You already know kitchen cabinets are one of the most important elements in your overall kitchen design, but how much do you really know about the cabinets themselves?
The right cabinetry has a bit impact on your kitchen’s functionality, style, and budget. The wood those cabinets are made from affects how they’ll stand up to constant use over the years. Most kitchen cabinets are manufactured from various hardwoods. Sometimes, mostly for cost savings reasons, the woods are applied as veneers over plywood.
Knowing the different types and unique characteristics of a given wood can help you decide how much you want to invest in cabinetry when remodeling your kitchen. To help you reach the ideal balance between style and durability, here’s an overview of the most common cabinetry materials.
Top Cabinet Woods
- Oak is far and away the most common wood for cabinets. It has a beautiful grain that comes to life through just about any color stain. If you like the look of red oak, choose a darker brown stain. Want less red? Use white oak.
- Cherry is a very hard wood that nicely withstands knocks and other surface damage. It’s typically used for a more formal look with raised panels. It’s a great choice for contemporary kitchens.
- Hickory is similar in grain pattern to oak but is lighter in color. A rustic wood, it’s rarely used in custom cabinetry.
- Ash has the durability of oak, but less graining. It’s often used for cabinet interiors and takes all types of stains well.
- Birch is a durable fine-grain wood that also accepts stain well. Contemporary cabinets, raised, and recessed panels doors are often made from birch.
- Maple takes stain well, but it’s more often given a natural finish, giving it a more contemporary look.
- Pine is a soft wood but is also commonly used for cabinets. The knotted species is ideal for distressing and antiquing effects. It’s most often used in English, French, and American country style kitchens.
Ready-made, stock, semi-custom, or custom cabinetry, what all good quality kitchen cabinets have in common is that they’re made like a good piece of furniture, using only the best materials and highest standard of care.
Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinets
The typical family spends a lot of time in the kitchen. That’s just one of the reasons it makes sense to choose the most durable cabinets your budget allows.
Does that mean you have to opt for a room full of custom cabinetry made by a local craftsman? Not necessarily. It’s true custom cabinets tend to last longer, but if you’re keeping a careful eye on your spend, you can opt for a mix, using a custom cabinet as a focal piece, for example. Keep in mind that large factories also turn out custom cabinetry. What matters is that the cabinets they produce are of high-quality.
Some things you’ll want to consider when choosing the right kitchen cabinets include:
- Do you like a raised or flat panel look?
- What is your overall design style: traditional, modern, country, industrial?
- Have you already chosen the hardware you want to use? You’ll want to pick a cabinet style that complements it.
- Framed or frameless? While not yet as popular, frameless cabinets are gaining in popularity.
- Would you like a mix of closed and glass door cabinets?
- Are you drawn to a minimalist look? Think about foregoing upper cabinets in favor of plain walls. If you feel the need for additional storage, uppers can always be added later.
Choose Cabinets that Stand the Test of Time
Skilled cabinet makers creative classic cabinets using the finest hardwoods and veneers. Built to stand the test of time, quality cabinets bring a timeless beauty to your kitchen. There are literally hundreds of cabinet producers, and that doesn’t include local craftspeople! From oak to ash, and everything in between, our designers can help you narrow down the right choice for your kitchen remodel.
Ready to get started? For more than 20 years, J.T. McDermott Remodeling has been designing and remodeling updated kitchens throughout the Greater St. Louis area. To learn more, schedule a conversation with us today. We look forward to meeting with you!