Is it Maple And Is It The Wrong Stain?

gardenzApril 13, 2008

I've been reading some threads about KraftMaid cabinets and beginning to think I may be another victim of their quality control issues. :(

My cabinets from Lowes were installed 2 weeks ago. They're beautiful and only had problems w/3 doors. They were replaced. But two still had to go back. The main issue, however, is the crown molding decorative inset. It's an ivy molding design. My cabinets are Honey Spice. But the first batch of ivy molding arrived in what I'd consider "Toffee". Even the Lowes' sales rep to whom I brought one of the pieces was shocked at the color difference and totally agreed the stain used was Toffee. She allegedly showed it to a KM rep. But I suspect he/she never saw it and just okayed a reorder sight-unseen.

When the second order arrived - yup - they all came back exactly the same: Toffee. BTW, the unstained back of the wood from both batches doesn't even look like maple! Especially when I compare it to other pieces of batten moldings which have yet to be installed and are, IMO, definitely maple and most assuredly the correct color.

DH even took a piece of the ivy molding & a piece of the batten molding to 2 lumber yards. Neither could agree on whether the ivy wood was beech, birch or "maybe" maple. But all agreed the stains were definitely different.

Posting links to pics of the fronts and backs of the ivy molding and a piece of batten. I know different woods take stains differently. But this is a stretch for even that premise. No doubt it's a quality control issue at this point. IMO, it would be a waste of time to order yet a third batch if these issues still exist at this particular division of KM's factory. A KM rep needs to be present when I speak w/my Lowes' rep this time. I'd really & truly appreciate anyone's opinion on what type of wood this may be and whether you agree that the stain is different. Thanks so much in advance.

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I'm so sorry!! :( That second link got all screwed up. Click below for a better one of the back of the moldings.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 10:17AM
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The lighter colored piece sure looks like maple.

The ivy patterned molding looks more like birch - but could be maple. The cabinet shops I worked for would sometimes substitute birch for maple, and at times it was quite difficult to tell them apart.

The stain is definitely a different color.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 10:51AM
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I would re-order sending a sample of the batten moulding for them to match to. Cut about a 12" length of the batten in half, sending half to Kraftmaid and keep half.
It looks like maple, however, it appears to be embossed rather than carved. If so, it would be difficult to emboss maple, so they probably used a softer wood such as gum etc.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 9:59PM
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Thank you, trubbadubbadoo & furnone for your replies & information. Unfortunately, I can't cut a piece of the batten as only two pieces were special ordered to fill in gaps at the bottom of the cabinet where it meets the toe kick. Although at this point, what's the difference? Let them replace another piece of batten, right?

Also, I guess I'm not clear as to exactly the difference between embossed and carved. I thought embossed was sort of 'printed' or 'transferred' onto a piece and carved was...well...'carved'...leaving grooves. Right? There are definitely grooves in the wood. Matter of fact, I found the same exact pieces in Lowes' stock decorative lumber department - only in pine. If you're familiar w/those kind of pieces, would you say those pieces are embossed or carved?

I AM glad to hear a concurrence on the fact that the stains are definitely not the same. I'd even be willing to concede to KM the woods are the same - maybe. But the stains? Uh, not. Thanks again. I'd appreciate any other comments or input if either of you or some others can offer it.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 8:17AM
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You must have a scrap of something that is the correct finish, it doesn't have to be the batten, just the right color.

Embossing is done with heat and high pressure with a metal die. It is most likely what KM uses. If it were carved it would be much more expensive and carvings have to be sanded, where embossing leaves the surface smooth.
Here is a link to one manufacturer of embossed mouldings that will give you a little more info:

Here is a link that might be useful: Embossed mouldings

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 1:40PM
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Carving is actually cutting the pattern out with knives (whether by hand or by machine).

Embossing is more like just pressing the pattern into the wood.

Embossing does not really work out well on maple and I would say that those pieces are embossed.

As for "what's the difference"?

I could become quite political and quite angry about that statement.

You ordered it, you specified it it, you complained to them about it.


And now you are willing to accept it?

I would be all over these people, and they would comply just to shut me up just so that they didn't have to deal with immigration.

Boston tea party comes to mind for me.

You ARE American - aren't you?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 5:23PM
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