Wood Characteristics

No matter which wood type you choose for your new cabinetry, please keep in mind that no two pieces of wood are exactly the same. Stains are likely to exaggerate the difference between open and closed grains and other markings in wood. Grain variation and color change should be expected. As hardwood ages, it will darken when exposed to different types of light. Color differences or changes in wood can also be caused by exposure to harsh chemicals, extreme heat, or other contributing external conditions. Additionally, wood species exhibit other defining characteristics, such as mineral deposits/streaks, knots, sap runs, pin holes and wormholes. These markings make the wood unique and contribute to its beauty.

Common Natural Characteristics:

Bird Pecks – Small marks in the grain pattern caused by pecking birds

Burl – A swirl or twist in the grain of the wood that does not contain a knot

Sound Knot – A knot solid across its face, which shows no indication of decay

Unsound Knot – A circular area that once formed the base of a branch or twig and has a pith center

Wormholes – Holes in the wood ranging in size to 1/16″

Sugar Tracks – Yellowish to dark brownish streaks that run throughout part

Mineral Streaks – Streaks of color ranging from olive to blackish-brown typically following grain pattern

Gum Streaks – Mineral-like streaks of color naturally occurring only in cherry

Heartwood – The mature, usually darker wood, extending from the sapwood to the pith

Sapwood – Lighter colored parts that grow from inside the bark to the heartwood

ALDER: Rustic alder can range from very rustic (heartwood, streaks, pin holes, open knots) to quite clear and unmarked. The color ranges from pale red to reddish brown. A softer wood than maple or cherry, alder offers a stable surface for finishes and stains.

CHERRY: Cherry ranges from tan blonde to deep brown and darkens naturally as it ages, blending hues from golden yellow to deep red. Cherry adds elegance to any décor and can be taken back in history or forward in fashion.

MAPLE: Full of character, maple works well in many styles and finishes. It ranges from creamy white to pale reddish brown and has a subtle grain pattern and smooth, uniform appearance. It may include tiny “bird’s eye” dots and mineral streaks.

OAK: Oak has a very strong, open-grain pattern and tawny patina, from salmon red to dark cinnamon. It may include random worm holes, mineral deposits, knots and wild-grain patterns. Oak is a durable hardwood suited to traditional, casual or rustic looks.

BIRCH: Birch is an even-textured, fine-grained wood with a curly or wavy pattern. Birch is strong and has a high resistance to abrasion. It has a smooth, dense surface texture and a tight wood grain appearance.

HICKORY: Hickory is a smooth, extremely strong, close-grained wood with a flowing grain pattern. Characteristics often include pecks, mineral streaks and burls. Hickory’s even texture welcomes a full range of finishes with ease. This wood species has a dramatic, rugged appearance with drastic changes from light to dark in wood grain.

CHARACTERISTICS OF PAINT: Paint will develop hairline cracks in the finish, most notably around the joints. This is a result of natural expansion and contraction of the genuine hardwoods used in the manufacturing of your cabinetry. Hairline cracks are not considered a defect in the cabinetry or finish and will not be considered a reason for product replacement.