Among several factors that determine the quality, integrity, and appearance of your kitchen cabinets, wood is arguably the most important one. While high-quality wood species ensure high longevity of your cabinets, low-quality wood invariably means your cabinets will deteriorate pretty quickly. There are several types of wood types; however, let’s talk about the two most popular ones — birch wood vs maple wood.
This guide will quickly walk you through the pros and cons of each type helping you choose between birch wood cabinets vs maple wood cabinets.
Pros of Birch Kitchen Cabinets
Birchwood is one of the popular wood species grown in the forests of North America, especially Canada and the USA. Since it’s widely available, it’s one of the most preferred solid wood materials for kitchen cabinetry.
Grain Patterns: Birchwood features a unique grain pattern which is usually straight and uniform. In some cases, though, it may also have wavy grain patterns as well. Thanks to its close grain pattern, it stains evenly — a factor critical for cabinet manufacturers. Overall, it looks great with natural finishes and is a budget-friendly option for many homeowners looking for affordable cabinet units.
- Most Affordable
- High Tensile Strength Rating
- Versatile Finish Options
Most Affordable: Birchwood is the most affordable of all hardwood options. No wonder why it’s the go-to wood type for homeowners looking for cost-effective kitchen cabinets. If you have a shoestring kitchen remodeling budget, you should opt for kitchen cabinets built from birch wood and save tons of money.
High Tensile Strength: Tensile strength is a rating that determines how well wood species hold nails and screws. Even as birch wood is an affordable option, it still enjoys a high tensile strength rating on account of which it has reliable structural integrity. Therefore, when you choose kitchen cabinets built with birch wood, you can be sure they will last fairly long and withstand the elements.
Versatile Finish Options: Wood species are only as good as their ability to stain well. Birchwood boasts a light color which makes it easy for a variety of finish options. You can either choose to apply a natural finish or treat it with walnut, cherry or maple stain.
Cons of Birch Kitchen Cabinets
- Rough Texture
- Slightly Porous
Rough Texture: While birch wood stains evenly, it still lacks a smooth texture, unlike many other wood species. If you’re looking shiny mirror finishes from your kitchen cabinets, birch wood might leave you disappointed.
Slightly Porous: Wood species that are porous may not offer the best results after staining. Unfortunately, birch wood is known to be slightly porous which makes it vulnerable to blotchy results after staining.
Pros of Maple Kitchen Cabinets
Compared to birch wood, Maple wood is a stronger and denser wood type which is known to receive a wide range of stains such as dark and glossy finishes. As a result, it is able to mimic many popular wood types such as cherry and mahogany. Maple wood is more expensive and versatile than birch wood.
- Great Resistance
- Wide Availability
- Impermeable Surface
Great Resistance: Being stronger and denser than birch wood, maple wood resists dents, dings, scratches, and cracks easily. Plus, it retains its organic beauty for years together, which makes it a hot favorite for homeowners looking for kitchen cabinets with high integrity value. If you have a kitchen that receives high traffic, maple wood is a great option for you as it can handle the abuse well.
Wide Availability: Much like birch wood, maple wood is also widely available, making it a popular wood choice for many homeowners pursuing kitchen remodeling. Moreover, maple wood is available in a wide range of styles and colors, a factor that helps you build kitchen cabinets different types of kitchens.
Impermeable Surface: Unlike birch wood, maple wood isn’t porous. In fact, it boasts of an impermeable surface. As a result, it yields great results no matter what your choice of finish is. No blotchy results whatsoever!
Cons of Maple Kitchen Cabinets
- Prohibitively Expensive
- Prone to Discoloration
Prohibitively Expensive: Maple wood may be super sturdy, visually appealing and finish-friendly. However, it also comes with a hefty price tag. Homeowners who have a tight kitchen remodeling budget may find it out of their reach.
Prone to Discoloration: Expensive wood species come with a caveat and maple wood is no exception. Being a premium hardwood variety, kitchen cabinets built with maple wood require great care and maintenance. For example, when they’re exposed to direct sunlight, their finish will wear off over the years.