Popular Wood Types

Blue Mountain Woodworking, Inc.     

Popular Wood Types

Our cabinet woods are chosen for the high character value of their grain and color. Hardwoods usually have a richer and finer textured grain than softwoods, but there are rich grains of all colors and patterns in both. Woods with very distinctive grain patterns are usually more valuable than woods with indistinct or subdued patterns. Every wood species has its own particular grain and color.


A strong, dense, attractive hardwood, known for its lighter color and tight grain. Mineral streaks are common in maple with dark streaks running randomly through the grain. These mineral streaks are noticeable markings because they contrast the natural color of maple. Color varies from creamy white and light brown to reddish or medium brown cast. It is susceptible to darkening and mellowing when exposed to light. It has usually straight grain, but also occurs in birds-eye, curly or wavy patterns. Its use with glazed finishes has become very popular.

Red Oak

This abundant hardwood has always been valued for its strength and its attractive grain. It is used extensively for solid wood cabinetry and in modern furniture. Red oak is distinctively grained with a rich grayish brown color and has a pronounced reddish cast. This is normal variation in color. The wood is open-grained, takes stain well, but the lighter the stain the more noticeable are the variations.


This hardwood is noted for its strength, hardness and toughness. Hickory is very hard and very heavy. It has a very bold and distinctive straight open grain. A single board of hickory can incorporate several color variations from light brown to reddish brown to almost black. Its price is moderately more expensive.

American Black Cherry

One of the all-time most valued hardwoods used in custom cabinetry. Slightly hard and somewhat light it has elegant coloring. Its color varies from almost white to light brown to a dark reddish brown. Black cherry has a very attractive and tight distinctive grain, often with a definite mottle. A light stain is sometimes used to accentuate the color. Its price is very expensive. 


A common hardwood is used in all aspects of custom cabinetry construction. The wood is closed grained and a light yellowish brown, it is very similar in color and grain to maple. The grain is quite pleasing and occasionally available with a wide shallow curl, very similar to the curl found in cherry. Its price is moderately more expensive

Red Alder

Red Alder tends to be a light tan to reddish brown; color darkens and reddens with age. There is no visible distinction between heartwood and sapwood. The overall grain pattern and appearance is somewhat similar to Birch though a little redder. Grain is generally straight, with a moderately fine uniform texture. Its price is expensive and cabinet grade lumber can sometimes be difficult to acquire.


Traditionally has been the da-facto standard for ultra-high quality custom cabinetry and furniture for years and is still in very high demand today. Solid walnut should not be mistaken for the most commonly used less expensive veneers. Walnut is chocolate brown in color, sometimes with dark or purplish streaks. Its grain is visually striking and extremely attractive. Its price is very expensive.


It a tough hardwood and has superior shock resistance. Ash has a medium to coarse texture similar to oak. The grain is almost always straight and regular and color varies from creamy white or gray with a light brown cast to dark reddish brown and it takes wiping stains very nicely. Its price is moderately more expensive. 

Submitted by: Kyle Knecht, Blue Mountain Woodworking, Inc.