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Wood Species Cabinet Construction Cabinet Care Glossary

Wood Species Characteristics: What to Expect From Your StockCabinetExpress Cabinetry

When purchasing products made from natural wood, it's important to be familiar with the different wood types used to make kitchen cabinets. Knowing the unique characteristics of each wood species will help guide you in choosing the cabinets that will perfectly compliment your style.


Oak is a strong and durable hardwood with a coarse, open grain pattern. These wide grains make oak cabinets very receptive to stains, and can be finished to complement traditional and contemporary styles alike. The distinctive grain pattern of Oak wood shines when treated with a darker stain, giving it a more rustic feel. Lighter stains highlight the wood's golden undertones, making it perfect for lighter, more contemporary looks. The timeless appeal and affordability of oak makes it a customer favorite. Click Here To View Our Country Oak Line of Cabinets


Unlike oak, birch does not have a wide distinctive grain pattern. This smooth, medium density hardwood features a closed, nonporous grain, giving it a more uniform appearance. Although usually light colored, the darker hardwood located in the center of the birch tree may add a bit of color variation to your cabinets. Birch is an extremely versatile option for kitchen cabinets as it makes a great foundation for stains and decorative treatments. Commonly used to make stock cabinets, birch is an affordable wood that can be dressed up to imitate more expensive options, such as maple.


Maple is a dense hardwood featuring closed, straight grains. It is usually off-white and may contain light tan or reddish mineral streaks which deepen after staining. This popular wood is sturdy and durable, with the same versatility as birch wood. Our Georgetown cabinet is solid American maple stained to resemble a pricier Cherry cabinet. Our lighter Rockport cabinets also feature solid maple but have an entirely different feel. With Maple, the possibilities are endless.


MDF (medium density fiberboard) is a manufactured wood product often used in the creation of kitchen cabinets. It is an affordable, versatile, and convenient alternative to solid wood. In stock cabinetry, you'll find MDF used in combination with solid, often for the door center. MDF is a better alternative in certain circumstances because unlike solid wood, it does not expand or contract. For the more vulnerable portions of the cabinet, such as the door center, MDF prevents unsightly cracks or bubbling in the painted finish.


Though bamboo is not actually a type of wood, it's a great material for constructing kitchen cabinets. If you're looking to undergo an eco-friendly kitchen remodel, bamboo is a highly sustainable, and highly attractive option. Bamboo stalks are cut into strips and laminated together to create either a horizontal or vertical grain pattern, which is why it often is indistinguishable from regular wood. It is extremely durable and holds up well to variations in temperature, meaning that it won't expand or contract in high or low temperatures. The natural and uniform look of bamboo makes it perfect for modern or contemporary kitchens. Click here to learn more about bamboo cabinets.

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