Low VOC Kitchen Cabinet Finishes
"I was referred to Beech Tree Woodworks by the architect who designed our new house. Because I have multiple chemical sensitivity, everything used to build the house had to be zero or low VOC.
My first impression of Nic and his team was they enjoyed working with wood. It is not just a job. Second, I did not react to anything in the shop even though they were staining and finishing some pieces as I toured the shop. These were the two deciding factors for my choosing them to build all my cabinets.
The fact that BTW was aware of the harmful effects of building materials and was already using products that I did not react to was a huge benefit. They understood what would be required to successfully work with someone with chemical sensitivity. It can be frustrating to work with chemically sensitive people because each one reacts to different chemicals.
They started by giving me samples of everything that was going to be used in the cabinets. When I reacted to a sample of wood that I had previously been okay with, Nic realized it probably was the small amount of adhesive on the premade banding strip that was the issue. He came up with a plan to make the banding strips in-house and use an adhesive that I didn’t react to so I could have a nice finished edge on the cabinets They took each challenge as an opportunity to learn more about the materials they are using.
The non-toxic building materials were a crucial part of my project, but the fun part was working with Nic and Paul on the cabinet designs. I had cabinets made for the kitchen, living room, bathrooms, laundry and mud room.
The kitchen was the biggest part of the project. I had specific requirements for my kitchen. The first was to have solid cherry wood fronts. This is not typical for cabinets, but they were able to do it. I requested a few other design features they had not done before and they were excited to come up with ideas how to implements these. They also made suggestions for finishing touches that made the whole design unique. They did not rush the design process and gladly made all the adjustments I requested.
The finished cabinets are gorgeous. They paid particular attention to the wood grain so the fronts work together. The finish feels smooth as satin. It is the best finish I have ever felt. In fact, I went to the supplier and got the floor version for our hardwood floors. The quality of the workmanship is impeccable and the hardware for the cabinet is high quality. Best of all, there is no off-gassing of toxic chemicals.
I highly recommend Beech Tree Woodworks. I will be using them to build a dining room table for our new house."
–Rosemary Hippe, Seattle, Washington