Lumber is a valuable material that is responsible for housing and supporting us through much of human history. While the days of adding fortications to a motte and bailey are over, today’s wood is still being put to the test on a daily basis. Modern carpentry and woodworking focuses on pushing the boundaries on quality and beauty, crafting products that are as useful as they are aesthetically pleasing. When it comes to kitchen cabinets, for example, the wood used to comprise your system likely plays a large role in the visual quality and product longevity of your boxes and drawers. The true beauty of this material is its individuality, as different trees can produce vastly different outcomes when used for human production. A wood’s grain, for example, is an important factor for those looking for a quality outcome for their cabinets.
If your kitchen is looking worn-down and outdated, now may be the time for a facelift. Detail Design & Remodeling is proud to be your kitchen cabinet refacing experts in Dunwoody, providing old-world craftsmanship to ensure you are satisfied with the quality of our services. We specialize in cabinet refacing all across Georgia for homeowners looking for a beautiful and cost-effective solution over replacing their existing hardware. For years, our home remodeling contractors have worked hard to deliver amazing results, relying on our experience and expertise. Today, we’ll highlight one complexity of wood by discussing wood grain and how it affects your home design.
What Is Grain?
Trees rely on their cellular structure for nutrition, support, and life in general. In order to achieve this, these cells are instructed to formulate in a specific manner to create wood. Grain can mean many things, but when it comes to wood grain, we’re specifically talking about the pattern of the wood-cell fibers that comprise the structure of the lumber. There are numerous varieties available, each offering a unique blend of advantages and drawbacks that depend heavily on your goals. Straight grain patterns are ideal for plank applications such as home construction, providing consistency and strength. Varying grains may sound unappealing at first, but the complex patterns can deliver amazing outcomes when it comes to custom woodworking. Skilled professionals can create amazing curves and intricate details when utilizing the right grain for the job.
What About Texture?
Grain and texture are often intertwined, and this is because the texture of your wood is determined by the size of its cells and how often they vary. These wood cells are organized in bands, called rays, which also affect the outcome of the texture. How porous your wood is will also play a role in providing your product with a fine-textured or coarse-textured surface. Craftsmen and women of all trades often refer to the texture as fine-grained or coarse-grained, lending to the words’ interchangeability.
The purpose of pores in hardwoods is to deliver nutrients and support while also aiding in sap production. These tunnels can vary in number, size, and distribution, resulting in visual and physical changes in the wood. These pores are often influenced heavily by the growing season. When it comes to the structure of your wood, there are four main categories determined by the timing of pore growth:
- Ring-porous. Trees such as oaks produce large gaps early in the growing season while pores forming afterward are more consistent and evenly distributed. The result is a very distinctive look that relies on large, open pores that can absorb stain better. If you’re looking for an open-grain wood, be sure to look for hickory, elm, or similar species.
- Semi-ring porous. Walnuts and other species that show large pores in earlywood and smaller pores toward the end of the season can classify as semi-porous. This category holds many trees that are ring porous but lack the distinct organization of different pores.
- Diffuse-porous. Some trees provide even pore systems that are fairly consistent throughout each season. The size of these pores can vary across different species, as most have fairly small pores for transportation. While maple or cherry are common options for this reason, warm-weather species such as mahogany exhibit larger pores. This can prove beneficial for staining.
- Non-porous. Softwood species do not rely on pores for sustenance. Water is transported instead through tracheids, consisting of elongated cells that transport mineral salts and moisture. Keep in mind that these softwoods will still yield different results at different points in the growing season, so be sure to find the right material for your project before you start staining!
There are many factors that go into determining the perfect wood for your kitchen cabinets, as open-grain options are ideal for quality staining outcomes. The ultimate beauty of your wood will depend on a wide range of factors, including the texture, grain pattern, and finish.
Wood is actually a complex subject that continues to impress and mystify scientists. Next time, we’ll continue this topic by highlighting the most common grain patterns. Each one can provide dramatically different results for your needs, whether it be for cabinets or a new shed. Detail Design & Remodeling is here to provide top-notch results for our clients in Atlanta and beyond, delivering cost-effective quality with through cabinet refacing for Georgia homes. Our services rely on industry experience and expertise on the intricacies of lumber and wood grain. If you’re in need of help completing your dream remodel, be sure to contact our home remodeling contractors for an estimate for your home!