Oak Kitchen Cabinets
Oak kitchen cabinets are a standard in kitchen design projects and are some of our best-selling kitchen cabinets. Look at the advantages and disadvantages of oak, the costs, some kitchen color trends with oak cabinets and the different styles of oak cabinets available before making your decision about taking the leap to a stylish kitchen with oak cabinets.
Characteristics of Oak
Oak is one of the best-selling woods for kitchen cabinets and it’s not hard to see why. Oak has interesting, open, uniform grain patterns that are distinguished by light-reflecting rays. The wood is a heavy, strong hardwood that is durable in the face of all hazards, including those dished out in a family-friendly kitchen. Oak is exceptionally wear-resistant, so it doesn't develop dings, dips or curves easily. Oak cabinets can last for years with few signs of wear. Oak is also moisture-resistant, so water runs off rather than soaking into the wood and triggering warping.
Pros of Oak Cabinets
Oak makes a great kitchen cabinet for several reasons. First, the durability and water-resistant qualities make it a great choice for busy kitchens that see lots of activity. Second, oak makes for a traditional look that stays attractive as trends come and go. Oak has been used in kitchens for hundreds, if not thousands of years, so it is a great wood for a traditional kitchen design. Oak also has many color options. Natural oak wood has variations ranging from light tan to dark red, and includes pink, beige and brown colors in between. Stains and shellacs increase the possible color variations in finished cabinets. Kitchen Cabinet Kings carry oak cabinets in two of those color variations: Country Oak Classic and Carolina Oak.
Cons of Oak Cabinets
The distinctive grain is the most often-cited negative feature of oak cabinets. The open grain is pronounced, so it tends to show through any finish. Make sure you like the look of the open grain, because it is extremely difficult to change, even if you paint over the cabinets later. Because oak is a less expensive wood than other woods, such as maple or cherry, an oak kitchen may not appeal to all buyers who want to sell their home down the road. Oak is a traditional wood so it is not appropriate for a modern or avant-garde kitchen.
With oak cabinets, you will pay less for a beautiful, solid, hardwood cabinet than you will with other woods. On average, you will pay about 20% less for oak cabinets than you would for other hardwoods. For example, a 10-foot by 10-foot kitchen in Carolina Oak is about $1,199 from Kitchen Cabinet Kings, whereas maple finishes cost several hundred dollars more for the same size.
Oak Kitchen Design
Since oak is such a distinctive, traditional look, consider open cabinets or cabinets with glass doors. Instead of the bright brass that was the common hardware color in decades past, consider an updated rustic look using dark bronze or cast iron knobs paired with black appliances. Alternatively, pairing a natural stone countertop with bright, stainless steel appliances and oak cabinets adds an updated look to a traditional kitchen. Saving money on the cabinet wood may allow you to add many of the modern extras available in new kitchen cabinets, such as soft-close drawers, pullout shelves and custom shelves and trays.
Oak cabinets are a timeless, durable choice for kitchen cabinets. With attention to the kitchen design and thoughtful appliance and accessory choices, oak cabinets can produce a beautiful kitchen that will last for generations.