Hardwood is a product of nature. Therefore, there are many influences that can affect the appearance of the wood. Weather conditions, insects, minerals, the tree’s natural pruning process (creating knots) all contribute to and create the beauty of hardwood cabinetry.
Finish products are used to enhance and protect the wood’s surface and to diminish the affects of ultraviolet rays. Exposure to sunlight, chemicals and smoke will cause the cabinet’s finish to change colors over time. Cabinets with natural or light finishes will accent the wood’s natural variations more than darker finishes.
In certain dry climates, some cabinets may experience shrinkage allowing the overlay panels to be exposed resulting in space variations. This is considered natural and is not a defect of the cabinet. In humid climates with high moisture levels, wood can expand causing fractures and variations in spacing.
Cabinets that are displayed in the design Studio and model homes are only a representation and will not exactly match the cabinets installed in your home.
The most popular of the hardwoods is Oak. The predominate grain pattern ranges from straight lines to arched or pointed flame-like patterns and may be present in the same cabinet door or drawer front. There is a wide array of colors available ranging from light to dark. Unlike cherry, oak is less photosensitive and will not darken but gain a golden glow over time. This is considered normal. Because the color of the cabinet will change, later additions will not match your existing cabinetry.
Maple is one of the hardest and most durable woods. The smooth and subtle grain pattern has a clean, fine textured appearance that is enhanced by its own natural characteristics such as mineral streaks and pitch fleck. Make note that mineral streaks are common and are more visible with darker stains. As maple ages, the color will mellow over time into a rich golden patina. This change is normal and is caused by a chemical process due to the exposure of UV light and the oxygen in the wood. Later additions to your cabinetry will not match in color.
Being a natural product, Cherry will change in color almost immediately. Exposure to sunlight will beautifully and gracefully age your cabinets to a deep, rich red patina. If you choose to add to your cherry cabinets later on, the color will not match your existing cabinets. Cherry is also distinguished by such characteristics as: fine pinholes, grain swirls, pitch pockets, mineral streaks, sapwood and variations in color and grain. These are not flaws but rather features of this elegant wood.
Hickory has the most dramatic of variations creating the most dramatic of interiors. The common name for a particular group of trees in the walnut family, Hickory is a hardwood with exceptional strength and durability. Color variations will range from the white sapwood to the reddish brown heartwood even within the same piece of wood. Although, these color variations tend to mellow with age. However, the most striking of variations will be present on cabinets with a natural finish. Other characteristics such as pinholes, burls, knots and mineral streaks will also be present. These characteristics are a result of nature’s work and enhance to beauty of the wood.
Like other wood cabinets, painted cabinets will expand and contract during changes in heat and humidity. Enamel painted surfaces will not expand and contract with the wood and may result in finish fractures at the face frame joints and doors.
Over time, it is possible that the finish on your white painted cabinets will dull or discolor with exposure to sunlight, chemicals or smoke.
The Thermo foil finish consists of a decorative vinyl-compound sheet that is molded with heat to the wood surface of the cabinet. Through this baking process, these cabinets have the look of white painted wood but with the durability of Thermo Foil.
Prolonged exposure to sunlight, smoke or chemicals will dull the finish and cabinets or accessories added later will not match existing cabinets.