Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

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 the wood species, including durability, grain variation, and color. Let’s examine some popular wood choices for cabinetry and their specific characteristics.

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 Sawn 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 cabinetry and are not considered defects.

MAPLE- With a less pronounced wood grain than Oak or Hickory, maple has become a 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 previously mentioned wood species.

ALDER- A lesser-known cabinet option, Alder is considered a medium density wood and 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 perfect room.

Stopping in our Spiceland 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.


 

Cabinet drawers -- they house a variety of items that we use on a daily basis, from kitchen utensils to pens and pencils. Kitchen cabinet drawers are opened regularly, some as much as 5 to 10 times a day. This adds up to more than 3,600 times per year!  We depend not only on the functionality of the drawer, but also on its durability. Joint design is an important aspect of the drawer's durability due to the stress the drawer incurs with each opening and closing. This is what makes a dovetail joint so desireable.

Two factors determine the strength of a joint ... 1) how the two pieces of wood are connected and 2) the size of the gluing area. In a dovetail joint, a series of pins are cut into the end of a piece of wood which interlocks with a series of tail cuts in the end of another board. Once glued, a dovetail joint creates such a strong bond, no additional mechanical fasteners are required. Below is a picture of a dovetail drawer joint.

The dovetail is one of the strongest joints used in cabinet construction. The pins and tails can only be joined together in one direction, similar to putting your hand in a glove. Once the glove is on, it will not come off except by sliding your hand out. When a drawer is opened, the pressure actually makes the joint tighter. In addition to locking mechanically, the joint creates a very large surface area for gluing. The more glue in a joint, the stronger the joint will be.

The dovetail joint is indicative of quality cabinets and a high level of craftsmanship. Drawers with this type of joint are superior to those constructed simply with a stapled or glued drawer front. With its increased strength and durability, the dovetail joint is an excellent choice for your cabinet drawers.


 

 

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 everyday 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 you kitchen 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 excess moisture 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.

 

Testimonials

"Sonja and I want to thank you for the great experience that you and your company provided to us throughout the design, manufacture, and installation of our library cabinetry you made for our condo. Our friends and family rave about its quality and appearance. You are all craftsmen and it was a real pleasure watching the project come together during the whole process."
Al & Sonja
 
"Thanks again for successfully completing our project today. Special kudos to Mike and the other craftsmen at the shop for a job well done. We could not be more pleased with the results. Mike’s attention to small, finer details was very much appreciated. He was patient, pleasant and understanding. It’s all about the “fit & finish” with us and Spiceland Wood Products did not disappoint. We WILL be doing more business together soon – we look forward to it. Given the opportunity, we will highly recommend SWP to everyone. It was a true pleasure working together."
Wayne & Tonia 

CABINETS, COUNTERTOPS & CUSTOM WOOD PRODUCTS