Wood Species Options For Your Home
The wood that you choose for your cabinetry is extremely personal. While some enjoy the simple, elegant beauty of enameled cabinetry, others prefer something more exotic. Here is a sampling of the most popular wood species, and a brief description of each. We always have samples available for each of these species, so don’t hesitate to ask your sales representative for samples of any species that interest you.
Maple is a hard, heavy, straight grained wood with a fine texture. Maple machines well and can be stained to an excellent finish. Natural maple has some color variation, but is generally more uniform than most select hardwoods. Maple’s elegant, smooth texture makes it an excellent choice for cabinetry and furniture.
One of the softer hardwoods, Alder is a plentiful, fast-growing species. Alder is a softer wood than maple and cherry and can dent relatively easily, but offers a stable surface for stain. Alder is a moderately light hardwood with a smooth surface and very little grain showing. Select Alder may display pin knots, grain fuzz and mineral streaks. Colors may vary from almost white to tan and pale, pinkish brown, with differences being accentuated when clear, light stain colors are used. Select alder is often used as a more economical alternative to cherry lumber.
Beech is ordinarily a pale cream shading, some of the time with a pink or dark colored tone. Has loads of little bits in the grain that recognize it from other light woods. Beech is very hard, and is a great wood for cabinetry. Local to Europe and the Eastern North America. Beech stains dark very well, without blotching.
Black walnut has been called the king of hardwoods. Walnut is smooth grained with a rich and warm appeal. Color can range from deep chocolate brown to light reddish-gray brown. While care is taken to eliminate it, sapwood areas may be present and range in hue from light yellow to light brown. As it ages, walnut will lighten in color. Walnut is prized for use in fine furniture and cabinetry.
Heartwood has a tendency to be a brilliant or medium darker, with shading obscuring with age. Teak has been considered by many to be the highest quality level for rot resistance, and its heartwood is evaluated as exceptionally sturdy. Teak is likewise impervious to termites, however it is just respectably impervious to marine borers and powder post insects. Teak is exceptionally costly. It is a standout amongst the most costly timbers available. Because of Teak's durability, it is our go to wood for fine outdoor cabinetry.
Quartersawn White Oak
Quartersawn White Oak is known for its distinctive “rays” and “flecks” in the wood grain. White Oak is a slow growing tree: therefore, the grain growth rings are much closer together than in Red Oak. Colors range from a nearly white sapwood to a darker gray-brown heartwood. Quartersawn White Oak will take stain evenly: and this hardwood is known for its strength, durability, and beauty.
Purpleheart is another popular exotic. For the most part, it is straight grained, in some cases interlocked, with a fine even surface. Its velvety white sapwood and energetic purple heartwood for the most part swings to a dull purplish dark colored with age and introduction. Purpleheart is an awesome accent wood.
Poplar is an inexpensive wood with a straight, uniform grain with a medium texture. While poplar is a softer hardwood, it paints well and is a great choice for painted moldings.
Red Oak is a hard, heavy, strong and stiff, straight grained wood with a coarse texture. Oak takes stain well and is still one of the most popular woods for cabinetry. Oak is widely used in the more minimalistic cabinet styles such as the shaker and mission styles.
Mahogany is not just a standout amongst the most expensive timbers in Africa, this species is additionally one of the chief cabinetry woods on the planet. Mahogany is described as having straight to interlocked grain and a medium coarse surface. The wood fluctuates somewhat in shading from a light ruddy darker to a medium red. Mahogany is gorgeous as cabinetry, and as trim work.
Jatoba or Brazilian Cherry
Jatoba is extraordinarily firm, solid, and hard. Grain is regularly interlocked, with a medium to coarse surface. Great regular gloss. Heartwood differs from a light orangish dark colored to a darker rosy brown, once in a while with differentiating darker grayish darker streaks. Color tends to darken over time, upon presentation to light. Sapwood is a light grayish yellow, plainly divided from the heartwood. Jatoba, though hard to work with, can make incredible looking bar, desk and table tops!
Hickory is the hardest, heaviest and strongest American wood species in commercial use. Hickory is distinguished by dramatic contrasts of light and dark wood, even within a single door and drawer front. This highly variable characteristic makes each Hickory cabinetry project unique. Renowned for it’s hardness and durability, hickory cabinetry is loved for its rustic beauty.
One of the softer hardwoods, Alder is a plentiful, fast-growing species. Alder is a softer wood than maple and cherry and can dent relatively easily, but offers a stable surface for stain. Alder is a moderately light hardwood with a smooth surface and very little grain showing. Knotty Alder will have a rustic appearance, displaying a considerable amount of knots, grain fuzz and mineral streaks. Colors may vary from almost white to tan and pale, pinkish brown, with differences being accentuated when clear, light stain colors are used.
Zebrawood is a wonderful and outlandish exotic wood, that has a tendency to be somewhat costly. Heartwood is a light darker or cream shading with dim blackish darker streaks dubiously taking after a zebra's stripes. Contingent upon whether the wood is flatsawn or quartersawn, the stripes can be either confused and wavy (flatsawn), or to some degree uniform (quartersawn). Custom cabinetry and built-ins constructed from zebrawood are quite stunning.
Sapele has a dark red-darker shading with fluctuating grain designs. Heartwood runs in shading from that of medium to a dull rosy or purplish-dark colored. Fine surface and interlocked grain creates a limited and uniform stripe design on quartered surfaces. Sapele is an exotic lumber from Africa.
Cherry is often considered the top-of-the-line in hardwoods. Light yet strong, Cherry’s fine grain pattern is more subtle than some of the other hardwoods. This luxury hardwood’s smooth texture feels satiny to the touch and its distinctive luster seems to glow, making it highly desirable for cabinetry and fine furniture making. As cherry ages, the wood darkens taking on an even richer, more elegant appearance. Cherry is prized for use in traditional cabinet styles.
Birch is a light wood with little grain. It stains and finishes nicely, and is a good substitute for Maple. Birch paints well.