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Alder cabinets: the pros and cons of choosing this attractive hardwood

How many times have you been in a kitchen with alder cabinets? The answer is probably more times than you know as alder is an attractive hardwood that's often mistaken for cherry due to its similar hues. Alder cabinets are popular with homeowners because the wood is as attractive as cherry, but can cost much less. Cabinet companies like using alder, because it's easy to work with and takes finish evenly. However, with all their good points there may be times when alder cabinets might not be the best choice for your family.

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Are Alder Cabinets Right for your Kitchen?

Natural alder color shades can range from warm honey to reddish-brown, but its finished hues can vary quite a bit depending on what stain or glaze you choose. The wood has a noticeable grain that can be enhanced during the finishing process, and if you're looking for a rustic appearance, some varieties of alder are available with larger knots. A wood expert might be able to tell the difference between alder and cherry, but to everyone else they look similar and alder cabinets can cost about 30 percent less. Many cabinet manufacturers offer the ability to choose alder for some of their model lines. If you're interested in finding out more about your options, visit kitchen design centers showcasing companies such as:

  • Medallion Cabinetry
  • Thomasville Cabinetry
  • DeWils Custom Cabinetry
  • Dura Supreme Cabinetry

If your kitchen cabinets get a lot of abuse from young children, careless teens, or enthusiastic pets, you might want to think about a wood other than alder for your cabinets. Alder is a hardwood, but it isn't quite as dense as maple, hickory, or oak and can be dented or damaged fairly easily from rough usage. However, if your family is beyond that stage, alder cabinets should be able to maintain their beauty for many years, and if your friends and neighbors want to think they're cherry, why tell them any different?



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