet construction. Face frame and faceless.
Face Frame: Cabinetry that utilizes a solid wood face frame installed along the front face of a row of cabinets. This is considered the traditional American cabinet building style. It allows for a little more texture and space between door and drawer overlays.
Faceless: This cabinetry is considered to be European style. They are built as individual, solid boxes. Because there isn’t a face frame to attach hinges to — the doors and drawers sit very close to each other without gaps. This creates a more seamless design.
So, there really isn’t a better style. You just need to choose the style that fits your home design and personality best.
Custom, Semi-Custom, and Stock Cabinetry
Next, you need to decide on the quality of cabinetry.
Cabinets come in three basic tiers…
Custom Cabinets: Made to your specifications by a skilled craftsman. These cabinets are a bit more pricey and made of solid wood. They’re definitely unrivaled when it comes to looks and function.
Semi-custom: These cabinets feature choices and excellent quality. They are factory made, so they cost less than custom cabinets.
Stock cabinet: These are typically what you’ll find at big box home improvement stores. These cabinets are pre-made, pre-sized, and are usually made of wood veneer glued over pressed wood or particle board instead of made from solid wood. These are good for anyone on a tight budget who is ok with sacrificing on quality.
Wood Cabinet Materials
The final decision is cabinet material.
Species of wood differ greatly in color, durability, and price.
Here is a list of the most popular cabinet woods and a few comments…
Pine: Least priced cabinet wood. It’s a softwood, so don’t expect pine cabinets to hold up well to scratches and dents.
Oak: Known for beauty and resiliency. It features an attractive, open grain, and ranges in color from dark red to a yellowish brown.
Cherry: One of the most beautiful woods. It varies in color, even on a single piece of wood, which adds character to your cabinets. Second, it darkens with age, gaining that deep red hue that cherry is so well known for.
Birch: Features varying shades in the wood and grain. It’s a medium density hardwood — tougher than pine but not as hard as oak or maple.
Maple: With oak, it dominates the cabinetry market. Its lighter color and high resiliency make it perfect for a wood kitchen cabinet. And the common occurrences of distinctive irregularities in the grain give it a character that few woods can rival.
Mahogany: Perhaps the most beautiful and expensive cabinet wood.
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