We are remodeling our kitchen. Which cabinets are better, Oak or Maple?
By SJWALL from Tulsa, OK
The color is determined more by the stain than the type of wood. Both oak and maple can be painted or stained similar colors. Both woods are beautiful and strong, so it really depends more on the look you want--grainy with pronounced lines running through the wood like in oak or the more subtle striations of maple.
If the cupboards will be painted rather than stained, keep in mind with oak you'll still be able to see the run of the lines through the wood. Some people like that look, but most cabinet manufacturers that I've seen don't even offer painted cabinets (such as white, bisque, red and so on) in oak because most people seem to favor the smoother surface without the grain lines.
What "feel" are you going for? Right now the trend is maple, and oak is often criticized for being typically '80's or '90's. Really, you should go with whichever one you prefer, though, because both have their fans and their strong points. For an elegant, warm, up-to-date look, go with maple. Its grain is not as pronounced as oak and it's therefore very versatile for many kitchen styles. For a cozy, country-style kitchen, oak is your answer, because it's heavy grain contributes to the overall rustic effect. If you know the color of wood or stain you want, try it out on samples of both woods, because the grain patterns of each will pick up the color differently. Take a look at hardwood flooring samples to see what I mean.
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What color kitchen cabinets goes with knotted pine walls?
Hold paint color sample chips near the wood on the walls. If the base color is yellow as I suspect, I'd paint the cabinets yellow.
Otherwise, I'd use a shade of white that coordinates with the paneling and use yellow as my accent color. Yes, indeed white comes in different shades. White is the most popular color for kitchen cabinets.