Choosing a Cabinet Wood Type
Style starts with the grain.
Kitchen Craft products use select hardwoods and veneers to create classic and sophisticated cabinets that stand the test of time. Just as no two trees are alike, the unique beauty and elegance of hardwood is expressed in the character of each piece as it's crafted, joined and finished into fine cabinetry. This results in attractive variations in grain and color.
Alternative materials and paints offer a more consistent appearance for those who prefer more uniformity, without sacrificing durability.
In today's kitchens dominated by stainless steel and glass, the natural warmth and texture of hardwood provides a welcome contrast. Wood exhibits defining characteristics such as mineral deposits and knots that contribute to its beauty, and can be highlighted by stains and glazes. Your look can even change over time, with changes occurring as wood ages and is exposed to light. Humidity also has a significant impact on woods, with dimensional changes lasting several days or weeks. To avoid permanent or damaging changes, maintain the humidity levels at or above 20% when the temperature is below 20 degrees and over 35% when the temperature is above 20 degrees.
Common Natural Characteristics
- Bird Pecks - Small marks in the grain pattern caused by pecking birds
- Burl - A swirl or twist in the grain of the wood that does not contain a knot
- Sound Knot - A knot solid across its face, which shows no indication of decay
- Unsound Knot - A circular area that once formed the base of a branch or twig and has a pith center
- Wormholes - Holes in the wood ranging in size to 1/16"
- Sugar Tracks - Yellowish to dark brownish streaks that run throughout part
- Mineral Streaks - Streaks of color ranging from olive to blackish-brown typically following grain pattern
- Gum Streaks - Mineral-like streaks of color naturally occurring only in cherry
- Heartwood - The mature, usually darker wood, extending from the sapwood to the pith
- Sapwood - Lighter colored parts that grow from inside the bark to the heartwood
Rustic alder can range from very rustic (heartwood, streaks, pin holes, open knots) to quite clear and unmarked. The color ranges from pale red to reddish brown. A softer wood than maple or cherry, alder offers a stable surface for finishes and stains.
Cherry ranges from tan blonde to deep brown and darkens naturally as it ages, blending hues from golden yellow to deep red. Cherry adds elegance to any décor and can be taken back in history or forward in fashion.
Full of character, maple works well in many styles and finishes. It ranges from creamy white to pale reddish brown and has a subtle grain pattern and smooth, uniform appearance. It may include tiny "bird's eye" dots and mineral streaks.
Oak has a very strong, open-grain pattern and tawny patina, from salmon red to dark cinnamon. It may include random worm holes, mineral deposits, knots and wild-grain patterns. Oak is a durable hardwood suited to traditional, casual or rustic looks.
Rift Oak is cut at an angle to the rings of the tree, so that its grain shows off interesting "flames," "flakes," and "rays." Its distinctly artistic look can be applied to any style and can look dramatically modern.
These materials are highly durable, less susceptible to discoloration and easy to maintain. They also provide flexibility in color, design and styling – a great option for many homes.
Thermofoil is a process where heat and pressure are used to bond a thin layer of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) film to a shaped and glued component made from MDF (medium density fiberboard). The result is a seamless surface that covers a panel's face and edges. The component back uses a white, seamless melamine surface - excellent for wear and easy cleaning.
Eco Veneers are thinly sliced sheets of solid wood that are applied to a furniture core panel, providing the warmth and beauty of real wood with more consistent grain and color characteristics.