Vertical or horizontal match walnut veneer for a small kitchen?

thedorkApril 19, 2013

I am in hell... - went from solid to maybe considering walnut veneer - the price for solid or veneer will be the same but I am afraid the solid doors are not as consistent as the veneer door.

My kitchen is small - U shape 10x 13 with 8'' ceilings and small 3x4 island

I know horizontal is more popular but the vertical might elongate the room.

Any thoughts?

Thank you! I am so nervous about the veneer...I guess I am old school thinking solid is good, veneer is bad...
Please help!

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USE REAL WALNUT--it will be beautiful. I have Cherry and it's not matched who cares. We can't all afford that. One poster here said non matched Cherry was "butt ugly". People who love wood grain love it--so do I !
Ok enough strong arm tactics. I think vertical grain will look great in a galley. I have Cherry horizontal grain in a 10x12 kitchen.
Here is a walnut kitchen(nycbluedevil's) to give you ideas..
Walnut :) You are so lucky.

Here is a link that might be useful: nycbluedevilwalnut galley kitchen

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 9:34PM
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We're of the same old-school as you regarding solid vs. veneer, but the grain match has us going with veneer.

We're going with slab cherry veneer rather than walnut and we initially thought that we would want horizontal grain match rather than vertical. But, what I was noticing when looking at Houzz was that most horizontal grain match kitchens didn't have many uppers or tall cabinets. And the ones that did, I didn't care for the horizontal grain match in tall cabinetry (pantry), so we decided that we prefer vertical. Our kitchen/dining space will wind up being about 22x13 with 8' ceilings.

I have to respectfully disagree with Eatrealfood - grain matching makes a HUGE difference in liking or disliking slab cabinetry to some people and my husband and I are some of those people. I have seen slab cabinets in other places that weren't grain matched and it was definitely NOT to our tastes. To us, it looks choppy rather than sleek.

And you ARE using real walnut, you're just using smaller amounts of it.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:08AM
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BTW, nycbluedevil's kitchen has shaker style doors and drawers - grain matching doesn't really factor in as much with shaker style as with slab doors since the frame around shaker keeps your eye from moving downward.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:13AM
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Thank you all!Appreciate all of your opinions.

Do you think I should go vertical just for the uppers and then horizontal for the drawers or everything vertical - drawers look nicer with horizontal. I'll have 6 big drawers around the range and 3 more on the island. The rest is uppers and 2 lazy susans at the corners.
I am also afraid of too much woody look in a small space...

Decisions, decisions...

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 1:15PM
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andreak you're right. I have shaker and slab(and not many cabinets) so it's not the same as all slab. In my excitement to post nycbluedevil kitchen I missed it.
sorry TD.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 3:26PM
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I wanted to chime in about the solid vs veneer. I was told that at least in Texas we have too much humidity for the cabinet company to warranty solid slab doors, especially large pantry doors. Has your company said anything about solid doors warping?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 3:36PM
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A picture really is worth 1000 words, andreak100! I thought I would hate mixed vertical and horizontal in the same kitchen, but I really liked the 4th one down.

thedork, it really depends on how open your U is. If it's truly a U room with access and visibility from just the open end, I think you should skip doing all horizontal. Other than that, just choose what you like. My inclination would be vertical or mixed like #4.

As for veneer, I like it. Veneer *is* real wood, it's just real wood sliced thin so you can use the good stuff that would otherwise be out of your price range. Here is a non-kitchen example:

This is a toy box that I made using both solid wood and wood veneer. Can you tell which is which? The sides, back, and bottom are veneered mdf. The face frame is solid (it covers the mdf edges), as are the top, the drawer faces, and the door.

The shelves and partition are also veneered mdf. To cover the edge of the mdf shelf, I glued on a scrap of solid. None of this is stained. After I made it, I finished it with several coats of tung oil rubbed in like crazy. It's not a question of "real," it's just a question of scarce resources and cost.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 5:04PM
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When I think walnut kitchen NYCBlueDevil's comes to mind. Those cabs are gorgeous inside and out. Looks like grain runs vertically for most except the lower drawers look horizontal. Don't think I would have noticed the mix if you didn't ask the question. Looks great in her kitchen and I love the solid walnut.

I think it really depends on the look you're going for, the layout of your kitchen and the type of door style, but haven't told us any of that.

Are you planning to use slab doors? Have upper cabs? Please tell us more about your design. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 5:53PM
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Veneer IS real wood. I think vertical is much more elegant.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 6:30PM
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I've seen both vertical and horizontal that I like. I went horizontal as I have long runs of cabinets (10' and 14') - the matching is far more impressive horizontally. Plus on one run I don't have uppers, on the other I have white uppers.

Either look could work very well. Do you have a drawing of your lay out you could share? Don't worry about veneer. I used to think solid wood was better too, I know better now. Both can be wonderful and very high quality.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:30PM
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I would vote horizontal and absolutely sochi's beautiful kitchen comes to mind. It would also depend on how linear the graining was. I prefer something that has more flow to it.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:56PM
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Oh yeah. Sochi's is a fantastic example of modern and horizontal with beautiful countertops.
Sochi can you put the link in here.
GW's search feature sucks!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Here are a few pics of my horizontal grain cabinets.

Link to reveal below as well. I have to use google to find old threads.

Here is a link that might be useful: walnut kitchen

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:47PM
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Sochi's kitchen is lovely and a wonderful example of horizontal grain matching looking amazing. Her's is the one I thought of when we were originally thinking of going with horizontal grain.

IMO, her long runs and limited uppers (that have white fronts), and then the long shelves on the one side really made the horizontal work for her. Note that her tall cabinets have white fronts also.

I think that the openness of sochi's kitchen and the long runs are what makes the horizontal really work for it. There isn't an island in the center that breaks up your eye being able to follow the horizontal runs and I think that really works as an advantage.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:18AM
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Here are some slabs that go both ways (actually every which way :-) ) not veneer so hopefully not too off topic. This kitchen 9.5' x 10.75' sensory overload for some...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:15PM
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The horizontal looks busier and modern to me. I think for a small kitchen, vertical might work better. It's also what we're accustomed to seeing. Elegant, stately. More treelike, lol. The horizontal is bolder. It seems to garner more attention by being different. If the grain were very busy on your particular cabinets, I might reconsider a quieter wood for a small kitchen. All depends, of course.

What style cabinetry and kitchen are you doing?

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sun, Apr 21, 13 at 15:34

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:32PM
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I will go vertical on the uppers for sure - I think because of the small space, however I need your opinion what should I do for the drawers and 2 lazy susans and one 2 door cabinet.

I also think the size of the grain makes a huge difference.

Please see my plans and design of the cabinets and island.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:04PM
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And here is the small U shape 10x13 - small 3x4 island kitchen

Thank you for all your comments!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:06PM
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Forgot to add - slab doors, full overlay

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:09PM
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    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Walnut is beautiful however you slice it (IMO) and I think you can go either way, it will look great. I also love clueless' unmatched walnut, stunning. But, I think I'd do vertical in your space, given the lay out and size. Horizontal grain is best for long open runs I think.

Is the kitchen nice and bright? That is one thing to consider when opting for darker uppers. That sleep hallow kitchen from Houzz is lovely, btw.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:35PM
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With your space, I would go all vertical. You are having an island and I think the island distracts your eye from being able to see a long run.

I know you weren't asking about this, but are you sure on your measurements with your kitchen being just 13' across? If so, I don't think you have as much room in your aisles as is shown.

(dimensions reflected with countertop in place):
156 - 25.5 (left U) - 25.5 (right U) - 39 (island, maybe 40' if you are doing a decorator surround) = 66. So that's leaving you with 33" aisles from countertop to countertop.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:18AM
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"sensory overload for some... "

the massive amounts of sap wood detract.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:51AM
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I think the correct size is 13'8 - thank you all!

Sochi: What are the white uppers made from? Thank you!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Here is a picture of the cabinet maker's solid doors ( vertical ) and solid drawers ( horizontal ). He said if it was his house - he'll do solid - argh.......

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:38PM
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:-) Brickeyee
I love the sapwood the most! Probably explains why I like black and white photos, all that contrast. Woodworkers either get excited in the kitchen or roll their eyes, almost all pat the wood though...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:01PM
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I think the grain direction is just a personal choice. Go with what you prefer, not what others tell you they like... Having said that, once you talk to your cabinet maker, you may find that there is a huge price difference if the grain always has to go one way. Sheets of plywood are 4' X 8' (unless cabinet maker has access to bigger sheets/rolls of veneer which he makes his own plywood with. The teak for our bathroom vanity is $300 a sheet. For that reason, I am having the cabinet doors over the toilet going with the grain opposite the vanity---just because I don't want to have to pay for another $300 sheet of wood. I'm also having the vanity 24" deep rather than 24.5" deep, again saves another sheet of plywood!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:53PM
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