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Environmental Effects: Under normal circumstances all wood contains some moisture; it easily exchanges moisture with the environment. This effects all wood products even after finishing. Finishing the wood does slow the process, but it will still react to changes in humidity levels. When humidity is high, wood will expand in response to the absorption of moisture. When humidity is low moisture is lost, causing the wood to contract. Wood will not change in shape or size unless humidity levels change. When exposed to high humidity wood will primarily change in width and thickness. Normal minor variations in humidity will cause imperceptible minor dimensional responses in the wood. Maintaining a 40 to 50% humidity level within the household should avoid environmental changes in your cabinetry. Extreme changes in humidity levels, 80% or above and 20% or below can cause problems. Wood performs best in controlled environments. Problems associated with warping are usually the result of conditions at site storage, poor installation, or use. The effects of moisture can include panel expansion or contraction, joint separation, (especially in mitered doors), and bowing, expansion, or contraction of frame stiles and rails. Product failure is most prominent in high moisture conditions and environments. These include waterfront properties and coastal regions. Moisture control is most important in these environments and is highly recommended to help maintain your cabinetry. Doors with 5-piece construction are engineered to allow for some expansion and contraction of the panels.

Painted Wood Cabinets: Expansion and contraction can create open joints in the finish of painted cabinetry, this is a normal occurrence. An open joint line is not considered a defect and is widely accepted in the kitchen cabinet industry. The finish will still protect the surface, and the structural integrity of the joint will not be affected. These issues are shared by every manufacturer of painted all wood cabinets and are not unique to Practical Cabinets. Wood may expand and contract differently from cabinet to cabinet. Even joints within the same cabinet may behave differently. Some joined wood may not show any joint lines, others may be slightly visible, while others may display easily visible joint lines. Joint lines may also occur due to the repeated impacts from everyday use if soft close hinges are not installed. An exposed open wood joint can be damaged from prolonged exposure to water or high moisture levels. Therefore, wipe off any excess moisture from cabinet surfaces as soon as possible.

Discoloration: All paints, especially lighter colors, are susceptible to discoloration due to airborne particles such as those caused by cooking, grilling, tobacco smoke, fireplaces, and candles. Prolonged exposure to natural or artificial light may alter the finish color. Moisture may also discolor the finish.

Installation: It is extremely important that all base cabinets are perfectly squared during installation for proper drawer alignment. This should be verified prior to countertop installation.

Stained Wood Cabinets: Solid wood will expand or contract with changes in temperature and humidity. Such conditions are not indicative of faulty materials or craftsmanship. In the winter, when temperatures fall or when humidity levels are low, contraction may cause a narrow unfinished line to appear on stained wooden cabinets. To blend these lines into the finished wood, apply pigmented furniture polish. Touch-up kits are available for purchase through also. Maintaining a consistent color is a common challenge in any industry using real wood because wood is a natural product that has inherently different colors. It is important to recognize these character differences and understand that every product made from real wood will vary slightly from cabinet to cabinet and even within a cabinet door or component.

The Effects of Exposure to Light: Exposure to light will change the color of real wood in a very short period of time. When purchasing any wood product, it is important to understand that the sample or display you are making your selection from may be aged. Therefore, it will represent what your cabinets may look like in time and will not represent what they will look like when they are factory new. Conversely, a freshly produced sample will match more closely your freshly produced cabinets, but will not represent the way they will look when aged.