Which Woods Work Best for DIY Home Remodel Projects? – Guest post by Carpenter, Tom Masters

If you’re a homeowner, there may come a time when you get tired of the old and start making plans to brighten the home up with a fresh coat of paint, introduce new lighting to a dingy closet space or even better, replace the cabinets, flooring or even the walls or other areas of a room with beautiful wood. The first step you need to take when thinking about remodeling a room with wood is going to be determining which wood will work best in the room.

Once you have a budget of sorts in place, you need to take time to look at pictures, check out pricing and compare various woods to see which you like best. Here are some suggestions for various types of wood that work well in the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen to help make your DIY remodel project a successful venture.

KITCHEN

kitchen

The kitchen has long been thought of as the hub of the home. The family meeting room and the room we entertain out guests in when the holidays, birthdays and spur of the moment get togethers happen. Choosing the perfect wood for your kitchen is going to depend not only on the styles you like best, but also on the strength of the wood and of course, the overall cost for materials. Let’s look at a few of the more popular woods used for kitchen cabinets.

Mahogany

mahogany

If you have a big budget, mahogany is an expensive, beautiful wood that is dark and looks wonderful in a kitchen. Beware however because although it is a beautiful wood, it’s not a strong wood and doesn’t do as well as other woods for kitchen cabinets.

Pine

pine

Have an old fashioned, rustic look in mind for your kitchen? Pine works great for rustic looks but it’s a soft wood and may not last for very many years. Thankfully, pine is also not a very expensive wood, so if you need to replace or update, it won’t break the bank when doing so.

Cherry

cherry

Cherry offers a lustrous appearance and has long been a popular choice for high-end kitchen builds. The wood is strong and works well with stains. Cherry wood is an expensive wood, but it is ideal for beautiful kitchen cabinetry that stands out among other woods.

Maple

maple

Maple is a great wood to work with because it is inexpensive, strong and looks beautiful whether it is stained or in its natural state. Maple is easy to paint and can be found in many kitchens because it is such a flexible wood to use.

Birch

birch

Birch is an inexpensive wood that can be used in place of maple, cherry and other more expensive woods. It is easy to pain and can also be stained or even used in its natural state.

Oak

oak

Oak is one of the woods that is used more often than others because it is very strong, and it is also not extremely expensive. Oak not considered a paintable wood, but many people do paint it and it can look great. It is simple to stain and looks beautiful when it is left in a natural state.

BATHROOM

 bathroom

Bathroom wood must be carefully chosen to ensure it not only looks beautiful, but also to make sure you have chosen a wood that won’t rot, mildew or otherwise decompose fast due to moisture in the room. Mixing wood with water seems scary to some people but it’s one of the most popular ways to accent a home, and today, it is used in more bathrooms than ever. Thanks to modern paints and other protective ways to prevent damage, wood is an eco-friendly way to remodel or build a bathroom.

Where to Use Wood in the Bathroom

Wood can be used virtually anywhere in a bathroom! From flooring to cabinets and even bathtubs and sinks! Wooden bathtubs have long been used in Japan and they are finally making their way to the U.S. If you are considering having a wooden bathtub installed during your bathroom remodel, be sure to consult with a licensed plumber to make sure the water lines are all set the way they need to be. You don’t want to risk a leak when you are working with water and wood in the same room.

Some of the best woods found in the bathroom include your hard woods such as white oak, cedar and oak. Other woods can be used in the bathroom, but for softer woods you need to be sure to use a varnish or stain that is water resistant.

Vanities and countertops in the bathroom can be made beautifully with various woods. Today’s biggest trend in the bathroom is using reclaimed wood for cabinets. This entails cleaning the wood and often staining or painting it to help it fit into the bathroom design. Plywood and natural woods are good for building a vanity or a new countertop in the bathroom as they will withstand moisture and do not tend to mildew as some woods might. Once you have the vanity or countertop built, it’s best to use a water sealer to make sure moisture won’t seep inside the wood. The sealer will help ensure the countertop or vanity will last for many years to come.

BEDROOM

bedroom

The bedroom is a sacred place and one that you want to feel cozy and comfortable and this means from the floors to ceiling and everywhere in between. Oak is a great choice for hardwood in the bedroom and has been used for many years and in more than half of all hardwood flooring for bedrooms. It is strong, not as easy to scratch as other woods and looks beautiful when clean. There are however, so many other woods to consider for bedroom flooring, furnishings and accents.

Cork

cork

Cork is a soft wood and can be found in light and dark shades. It has s soft feel and is great to walk on. Cork is bark and it comes from the oak tree.

Bamboo

bamboo

Bamboo has long been a great wood for shelving and eco-friendly products because it is strong, and it grows extremely fast. This means when you cut it down to use, more will grow back fast to replenish what has been taken. Bamboo can be found in yellow and beige colors as well as darker shades and is perfect for any bedroom.

Brazilian Cherry

Brazilian Cherry is strong just like Oak, but it comes in a rusty red color and a rough grain. It is beautiful in rustic bedrooms as well as all throughout a home.

 brazilian cherry

If you plan to use wood to do a DIY remodel on a room in your home, it’s a good idea to speak to a local contractor who has experience working with wood products. When you get a little insight from a local contractor, it can help you be sure that the wood you choose for your DIY remodel will be best for the design plans that you have and the work you have ahead of you.

About the writer:

Tom Masters is a carpenter and DIY expert based in Santa Cruz, California. You can find out more here.

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