What to expect from solid wood custom cabinetry

Ron Nanberg | Wed, Mar 16, 2016 | Quality Custom Cabinets

Chicago Custom Cabinetry - What to expect with solid wood cabinetsChicago custom cabinets are the platinum standard in kitchen cabinetry. They are hand-crafted, measure, cut and built to your personal design specifications, made from the highest-quality materials and constructed to last a lifetime.

All that being said, nothing is perfect and we've found it's better to list "what to expect" ahead of time so customers can determine if solid wood is the best choice for their taste.

Normal Things to Expect After Installing Solid Wood Cabinets

When it get right down to it, all of the "im"perfections clients might notice in new Chicago custom cabinets are related to the fact that these products are made from wood. Surprise! Wood is a natural byproduct of trees, and while trees are pretty darn beautiful - no tree is symmetrically perfect, nor can wood-grain, pores or knots occur in perfect proportion either.

Thus, the majority of the concerns we've heard from clients are directly related to the "naturalness" of wood products.

There are variations in fill-in-the-blank . This can range from wood-grain patterns and stain color to lightness/darkness qualities. Lighter wood grains take a stain better than darker ones, and more porous wood takes a stain better than less porous wood. For these reasons, you'll notice variation in patterns, color and staining from one side of your kitchen to the other, or from cabinet door to cabinet door. End-grain surfaces are softer than other surfaces, so these often appear darker than the faces because they absorb more stain.

In our line of work, these variations are considered part of wood's inherent beauty. However, if you prefer a "perfect" look - without any variation - look into laminate or thermafoil finishes, which are man-made and easier to control.

Expansion and contraction. Wood expands in the presence of heat and contracts when things cool off. Similarly, it expands in the presence of moisture or humidity and then contracts when the climate is dry. This can cause the appearance of an "unfinished" line between the wood veneer and MDF core, or doors, drawers and/or hinges may shift a bit in position. Minor movement is normal and never cause for concern.

Another noticeable effect of expansion and contraction is the pulling apart of joints. You may notice small (hairline) cracks in paint or finish at the cabinet joints. This is unavoidable and completely normal. It will in no way diminish the strength of durability of the cabinets.

Natural materials. Since these products are made with natural materials, they'll never be as consistent or predictable as fabricated versions. Certain woods "age" more than others. Cherry cabinets are known for their tendency to mellow and darken over time. Wood cabinets are also prone to fading as the result of sun exposure.

Pits & mineral streaks. As a tree forms, it may form mineral streaks in between grains as it nourishes itself from the soil. Pits, knots, and ridges may also form. These features are visible in the grain and may cause stains to be lighter or darker than in the surrounding grains.

Work with Kitchens & Baths Unlimited, and we'll make sure you know exactly what to expect from your Chicago custom cabinets once the kitchen remodel is complete.

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