Walnut is a classy wood that’s often used in carving projects, custom woodworking, and of course in high quality cabinets. It’s a dark colored medium-hardness wood that holds up well under standard use. It has deep swirls and interesting grain patterns that many people find absolutely charming and it’s the type of wood that you want to show through to the outside. If you like the look of walnut wood getting your cabinets made from the same material is a no-brainer.
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There are plenty of reasons to pick out walnut cabinets that help offset the high cost of buying this type of wood.
Walnut cabinets are typically sold because they’re absolutely stunning to look at, particularly black walnut and Persian walnut. They are fine grained in appearance and have a dark color with swirls of color and intricate grain patterns that you won’t find in lesser woods. It’s a cool looking wood that will bring character into your kitchen. It’s a wood that many people have come to love and want anywhere they can get it in their homes.
Walnut is very dense and durable. It’s not the hardest wood out there, but it’s hard enough to stand up to regular use while avoiding common dents and problems that you might experience with a soft pine wood. It’s also more resistant to water than some porous wood options like birch. That means that you can wipe the cabinets down without fear of causing water damage or impurities. This makes the cabinets easier to keep clean and in good shape over time.
Walnut cabinets come with a few disadvantages that will keep some customers from making use of them. Make yourself aware of these potential problems and you won’t have to worry about trying to return cabinets after you already have them at your home, or getting stuck with cabinets that you really don’t want.
There’s no doubt about it, when you compare walnut cabinets to pine or birch you’ll spend significantly more money buying the walnut cabinets. That’s because the wood is harder to obtain, it’s not as readily available and it’s more sought after. The product that you get is more unique looking and durable, and that costs a premium. If you’re trying to find budget cabinets you aren’t going to be able to go with walnut, at least not solid wood cabinets made from walnut. You could opt for an engineered wood with a walnut veneer to still get the look that you want though.
Large Color Variation
If you want nice uniform looking cabinets you’re probably better off going with a different variety of wood like birch or pine. That’s because walnut wood has a high variation of colors within the grains. The outside layers of the wood are a yellowish color and the interior layers are a chocolate brown. A single cabinet will likely have a mix of light and dark colors in the swirls of the grains. This is something that you either love or hate, and if you hate it then that’s a serious disadvantage to having walnut cabinets.
Caring for Walnut Cabinets
Keeping walnut cabinets in good shape isn’t difficult to do. Dust them frequently with a dry lint rag that has no cleaner on it at all. Most of the time just wiping it across the surface is enough to get rid of a coating of dust. If you have to you can add a bit of water to the rag to wipe away dust and other stains. At most when cleaning more serious stains up you can add a mild detergent to your water solution to help get rid of stains. You don’t have to worry about waxing the cabinets or treating them with any special product and doing so can actually lead to damage and an undesirable yellow tint over time.
Buying Walnut Cabinets
When buying walnut cabinets it’s important to find out if you’re getting solid walnut wood or just a walnut veneer. Most of the time when you buy from a big box store or a larger company in general you aren’t going to be getting solid wood cabinets. You’ll be getting a veneer instead. You have to go with custom cabinet makers for the higher quality materials. To be sure you should always ask questions about the cabinets that you are considering purchasing.
Deciding on Veneer or Solid Wood
When buying walnut cabinets you’ll have the option of a walnut veneer or solid wood. Solid wood is harder to find and considerably more expensive, but it’s also the higher quality option for the two. It’s more durable and you don’t have to worry about the veneer pealing or chipping over time. Even better it’s possible for the cabinets to be refinished later on if they start to look aged, even though they shouldn’t if cared for properly.
Solid wood cabinets are considerably more expensive and it would be common to spend a minimum of $4,000 to $6,000 for a standard 10×10 kitchen without any special features if you go with solid wood cabinets. If you go with engineered wood and a walnut veneer you’ll save a substantial amount of money, but you’ll also have a less reliable product that you can’t refinish later on if you need to.
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