There are a lot of considerations and decisions involved when renovating cabinetry. One aspect that doesn’t always get as much attention as style or color is wood species. There is a wide variety of options available today for different wood species and inorganic options. These all come with various benefits and drawbacks, so it can be challenging to know which is best for you. In addition to your bottom line, your choice of material can also affect things like style and longevity.
Alder is a common wood species found in the North American West and is a member of the Birch family. In color, this material varies from a pale yellow to a reddish-brown. Alder is a popular wood choice for a few reasons. One reason for the popularity is that Alder is an affordable option. In addition, it is also easy to machine and work, so it is a great choice for beginner woodworkers. It is also a porous wood, which means that it is easy to stain and finish.
However, there are some drawbacks to Alder. Since it is porous, this material is susceptible to moisture damage and rot when not properly finished. This also means this wood is on the lighter side, weighing only 28 pounds per cubic foot. Being lightweight, Adler is a softwood. Therefore, it is not the best choice for high traffic areas or other places that see heavy use.
Birch is another popular material choice for woodworkers and is grown in northeastern and midwestern regions of the US. Birch typically has a straight or slightly wavy grain pattern. Like alder, birch is a lightweight wood that finishes well. It has a fine, even texture and is easy to work with. Birch is also a budget-friendly option for material due to its wide availability.
The color of the wood varies from reddish-brown heartwood to nearly white sapwood. The heartwood of the tree is the core of the truck, while the sapwood is the outer layer where water and nutrients travel from the soil to the leaves.
Cherry is common in the Midwest and Eastern regions of the US. The cherry species boasts a heartwood that varies from a rich red to reddish-brown, which darkens with age and light exposure. The sapwood, on the other hand, is a creamy white. This material has a uniform, straight grain pattern and has a fine texture.
In terms of workability, this material is a popular choice for cabinets and fine furniture. Cherry has a medium-density and high level of durability. Also, cherry finishes well and is resistant to decay.
European Steamed Beech
The cousin of its American counterpart, European Beech is a strong, durable material that has been the favorite of European woodworkers for many years. Typically, it has a pale cream color, but it darkens after it is steamed. This species has a straight grain pattern with medium to fine texture.
Overall, European Beech is easy to machine and work with, and it is, unsurprisingly, superbly responsive to steam bending. It is a hard, heavy material that is great for flooring. European Beech is one of the most popular and available woods for construction in Europe.
Maple is a common wood species in the northern US, particularly the Northeast and Midwest. It is a strong wood that finishes well. This material has a light, creamy color, and it has a smooth grain. Maple’s lovely color and workability make it a popular choice among furniture makers and woodworkers alike. The sapwood is what is most often used, and it is typically a white hue, whereas the heartwood is more of a reddish-brown.
Maple is on the heavier side, but it makes up for this with its high durability. This means that it is a great choice for cabinets and other high-traffic areas. In addition, maple is also easy to keep clean after finishing, as it polishes well. Another benefit of maple is that it is an abundant choice, so it is not hard to find locally. This also means that it is an environmentally-friendly choice.
Pecan is a high-quality hardwood that is found in the South-central US and Mexico. The heartwood tends to mostly light to medium brown with a reddish hue. The sapwood is a paler, yellowish-brown. Pecan has mostly straight grain, but can occasionally be wavy. With a medium texture, pecan is among with hardest and strongest wood species native to North America.
Due to its high strength and durability, pecan is not the easiest wood species to work with. You will want to be sure that all of your cutting tools stay sharp as you work, otherwise, it can cause issues. Pecan is a member of the hickory family, and it also has a high thermal energy content, which means that it is often used as a fuel source.
Red Oak is a wood species common to the Northeastern United States and to Southeastern Canada. Red oak has a heartwood that is light to medium brown. The sapwood, on the other hand, is nearly white to light brown. Red Oak tends to have a grain pattern with coarse, uneven texture.
It is a porous wood, so red oak needs to be properly finished in order to protect it from rot and decay. It is so porous that it is said you can blow on one side of the wood and feel it on the other. Red oak is typically one of the most popular material choices for woodworkers in America, as it is affordable and widely available. In addition, it is also a strong and durable wood species.
Thermofoil and MDF
Solid wood can be a great choice for your cabinetry, but sometimes it can be a bit too costly. Two budget-friendly, high-quality materials we carry that can help your bottom line are thermofoil and MDF. Thermofoil is a vinyl laminate that is heated and pressurized onto an MDF core. Thermofoil doors come in a wide variety of colors and textures and arrive ready to install, meaning you can get the appearance of solid wood without the work or cost.
MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard. You likely already have MDF in your home, as it is one of the most sought-after building materials. This is because it not only budget-friendly, but it is also durable and can stand up to use. In addition, once painted, it is difficult to tell the difference between an MDF door and a solid wood door. However, since there is no grain pattern on MDF, this material cannot be stained.
As you can see, selecting the right material for the job is just as important as picking the right paint color. Hopefully, this blog gave you some ideas on what to look for in terms of wood species. If you still have questions or are ready to get started, feel free to give us a call at 1-855-669-5222 or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our trained team of cabinet experts would love to help you no matter where you are in the process!