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Oak Isn't so Okeydokey Anymore


While oak and maple still account for the lion’s share of purchases, research conducted by North America’s biggest cabinet maker, MasterBrand Cabinets, says that traditional materials are losing ground to more exotic options. In fact, over the last five years, oak has fallen 20% of total money spent.

During the same period, woods like walnut, pecan, alder and pine have grown just under fifty percent. According to Beth Dibert, MasterBrand’s senior manager for market research, the shift to bolder cabinet materials indicates a broader move toward more modern designs.D401540_Fairmont_Danze_Kitchen_page_together

From bolder woods to more vibrant colors, consumers are experimenting and spending more on cabinet materials and finishes. And though medium colors are currently still the most popular cabinet finishes, painted and dark-color finishes gained, in just five years, over 40% in dollar share.

Does this mean the eventual end of oak cabinets? Not so fast. Fancy woods come at a price—a higher price. So considering its affordable cost, it is highly unlikely we’ve seen the last of oak. And as is the case for all things design, while oak as we’ve known it may have just suffered a temporary setback, this longtime favorite will probably be back one day in the future, in a totally fresh and unexpected way.