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So much thought is put into the desired cabinet style that it may be easy to overlook the type of wood used for those cabinets. After all, wood is wood, right? Actually there are quite a few differences between wood species, including durability, grain variation, and color. Let's examine some popular wood choices for cabinetry and their specific characteristics.
Maple has become the favorite choice in cabinetry. It is desired among families in large part because of its durability and clean, uniform appearance. Paint adheres exceptionally well on this wood species. With the current popularity of white painted cabinets, maple is an excellent choice for today's cabinets.
Cherry - Easily recognized by its deep red undertones, cherry adds an elegant look to any room. Cherry has a fine grain, and its texture is sometimes referred to as "satiny." Though the wood itself is lightweight, it is still considered a durable hardwood that resists scratches. Maybe the most sought after characteristic of cherry is its transformation as the color deepens over time. From a cost perspective, cherry cabinets generally cost more than other wood species.
Oak - Strong and very durable. Oak contains a rich, coarse wood grain which accepts a wide range of stain colors very well. More affordable than other wood options, oak has stood the test of time and has been a consistent favorite for many years. Rift cut and Quarter Sewn are wood cut options often available when choosing Oak.
Hickory - Similar to oak in strength and durability, hickory is known for its dramatic grain patterns. Color and streaking vary greatly, even within a single door panel. Adding to the rustic appearance of hickory are the random pinholes, knots, and streaks of color. These only add to the charm of hickory cabinets and are not considered defects.
Alder- A lesser known cabinet option, alder is considered a medium density wood and is slightly less durable than maple, oak or cherry. With a similar grain appearance to cherry or maple, alder can be stained to look like cherry without the higher cost. Choosing "knotty alder" can add a rustic feel to your room thanks to unique wood grain patterns. wormholes, knots, etc. The versatility of alder can take you from the sophistication of cherry to the rustic feel of a cabin.
Even with this brief rundown of the different wood species and their characteristics, it is always best to go in person and look at various samples in order to fully appreciate what each species can offer. Hopefully, then you can choose the right wood and the right style for your room.
Stopping in our Carmel Indiana showroom to see samples of the various wood species is an excellent way to help determine the best species for your renovation project. We look forward to seeing you.
You put time and careful thought into selecting your kitchen cabinets, so naturally you want to keep them looking their best. The maintenance of your cabinets does not have to be a difficult or time consuming task. With some regular cleaning and care, you can keep your cabinets looking beautiful for years to come.
Cleaning your wood cabinets can be as simple as wiping the surface with a clean, damp cloth, then drying immediately. If you feel like you need something more than just water to cut through every-day soil and grease, a product such as Murphy’s Oil Soap (containing no wax or silicones) is a perfectly acceptable option. However, you may find that a mild dishwashing detergent is just as effective. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly. Using a dish cloth is not recommended for cleaning your cabinets as it could contain grease or detergent remnants.
If your cabinets are laminate, thermofoil, or painted, most non-abrasive cleaners are okay, but avoid any cleaner with acetone, ethyl alcohol, or mineral oils as well as any harsh solvents or abrasives as they can be damaging.
Abrasives in cleaning are not the only elements that can cause damage to your cabinets. Water and moisture in excess can compromise your cabinet’s finish and possibly the wood itself. With that in mind, promptly remove any excess liquid and do not drape dish towels over cabinet doors.
By following these simple tips, your kitchen cabinets can maintain their original beauty and be an investment of which you can be proud for many years. If you have other questions about kitchen or bath cabinetry, please give us a call at our Carmel Indiana showroom.
Picking a kitchen sink is a relatively simple process, right? Actually, it’s more complicated than you may think. With a myriad of options in everything from how it’s made to how it’s mounted, you have more than a couple decisions to make when choosing the right sink for your kitchen. Let’s break down some of your options.
Solid Surface- These sinks are made from the same material as the countertops of the same name. When paired with a solid surface countertop, the result is a sleek, seamless appearance without the presence of any ridges or edges. Minor scratches or cuts are oftentimes repairable. Negatives would include the price tag, which is higher than that of other sink choices. Also, they do not tolerate high heat well, such as that of a pot transferred directly from a stove.
Quartz Chip- Made by combining crushed quartz with resin filler, this sink is extremely durable and should last a long time. It is non porous and highly resistant to stains, scratches, and chips. The heat resistance of the quartz sink surpasses that of solid surface. Its hardness may be the only downside. If a dish is dropped in a quartz sink, your sink will survive, but your dish will not!
Cast Iron- This is one of the oldest materials used for sinks, and its popularity endures. Like the previously mentioned quartz sink, the cast iron sink is also incredible durable and long lasting. Behind the appealing glossy finish is a tough stain resisting surface. Minor scratches and chips can be repaired, and maintenance is relatively easy with this sink. The downside to cast iron is that the enamel can chip. This exposes the iron underneath which can begin to rust over time. The weight of cast iron also makes installation trickier, especially if being installed as an undermount.
Undermount- As opposed to being installed from the top, an undermount sink is attached from under the countertop. This eliminates the metal lip of a drop in sink and permits you to brush crumbs or liquid from the countertop directly into the sink without any interference.
In addition to the variety of choices in material, there are many accessories and options to make your kitchen sink more functional and versatile. In our next blog, we’ll discuss different sink sizes as well as the little “extras” you can add to give your sink some personality. Please give us a call or stop by our Carmel, Indiana showroom to learn more about choosing the right sink for your remodeling project.
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