Oak Kitchen Cabinets

Oak kitchen cabinets are a standard in kitchen design projects, and they may be the right material for your kitchen cabinets. Look at the advantages and disadvantages of oak, the costs and the different styles of oak cabinets available before making up your mind about an oak kitchen.

Characteristics of Oak

Oak is one of the best selling woods for kitchen cabinets. Oak has interesting, open, uniform grain patterns that is distinguished by the light-reflecting rays. The wood is a heavy, strong hardwood that is durable under all kinds of conditions, including those dished out by an active family 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 very little sign of wear. Oak is also moisture resistant, so water runs off rather than soaking into the wood and warping it.

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 a busy kitchen that sees lots of people moving through each day. Second, oak is 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 conventional kitchen. Oak also has many color options. Natural oak wood has variations ranging from light tan to dark red, and includes and pink, beige and brown 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, featuring both the Country Oak Classic and the Carolina Oak finish.

Cons of Oak Cabinets

The distinctive grain is the most often-cited negative about oak cabinets. The open grain is pronounced so it will 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 some other woods such as maple or cherry, an oak kitchen may not appeal to all buyers if you need to sell your home at a later date. Oak is a traditional wood, so it is not appropriate for a modern or avante garde kitchen.

Expected Costs

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 percent less for oak cabinets than other hardwoods. For example, a 10X10 kitchen in Carolina Oak is about $1,199 from Kitchen Cabinet Kings, while the Spice Maple in the same configuration is $1,624.

Style Ideas

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 past decades, 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 provides another update 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.

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