From ash to zebrawood: cabinetry hardwoods
by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
Hardwood cabinets can take a beating and look positively radiant doing it. They can be expensive, but when done correctly, they can make a kitchen into the centerpiece of your home. If you are refacing with wood veneers or if you have decided to replace kitchen cabinets completely, there are many different hardwood options, from the exotic to the classically American.
Hardwoods used in cabinetry
The rich tones, the weight of the doors, the elegant grains -- it all comes together to make your kitchen a thing of beauty. The only trouble is how to choose. Here are some of your options:
- Ash. A popular veneer, ash is a light-colored, tightly grained wood that's strong, flexible and durable.
- Birch. The flowing grain and long-lasting nature of birch make it a popular choice for cabinetry and hardwood flooring.
- Bubinga. This extremely dense hardwood has a beautiful, tiger's eye-like quality about it when polished.
- Butternut. Sometimes called white walnut, this pale wood often finds its way into furniture after being turned in a lathe.
- Cherry. One of the most popular woods used for cabinetry today, cherry is highly workable and has a gorgeous, deep red-brown color.
- Hickory. Not just for adding its flavor to the barbecue, hickory is strong, durable and great for shock absorption.
- Lacewood. Not too strong but stunningly gorgeous when cut properly and polished, this Australian wood is most often used for an ornamental touch.
- Mahogany. A classic and beloved hardwood, mahogany's deep red tone and straight grain are seductively gorgeous.
- Maple. A versatile wood that comes in many varieties, maple can be found everywhere from bowling pins to musical instruments -- and making up furniture, cabinets, flooring and more.
- Oak. The quintessential American wood, oak is hard, versatile, inexpensive and used abundantly, making up over a third of the commercially used wood in the U.S.
- Poplar. Poplar is a light and porous hardwood that is often used in interior architectural detailing because of its ability to take paint and stain well.
- Rosewood. Deeply brown and red, this beautiful hardwood is used in musical instruments and ornate woodworking projects.
- Teak. This water-resistant, tropical hardwood is great for outdoor furniture.
- Walnut. Easy to work with and available in a wide range of colors, walnut is a popular and versatile hardwood.
- Zebrawood. This dramatically grained hardwood is often used for ornamentation and in musical instruments.
Hardwood is luxurious, durable, dependable and marvellously beautiful. When it's time to take your kitchen to the next levels of class, nothing can compare to hardwood cabinetry. Hire a professional contractor for this project, preferably an experienced, bonded, licensed and insured* one like those you'll find by filling out a form on this site.
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