Question:

What woods are used in bath cabinetry?

Types of Wood Used for Bath Vanities and Bath Cabinets

The types of wood used to manufacturer bath vanities and other bath cabinets are much the same as those used for kitchen cabinetry: cherry, maple, oak, plantation hardwood, alder and birch. Cherry wood has always been associated with elegance but may be a little too dark for a bathroom environment, depending on the size. Maple and oak bath cabinets are popular for both traditional or casual bath decors. Maple offers a close, uniform grain while oak is an open-grain wood that can have red or white color tones.

Plantation hardwood's ability to be machined easily has made it another popular choice for bath vanities and cabinets, and alder -- with its straight, close grain -- can vary in color from quite light to dark. Keep in mind you can stain a light wood dark, such as maple with mocha stain, to completely change its appearance. You can also mix woods if you like. Most people who mix wood or stain do a light with a dark contrast. Some bath vanities and cabinets are made with a dark frame and a lighter insert. Like cherry, this works best in a larger room; otherwise it might look "too busy."

Additionally, birch wood is used for bath cabinets. Its colors go from cream to reddish-brown. If you have limited natural light in the bath you might want to consider a lighter wood as a dark stain in this instance is likely to make your room look smaller. When you buy bath cabinetry, get details on the top coat and process that is used to protect it. Since the bath is warm and steamy, you want to ensure the top coat on whatever wood you choose will protect your investment in such an environment.

When shopping for bath vanities and cabinets, check warranties. Some less-expensive options offer no warranty protection and it might be worth more money to get a product that does. Over time, you'll thank yourself for this.

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