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Choosing The Right Cabinets For Your Kitchen

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When it comes to selecting kitchen cabinets, you may feel overwhelmed by the selection of materials available to choose from. You may wonder if it even matters. After all, wood is wood, isn't it? However, not all woods are created equal.

You should consider the type of kitchen you want. Knowing if you want a contemporary, traditional, country, or modern decorating theme is the first step to deciding what type of cabinets to purchase. Since you won't likely be replacing your cabinets for a long time, you should research the various types to determine which one is a good fit for your kitchen.

What's your decorating style?

Do you tend to stick with one decorating theme for long periods of time? If so, you should choose cabinets to fit the style you love. If you change your decorating theme frequently, you will probably want to go with a style that works well with a wide variety of decorating themes.

Red oak versus white oak

When it comes to the battle of the oaks, both are durable and popular choices. With its relatively low cost and wide range of finishes and styles, red oak is popular in traditional-style kitchens. Its strength and durability is hard to beat. It blends well with most appliances.

White oak is slightly stronger than red and is also very durable. Its subtle grain and golden tones appeal to those who prefer a lighter look to their kitchen. It creates a country-type appearance and enhances pastel-colored walls better than its red oak rival.

Hard maple

Hard maple is a light-colored wood that can be stained if desired, but most of the time it comes with a clear or natural finish. It's less dense and a little more costly than the oaks. If you prefer the contemporary look, it's a good choice. It looks good with stainless steel appliances and modern-themed kitchens.


It's hard to beat the smooth, fine grain of cherry when it comes to being able to withstand wear and tear. Cherry's ability to withstand marring makes it a favorite in busy kitchens. Its red to reddish-brown color gives it an elegant appearance. It's popular in traditional kitchens and when a formal look is preferred. The color often darkens with age, and it is usually stained to maintain the uniformity of color.


The creamy, light-yellow wood tones of hickory gives it a warm appeal. It can be stained, but its blond tones are highlighted best with a natural or clear finish. It is a great fit if you desire to create a country or rustic-themed style for your kitchen.


Darker than maple, birch is a fine-grain wood that finishes well. It is relatively inexpensive due to its irregular coloring. However, when stained, it can mimic more expensive types of wood, especially cherry or maple. Depending on the color of the stain, it works well in either modern or traditional kitchens.


The straight-grain lumbar of ash is light in color and is similar to oak in regards to strength and durability. A clear finish makes it a good choice for the contemporary look. It's most often available in custom-designed cabinets.


Pine stands alone as the only softwood commonly used in the cabinet industry. It dents easily and is not as durable as the hardwoods. The pale yellow wood contains knots that compliment a traditional and country style. It looks great in a country-themed kitchen.

Choosing kitchen cabinets can be a little intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Knowing the differences in cabinetry is the key to selecting the perfect cabinets to accent your country, traditional, or contemporary kitchen well.

For more information, you may want to contact a kitchen remodel expert or cabinet company.