Kitchen cabinets are made in a variety of different hardwoods. If you’re looking for the most affordable cabinets, you might even be able to find a softwood such as pine. They’re typically finished with vinyl finish, though, because pine is so soft. If you’re looking to have the natural wood look shining through, you need a hardwood.
Maple is a very popular hardwood for many different applications, cabinetry being one of them. Typically, maple cabinets are lightly colored. They’re usually off-white to a cream color. They’re great for any room that needs to be bright and airy. Also, they’re great if you plan to stain the cabinets. Since they’re so light in color, they take a stain very well.
Oak is something of an all-purpose hardwood. It can be used for everything from a barbecue smoker to a cabinet. Oak ranges in color from off-white all the way to deep reddish colors. Mineral deposits as the oak was growing can lead to inclusions of green, black, and even blue. It’s one of the most diverse woods in terms of color.
Cedar is a little more difficult to come by, but it is very popular. Cedar is popular because oils in the wood lend themselves to a very peppery and welcoming fragrance that is very distinct. Also, the wood itself is resistant to rot, moisture, and pests. Oftentimes, cedar cabinets aren’t even sealed with polyurethane or oil. They’re left in their natural state.
Alder is a very lightly colored wood with a light grain that’s not very dramatic. Alder is the preferred wood for people who want subtle cabinets or who want to paint them. Since the grain does not stand out in a significant way, you might even be able to paint your alder cabinets without priming them first. Also, the light color will not show through even on a light paint.
Pecan has very dramatic wood grain that tends to assert itself against all but the darkest stain. If you want to stain a wooden cabinet a certain color while still keeping the look of the natural grain, pecan is a good choice. Hickory is also a good choice as well. The terms “pecan” and “hickory” are often used interchangeably to refer to the same tree.
These are some of the most common dn most popular hardwoods used for kitchen cabinets. A kitchen cabinet needs to be able to stand up to heat and humidity; a well-maintained hardwood will do that.