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Wood Cabinets

Wood is the oldest and most popular material for cabinets.  Its natural beauty and wide range of colors, grains and styles make it a perfect candidate for adding elegance to any room of the home.  It is also a strong material which allows it to withstand heavy loads and the normal wear and tear of daily life in the kitchen, bathroom, closet or wherever your cabinets may be.  Nearly all cabinet manufacturers have a line of wood cabinets so as a consumer you have a large selection to choose from.

Wood Stains, Dyes, Finishes, and Glazes

Using stains and dyes are a great way to customize the look of your wood cabinets.  So what is the difference between a stain and a dye?  On a technical level, stains have much larger particles that do not penetrate the wood whereas dyes have much smaller particles that are able to fully penetrate the wood.  For this reason, when a dye is applied it will not mask the wood grain as much as a stain will.  The density of the wood will determine how well a stain can adhere to the surface.  Further, depending on how long you leave the stain on the wood before wiping or brushing it off, you can really alter the wood's natural color.  The longer the stain particles are allowed to adhere to the grain the darker the stain will be.

Once you've applied your dye or stain to the wood, the last step is applying a finish and, if desired, a glaze.  Applying a finish or sealer will lock in the color you have generated from the stain or dye.  If you choose to use a glaze, you can even alter the actual color of the wood.  This is a good alternative to simply painting the cabinets since the glaze still allows the wood grain to shine through.

Wood Species Visual Chart

When it comes to figuring out what style of wood cabinets is going to work best for you, it is important to first identify the species of woods that you have to choose from.  Each species will have a different color, grain pattern, and density.  You should ask yourself questions like:  Am I looking for a darker more intimate setting?  Or, do I want to create the appearance of a larger space by using lighter and more open looking colors?  For your benefit, we have put together the best wood species chart for you below that separates your options into dark colors and light colors.

Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood
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Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood
Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood
Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood
Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood
Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood Cherry Wood

What is Wood Veneer?

While investigating your options for cabinets, you are likely to come across the term wood veneer as an alternative to a solid wood cabinet.  With veneer, strips of wood are glued to a core material such as plywood, fiberboard or particle board.  There are few key benefits to this type of material.  The first benefit is price.  Wood veneer cabinets typically come at a lower cost than solid wood.  Second is strength.  Given the multiple layers of wood that are securely glued together, oftentimes the end result can be stronger and more durable.  Lastly, the veneer panels that are glued to to the core are usually cut from the most interesting and beautiful pieces of wood.  You can't always make a solid wood cabinet out of a particular cut if that cut is structurally not sound.  With veneer, however, you are only looking for a thin layer to glue to a center core so that layer can be beautiful but not necessarily the most structurally sound.  Best of all, with wood veneer you still get a wide array of wood species to choose from and your cabinets will appear no different than solid wood cabinets.

No Cabinet is Perfect

There are a few important drawbacks to understand about wood.  Being a natural material, over time it does show its age in a couple of ways.  First, if it is exposed to sunlight, its color will alter or fade over time.  Using certain finishes and sealers can help prevent this from happening.  Second, as wood is exposed to hot and cold, it tends to expand and contract which can cause warping.  This is why older drawers and cabinets do not open and close as easily as the new ones.

Need More Information About Wood Cabinets?

We offer Free Wood Cabinets Quotes from top contractors who are in your local area.  Let us help match you with a pro today to help you with your project.  The process is easy and there are no obligations to purchase.