07 Mar The Right Wood for Kitchen Cabinets
Wood continues to be an integral part of our human civilization. Scientists estimate that there are approximately 100,000 different species of wood throughout the world, and every year more species are discovered. Wood outlasts other construction materials like glass, plastic and aluminum, and many designers take advantage of its durability for their designs. The maintenance of wood is simple, and the industry has adopted technology that minimizes waste and energy if compared to plastic manufacturers. Wood products also make use of recycled wood, which further helps the environment.
THE CHOICE BETWEEN HARDWOOD AND SOFTWOOD
When using wood, there is the option of hardwood and softwood. The tree from which the wood originates, not the wood’s durability, is what determines if the wood is hardwood or softwood. Deciduous, angiosperm trees produce hardwood, and coniferous, gymnosperm trees produce softwood. Usually, hardwoods have a higher density than softwoods, and they are durable, hard, and fire-resistant, rather than malleable and soft. But there are exceptions. The balsa tree is a type of hardwood that is soft, and yew trees are a type of softwood that is hard.
Hardwood products are usually more expensive because the growing of deciduous trees is slow; however, hardwood possesses great resilience and longevity. Today, most furniture is made of hardwood, but approximately 80% of timber is made from softwood. Depending on the tree, softwood can be as durable as hardwood.
The rubber tree is a type of hardwood that is very popular due to its white sap, i.e. latex, that drips down its branches. It is grown in Africa and Southeast Asia, and it is used in a range of rubber products. Once this wood is harvested, at the end of a 30 year cycle, it no longer produces latex. Instead, the wood is used to make furniture. Rubberwood does not have a rubbery nature; it is actually hard and stiff, and it dries fast. It is used to build furniture and home products that use panels. Rubberwood has a versatile appearance that can match a number of environments. It takes stains well, and it serves a number of finishes. The pattern of the grains include large, straight vessels. The color of rubberwood ranges from pale cream to yellowish brown.
Cherry trees are well known for their fruits, beautiful blossom colors (red and white), and their elegant wood. They grow only in temperate climates. Cherry wood is a kind of hardwood that has a straight grain pattern, and its color oscillates between reddish brown and blonde. It darkens with the years, and its best look is unstained. Cherry wood is highly malleable, and its maintenance is simple. However, it is costly because its trees are difficult to grow, since rotting is a common threat throughout their lives. Due to its high-cost, a lot of cheap kitchen cabinets use cherry veneers rather than solid cherry.
Pine is a kind of coniferous softwood that is commercially useful because it grows fast in large masses. It is commonly used for timber and wood pulp that is transformed into paper. The lives of Pine trees are long, and some can even reach 1,000 years, if left undisturbed. Pinewood is “lightweight, inexpensive, and it does not shrink or swell” easily. Its color ranges from yellow and white to brown. It can be painted with ease, and it achieves a fine look through the years.
Birch wood is a common hardwood used for kitchen cabinets. This deciduous tree is a native of North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. It usually grows around lakes and rivers, and it is known as a pioneer species because it grows in environments that have been hurt by fires. This tree offers beautiful white bark, but it can also be found in a light, yellowy brown color. Its pattern is composed of close grains.
Oak wood is popular throughout the world because it grows in most continents. There are approximately 600 different kinds of oak tree species. Seventy-eight of these species are endangered because their habitats have been affected by fungal diseases and other “invasive species.” Due to their large size, they require a large amount of water, and they take a long time to grow. The color of Oakwood ranges from a light brown in red oak to yellowish in white oak. Its pattern is very grainy and includes some flecks, but it can also have swirls.. The wood is long lasting, and it can withstand warping. A clear finish is suitable for oak wood because it already possesses a distinctive appearance. This wood can be used for kitchen cabinets, but it is also used for traditional home furniture like bookshelves.