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Kitchens

photo 3Wood can add a distinctive beauty to both kitchens and bathrooms. Woodwork can be installed from the floors to the ceilings and in many areas in between. Here are some examples of woodwork in the kitchen:

Cabinets
When people think of wood in the kitchen it’s not surprising that they think of cabinetry. Cabinets can be framed or frameless. The frames of cabinets are often made out of solid wood, with panels made out of various wood veneers over MDF, or medium density fiberboard. The faces of doors and drawers are also often made out of glued solid wood, plywood or MDF with wood veneers. But that’s not the end of woodworking in the kitchen. Deep drawers can be fitted with wooden compartments as well as adjustable wood dividers that make tidy spaces for dishes, cups and mugs.

Shelves
Solid wood is traditionally used to make shelving in the kitchen and can be painted or unpainted. The one drawback with solid wood is that it can warp in the heat and humidity that are often found in a kitchen even though it’s otherwise strong. Veneered plywood might be best for kitchen shelving because it’s more stable and can be made to look just like solid wood.

Counter tops
Butcher block has long been used either as inserts for countertops made of other materials like stone or for the tops of kitchen islands. The wood used is often edge-grain or end-grain maple, though bamboo has proven to be surprisingly sturdy as a material. Technically, bamboo isn’t a type of hardwood but a grass that’s used as wood.

Butcher block counters are excellent cutting surfaces. Cooks who use butcher block as preparation surfaces often don’t seal them but do oil them with either mineral, tung or linseed oil. If the wood won’t be used to prepare food, it can be sealed with polyurethane.

Some homeowners even use wood for backsplashes. These can also be protected by either polyurethane or paint.

Tables and Chairs
Of course, people have been using wood for kitchen tables and chairs for centuries. Any spills on the wood need to be blotted up right away and the cook should avoid placing very hot pots and pans on the wood. With such minimal care, a kitchen table and chairs can be enjoyed for generations.

Flooring
There’s no reason why wood flooring can’t be used in a kitchen. Indeed, wood is sought after for its warmth, its give beneath bare feet and its resilience. Wood flooring can be engineered or solid. In engineered wood, the planks are made out of layers. Solid wood flooring is solid all the way through and most often made out of oak. Other hardwood species used for kitchen flooring are maple, hickory and cherry. Homeowners also use softwoods like pine, but they’re more subject to dings and dents. To keep a wood floor looking good for decades, it needs to be regularly vacuumed and damp mopped and refinished when it’s necessary. A solid wood floor can be refinished more often than an engineered wood floor.

Ceilings
Kitchen ceilings with exposed wooden beams give the room a delightful, rustic touch and can echo the cabinetry.