Skip to Main Content

Wood Characteristics

View the list of common wood species used at Bertch.

Additional woods are also available.

Alder, Rustic Alder, Select Alder
Ash wood
A fine-grained hardwood similar to cherry, birch, and maple. Pale yellow (tan) to reddish brown in color. A soft, light wood with even texture and straight grain that accepts stain well. Characteristics include random sized tight knots and rays.
Ash wood
White birch, medium hardwood, similar to maple but not as consistent in color as maple, good base for solid color finishes, accepts stain unevenly; mottles. Mottling is a blotchy appearance evident due to various densities in the wood. Not recommended for darker stains. Off white color, medium density, fine texture, straight grain.
Cherry wood
Darkens with age at a very fast rate, pitch marks (worm holes), mineral streaks, medium hardwood, accepts stain well. Cherry is especially sensitive to light. Light will cause the wood to darken/redden significantly. Medium reddish brown color, medium density, fine texture, straight grain.
Hickory wood
Hickory, Rustic Hickory
Hardwood, mineral streaks, accepts stain evenly, known for its “wild” contrasting light and dark streaks. Light brown color, hard density, medium coarse texture, straight grain, strong, elastic, hard. Hickory has white sapwood and reddish/dark heartwood.
Maple wood
Hardwood, fine, tight grain, looks best with light, natural, or solid color finishes, yellows slightly with age. Not recommended for darker stains. Cream color, hard density, fine texture, straight grain.
Red Oak, Quarter Sawn Red Oak
Oak wood
Hardwood, open grain, accepts stain well, will darken slightly with age, grain pattern very evident when a solid color finish is applied. May vary in color from light to dark with possible shades of green.
Paintable material is recommended for a smooth, stable surface and will be used for paint finishes. Paintable is a combination of Premium-Grade HDF and/or Paint Grade Maple, for the best possible painted surface.
Red Birch wood
Rustic Woods
Solid wood will have character marks such as large knots and wane. Other characteristics include: small pin knots, bird pecks, worm tracks, mineral stain, irregular figures in the grain, cracks that do not hurt the strength of the part, sap wood and cherry pitch marks. Tri Views, Oval Mirror and Medicine Cabinet, Wood Tops, Frieze Valances, scribe and outside corner moulding) will not be rustic. Rustic Hickory shown in photo.
Walnut wood
A strong fine-grained hardwood with reddish-brown color. Usually finished “natural” to emphasize the reddish color and highlights in the grain.

Choosing a material for your carefully-selected cabinets is perhaps one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the design process. Understanding wood characteristics, which depend on your chosen wood species, is especially important for those who want a very particular final wood color or finish for their cabinets. 

For example, wood species such as cherry can be more sensitive to color change from sunlight and age, while other species such as birch tend to stain unevenly and create a mottled appearance when paired with darker stains. Even irregularities in your wood grain and the overall wood grain type can impact the final look of your cabinets. 

In order to help you understand the wood species available at Bertch, we’ve compiled a list of their distinctive characteristics. To see these color variations and styles in person, make sure to visit a Bertch showroom today and find your inspiration.