would you accept this color variation on YOUR cabinet??

BerlinGirlNovember 16, 2012

Thoughts? Natural Cherry, didn't see this is in the showroom?

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The other side of the stove drawers...Yeah, I know...why did I get a cabinet for one side of the stove? Well, I hadn't spent enough time here on the GW! Anyway, posting this one for comparison...

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:42AM
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I could not live with that.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:52AM
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It depends upon how much variation they say is natural. Cherry tends to be pretty variable, and some cabinet companies have "grades" or "levels" of how much color and graining variation there is.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:01AM
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As palimpset noted it might be in spec, especially for many semi custom brands which don't usually even offer a select option. From the looks of the other drawer base that is what you are dealing with as that would not be in speck for a "select" grade.
Also it will darken and improve- somewhat.
That said, ask for a replacement anyway. If I were the KD, I'd try and get you a replacement. Some mfg's are more accomodating than others. If it is at the price point I suspect and they do replace it, you will likely only get one shot. No guarantee that it will be better.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:21AM
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looks like the variations found on paint grade maple, not cherry. I think it wud drive me nuts.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Its not a variation in stain.
They are using sapwood to save money. Also you can see they are gluing up many staves to make one larger drawer front.
Its all about money. If you didn't specify First & Select (FAS) then they give you that.

Typically ( on a custom job )you cut out the sapwood and not even use the boards with mineral deposits ( the black lines ).
The sapwood wont darken so the difference will be more noticeable over time.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:16AM
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That's normal for natural cherry unless you paid for an upgrade. The upgrade for color matching costs extra because they have to cut out and discard the sapwood which drives up both materials and labor costs.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:47AM
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Fori is not pleased

That's not bad for natural unupgraded cherry. It would have been aged in the showroom so the differences could have been less visible (cherry darkens over time).

Ask for replacements of course! Especially if the salesperson didn't explain the differences in grades. But you probably don't really have an actionable complaint so be super nice when you ask. :)

The drawer face over the cabinet door is the only one I'd have an issue with. Overall the grain is wonderful on those and I'd hate to replace them.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:36PM
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I believe that is something that should have been brought to your attention when you purchased your cabinets. The variation in cherry tends to be much more pronounced in a natural finish. This picture is of our almost finished natural cherry showroom display... Unless you went for a full custom hand matched cabinet what you have is completely normal... But I suspect it is not what you were expecting...

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:45PM
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I would ask if they could replace the drawer face and the cabinet face. I think if you're very nice, the drawer face should be a no-brainer. I have natural cherry cabinets, I love them, even after 20 years. They will darken as they're exposed to light and look even more gorgeous!!!

But, definitely try to replace the drawer face. The manufacturer can do better.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:30PM
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If this drawer is the only one in the kitchen that has a piece of the lighter sapwood, I would definitely get it replaced. If you have streaks of it throughout the kitchen I would be inclined to keep it as I kind of like it. What you don't want is one spot, or even two, that scream Look! Look!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:40PM
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I like the variation in general, it's part of the natural beauty of wood. But that one drawer over the cabinet door is too much for me, I would definitely want that one drawer face replaced. The rest of it looks great.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:49PM
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No. I wouldn't recommend accepting it. Our experience wasn't too great when we went to sell (if your never selling and like it then ok). So many people "couldn't live" with that variation for cherry.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:52PM
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No, I wouldn't accept the drawer face of this unit. If there are variations, this should be explained at time of sale.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 2:04AM
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What brand of cabinets?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 2:43AM
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I think deep down,You already know the answer to your

The tough part here is getting what you want.
How cooperative is the cabinet maker? Or facility providing
you with the cabinets?

Cherry is beautiful but that beauty is the unique with
inconsistant colors. Notice in Cateskitchen that the wood
colors are not as obvious because of the elegant classic
detail she has on the cabinetry. The harmony of color works!

I wonder if you would be able to change this piece later
when you have everything put together. That way you can
see if it is going to work. If not, I would change it now.

Notice the variations of color on this below but the
multiple pieces of wood trim create harmony.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:54AM
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Yes, that's an acceptable amount of sapwood in 90% of all cabinet lines, unless premium cherry was specified and paid for. In some lines, specifying premium isn't necessary, as it's all they use. But you pay the premium non the less in the basic upcharge for cherry, or the line as a whole. In most cabinet lines, you will get a mix of heart and sapwood. The cheaper the line, the more sapwood you'll get. And the lighter the stain, the more noticeable that sapwood will be.

You are looking at things in isolation. Look at the whole picture. In any kitchen with cherry that has sapwood, it's the distribution of the sapwood around the kitchen that makes it "varied" rather than in your face concentrated in one area. You might first of all try switching out that drawer with another drawer that is the same size elsewhere in the kitchen.

And you can also ask for replacement. But, as previously mentioned, you aren't guaranteed to receive a "better" drawer, as what you have IS within the realm of an acceptable wood selection in most cabinet lines.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:12AM
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I'm pretty sure I could live with it. :) Beautiful wood.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Thank you everybody for your input. These cabinets are Kraftmaid. I think they are beautiful. I spoke with the KD who put them together and showed her the picture, she wanted me to wait until all were in. They are in (another story) and there is a mark an inch long on one drawer that appears to be from the factory and that drawer is the only thing that stands out.

I have added another picture of them. I have another issue. I have posted in the remodeling forum and hope to get guidance there. The cabinets are from 1/4 to one inch from the ceiling. There is no plan for molding. Electrician s supposed to install under cab lights tomorrow, but I don't think I can live with these different heights.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:56PM
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That's your ceiling's issue, not a cabinet issue. You're ceiling isn't flat. That's kind of an it is what it is issue unless you want to have some drywall work done on the ceiling or reorder shorter cabinets and some molding---at your cost.

I personally wouldn't have taken the cabinets "to the ceiling", because that's what is making it noticeable. I'd have used 3" shorter cabinets and then done a simple solid stock scribed to the ceiling between the cabinets and ceiling. You would still have had a varied depth of distance on that solid stock, but it might have been less noticeable.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Thanks live wire oak.

Thoughts??? Can I bring the cabinets down and put molding on? I can't do it to the fridge or pantry cabinets which are both at the end of the kitchen run, but what about the others?

Or just have the cabinets that are 1/2 to inch away from the ceiling rehung that minimal measurement? My contractor is open to what I want to have done. Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 5:22PM
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We have some sap wood and color variation in our natural cherry cabinets - the amount of sap wood (very pale colored) is pretty small. I think the color variation adds interest and texture and it doesn't bother me but I wouldn't want much more of the sap wood than we have.

This picture was taken when the cabinets are about 6 years old and you can see the sap wood in the upper left of the right panel on the island and a bit on the bottom right drawer. The non-sap wood cherry has darkened but the sap wood stays very light:

The light area on the drawer over the door in your first picture doesn't seem quite as light as the sap wood in our cabinets so that may be just a lighter piece of non-sap wood that will darken with the rest of your cherry.

Here is a closer look at the color variations in our drawer stack (taken when they were a few months old):

Here are our family room cabinets - they have less variation, perhaps more select cherry - but I think we paid for it in the cabinet price.

I think both looks are beautiful. The greater variation may age a bit better in a high use area like a kitchen - the more uniform, the more any little damage will show.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:16PM
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berlingirl, I replied on your other thread. We just have a small plain flat molding strip between the tops of our cabinets and the ceiling. On the run with the oven and over fridge cabinets, it's about an 3/4 inch because that matched the height of those floor to ceiling cabinets.

On the wall cabinet that's on the other leg of our L, it's about 1/2" because we wanted as much space as possible under that one in the baking area.

We don't notice the height variation with the gap filled in with material that matches the cabinet. It is more visible when you have nothing in the gap because of the differences in the shadows.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:33PM
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Sapwood does not darken appreciably, and the cabinet makers are trying to avoid buying decent grade wood and then trimming off the sapwood (even Firsts & Seconds can have sapwood).
they like to point out that 'sapwood is not a grading defect' as their lame excuse for wasting good cherry heartwood with crappy sapwood.

If a regular furniture maker tried such a stunt they would be out of business quickly.

It all comes back to money.
Decent wood is expensive, and the cabinet makers do not want to waste any scrap they purchased.

Labor costs are just excessive for skilled finishers that can dye sapwood to match heartwood.

While true, it still gets cut away and discarded in any decent wrk,

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:15PM
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Standing alone like the first photo, the drawer bugs me, but not the cabinet door. Most wood has color variations. But when I saw that same unit in the whole kitchen, it didn't bother me at all.

So, to answer your question, no, it wouldn't bother me. In fact, I like the different wood tones, it gives texture and character.

I've been refinishing my ash cabinets and at first I thought I did something wrong because some of the doors had really light areas in them. I really like it, but I still thought I did something wrong. Then I looked at some of the old doors that are still the golden/orangey color, and they have color variations too, just not as noticeable since it's a lighter color.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:26PM
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I would just use some prefinished scribe moulding from Kraftmaid to finish off the top.

You should just be able to get Kraftmaid to send you replace drawer fronts. It's not a big deal.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Thanks all, the contractor ended up rehanging two of the cabinets so there is no variation and and will be using the molding from Kraftmade to finish off the top so there will be no shadows.

One drawer front will have to go back as it's glaring and another one arrived with what looks like glue dripped on it's front. It is stained and scarred a bit so it will have to go also. I am hopeful I won't have an issue with Kraftmaid Other than that, the cabinets are beautiful.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:13AM
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