Finding the right wood
For 40 years, Barbosa has worked diligently to establish trusted supply partners for a large variety of unique wood options.
Selecting the right wood for your project is one of the most important steps in the process. Understanding the differences in each species can be challenging. Be sure to visit the other informative pages in this section, including our Wood Comparison Chart, Wood Hardness Chart, Species Gallery and a detailed page describing the various Wood Grain Patterns.
Wood Comparison Chart
|WOOD||BEST FEATURE||DESIGN STYLE||COLOR RANGE||STAINABILITY||DURABILITY|
|Australian Cypress||Sometimes used as a substitute for heart/longleaf pine||Rustic, casual||Wide variation, golden tones; high knot content||Typically not stained; natural color||6% harder than red oak|
|Bamboo||Considered a “green product”; is a grass, not a tree; plants regenerate quickly||Contemporary or modern; often used where minimal grain or pattern is desired||Light cream or caramel color||Accepts stain well||Similar to oak in hardness|
|Beech||High crush strength, medium stiffness and resistance to shock||Beech is used for curved parts of furniture and in Scandinavian type furniture||Whitish or very pale brown, darkening in time to light reddish brown||Difficult as it does not absorb the stain evenly||4% harder than red oak|
|Brazilian Cherry||Extremely durable||Traditional to contemporary||Deep red/orange/brown tones; minimal knots; tight straight grain||Accepts stain well; darkens with exposure to light; dominant red tones return||82% harder than red oak|
|Domestic Cherry||Beautiful delicate grain with character||Formal/traditional for select grades; casual/rustic for character grades||Golden/honey tones; wide color variation common within a plank||Difficult as it does not absorb the stain evenly||26% softer than red oak|
|Hard Rock Maple||Durable; minimal grain for a natural finish modern look||Contemporary or modern; often used where minimal grain and no stain is desired||Off-white cream color to nearly white, on occasion has a reddish or golden hue||Difficult as it does not absorb the stain evenly||15% harder than red oak|
|Hickory||Popular substitute for oak, walnut or mesquite; delicate grain with lots of character||Casual or rustic||Beige/tan; wide color variation within a plank||Accepts stain well; color stable||41% harder than red oak|
|Knotty Alder||Smooth hardwood with dark knots, lightens with age||Chosen for its rustic, informal appearance||Ranging from a light honey color to a reddish-brown hue||Noticeable stain patina characteristics ranging in visibility from dark spots absorbing excessive stain to very light spots absorbing minimal stain||45% softer than red oak|
|Maple||Minimal grain; extremely tight color range in highest grades||Contemporary, minimalist or modern; used where minimal grain or pattern is desired||Creamy white in highest grade; wide variation in lower grades||Difficult to stain evenly; ambers slightly with exposure to light||12% harder than red oak|
|Pine||Beautiful character patina, grain pattern, tight growth rings, stable||Rustic, primative, Mission, casual, Old World, southwestern; pristine grades can be very formal||Natural color is honey toned||Difficult to stain evenly; most attractive with a natural color||Durability is dependent on age; ranges from slightly softer than oak to similar hardness as oak|
|Red Oak||The standard for basic cabinet material for years||Grade and grain pattern can be manipulated to be formal or casual||Red oak is slightly pink||Accepts stain very well; color possibilities are almost endless||Oak is typically used as the benchmark for hardness|
|Soft Maple||Lower-priced than Hard Maple with a similar grain and figure||Contemporary, minimalist or modern; used where minimal grain or pattern is desired||Light to dark reddish brown||Difficult to stain evenly; Paint Grade is color preferred||25% softer than Hard Maple|
|Walnut||Rich deep color with delicate grain and lots of character||Very versatile; casual to formal||Natural color is deep chocolate brown||Accepts statin readily||22% softer than red oak|
|White Oak||The standard for basic cabinet material for years||Grade and grain pattern can be manipulated to be formal or casual||White oak is beige/tan||Accepts stain very well; color possibilities are almost endless||6% harder than red oak|
Wood Hardness Chart
Durability is a major factor to be considered when selecting a cabinet. Barbosa is pleased to provide you with this valuable resource to assist you with your decision.
Our chart is based on the Janka Hardness Scale which is the industry standard for gauging the ability of various wood species to resist denting and tolerate normal wear. It also indicates the effort required to either nail or saw the particular wood species.
The woods are listed from hardest to softest, so the higher the number, the harder the wood.
|Species||Pressure To Mar|
Wood Grain Patterns
To fully understand the differing patterns of wood grain, it’s important to compare various sawing methods. The way the log is cut is what creates differences between grains.
There are four cuts commonly used for cabinetry: plain sawn, quarter sawn, rift sawn and live sawn. Barbosa has extensive experience creating cabinetry with each of these cuts.
Plain sawn is the most common cut and was the standard for homes built the first half of the last century. Typically, two to three-inch planks of red oak were used, featuring a “cathedral” pattern in the grain. Annual growth rings were very prominent, at a zero to 35-degree angle.
Quarter sawn gets its name from the fact that the log is cut into quarters. This cut features annual growth rings at a 60 to 90-degree angle. This creates a visually appealing, somewhat tight vertical grain pattern, often with dramatic flecking.
Rift sawn produces a unique linear or vertical grain pattern with no flecking. The annual growth rings are typically between 30 and 60 degrees. Rift and quarter-sawn cabinetry are aesthetically more appealing than other cuts, due to the minimal grain activity. The cabinetry is also more dimensionally stable.
Live sawn starts with a straight cut through the log, which provides a full range of the wood’s natural characteristics. The grain pattern varies, with vertical grain on the edges. This result is naturally beautiful cabinetry. The wider the plank, the more uniquely beautiful the grain.