Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Walker Woodworking, managing day to day operations, and marketing. Stacey has helped many clients create their dream space.

What are popular wood choices for cabinets?

Real wood has remained a favorite material for cabinets. These materials allow you to bring a bit of nature into your home while providing a style that can be as unique as you. Real woods are strong, solid materials that will last for a long time yet they are flexible enough to create beautiful designs. Choosing the type of wood for your cabinets really depends on your personal preference and budget. Here are a few of the most popular options:

Alder – a cost-efficient choice

  • Qualities: It is almost white when freshly cut, but exposure to air causes it to darken slightly with a yellow or reddish tint. It is considered a soft hardwood with a medium density and is readily available making tia cost-effective option.
  • Finishes: This wood is easily stained and blends well with other woods such as walnut or cherry for a beautiful design.
  • Styles: It’s attractive, straight grain creates a nice, uniform texture that is perfect for a rustic modern look or urban feel but it is certainly not limited to these styles.
Cerused Oak Cabinets

Maplea versatile choice

  • Qualities: There are over 120 different species of Maple which fall into two different categories of soft maple and hard maple. Despite being called soft maple, both hard and soft maples are considered hardwoods. Maple typically has unusual and varied grain patterns and range from white to creamy-white in color with occasional reddish-brown tones. It is also durable and resistant to abrasion and wear. 
  • Finishes: Since it has a beautiful natural grain, it stains well with beautiful final results. Due to the tight, closed grain of maple, it can also be painted in an array of colors.
  • Style: Maple can be used in a variety of design styles including contemporary, transitional and modern as well as traditional.

Cherrya sophisticated choice

  • Qualities: While it is in the hardwood family, it is softer than most in this group. It can come in several shades that range from rich red to reddish-brown. A rich grain that can have the occasional knot, is one of its characteristics. 
  • Finishes: When simply sanded and given a nice stain, it produces a beautiful, smooth finish that makes it an elegant finished product.
  • Style: This wood creates cabinets that are sophisticated and elegant. They are a good choice for any number of projects including kitchen cabinets, a home office or built-ins.

Oak – a timeless choice

  • Qualities: It is strong, heavy, and durable. There are around 600 species of oak and it has been used for thousands of years in construction, making it reliable and a timeless choice.
  • Finishes: Due to its natural light coloring it is easy to stain it in a variety of colors. It is also popular to ceruse the oak, this is done by applying a unique finishing technique that enhances the natural grain of the wood. Learn more about cerused oak here.
  • Style: It has a beautiful style of its own and because of the many ways it can be finished, it makes a great choice for any home and multiple styles.
Walnut Cabinets

Walnut a statement choice

  • Qualities: It is a strong, resilient hardwood but it is easy to work with by hand or with a machine. This wood also has good dimensional stability and steam-bending classification. It usually withstands warping and has minimal shrinkage.
  • Finishes: Walnut is naturally beautiful and elegant, rarely needing to be stained. Traditionally it is a straight-grained wood and has a smooth surface but it can have either wavy or curly grain that creates a natural, elegant design in the finished product.
  • Style: Walnut makes for a perfect statement or accent piece. Contemporary, modern, and farmhouse are a few styles that this wood goes with beautifully.

What is your style?

The final decision is always up to you based on which one reflects your style. We always seek to guide our clients to the wood choices that will fit the needs of their project. Education is a part of our service, as we believe you make the best choices when you are informed. To learn more about our process, the types of cabinets available, and the different styles of cabinets, click here or give us a call.