Selecting Wood Species and Finishes

Selecting Wood Species and Finishes

The selection of the cabinet wood species and finish will have a significant impact on the overall design and look of your kitchen. There are several things to consider when choosing the wood species for your home.

Maple is excellent as a durable wood that you may need to meet your lifestyle. European Country design with traditional styling may be appealing with a painted cabinet, possibly incorporating more than one finish color. The key to a successful kitchen-remodeling project is keeping all elements of the overall home and room design in mind throughout the design process. This needs to be balanced with your lifestyle and use of the space.

An Overview of Woods Species

  • Maple: Light – Hard Wood - Traditional to Contemporary
  • Cherry: Medium/Red - Med/Hard Wood - Traditional to Contemporary
  • Oak: Medium/Golden/Red – Hard Wood - Traditional to Transitional
  • Clear Alder: Medium/Red/Brown – Soft Wood - Traditional
  • Knotty Alder: Medium/Red/Brown – Soft Wood - Rustic/Countr
  • Hickory: Medium/Red/Brown – Hard Wood - Rustic/Countr
  • Rustic Hickory: Medium/Red/Brown – Hard Wood - Rustic/Country
  • Walnut: Dark/Brown/Purplish Black – Medium Wood - Traditional
  • Painted: Hard Wood - Traditional to Country

Woods and the Kitchen Environment
Kitchens tend to be affected by humidity and temperature and your cabinets need to adjust to changes in temperature. Solid wood often expands and contracts when exposed to humidity, leading to warping. Hardwood veneer and laminate alternatives can be incorporated to minimize shrinking and expansion through the drastic changes in Minnesota’s climate.



Cherry cabinets, clear finish, shaker style work well with existing oak millwork. The oak floor was refinished to compliment the tone of the cherry cabinets.