Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Choosing the Right Wood for Your Kitchen Cabinet Reface

by Melissa Bullard
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

If you're interested in refacing your kitchen cabinets and you want a more classic look and longer durability, you might be leaning toward wood instead of thermofoil, plywood, or laminate. But how do you decide which type to choose? Well, if you're interested in using wood for your kitchen cabinet refacing job, consider the popular types below:

  • Birch: Most birch wood is a light color and has a grain that is straight in some places and arched or curved in others. Birch wood is of medium density, and fits in quite well with modern kitchen styles and appliances.
  • Cherry: Cherry is known for its lovely reddish-brown color, warm tones, lighter sap streaks, and very even grain. However, because of its beauty and durability, it is often somewhat costly. Cherry also continues to darken in color as it ages, so choose wood that has already aged if you want the color of your cabinets to be the same in a few years as when you installed it.
  • Hickory: Hickory is very strong, with an open grain and can have minerals streaks that are often much darker than the wood surrounding them. The same panel of hickory can contain various colors and tones, and for this reason hickory fits in quite well with natural or casual kitchen décor.
  • Maple: Maple has an even grain texture and is a medium-brown wood. It is a hardwood, which makes it quite durable. Because, like oak, it is used often, maple can give your kitchen a classic feel. However, maple cabinets look cleaner and smoother than oak.
  • Oak: Oak is another durable hardwood, with a brown to reddish-brown color and and an open grain texture. Oak often has mineral deposits that produce arch patterns of various colors. Whether you choose a lighter color or opt for a dark stain, oak gives your kitchen a truly classic look.
  • Pine: Pine is a softer wood, and is very popular because it is usually quite grainy and easy to paint or stain. Pine tends to be a light yellowish color with darker brown knots in it. Because of its many knots, pine fits in well with rustic, natural-looking kitchens.

Of course, there are other woods you can consider when you start refacing your kitchen cabinets, including walnut, mahogany, teak, and ash, but the woods mentioned above are some of the most common. The best way to start the decision making process is to decide which look or style you want for your kitchen. Then get online or go to a showroom to look at samples of your top picks. Knowing your options can help you choose what is truly best for your kitchen cabinets.


About the Author
Melissa Bullard earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, then a Master's Degree in Spanish Language and Literatures from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has taught writing, literature, and Spanish classes, and is currently working as a fre

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