La Mesa, CA (619) 466-5100

San Diego, CA (858) 693-4000



"During the last several months I've had the chance to actually use our gorgeous new kitchen day in and day out and I've come to appreciate...

R. Farb, Del Mar

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Let's talk wood species:

To help make your decision on what type of wood to choose, we've listed several characteristics of the most popular/common woods available. Keep in mind there are many exotics available too, but the price range increases quickly and availability can be a challenge.


Kitchens Plus - Complete Home Remodeling and Design Without a doubt, this is one of the most widely used woods in the market. From cabinetry to dining tables and chairs, it is a very popular wood. Found in both red and white species, red oak is the more popular of the two. Oak has large pores and dramatic grain patterns. It is also known for its mineral streaks, pin-holes and, in rustic versions, even large knot holes. It is a dense wood that is both heavy and hard. Most red oak cabinetry includes a combination of red and white oak and can vary in coloration.

Pros: Cost effective, abundantly available and durable.
Cons: Can be random in color.


Kitchens Plus - Complete Home Remodeling and Design This wood has recently gained ground on the ever popular Maple. While similar in appearance to Maple, Alder has a deeper-brown tone to it and is actually softer too. Alder has a very smooth surface with very little grain variation to it. It has become more popular for furniture, due to its ability to sand easily and accept stain very consistently. Alder can have small pin holes and is available is a rustic version as well.

Pros: It's usually priced less than maple and has soft consistent grains.
Cons: It can scratch or dent due to softness and darker stains can appear "muddy."


Kitchens Plus - Complete Home Remodeling and Design Hickory, also known as Pecan and is a part of the Walnut wood family, is the hardest, heaviest and strongest wood species used today. It is known for is dramatic contrast, from light to dark color variation even in a small, single door. Also very common with this wood are mineral streaks, pin holes, knot holes and burls. Hickory tends to have a very "rustic" appearance.

Pros: Very durable and strong. Very distinctive color and grain patterns.
Cons: None really, unless rustic or country is not your style.


Kitchens Plus - Complete Home Remodeling and Design Maple is known for its strength and uniform appearance. The grain tends to be very consistent in pattern and in color. It is a very stiff, strong wood with a closed grain pattern. It does contain mineral streaks and tends to darken with stain. Lots of furniture (including cabinetry) is now produced using Maple wood and it is just as popular for wood flooring due to its durability and resistance to shock and abrasive wear.

Pros: Cost effective, great look-alike to Cherry for less money.
Cons: It's not cherry!


Kitchens Plus - Complete Home Remodeling and Design Cherry is often considered the "top of the line" in hardwoods. It has a very fine wood-grain pattern that can be more subtle than most other hardwoods. Characteristics can include gum/sap spots, pin knots and mineral streaks. It has a light sensitive property that contains a resin called lignin. Lignin causes the wood to darken, turn a soft amber over time. If your cherry cabinetry is natural or has a light stain, you will notice a distinct difference in color over time.

Pros: Cherry is a beautiful, timeless wood that is rich in color and texture.
Cons: Can be pricey compared to Maple or other hardwoods.

In addition to these species, we also have available; Mahogany, Birch and even Bamboo. Please contact us for further information (619) 466-5100.