Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Carpentry

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-09-2009, 12:15 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Maple vs Birch


I would like some feedback regarding birch and maple woods.

We are discussing what wood to use for our kitchen and I would like to know the difference in price, quality and other considerations we should focus our attention.

1) We hope this is our last remodel and we plan on living in the house another 20 years.

2) The kitchen will be a focal point in the house and we feel the cabinets will be part of the "art work".

3) Our thoughts are to have dark cabinets (redish/brown -- in the Cherry/Mahogany family colors)

4) We like cabinets that incorporate molding and rounded corners.

5) Less grain vs more grain

6) cabinets will be seen from the front door and multiple rooms.

Your comments, considerations and thoughts are appreciated.

Best regards.

spQQk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 01:00 PM   #2
Newbie
 
greengiant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 15
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Maple vs Birch


Hard maple can be an absolute nightmare to stain. It is also more difficult to work with as it dulls tools quickly. You would not want to stain it anyway, since the whole point of using hard maple is picking out the lovely grain and natural colors (white sapwood and red-brown heartstock). It is well suited for cabinets, but maybe not the look you're aiming for.

Birch is less expensive, and is excellent at taking stain. It holds edges and nails well, making it well suited for cabinets. It normally has a fine and straight grain, but you can find some curly grained wood.

If the cabinets are going to be the focal point as you describe, consider actually working in cherry rather than staining something else to look like cherry.

greengiant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 01:20 PM   #3
Member
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074
Posts: 3,757
Rewards Points: 2,002
Default

Maple vs Birch


How about cherry? The grain is more subdued than many other woods (like oak, pine).

If unstained, it will will darken somewhat, but you can decrease the light color by using some stain. I know the recent rage was "cherry" cabinets that were other cheaper species, but stained dark.

With cherry, a lot depends on the lighting (mainly natural) in the area, since the natural light will affect the color change over time less than the artificial.
concretemasonry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 02:26 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 346
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Maple vs Birch


IMO nothing beats cherry with a clear coat, but you're going to pay for it, at least twice as much as maple or birch.

When I build a house in a couple of years I would love to go with cherry for the kitchen, but it's all going to depend on the pocketbook at the time.
Richo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 05:42 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 9,519
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Maple vs Birch


Maple and birch are just about interchangeable, visual wise. I used the scenario you described for a kitchen. I didn't find the maple difficult to stain at all. I used a conditioner prior to the stain and avoided the blotchiness associated with these woods.
I think I used about 28 sheets of maple 3/4" ply and maybe 5 sheets of 1/2" birch ply for the drawer bottoms.
If the kitchen is small, dark cabinets might not be the way to go.
Ron
Ron6519 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 05:47 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 346
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Maple vs Birch


Hey Ron,

Not meaning to hijack this thread but why is oak seldom used on cabinets anymore (at least around here)? For a long time, oak was everywhere.

I went to a showcase (tour) of new homes recently and none of the homes had oak trim or cabinetry. It was mostly maple/birch, a few with cherry.

Is is just a matter of what's "in" at this point and time?
Richo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 06:01 PM   #7
Member
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074
Posts: 3,757
Rewards Points: 2,002
Default

Maple vs Birch


I think that the grain of the oak is too strong and variable and detracts from the details.

Dick
concretemasonry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2009, 06:54 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 9,519
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Maple vs Birch


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richo View Post
Hey Ron,

Not meaning to hijack this thread but why is oak seldom used on cabinets anymore (at least around here)? For a long time, oak was everywhere.

I went to a showcase (tour) of new homes recently and none of the homes had oak trim or cabinetry. It was mostly maple/birch, a few with cherry.

Is is just a matter of what's "in" at this point and time?
I think it's just a cycle and what concretemasonary said. People seem to like the muted graining of the other woods and letting the wood profiles on the doors and moldings take center stage.
I haven't put in an oak kitchen in 10 years. Mostly maple, one alder( which is a low cost alternative to cherry) and a few thermofoil.
Ron

Ron6519 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Problem - Polyurethane bleaches out Stain Color on Maple Table GhanaBhuti Painting 9 09-05-2011 10:50 AM
staining maple GregWCIL Painting 8 02-14-2009 09:37 AM
Maple..confused. Need Help!!!! SciFi2009 Flooring 2 12-25-2008 05:45 PM
reclaimed maple hardwood cbeingessner Flooring 1 06-16-2008 08:08 AM
3/4" birch ply for stair risers? ACobra289 General DIY Discussions 4 12-15-2007 06:17 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.