"Pits" on Surface of New Cabinets

rob10101July 21, 2013

Hello everyone,

New cherry bordeaux cabinets were just installed throughout a new house that is being built. On the outer surface of a few of the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, there are pits or indentations, some more visible than others. I have yellow circles around the areas in question. They do need to cleaned but that will be done later on. The areas in question are not due to them not being cleaned. These are the easily visible areas. I will inspect the rest more closely to locate additional areas. Does anyone know what they are? What I should do/how to proceed from here?? I have attached some pictures to show them. Thanks!

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A close up of the larger "pit" on the surface in the kitchen

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 1:04AM
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Here is the last picture.. from one of the bathroom vanity cabinets. Thanks for your help!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 1:11AM
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Elraes Miller

The first ones look like tool marks. The second, a flaw in the wood, unless a drill was dropped straight on it. The bath looks like flawed wood. None of this can be sanded out and refinished. I'd have them replace the bath cabinet and whatever the flawed kitchen portion is.

Your photo shows a slight raised wood finish mixed with very smooth. Is this a chosen look? What is the base wood being used?

Also, unless it is the light, the edges of the bath door inserts/overlay look like the finish is worn off. Plus I'm seeing an odd corner on the upper left of the insert/overlay panel.

I'd check every one of your installs and photo them. Get the cabinet guy over to go through this with you. You can definitely see the doors were sprayed. I don't know how this is done to eliminate the factor, not all of the wood shows this.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 6:40AM
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Your cabinets are made from wood. Wood has mineral streaks, pin holes, knot holes, and other natural features. That is NORMAL. You would have to be in a super high end grade of cabinet (as in 100K worth of cabinets here) to be able to specify to grade that out from cherry. Cherry WILL have all of those things in a finished cabinet. It's even a desirable feature to some, and is sold as an upgrade to have all of the wood to be graded for those natural wood characteristics.

You are not due any replacements unless your contract specifies 100% clear top grade cherry. If it did, your pocketbook would know it.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 10:02AM
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Same thing in my cherry cabinets. At first I was upset, but soon realized it is a characteristic of the species.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:02AM
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The grain part could or couldn't be acceptable. It's hard to tell from the pictures how bad it is. I've seen some grain texture with the refined cherry cabinets but it didn't look bad. If it's the only cabinet with that on it, it could look bad. The finish looks a bit odd there too. The other indents look like dings possibly from installation. The round circle could be some sort of wood defect but it doesn't look particularly natural, so should not have been used imo, even if it is. The cabinets are not trying to look rustic, they are smoothly polished.

They are supposed to grade the boards, to keep things looking nice overall. Was there a sample display that showed these imperfections (excluding the ding marks!)

I agree that the stain and finish does look questionable but again it's hard to tell from the photos and glare.

Were these particularly inexpensive cabinets?

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

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 2:55PM
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I also have some of those marks on my newer cherry bordeaux cabinets.

You do seem to have several more in a small area.

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 15:42

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 3:20PM
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The square-shaped ones are dents/damage; the rest are sap pockets and a pin knot.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 9:17PM
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Hello Everyone,

Thank you very much for replying. I am sorry about the poor quality of the pictures. They were taken with a phone cam since that is all I had on me at the time. I am going to go back for a closer inspection of all the cabinets with my regular camera. It was an impromptu visit and these kinda caught my attention. The cabinets overall do look better in person than they did when I viewed the same pictures. The pictures do not do them any justice. I am very happy with them overall but these are some questionable areas that I brought up with the builder and they are going to look into it with the Cabinet person. I will try to address some of the questions that were asked from everyone to the best of my abilities:
1) They are not 100K cabinets but they are more than 10K (upgrade price from the base cabinets). Not exactly cheap. Cherry Cumberland Cabinets.. Stain: Bordeaux
2) This is what they told me in advance about these cabinets:
The natural features described below are normal and should not be considered defects:

Small sap pockets, pin knots, and streaks
Color ranges from pale yellow sapwood to deep reddish brown heartwood, with occasional shades of white, green, pink, or even grey
Staining reveals subtle variations and colors that typically darken over time
Variations within a single door and among adjacent cabinets

I did inform the builder so I'll keep you posted on what they say and I'll inspect the rest closer and take better pictures. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 10:56PM
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It is wood, and try to remember it was once a tree! Embrace the fact that it is now in your kitchen. If you wanted formica, melamine, plastic, then that's a different story...but I think they look great! More of those subtle characteristics would be considered "distressed" and demand a premium price, be thankful...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:45PM
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I think they are all natural parts of the wood except for the two that look like dents at the bottom of the cabinet door. I would want that one replaced. They look gorgeous otherwise.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 12:23AM
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Thank you very much for your help. Overall I am very happy with the cabinets. They really are beautiful and the pictures I took really don't show how nice they are. I just had some questions regarding some of the items detailed in the pictures. If they're natural to the wood, I am fine with it. But most would agree that there is some damage so that will need to be addressed and I would not have known that had I not come here. I came here for help because I know that you know better than I and its very evident in your responses. The cabinet installer must have known or seen the damage and yet he still installed them. I am a layman and I noticed them so him still installing them was most likely intentional. I'll let the builder get back with me with their findings while I inspect the cabinets better to see if there are any other areas of damage. Thanks once again!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 2:02AM
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We have built several houses and it's sad but way too many times the trades will do bad jobs or install things when they shouldn't. They don't care, hope you don't notice and move on to the next job.

This post was edited by xc60 on Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 2:49

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 2:46AM
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The square-ish marks are not really damage the way I would define damage, such as, "oops we bumped into the wall while carrying it in." It's call "tear-out". Most likely it occurred when the planer hit some grain, it tears out some wood below the flat surface. Only you can decide if it is acceptable. For me, when I'm making furniture, I would get another piece of wood and redo it, or put the tear out side to the no-show side. Of course, I don't make my living thru wood working, so I can decide how much time I want to spend.

I also see some grain and a knot. I think that is acceptable and somewhat preferable. It's wood. If you want a perfectly flat surface, get something that is NOT wood.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 11:32AM
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I would list everything and speak to the GC and/or who ever supplied the cabinets. The doors on the first picture are unacceptable as is the top cover on the bath vanity. That's not natural variation, it's a poorly finished piece. All can be replaced without dismantling anything.

The other is a pretty big knot hole - the entire cabinet might need to be replaced or it may not (too hard to tell if its part of the cabinet frame or some type of filler).

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 1:54PM
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