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Kitchen Cabinets – Selecting The Right Wood

Are you working on selecting the right wood for your kitchen cabinets? Maybe you are in the market to remodel or build a new kitchen? Here are some things you should know about kitchen cabinets and selecting the right wood.

Recently I have been visiting a lot of kitchen cabinet makers and learning a lot about the differences between wood that is used to build kitchens that I wanted to share with you guys. I am building a kitchen from scratch… One of many things we are building in the custom built home we are working on. My fiance and I enjoying cooking so designing and building a dream kitchen is very important to us. Cabinets and appliances are also on our top priority. I will share later what I have learned about appliances in a different post) Before we talk about what your cabinets are made from let us first consider whether you should buy stock, semi custom or custom cabinets.

Consider stock cabinets. Whether it’s a big kitchen makeover or a simple update, it’s good to know that cabinets usually come in three types: Stock, semi-custom and custom. Stock cabinets sound exactly like they are: Cabinets that are stocked in-store. These are the most budget-friendly but they don’t offer any customization. They come in standard dimensions of 12″-60″ in width and 30″-36″ in height (overhead cabinets are smaller at 12″-18″ in height). For simple kitchen updates, it’s worth considering getting stock cabinets and then painting or staining them.

Pick semi-custom cabinets over custom. Semi-custom cabinets are the next step up and slightly pricier. They come in a wide range of styles and have to be factory ordered since you can specify the dimensions and type of wood you want. Custom cabinets are the most expensive option because you can have them built specifically for your kitchen in size, material, and style. For bigger rehauls, go with semi-custom for a look that’s specific to your kitchen but won’t break the bank. With semi-custom cabinets you also have the option of getting hardwood door fronts and the drawers have a sturdier dovetail construction.

Custom – Is for the ballers!! Basically your most expensive option. You ask for it, they make it! No size restrictions and they can put all the options money can buy!

Now for wood types:
Alder – This is the cheapest type of wood as it is less dense that others. The weight of an Alder kitchen door vs. all others is significant. If you plan on staying in the home a long time and being serial cooks I would urge against a kitchen made of alder.

Oak- The most durable of them all AMD surprisingly not the most expensive. Oak is great because it is very durable, holds up well against dents and is the least porus.

Maple– Is very durable and holds its color well through time. Maple cabinets you will notice have a more modern look and feel less rustic since the grain in the wood has less knots. Personally one of my favorites.

Cherry- Tends to have a more traditional “redish” tone. And also is prone to fade. So if your kitchen is in an area where it will get a lot of sunlight you should probably look at a different type of wood.
Walnut – a more exotic type of wood. My favorite! I love the color, the grain and the durability of it!

Happy Kitchen redesigning!!