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Iowa City, IA 52246

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Selecting Wood Species


When selecting cabinets for your project a big way to bring the room together is by selecting the right wood species. This selection can help tie the whole look of the room together. We know it can be overwhelming to look at all the different wood species and colors and try to figure out what’s best for your project, so we sat down with Bethany to iron out the details.


“Depending on the cabinetry manufacturer there are several different options for wood species,” said Bethany. “Some are standard while others are an up charge.”


Examples of wood species include:

  • Oak: Strong open grain pattern

  • Quarter Sawn Oak: Uniform straight grain due to the process in which the logs are cut into lumber.

  • Maple: Straight grained wood. Most cabinetry manufacturers are selective about which stain colors they will use with maple because some can appear splotchy.

  • Birch: Similar to maple and accepts some stains unevenly. Good choice for painted finishes.

  • Alder: Fine grained wood with uniform texture.

  • Cherry: Strong red hue. It will darken over time.

  • Hickory: Lot of variation in grain and color, but it can be toned down with darker stain colors.

All of these options are beautiful in their own way and can create a truly eye-catching piece to add to your project.

Bethany also left us with a few questions to ask yourself when selecting a wood species:

  • How much grain do you want to see?

  • Do you want the grain to be a fairly regular pattern or have lots of variety?

  • How well does your specific stain/paint take to that wood species? (Always view a sample in person before ordering. The exact same stain can look very different on different types of wood.)

If you have more questions about selecting wood species for your cabinets or would like to discuss other cabinetry options, contact Bethany at 319-338-8275 or Bethany@pscia.com.

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