Wood plays a crucial role in the quality and longevity of your kitchen cabinetry. Therefore, it’s important to understand the different wood types and how they influence the quality and cost of your kitchen cabinetry. In this guide, we will share with you the differences between Birch Kitchen Cabinets and Maple Kitchen Cabinets. This guide should help you determine the respective pros and cons of both birch wood cabinets and maple wood cabinets.
Birchwood and Maple Wood: Availability, Cost and Grain Patterns
Both birch wood and maple wood are popular wood types and equally strong and durable. Their wide availability makes them a default choice for kitchen cabinetry which comes in extensive finish varieties, door styles, and cabinet configurations. Needless to say, both these American hardwoods have their unique selling points, which make them ideal for any kitchen remodel projects.
Birchwood is essentially hardwood which grows in forests in North America, especially in Canada and USA. Since birch wood is widely available, it is a preferred solid-wood material for kitchen cabinet manufacturers.
Birchwood has a unique grain pattern which is straight and uniform. In some rare cases, however, curling and wavy grain patterns can also be seen in birch wood. Moreover, birch wood also looks pale and has a slightly yellow cast. In fact, yellow and sweet birch are two of the best-known wood species, However, the hardness of the yellow birch can be compared to that of oak, walnut, and other domestic hardwoods. Birchwood doesn’t usually nick or gouge easily. Since it has a close grain, it stains evenly. This typical appearance makes birch wood an ideal candidate for traditional kitchen cabinet manufacturing.
Since birch wood retains its natural grain patterns, birch kitchen cabinets look great in natural finishes. Even as birch wood is beautiful and sturdy, they are pretty inexpensive. No wonder why many homeowners with a tight remodeling budget prefer this hardwood cabinetry for their kitchen remodeling projects.
Maple wood is another North American hardwood which grows heavily across the Eastern Seaboard. It is better than birch wood in that it is stronger and significantly denser. Moreover, it is receptive to a vast range of stains such as the dark and glossy finishes, which makes it a go-to option for contemporary kitchen cabinetry.
In terms of look, maple kitchen cabinets can be treated to mimic mahogany, cherry, and other attractive wood types. Besides, maple kitchen cabinets are stronger and more versatile than birch kitchen cabinets. Naturally, maple kitchen cabinets are more expensive than birch wood cabinets. However, its wide availability makes it an affordable option for many homeowners.
Birch Kitchen Cabinets vs. Maple Kitchen Cabinets
In general, both maple and birch kitchen cabinets are strong enough to last for about 10 years. However, they have their respective pros and cons. Since kitchen remodeling is a long-term investment, you want to weight their strengths and weaknesses before choosing one.
Pros of Birch Kitchen Cabinets
Budget-friendly Kitchen Cabinets: If you’re looking for solid wood cabinets for your kitchen remodel but have a shoestring budget, birch kitchen cabinets are the right choice for you. In fact, they are the least expensive of all hardwood cabinet options.
High Tensile Strength Rating: Birch kitchen cabinets have a high tensile strength rating which explains their structural integrity. Needless to say, they hold nails and screws pretty well.
Natural Light Color: Since the birch wood has a light color, it can either be finished naturally or treated with cherry, maple or walnut stain.
Cons of Birch Kitchen Cabinets
Rough Texture: If you want wood that has a smooth texture, birch kitchen cabinets may not live up to your expectations. With an uneven texture which feels rough to the touch, birch wood lacks the shiny mirror finishes.
Uneven Staining: Along with uneven texture, birch wood is slightly porous. As a result, you might see irregular or blotchy results while treating it with darker stains.
Pros of Maple Kitchen Cabinets
Impermeable Surface: Unlike birch wood, maple wood isn’t porous. Hence, you can treat maple kitchen cabinets with a wide range of finishes that yield better results than birch.
Long Life: Maple wood boasts impeccable sturdiness and it resists dents, dings scratches, and cracks with great aplomb. Moreover, maple kitchen cabinets can retain their beauty and novelty for years. Hence, they are pretty popular across kitchens that receive high traffic.
Widely Available: Along with the aforementioned features, the wide availability of maple wood results in more homeowners opting for it for their kitchen remodel projects. Maple wood offers an extensive range of styles and colors, making it an ideal choice for both modern, traditional and transitional kitchens.
Cons of Maple Kitchen Cabinets
Prohibitively Expensive: Even as maple wood is strong, beautiful and versatile in terms of styles and finishes, it may be out of reach for budget-conscious homeowners owing to its higher cost. Therefore, if you’re planning to install maple kitchen cabinets, revisit your budget.
Prone to Discoloration: Being a high-quality hardwood variety, maple wood cabinets require proper care and adherence to best practices. When exposed to direct sunlight, for example, the finishes on your maple kitchen cabinets will gradually wear off over the years.
Recommended Reading: What Really Makes Kitchen Cabinets High Quality? A Quick Guide
Expected Costs of Kitchen Remodeling
Arguably, kitchen cabinets account for the largest part of any kitchen remodeling project. Moreover, the estimated costs could vary depending on other factors such as the size of your kitchen, the types of cabinets and the special features you want to add to your remodeling. Likewise, the costs could also be higher if you want to hire a professional cabinet installation company instead of doing it all yourself.
As explained earlier, the estimated costs of your kitchen renovation could go up if you chose expensive hardwood materials. For example, estimated costs of RTA birch kitchen cabinets for a standard kitchen with 120 square footage can range from $2,000 to $4,000 whereas the costs of maple kitchen cabinets for the same layout will be around $2,500 to $6,000. Needless to mention, you could save money by shopping for kitchen cabinets online.
So, Which Ones are Better?
There’s no clear winner here — both maple and birch kitchen cabinets have their respective strengths and weaknesses. However, if you have a higher budget for your kitchen remodeling budget, you should opt for maple wood while those with budget constraints can benefit from birch kitchen cabinets. At Nu Kitchen Design, we have a wide range of kitchen cabinet units and kitchen cabinet accessories available in a range of styles and configurations. Browse our shop and pick the kitchen cabinets and accessories for your kitchen remodeling plan.