A natural wood product is typically affected by environmental conditions that may alter its appearance from what it looked like when it was new. Here are a few conditions to keep in mind:
- As wood ages, the appearance of the finish may change or darken over time due to environmental factors such as interior lighting, sunlight and humidity.
- Finishes react to prolonged exposure to tobacco smoke, resulting in discoloration, which is especially noticeable on white and lighter finishes.
- Ovens and ranges emit heat and steam during operation. To protect the finish of adjacent cabinets, we strongly recommend the use of heat shields. On thermofoil cabinetry, heat shields are required.
- Showroom cabinetry samples, depending on age, room lighting and environmental factors, may look different from the new cabinetry installed in your home. To ensure satisfaction with a finish color, it is best to view a new sample in your home environment.
Wood is in a constant state of expansion and contraction. This normal movement may cause some hairline cracks at the joints in the finish surface on cabinet doors and face frames. This is a natural occurrence and does not weaken or diminish the strength of the joints.
End grain surfaces are softer in composition than other areas of the wood. As such, they absorb more stain and often appear darker. This is a natural reaction and potential variances cannot be prevented.
In nature, mineral deposits may form in the wood as the tree extracts nutrients from the soil. Common in many wood types, these mineral deposits cause blackish-blue streaks in the grain. When a finish is applied to mineral streaks, it may appear lighter or darker than other areas of your cabinetry.
The grain is the identifying feature of each wood type. This grain will “telegraph” or show through the stain. Open or coarse-grained wood (oak, hickory) will telegraph more than closed or fine-grained wood (maple, cherry).
Certain wood, such as cherry, will continue to mellow and darken over time. This brings warmth to lightly-stained cherry and increases depth below darker stains.