If you're looking for a green cabinet choice, or maybe just something other than the typical oak or maple, you might consider Lyptus® cabinets. They're attractive and offer an environmentally-friendly option among the wide range of choices available in new cabinets.
If you're not familiar with Lyptus you're probably wondering what it is and how cabinets can be made from something that sounds like a cough lozenge.
Lyptus is a trademark name given to a wood produced in Brazil. It's the product of a hybrid tree that's a combination of two species of Eucalyptus (hence the origin of the 'lyptus' name). It's marketed in the U.S. by Weyerhauser.
Lyptus was developed to provide a wood source that includes the beneficial traits of hardwood and the fast-growing characteristics of Eucalyptus. The result is a hardwood tree that matures and is ready for harvest in about 15 years, much less time than it takes for other hardwood species to reach the same point. It also regenerates from the remains of the harvested trees.
The trees are grown on plantations for the specific purpose of producing commercial hardwood. In that sense, there's no risk of deforestation of sensitive land or endangered tree species.
This farm-like approach and fast regeneration make Lyptus a highly renewable and sustainable resource and an eco-friendly choice for cabinet materials.
Arguably one of the biggest decisions to make when choosing new cabinets is which type of wood to select. The species of wood and its natural color, combined with the finish selection, play a major role in the look and style of your kitchen.
Lyptus cabinets are a good choice because not only is Lyptus a sustainable resource, but it has other positive attributes as well. It's a hard wood, equivalent to maple, making it durable and resistant to dings and dents. In fact, it's hard enough to be used as a flooring material.
Although looks are subjective Lyptus cabinets are often described as having a beautiful appearance. Lyptus wood is frequently compared to mahogany, based on similarities to the latter's color and grain. It's natural color includes shades of pink to dark red although it can be stained to achieve different hues from lighter red tones to darker browns. For that reason, plus the fact that it's also photosensitive (darkens with exposure to light), it's also compared to cherry.
If you like the look of a more exotic wood like mahogany but you're concerned about the environmental implications, Lyptus cabinets could solve that dilemma for you.
There are several routes to take to obtain Lyptus cabinets. You can choose among larger cabinet manufacturers that offer Lyptus as a material choice, work with custom cabinet makers or if you're ambitious enough, make your own cabinets using Lyptus wood.
Granted, most of us aren't up to the task of building our own cabinets but there are those that do. And because Lyptus is a commercially produced wood that's available in various forms (such as lumber, plywood and veneer), it's possible to build Lyptus cabinets.
By the same token, if you're working with a local custom cabinet maker, you can ask them to build Lyptus cabinets for you. Even if they haven't worked with or offered that material before, it's certainly obtainable and it offers one way to get Lyptus cabinets, made per your custom specifications.
Finally, there's the more standard route of buying from one of the major cabinet producers. Those that offer Lyptus within their product lineup are listed below. Keep in mind that some sources are widely available whereas others serve local geographic locations.
Their website contains a showroom locator by zip code.
Showplace Wood Products
Sold by authorized independent dealers. The website has a dealer locator function.
Available across the US as well as locations in British Columbia, Canada, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. Locate dealers using the locator function on their website.
Available in many states throughout the US. See their website for specific locations.
Absolute Kitchen & Bath Marketplace
Custom cabinetry that uses no particle board or MDF (medium density fiberboard). The cabinets are shipped directly to you.
Custom cabinet firm located in Illinois serving customers in the Midwest to the East Coast. See their website for dealer locations.
If you don't find anything you're looking for from the resources listed above, keep in mind that you can also try to find local cabinet makers that can make Lyptus cabinets. Use the internet and put the kewords "lyptus cabinets +(your local area)" into a search engine. If you don't get any positive results don't fret. Just contact some of your local cabinet makers and ask if they can custom build Lyptus cabinets for you.
If Lyptus cabinets don't fit your plans but you still want your cabinets to be green, check out bamboo cabinets. Bamboo is another eco-friendly material and offers a unique and durable cabinet choice.
If you're at the early stages of choosing kitchen cabinets and need more help you can find more information on the kitchen cabinets page. You'll find important points to consider in the decision-making process and as well as insight into manufacturer brand differences and what you should know about cabinet warranties.