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Qualities of Good Cherry Cabinets Reviewed

Updated on August 15, 2014

Why l Like Stained Cherry Cabinets


After moving into a new apartment in Stockholm, Sweden, l really liked the Cherry Cabinets that were installed in the kitchen, bathroom and even in the laundry room. Our old apartment had well maintained maple cabinets which l will probably review in my next article. The current cherry cabinet review will start with a brief background, characteristics of cherry cabinets and end with some well thought recommendations.

The new apartment has stained cherry cabinets with black granite countertops, beautiful tile backlash and they are installed on well-polished oak floors. Dark granite counter tops are a joy to clean when l compare them with white marble tops at our old apartment which stained easily. The cabinet’s pulls and knobs are made of natural cherry wood which fit seamlessly to the cabinet doors.

From my observations, the end panels and the finishing seems to have been meticulously done by a professional cabinet designer. The cabinets were custom made, trimmed and white modelled to blend with the apartment walls. The soft-close pull out drawers were ergonomically made and glide easily with a little effort. We no longer need to take out items to reach those at the back end of the cabinet.

Cherry Cabinets with pull out drawers.
Cherry Cabinets with pull out drawers. | Source

What is Good About Cherry Cabinets?

Cherry wood is stronger when compared to other quality cabinet making wood such as alder, although it is not stronger than maple wood (as measured using the popular Janka scale). The analysis is obviously over generalised given that each type of wood has hundreds of species which differ in strength. Probably they are only referring to the particular species which can be used to make quality cabinets. Nonetheless, cherry is strong enough to build durable cabinets while its softness makes it easy to cut.

Cherry cabinets really look beautiful and the packed wood grains gives it a natural deep colour. The owner of the apartment seems to have chosen light stained cherry because the darkening is not so apparent or perceptible. I have read a few complaints about the apparent uneven darkening of cherry cabinets on one of the forums. The debate was as usual inconclusive, with others suggesting using dye for staining instead of paint, while others like the darkening as a unique or natural characteristic of cherry cabinets.

The cherry cabinets also show grain that returns their natural wood look. You would conclude that the designer probably used a transparent stain which did not darken the cherry wood’s grain. Additionally, because of cherry wood’s closely packed grain it rarely needs filler strip to cover cracks. I really like it when visitors can easily notice that the cabinets are made of wood without asking.

As l said before, cherry cabinets can be installed in the kitchen, bathroom and other rooms of choice. I have also viewed cherry cabinet’s kitchen pictures, images and got ideas on the best countertops or backlashes. l would recommend quartz or granite countertops with a tile backlash depending of course on the colour of the cherry cabinets.

Cherry cabinetry seems to be always in style, classic and timeless.

Lets vote and see which cabinets are most popular.

Which one is your favourite brand of cabinets?

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Why Others Will Not Choose Cherry Cabinets

Cherry cabinets have the propensity to mellow the first months but it is not something to worry much about because the full colour will show with time.

Cherry cabinet darkening may be uneven. There is also a challenge when you carry out cherry cabinet repairs or perform touch ups as new pieces will show a totally different colour from the original. If you are lucky the uneven cherry darkening may only last for a while and they will eventually pick the permanent colour.

Cherry wood is reactive to sunlight and the colour can easily fade if they are exposed to sunlight. There have been reports of open window blinds causing faded streaks on the cherry cabinets. It is therefore advisable to keep them totally shaded from natural light.

Cherry cabinet complaints also include denting and easy scratching. Complaints are often subjective, after all every wood would dent or scratch depending on how it is maintained and the context.

What then are the cost or price of quality cherry cabinets?

The prices and costs of cherry cabinets according to my research is on the high end when compared to similar cabinets for example those made of maple (per square foot). Issues to freight also come into focus as most cabinets are heavy and depends on how far you are from the cherry cabinet wholesaler of dealer.

Fully Installed Cherry Kitchen Cabinets.

Cherry kitchen cabinets with a light stain.
Cherry kitchen cabinets with a light stain. | Source

General Advice on Cherry Cabinets

When Purchasing Cherry Cabinets From a Local Dealer or Wholesaler.

  • Use your postal code to search for the nearest cherry cabinet dealer or wholesaler.
  • Test if the drawers glide softly on the rails.
  • Read the warrant agreement or at least have a rough idea of how long it last (a Life Time Warranty is the best).
  • Allied to the above suggestion, we all hate reading the small print on warranties but it is worth the time.
  • You can consider purchasing cabinets with half shelves at the top in order to accommodate taller items on the base.
  • Read good cherry cabinet reviews on other forums, do not bank on the advice of the sales reps (remember they are paid commission on sales) or buy on impulse because they are on special offer.
  • You are advised to check on the quality of hinges (uplift hinges are recommended) and ask if the dealer have replacements in stock.
  • Purchase custom made cabinets or at lest adjustable semi-custom cabinets instead of ready to assemble knockdown (NDK) which may not flash with walls.
  • if you are considering re-painting the cabinets then go for the cheaper brands. Ever thought of engaging a car spray painter?
  • confirm if repair parts are readily available such as cabinet legs, hardware, knobs, pulls and so forth.

How to Maintain the Quality of Cherry Cabinets.

  • Keep water away from wooden cabinets because it may cause cabinets to swell and wrap.
  • lt is important to systematically and thoroughly clean cabinets including difficult to reach places where water can sit unnoticed.
  • When watering flowers with vases sited on cabinets it is important occasionally check if all the soaking water can be hold in the pan.
  • It is not advisable to pull-out items from upper cabinets as abrasion against the drawer edges will lead to unwanted wear.
  • There are also unsubstantiated claims that hand lotion may cause the discoloration of natural cherry cabinet pulls and knobs
  • When cleaning cabinets follow your dealer or hardware advice because methods may differ due to the quality of the finish and depth of paint.
  • You may use mineral free distilled water wiped off using a microfiber cloth.

When all has been said and done the choice of cabinets remains a personal decision and there is always room for variability in taste. Above all, the quality of cabinets depends on the workmanship put to the wood and not necessarily a product of the wood\s natural characteristics. Ever heard so people bragging about having installed cabinets thought to be the weakest but have lasted more than 20 years with little or no touch ups.

Small and narrow cabinets with a cherry finish can be bought easily online.

Lets hear your opinion on Cherry Cabinets in the commentary box below.

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