Although some prefer the uniformity of engineered materials, using real wood brings an element of character into your home with its color variations and unique grain patterns, especially when selecting cabinets for your kitchen and bathroom. But choosing the right kind of wood can be a challenge. Mostly it depends on your personal style and taste, but also availability and budget are important factors when finding the perfect fit.
When looking for direction, contacting FINE Cabinetry Kitchen & Bath, Co., one of the top kitchen remodeling services in Bucks County, PA, is the way to go. Here’s a breakdown of popular wood species with highlights that pinpoint the differences between each type so you can weigh the pros and cons when deciding. Ultimately, it comes down to a difference in characteristics, style, availability, and finishes.
- Maple. A hardwood with a creamy color and a fine, smooth grain. A popular choice since it’s readily available and easy to work with. Any style, including traditional, transitional, contemporary, and modern, are a perfect fit for maple. And because of it’s fine grain, this wood can be stained or painted with spectacular results.
- Walnut. A hardwood with intricate grain and color variations from cream to a deep brown. Considered a premium wood, walnut is not as readily available as other types but is very easy to work with. Color variations make it a solid pick for traditional, transitional, and contemporary style kitchens and bathrooms. To achieve a classic look, a light finish plays up walnut’s gorgeous, natural color variations.
- Rift Oak. A hardwood with linear grain that can be used horizontally or vertically with a beige, cream, and tannish hue. It’s a common wood that has a slightly higher price tag than regular oak because of the extra milling process, but it is a breeze to work with. Popular with modern taste due to its consistent grain and color, rift oak also works with traditional and transitional decor. Almost always stained, this wood is a fantastic example of natural, distinctive linear grain.
- Clear Alder. A softwood with uniform, fine grain that ranges from tan to reddish brown, clear alder looks similar to cherry but is not nearly as hard. This is helpful when creating distressed or antiqued finishes. Another difference between the two kinds of woods is that clear alder grows lighter in color with age and fades with exposure to sunlight. In the Western US, clear alder is common and readily available, making it a better bargain than cherry. Popular for traditional and transitional decors, this wood is the perfect choice to produce the worn, farmhouse look. Due to its softness, clear alder works fabulously to create the distressed look and always gorgeous when stained, glazed, or painted.
- Cherry. Often considered a hardwood, it tends to be softer than most. The rich grain, tiny pin knots, and pitch marks are the sign of superior woodworking. Cherry is common and available, but more expensive than clear alder and maple. It has a timeless charm for a classic look that is often used in traditional style kitchens and baths. It also works wonderfully with reddish and brown stains to create a rich, luxurious, dark look.
- Knotty Alder. A softwood with knots throughout the grain, in combination with distressing nicks and dents, is perfect to complete the rustic look. Common throughout the Western US, knotty alder is readily available. Although not as popular as it once was, this wood is often paired with distressed or worn finish woods to create a rustic utopia. As it is soft, knotty alder is easy to distress and absolutely stunning when glazed, stained, or painted.
- Oak. A very hard wood with coarse, uneven grain varies from light to medium brown. It is readily available and a better bang for your buck than using rift oak. Due to its association with older, outdated styles, it tends not to be a popular choice with recent remodeling jobs. Traditionally stained, new paint finishes have allowed this wood to have a rebirth to give an updated, more modern look.
Remember each type of wood has grain patterns and colors affected by their specific environment, which is what makes working with wood so exciting to achieve a natural, unique look to any kitchen or bath. To find out more about which wood is right for your style, contact FINE Cabinetry Kitchen & Bath, Co., a top-notch bath remodeling company in Bucks County, PA. Call 215-392-4584 today and make your appointment for a complimentary in-home measurement and estimate!