Ashland Oak offers finishing in a number of different colors in 5 woods - Oak, Birch, Hickory, Maple, and Alder. Cherry, a highly photo-sensitive wood which darkens too quickly to keep representative samples, is also available with stain colors closely matching those of our Alder palette. Ask your designer too see our stained and finished wood samples, or to obtain a sample to help you with your other selections.
It is important to remember that all woods can and will exhibit a high range of variation from piece to piece. This is the natural beauty of wood...no two pieces look exactly alike. This means that you can expect color variations on each cabinet, and even on different pieces within a single cabinet, especially when the grain runs in different directions (for example, with 5-piece doors where some grain runs vertically and some runs horizontally).
Wood specie color variation - Light-tan, to pink, to red, to dark-brown
Oak’s well known for it coarse, wide, pronounced grain pattern, resulting in a look that’s more casual than elegant. Oak is highly-porous, making it extremely absorbent (darker stains make the grain more apparent and typically dark, while lighter stains make the grain less apparent). One of the most common woods for cabinetry because of availability, durability, and price, oak’s finishing characteristics make it a sound choice.
Wood specie color variation - White, to light-tan, to yellow, to light reddish-brown
Straight-grained with a fine, even texture, birch is a becoming a popular alternative for those seeking a softer-grained look without the expense of similar woods like maple. A fairly-hard, durable wood species, birch offers an elegant look at a price point closer to that of oak than maple. Darker stains tend to result in a "blotchy" appearance that brings out the natural characteristics of this wood.
Wood specie color variation - From white to dark-brown
Related to the walnut family, hickory is one of the heaviest, strongest, most durable hardwoods used in cabinetry. With a wide variation in colors ranging from white to a dark brown, this relatively straight and fine- grained wood accepts all finishes well, although many find that natural hickory showcases its natural beauty.
Wood specie color variation - White, to yellow, to light-pink, to reddish-brown
Typically has a straight grain, but also exhibits occasional wavy and "bird’s eye" grain patterns. Maple’s soft and less-pronounced grain adapts easily to both traditional and contemporary designs, making it perhaps our most versatile and popular wood. Maple is very durable and non-porous, making it an excellent choice for lighter stains and glazes.
Wood specie color variation - Light-tan, to red, to dark-brown
Originally discounted because of its weed-like growth habits, Alder (and it's more rustic variety Knotty Alder) is experiencing a rapid rise in popularity. The Pacific Northwest’s most abundant hardwood is consistent in color and highly-porous, making it a good choice for darker stains. Because of its close grain, red alder can imitate cherry, mahogany, and even walnut.