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Why maple cabinets work with most architectural styles

by Susanne Clemenz

Maple is a lustrous wood that creates interest in architectural styles from country to contemporary. Maple's fine grain has a subtle, rich flowing look that makes other adornment unnecessary. While ideally suited for slab-style modern doors, Mission or country style framed doors with or without moldings or central flat or raised panels also beautifully display maple's charms.

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Wood variations for maple cabinets

The coloration of your maple cabinets will vary depending on whether the wood is selected--either all sapwood or all heartwood, or unselected--a combination of both sapwood and heartwood. Cabinet companies such as Dura Supreme, Thomasville, EcoCraft, and others, offer choices between both types of wood.

  1. Sapwood--Maple's white to creamy sapwood is prized for its light color. Sapwood cabinets have a uniform tonality and may be finished naturally or stained light to dark.
  2. Heartwood--Wood from the center of the maple tree, as with many species, is darker and suitable for natural or medium-to-dark stains.
  3. Bird's-eye maple--This swirly wood has overlapping circles with a dot or "eye" in the center of each. It is light--from the sapwood--and spectacular when used in door panels with sapwood or heartwood frames. It is trickier to plane and shape with hand tools, however, so it usually costs more.


Comparing cabinet prices for maple with other wood

Prices for maple kitchen cabinets vary by the materials and techniques used in the cases and drawer boxes. At Home Depot, American Classics 30-by-30-by-12 overhead maple kitchen cabinets run about $155. A similar American Classics oak cabinet costs about $20 less.

Another way to compare costs is by the board foot. One hundred linear feet of 13/16-inch-thick hard white maple for home craftsmen's use is about $610, while red oak of the same specifications is closer to $400, and ash about $435.



About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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