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Corian® Design – KBIS Webinar Links

If you missed the Corian® Design webinars at KBIS or wanted to watch them again, you are in luck! Corian® Design recorded all of their sessions and have shared them with us. Just click on any of the links below and register to view them.


Recording: Corian Endura Demo and Durability in Design Webinar Video

Hosts: Nicole Fanandakis (DuPont Merchandising Manager) and Eric G. (Kitchen Designer)

Join Nicole and Eric as they put Corian® Endura™ to the test, demonstrate its unique characteristics, and discuss integrating Durability into Design.


Recording: New Corian Design Colors and Products Webinar Video

Host: Mark Woodman (Color Marketing Group)

Join Mark as he reveals the beautiful aesthetics of Corian® Endura™, the newest product line, as well as new colors of Corian® Quartz and Corian® Solid Surface Wide Sheet. Be ready to be inspired.


Recording: MR Walls a Behind the Scenes Look Webinar Video

Host: Mario Romano (CEO, M|R Walls)

“A behind the scenes look” at Mario Romano’s studio. See how he makes his custom 3D textured architectural walls using an exclusive line of multidimensional panels carved from Corian® Solid Surface in a variety of applications like feature walls, backsplashes, showers, tub surrounds, and many others.


Recording: Live at the Factory Webinar Video

Host: Jeffrey Hutchins (DuPont Technical Specialist)

Join Jeffrey live at the Corian® Solid Surface factory in Buffalo, NY as he demonstrates the benefits of new Corian® Solid Surface in Widesheet Dimensions.


These are four great sessions packed with useful information and now you can watch them whenever you want and as many times as you want!


Interior Design: The Element of Texture

Texture: Tactile vs. Visual

The wonderful thing about texture is that there is more than one type; tactile and visual. Let’s distinguish the two…


Tactile textures are the ones you can feel with your hands, such as smooth, rough, or soft textures. 

Product Example: M.R. Walls

Interested in this product? Visit their website 







Visual textures are implied, for example: patterns printed on fabric, or variations in color on a surface that make it look as if it has a texture. 

Product Example: Corian Solid Surface

Interested in this product? Visit our website 








Interior Design Pro Tip:

Use more than one kind of texture in your space to create harmony by variety. 


Natural Textures

Using the textures naturally found on plants is a great way to add some texture AND fresh air into your home. 

House Friendly Plants

These plants are good for your home in more ways than one. Plants are a great source of texture and are very cost effective! Also, plants act as a natural air filter, so coming home will really be a breath of fresh air. 


1.) Snake Plant

These lovely serpent shaped plants are a great addition to any room. 


2.) Chinese Evergreen

The Chinese Evergreen is thought to bring you good luck in China. 


3.) Weeping Fig

This plant is sure to bring tears to your eyes…from its beauty of course. 


Artificial Textures

Objects that aren’t ‘works of nature’ work just as well for displaying lovely textures in your space. 

1.) Add Some Fluff

Faux fur rugs, soft blankets, or even textured wall art add irregularity to your home interior. 

2.) Get Rough

Just like life, not everything is smooth. Go ahead and add some rough textures. 

Smooth Textures

For those who can’t resist clean lines and flat surfaces, we understand. Here are some interior design tips to create interest when using similar textured surfaces. 

Change the Finish 

A way to create some differences in a flat space is changing the finish of the surface. 

1.) Matte

Having a dull or lusterless surface: Matte paint, a matte complexion, a photograph with a matte finish.




2.) Eggshell

Having less or no gloss: Eggshell white paint. 





3.) Glossy

Having a shiny or lustrous surface: Tile or backsplash.





Follow us on social media for more inspiration:



Calacatta Novello: Top 5 Things You Need to Know

Calacatta Novello balances subtle and bold gray veining on a white background. Calacatta Novello merges nature and design into an aesthetic that sets a new classic ambience. Specially created to be both functional and striking, Calacatta Novello is a dynamic look to fulfill stylish desires.

#1 – It’s New

Having only been on the market for a few weeks, Calacatta Novello is all the rage. This man-made Corian Quartz color was announced in September 2020 and has been taking the kitchen and bath industry by storm ever since.

#2 – It’s Readily Available

H.J. Oldenkamp is currently stocking Calacatta Novello in 3cm thickness at both our Royal Oak, MI and Madison, AL warehouses (2cm will be special order). Also available are 2×2, 4×4, and 10×10 samples upon request.

#3 – Competitive Pricing

Calacatta Novello is marketed at an extremely competitive price point compared to other complex veined products.

#4 – Residential/Commercial Uses

Whether enhancing a residential space, or a commercial property, Calacatta Novello adds a bold statement. The neutral palette mixed with exciting visual design makes it easy use for hospitality, specialty retail, or office, and makes a unique statement in residential home.

Click here to find a Corian Quartz fabricator near you

#5 – Jumbo Slab Options

Calacatta Novello also comes as a jumbo slab, which measures 65×130; perfect for those large seamless island projects.

The advantage of jumbo slabs includes:

  • Reduce installation time for applications that typically require seaming.
  • Less product waste through the elimination of typical cutting and joining process.
  • Decreased need to keep multiple sheet sizes on hand resulting in a reduction in the cost of inventory.









YouTube: Click the link below to watch a video featuring Corian Design’s very own Mark Woodman. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!


Facebook: Click the link below to read the most up to date information about Calacatta Novello on our Facebook page. Keep an eye out for regular updates from H.J. Oldenkamp Co.



Interested in incorporating Calacatta Novello into your next project?


Contact H.J. Oldenkamp Co. at 586-756-0600 for promotional pricing and samples.



5 Things Learned By Working From Home

Whether you’ve worked from home off and on, or have never worked from home until now, this is a huge disruption to daily life. Going into a different physical space helps to separate work life from home life. Having compartmentalization is helpful for everyone to be effective in all aspects of life. 

However, the last few weeks have blurred the lines for almost everyone. Working from home is no easy feat, especially if you have kids who are online learning and need structure. In this post, we went behind-the-scenes with one of our Commercial Sales Reps, Sabrina, to see what she learned by working from home in a new virtual (literally) reality.   

1. Keep Everyone on a Schedule

We all have a schedule. Whether it’s our children who have assigned class and lunch time, or us who set up certain meeting times, our bodies and minds are accustomed to set schedules.

COVID-19 has changed all of that. It has put us in a position where we need to be flexible during a time of uncontrol. Now more than ever we need to set schedules and boundaries. It will help make life feel as normal as it can be during this time. 

So how do you set a schedule for yourself and kids to prevent them from interrupting during conference calls? 

Don’t break your routine. Before COVID-19, did you wake up at 5 am to work out, shower, and get your children ready for school? Don’t stop now. Still continue to do that. 

Also make sure to maintain your children’s school schedule as much as possible. For example, do they have math at 9 am? Gym at 11 am? Lunch at 12 pm? On weekends, create a schedule for the week that would match what they would follow if they were in school. 

Try to match your work schedule to your children. Schedule that conference call for 9 am when your kids are quietly working on homework. Eat lunch as a family at the same time. Have your children attend that online learning session while you respond to emails. 

We know this is a tough time! We’re all being the best substitute teachers and work from home employees that we can be. Hang in there. 

2. Designate a Work Space

It might be easy to curl up on your couch or in bed to work; however, that could actually make you less productive. Creating a “work zone” will help to keep that normalcy feeling of going into the office. Whether you have a dedicated room in your house  or you’ve taken over the kitchen table, mentally this work space will give you the same level of compartmentalization of going into an office. 

Where should your kids go? Sabrina mostly works from her kitchen table, and has her kids work at the dining room table. This way she has created two separate spaces, but is close enough to assist with any questions. 

3. Take Breaks

It can be easy to forget to take breaks while working from home. Normally if you’re at the office or on the road, you have certain triggers that cause you to take breaks. At home, you could be missing these triggers. It’s imperative to take breaks. Whether it’s a 5 minute yoga break, grabbing a quick snack for your kids, or a short walk around the block, do it. These breaks will allow you to have a clean break from work and you’ll feel revitalised and more productive. 

For children, their main break revolves around lunch and recess. They will still need at least 20 minutes to run outside, work on a puzzle, or play in an imaginary castle. This will help them to burn off energy and mentally take a break. 

Besides lunch and recess, try taking a 10-15 minute break mid morning and mid afternoon. We bet both you and your children will feel more refreshed. 

4. Try to Keep Home Clean and Bacteria Free

COVID-19 has taught us all to focus more on cleaning. With the recommendation to wear gloves, masks, and constantly wash your hands, maintaining a clean space can quickly start to become a worry. This is where breaks can help you to keep the house clean. 

Every couple of hours take 5 minutes to pick up any messes or move a load of laundry. Have your kids take a 10 minute break from school work so they can pick up their rooms. If they are old enough, make sure to set the expectation that they must pick up their plates and cups after eating. More often than not, these simple chores can be easily accomplished throughout the day so come 6 pm, you can focus on other tasks. 

On top of every day cleaning, you now have to worry about different surfaces and how long bacteria and infectious diseases can live on them. Some of the products we supply are non-porous so bacteria does not grow or absorb into the material. In fact, a variety of grocery stores, restaurants, and healthcare facilities use Corian® Solid Surface or Corian® Quartz which means you can feel a bit better about venturing out for those necessities. 

5. Take Time to Bond and Live in the Moment 

 Cherish this time with family. There probably won’t be another time where we are all forced to stay at home. Instead of rushing around everyday after school or work going to dance classes or sporting events, create memories that will last a lifetime. 

Sabrina has been using this time to go on bike rides with her kids. They are playing outdoor games and drawing with chalk. Her littlest even learned how to ride a bike with no training wheels. 

Yes, we are all in a situation where we are being tested in ways far beyond what we could have ever imagined. Take this time to enjoy, learn, and love your family. We’ll all get through this together.

On behalf of the entire H.J. Oldenkamp Company, we hope you stay safe and healthy!



3 DIY Home Projects To Complete During COVID-19

Now that many of us are working from home, unable to go out as we please on the weekend, why not use that time for some DIY home projects?  A little reorganizing or freshening up is good for the soul and will improve the look of your home too.  

Office Space 

As I suddenly find myself working at the dining room table, I’ve been scoping out other areas to create a new space to call my home office. Many homes don’t have a dedicated office space, so we need to get creative. Basements, corners in bedrooms or living areas, unused formal dining rooms, dens or nooks can be reimagined to create a temporary office set up. How about a standing desk area?  It can save your back and requires less floor space. Audio or video conference calls can be done on a comfortable chair or out on your deck. While our formal office or cubicle at work might not be portable, we’re not limited to staying in a single place at home. Make it your own, move it around and see if you can find a new, more comfortable spot, to call your home office.  


Your laundry pile has likely shifted to a more casual look these days too. While you dig deeper in the closet for a clean pair of sweats, start your donation pile and work on organizing those shelves. Hold on to select favorites like college hoodies or classic garb, but toss anything that’s worn out, stained, or out of style. Then again, the decades do cycle and some of those gems could be making a comeback, so check Pinterest first to see if you’re back on trend. Take a survey of your accessories. Donate any purses, bags, belts or shoes that don’t make your normal rotation. Spring is a great time to toss out the old and make room to filter in some new items to update your wardrobe. A little online retail therapy will have you ready to hit the ground running. Linens, pantries and coat closets may also need some organizing.

Merillat Classic Pantry

As you stockpile toilet paper and canned goods, you may need to reconfigure those areas to make your storage spaces more user friendly. Many stores are open with delivery or pick up options so you can get shelving and inserts to make these areas more efficient.  


Take a look around the house for smaller DIY home projects that you can accomplish on a weekend or over the course of a few days. Updating light fixtures, switch plates, back splashes, painting, new accessories or simply rearranging furniture can breathe new life into tired spaces.  Make notes and plans for larger projects that will require hiring a professional. Many companies are now working remotely and available to help for current projects and future planning. H.J. Oldenkamp Co. is operating safely to provide essential projects with cabinetry and surfacing needs, as well as offering in-stock cabinetry and placing orders for future projects. Designers are working remotely and available to virtually walk you through the planning process and get started on new floor plans.  

Wrapping it up

Soon enough our pets won’t have our laptops or spec books to sleep on, we’ll be back to our usual office or work routines and the kids will be in summer school, we hope. Until then, let’s all look around the house that keeps us safe and do a couple of DIY home projects to spruce it up.  You don’t need to spend money or be in the home improvement industry to be creative. Accomplishments come in all shapes, sizes and colors!  



Top 3 Free Virtual Room Designer Tools

For most companies the health and safety of their employees and customers are of great importance. In order to maintain a healthy working environment during this unprecedented time, we know that a lot of companies are urging employees to work from home. 

We, ourselves, are  implementing enhanced safety and cleaning measures suggested by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization), one of which is making our showroom appointment-only. 

But don’t fret! Architects, designers, builders, and homeowners can still continue with those much needed projects! Below we’re highlighting three free virtual room designer tools. 

#1: Merillat Cabinets – Your Design Style Quiz

Knowing your clients (or your own) personal style will make it a thousand times easier to design a space. Merillat has a styling tool that asks questions and shows pictures so you can find the best cabinets and products suited to a particular style. 

This tool is suited to those projects that keep going back and forth in design. Utilizing this tool can help the entire design process.

#2: Corian® Design Moodboard Maker

Need to create a moodboard for a client presentation? Look no further than Corian® Design moodboard maker.With this free virtual room designer tool, you can combine photos, textures, and of course, Corian® Solid Surface and Corian® Quartz to create a one-of-a-kind inspiration board. 


Bonus: Another great tool is Spaces by Design. In this augmented reality app, you can add any Corian® Solid Surface or Corian® Quartz color to instantly see it in your own space.

#3: Arborite – Dream It, Build It, See It Visualizer Tool

As an architect and designer, we know that visal is always better. Whether you’re helping to design a space in education, healthcare, or retail, Arborite has a great tool to use. From changing the ceiling tiles to cabinets to flooring, this 3D tool will allow you to customize a space while interacting with their decorative laminates. 

Of course, these tools are just the beginning. Please contact our team today, and we’d be happy to send you samples or host a virtual meeting with you. 

On behalf of the entire H.J. Oldenkamp Team, please continue to stay safe.


Budgeting for Your Future Home Renovation

You bought a house – congrats! Now comes the fun (and hard part): turning it into your own home. Whether it’s your first or fifth year in your house, there’s a lot of time, energy, and money that you’ll put into your home renovations. While the end result will always be worth it, it’s hard to not get caught up in the finances. 

Being in the kitchen and bath industry, we often get asked, “How much should I spend on a home renovation?” Of course, that answer depends on each individual homeowner. What we always suggest is to create a price range that your comfortable with. Even if you have some extra cash that you can dedicate to your home renovations, you can always budget to save even more for your dream home.  

3 Tips to Budget for Future Renovations

Studies have shown that the average homeowner spent $7,560 on home improvement projects in 2018. With this staggering amount, it’s easy to understand why the thought of renovating a home is so overwhelming to so many people. Luckily, with the right tips to guide you, budgeting for your home renovations doesn’t have to be such an arduous task.

Tip #1: Have a Clear Goal in Mind

Coming up with a plan is a lot easier with a clear goal in mind. We recommend to develop a vision of what you want your home to look like after the renovation. Then, you can generate a rough estimate of how much money it would take for you to achieve it. This will then serve as your guide when developing a working plan.

Marcus, an industry expert from Goldman Sachs, explains that breaking a goal into parts will make it easier for you to achieve broad milestones such as “saving some money”. For instance, if you plan to dedicate a whole year to save money for your home renovation, determine how much you need to save every month to attain your monetary goal. While you are at it, also consider placing your savings into an account that earns interest. This way, you can earn extra money that you can add to your overall budget.

Tip #2: Be Thorough

Renovating your home can be such an exciting undertaking, and for first-time renovators, it’s super easy to get caught up in the beautiful fixtures and finishes and not pay attention to the price. Fortunately, The Washington Post reports that this issue can be easily resolved by being thorough when it comes to planning and budgeting.

Thorough planning also includes looking for contractors as early in the process as possible and comparing the quotes you get from them. Scheduling projects ahead of time is usually cheaper too.

Tip #3: Take Your Time Picking Out Materials

Home renovation costs depend on three things: how big the job is, the complexity of the project, and the materials you will use. While labor costs can take up as much as a third of your total renovation expenses, the remaining two-thirds will go towards the materials. As such, picking the right materials can have a huge impact on your budget.

Once you are done with formulating a general home renovation plan, it’s important to take your time to pick the right materials. While there is the option to purchase materials online, keep in mind to only purchase from certified manufacturers to avoid substandard and faulty materials. 

Another great option to help in the home renovation process is to work with designers in a kitchen and bath showroom. There, you’ll be able to get a variety of ideas and have access to the industry’s name brand products. Here at the H.J. Oldenkamp Company, we have a showroom that features over 18 different displays:

  • Kitchen and bath displays featuring our cabinet and countertop options
  • Cabinet Selection Centers which exhibit a vast array of door styles and finishes
  • Surface sampling devices for assistance in product selections


While we are a “wholesale only” distributer and can’t sell to the general public or retail consumer, our showroom welcomes anyone who needs kitchen and bath help.


So, how much should you spend on a home renovation? A guiding rule to apply is allotting 5-15 percent of your home’s value on kitchen renovations and 3-7 percent on bathroom renovations. Following this simple rule effectively helps to keep homeowners from over-improving their homes. 

With the right planning and budgeting, home renovations can become a fun and stress-free undertaking that doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.

Exclusively written for the H.J. Oldenkamp Company
By: Bella Elena


Intrigue Your Eyes: 5 Kitchen Storage Ideas

The kitchen is the heart of a home. Serving as the perfect gathering spot for family and friends, a kitchen’s main function is to also store food, cooking equipment, and small appliances. For a well-functioning and beautiful kitchen, one must have effective kitchen storage solutions. When everything has a designated place, you’ll not only be maximizing your kitchen’s existing storage, but you’ll feel more confident as a cook.

We’re here to show you a variety of kitchen storage ideas so you can implement this organization before the holidays hit!

The Role of a Kitchen

Your kitchen is the center of your every day. Most likely, your day begins with either a cup of coffee or breakfast with your family in the kitchen. Guests also gather in the kitchen to eat and socialize. This room acts as a bonding area that turns your house into a home, and bonds your loved ones together.

In fact, a recent Cambridge study stated a person’s longevity increases with cooking at home on a frequent basis. It’s also a place where social skills and manners are learned. Having a beautiful kitchen is an investment towards your family’s health and happiness. A well-organized and functional kitchen will draw family members and friends into the heart of your home. The key to this is to draw inspiration from top kitchen storage ideas

Why Kitchen Storage Solutions Are Important

In our industry, we see a great need for kitchen storage space. In fact, when designing kitchens, we oftentimes include certain storage solutions that will help to create a practical space with amenities to streamline the prep, cooking, and cleanup process. 

By incorporating more storage space into a kitchen, you can easily prep those holiday meals stress-free. When your kitchen doesn’t have sufficient storage solutions and is unorganized, you aren’t operating at your best. Your meals and even emotions about cooking will start to suffer. 

Fear not! With a variety of kitchen storage ideas that are easy to install, you’ll love your kitchen even more!

Choosing The Best Kitchen Storage Solutions

When it comes to kitchen organization space, there really is never too many places to stash items. 

When selecting storage solutions, you’ll want to make sure that you leave as little space as possible to waste. In the planning process, think about how you can group items by a specific task. For example, baking pans and bowls stored together in one drawer will make it easy to pull them out when you start baking those holiday cookies. 

Additionally, think about the best ways to maximize kitchen space. Does it make sense to take up counter top space with a spice rack, or should you put in a spice pull out drawer? 

In our experience, the below approaches work best when thinking about kitchen storage ideas:

  • Choose the latest technology so you can get many years of use out of it. According to Merillat, full-width trays perform better and are easier to clean with concealed glides.
  • What is your preference to store items? In a drawer? Behind cabinets? Choose solutions around how you live from day to day.
  • What storage solution will truly maximize space? While some solutions help to organize, others help to store more. For example, tiered drawer storage can actually hold two silverware sets in one drawer.


You can also rely on our design team to help guide you to make good storage choices.

Setting Standards for Kitchen Organization & Storage

When thinking of kitchen storage ideas, it’s best to set standards for the different cabinets in your kitchen.

Kitchen Cabinet Organizers: while Lazy Susans probably pop into your head first, they certainly aren’t the only option out there for cabinet organization. From tray dividers to adjustable shelving, you’ll have that perfect place to store those larger serving dishes.

Pull-Out Trays: tired of crouching down on your knees to find a pot or pan? Pull-out organizers not only alleviate the need to bend down, but you’ll be able to easily find everything that’s in those deep dark corners. 

Drawer Inserts: Crowded or messy drawers? Take back control. Drawer inserts will have a space for anything so you can easily find it, and it’s also very appealing to the eyes. 

When you have everything you need in the proper place, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is cooking those delicious holiday cookies. 

5 Kitchen Storage Ideas

Now, let’s talk about some of the top kitchen storage ideas that will leave you inspired:

#1: Base Double Wastebasket Top Mount Kit

We love the convenience of two separate bins: one for trash and the other for recycling. Plus, installing this under your sink keeps it nice and close to your work area, but neatly concealed to keep it out of sight. Merillat in both their Classic and Massterpiece Collection offers this solution. 

Merillat Base Double Wastebasket Top Mount Kit

#2: Base Swing-Out Shelves

Corner cabinets can be the epitome of any kitchen. With a swing out shelf, you’ll not only increase the storage in your kitchen, but you’ll have easier access to those pots and pans. 

Download our Storage Solutions Guide Button

#3: Wine Storage and Stem Glass Holder

Why should you have to go down to your basement just to grab a bottle of wine?! A wine storage cabinet complete with stemmed wine glass holder will complete your entertainment corner. 

#4: Spice Drawer Insert Kit

There’s no need to take up counter space or cabinet space. With a spice drawer insert kit (available from Quality Cabinets), you can simply pull out a drawer and viola – your spices are neatly organized saving you time and frustration. 

Quality Cabinets Spice Drawer Insert Kit

#5: Cutlery Drawers

These wide and spacious organizers from Fabuwood oftentimes have movable compartments that make it super easy and convenient to hold any type of cutlery – whether that be silverware, knives, or cooking utensils. 

Fabuwood Cutlery Drawers

Let H.J. Oldenkamp Help You Prepare For The Holidays

Being a wholesale distributor for multiple cabinet lines means that we have a variety of options to meet your needs. We offer two semi-custom lines, a frameless series, three affordable cabinets lines, and two that provide a great value and options for the price.

With all of these cabinet lines, there are a range of kitchen storage ideas that you can choose from. The best part is we have a beautiful showroom filled with over 18 different displays and selection centers so you can see our cabinet lines and kitchen storage ideas in person. Please contact our team today for more inspiration on kitchen storage ideas


5 Popular Wood Species to Know

Being in our industry, we’re surrounded by wood. Different wood species are better for certain architectural projects than others. For example, maple is a great wood type used for kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The type of wood chosen will determine the beauty and strength of the finished piece.

Do you know the most popular wood species? How about the specific characteristics that make up different wood types? This blog post will introduce you to the most popular wood types and their characteristics.

The Beauty of Natural Wood

There’s no denying the beautiful characteristics of wood. It’s actually the variety of color hues, grain patterns, and other natural characteristics that make wood perfect for furniture, countertops, and cabinets. 

Color and grain pattern are the two primary factors that influence the appearance of wood, and both can be easily enhanced when the finish color is applied. 

What naturally influences color variation in wood species? There are a few: soil, minerals, water levels, available sunlight, temperature, and genetic composition. In a forest, natural chemical extractives found in the cell walls create color variation. These variations are traceable to: red, orange, yellow, and violet. 

In a commercial farm, the range of variation can be increased when mixing wood species. For example, it’s common to mix red oak and pine oak together. 

Similar to color variation, grain is influenced by many different factors including tree size, growth rate, climate changes, site conditions, genetics, bird, insect, and fire damage. 

Even the same wood species that grows in another part of the world can look drastically different from one another. 

Hardwood vs. Softwood

The type of wood chosen for a certain project depends on what is being built. For instance, a bookshelf needs to be built with strong wood that can withstand a lot of weight. However, a coffee table could use a wood species that’s more lightweight and good-looking. So what’s the difference between hardwood and softwood?


Hardwood comes from deciduous trees, and typically are more expensive simply because they are hard to find as they take a long time to grow and mature. 

Hardwood is strong, and has beautiful texture, color, and grain patterns. Some common examples of this type of wood include ash, oak, teak, birch, walnut, and mahogany.


This type of wood comes from evergreen or coniferous trees. Typically, softwood grows in cool climates, often found in Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia. Since these trees grow faster than hardwood, softwood tends to be cheaper.

Softwood is light, soft, and easy to work with. Some common examples of softwood include pine, spruce, cedar, and redwood. 

Other Wood Species

But, what about maple? It actually comes in hard and soft! Soft maple is easy to work with, while hard maple is a bit tougher. This wood species is actually pretty common as it’s grown on commercial farms. Choosing either soft or hard maple is better and stronger than other softwoods. It’s also less expensive too!

Have you heard of plywood, medium density fiberboard (MDF), or particle board before? These are manufactured wood types. In this process, wood particles are pressed together and bonded under pressure. Hardwoods are typically used on the outer side to give different looks. These wood types are exclusively used for kitchen cabinets and shelves. 

5 Popular Wood Species

While there are over 50 types of wood species (and more than 60,000 trees worldwide!), we’re here to breakdown the 5 most popular ones that are commonly seen in both cabinets and countertops. 

Let’s take a moment to admire (and learn) about the biodiversity of the earth’s wood species:


Being a very popular and all-around great wood, cherry is easy to work with, stains and finishes well, and ages beautifully. The color variation can range from a nearly white to light red to dark reddish brown. It also has a fine to medium, uniform grain pattern. Cherry is in high-demand and can be more expensive compared to oak or maple. 


Most commonly used for furniture, oak is available in either red or white, and is another wood species that’s very easy to work with. The color variation of oak ranges from light tan to pink to red to dark brown. Oak does have a consistent medium fine grain pattern. 

Soft Maple

Being easier to work with than hard maple, soft maple has a color variation that goes from nearly white to light gray. The fine, straight, and uniform grain pattern help to create a very stable and beautiful wood.

Hard Maple

While difficult to work with, hard maple is one of the most beautiful woods. Similar to soft maple, this wood type has a fine consistent grain pattern. Oftentimes, you’ll see the color variation range from nearly white to a slightly reddish brown. Both soft and hard maple are less expensive than other hardwoods, making them one of the most popular wood species on the market. 


Similar to hard maple, hickory is a very difficult wood to work with. However, the beautiful color range from nearly white to dark brown make up for it. Featuring a fine, uniform grain, you can use hickory to make a beautiful statement piece. 

Wood Products at the H.J. Oldenkamp Company

Typically, when we think of wood, we usually think about bookshelves, tables, and flooring. However, wood is very versatile, and here at the H.J. Oldenkamp Company, we supply the industry with some great wood products.

Kitchen & Bathroom Cabinets

The kitchen and bathroom are two very important rooms in any home. You’ll want to ensure that those spaces are both functional and stylish. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to invest in top quality cabinets from some of the top manufacturers in the United States. 

These top cabinet brands will build durable, strong, and beautiful cabinets that last for many years. 

We are pleased to offer 8 cabinet brands:

  • Merillat Masterpiece
  • Mid Continent Cabinetry
  • Vista (frameless)
  • Merillat Classic
  • Fabuwood
  • Quality Cabinets
  • Quality – Woodstar Cabinets
  • Kountry Wood Products


ColorMatch™ from the Merillat Masterpiece® Collection

While choosing kitchen or bathroom cabinets can be a tough decision, just remember that there is a cabinet line, door style, and color that will meet your tastes and needs. 

Surfacing Materials

A unique wood application (and one of our favorites) is residential and commercial countertops. A butcher block countertop is both practical and gorgeous. Plus, with a little proper upkeep,  you’ll have countertops that will last for many years with minimum wear and tear. 

Wood Welded Butcher Block - Commercial Dining

Residentially, butcher block tops can serve many different purposes including kitchen countertops, island surfacing material, make/prep station off a kitchen island, and rolling workstations. 

Industrially, this product is great for bench tops in the locker room or in an institution. Commercially, we’ve seen butcher blocks used as dining table tops in a cafe, bakery and food prep areas, and as professional cutting boards.

One of the reasons why we love Michigan Maple Block is the fact that it’s customizable for any type of space, and look and feel. Butcher block tops come in a variety of traditional wood species like maple and cherry. They also come in more exotic finishes such as black walnut and teak. Whether you’re looking for a space with an industrial look or one with chic innovation, the possibilities are truly endless.

Vertical Wall Applications

A way to awaken a space is with wood wall paneling. Plankwise interior wood wall panels are made from only the finest North American natural wood species including walnut, maple, and white oak. Featuring 8 finish options, the perfect look can easily be found for either a residential or commercial space.

plankwise Wood Wall Planks - Kitchen

Ideal for a vertical wall in a kitchen, living room, or bedroom, plankwise can also be installed on a ceiling to help accent skylights. With tongue and groove profile, these wood wall planks are super easy to install and will stand against moisture and humidity allowing for minimal movement and warping. 

This is definitely another wood application to help make a unique space.

Final Thoughts on Wood Species 

There are many wood species that can be used for cabinet, countertop, and furniture projects. While there are pros and cons to each type, there definitely is no “one size fits all.” It all comes down to your tastes, which elements are important to you, and your budget. Knowing the characteristics will allow you to select the best wood species for your space. Interested in learning more about our cabinet lines or Michigan Maple Block? Contact our team today!


5 Unique Applications of Corian Solid Surface

Corian® countertops have been around for many years. DuPont invented this material back in 1967, and since then it has grown in popularity. However, the recent rebranding (2018) of Corian® to Corian® Solid Surface have left many confused about this countertop material. 

Is there a difference? Absolutely, not. Corian® and Corian® Solid Surface are, in fact, the same material that DuPont has always made. The only two things that have changed are the name and different applications and uses.

With the increase in popularity, Corian® Solid Surface has continued to evolve into a new world of possibilities. Not only is this material perfect for kitchens and bathrooms, but Corian® Solid Surface can be used for interior vertical walls, furniture, and outdoor garden enhancements. 

So let’s discover the versatility of Corian® Solid Surface:

The Rainbow Surfacing Material

One of the aspects of why Corian® Solid Surface is viewed as such a versatile material is due to the extensive color palette. While this surfacing material does have those subdued earth-like tones, there are plenty of colors that have flair and patterns that bring life and movement to a space. With over 100 colors, you can pick from a pure black or white such as Glacier White and Deep Nocturne. You can also get playful with solid colors in blue, red, and green.

One of the big differentiators of Corian® Solid Surface compared to other brands is the evolution of new patterns. Veins, pebbles, shading – all can be seen throughout the collection of colors. Plus, there are even designs that look quite similar to marble and granite. 

Custom colors are also possible. Whether you have a piece of fabric or a paint sample, DuPont will match it. 

With limitless colors, it’s easy to see why this surfacing material can be used for way more than just countertops in a kitchen or bath. 

Benefits & Features of Corian® Solid Surface

While some benefits (tough, durable, and easy-to-clean) are more well-known, there are other truly unique features that many are unaware of that lead to more design options. 

For example, there are a variety of different edges, backsplash options, sinks, and seams one can do. 

From a simple bullnose to a fancy double classic, there are approximately 19 different edge styles that are offered with this surfacing material. 

Choosing a full backsplash with the same color as your Corian® countertops can help to create a smooth, seamless look. 

While seams seem to be the bane of countertops, with Solid Surface there is no reason to fret as this material has nearly invisible seams. This material does have to be installed in sections, but the way the material is made allows for a seamless look when all of the pieces are fitted together. 

Another huge benefit to Corian® Solid Surface is the ability for it to be molded into essentially any shape or curve. Whether your space has an unusual shape, or you’re looking for a clean, hypo-allergenic piece of furniture, Corian® is king and is the most versatile for unconventional shapes. 

We also love the fact that certain colors are gorgeous when illuminated. When installing a kitchen countertop, table top, or built-in couch, lights will be able to glow through this surfacing material resulting in one incredibly unique space. 

5 Unique Applications of Corian® Solid Surface

Corian®’s adaptability is perfect for showers, bar tops, boats, and exterior wall cladding. Below, we’re listing some of the most unique applications to help inspire you.

Shower Surfaces

Kitchen Choreography, an interior design and remodel company in northern Michigan, has a strong desire to always provide clients with unparalleled service from start to finish, even if that means saying ‘yes’ to a more challenging project. 

For one particular residential project, the homeowners decided they wanted a full remodel of their bathroom that incorporated a crisp, clean, and modern look.

One unique challenge was incorporating a wainscot paneling in the shower. Typically, this type of application uses either wood or veneer for the wall covering. With this particular placement, the right material needed to be chosen in order to keep the shower clean, clear of mold and residue, and durable for many years. This material also needed to have the right texture and look in order to match the homeowner’s vision.

It was recommended to complete the shower renovation with Corian® Solid Surface. The shower walls are comprised of field tile and b-board in Cameo White. Light hues of white, cream, and gray help to accent the shower and give this bathroom the much-desired look. 

Wainscot Corian

Interior Vertical Walls

For another unique application, we’re spotlighting the artist Mario Romano, creator of M.R. Walls. Unlike tile or print, Corian® will allow any vertical space to have a unique, uninterrupted design with a material that’s impervious to mold, virus, and bacteria. And, it’s completely water-proof.

Inspired by nature, you can choose from one of Mario’s creations or create a pattern together. Perfect for shower walls in either a commercial or residential space, kitchen backsplashes, or a statement wall in the lobby of hospitality or retail, M.R. Walls has some incredible applications that will leave you awe-struck.  


Corian® can truly help to enhance any type of space. For example, in this residence, the huge living room wasn’t appropriately accommodating the needs of the area. The homeowners wanted to create a dual-use for the space: one area for watching tv and the other to sit in front of the fireplace and talk.

By incorporating the original design of the home (step detail in a piano-shaped curve), Mark Gacesa of Ultraspace transformed the space with Corian® Solid Surface in Witch Hazel by using it for the frame of the couch.  

During the day, this material complements the existing furniture in the room. By night, the entire room glows to create a magical and soothing spot. In this application, the Solid Surface is both backlit and underlit to allow for auto dimming. 

University & Retail Spaces

We mentioned earlier that DuPont will color match any color, and that’s exactly what happened with the University of Michigan.

A top-ranked public university, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has a tradition of excellence in research, learning and teaching, sports and the arts, and more. They were looking to complete one of their newly renovated spaces by building durable, custom trophy cases.

In order to complete the desired look, Corian® Solid Surface in their famed maize and blue were chosen. Providing a seamless, matte, and bold look, these trophy cases are durable and easy-to-clean. They also help to add a distinctive element for the University of Michigan. 

UM Trophy Case

Exterior Spaces

Ellard Custom Countertops, a small business located in Paw Paw, Michigan, specializes in fabricating Corian® Solid Surface for some pretty unique projects.

One residential project they worked on was for an outdoor porch. The homeowners didn’t like the current look of the lattice under their porch. They wanted a material that would blend well into the natural surroundings while still serving a purpose of keeping those woodland critters away. 

One unique challenge that presented itself during this project was finding a material that was durable enough to withstand the harsh outdoor elements, and one that they wouldn’t have to replace time and time again.

It was recommended to complete this project with Corian® Solid Surface in Deep Nocturne. They closed off the space with 8-1/2″ tall strips and bolted them to the 4×4 wood posts of the deck. A piece was also placed behind the step to ensure the space was completely blocked off from any critters looking to call that space home. The color Deep Nocturne was chosen as it blended well with the mulch and surrounding greenery and helped to create a cohesive look.

Corian Back of Step

Final Thoughts

From the extensive color palette to the different molding abilities, Corian® Solid Surface can really be transformed into just about anything. If you’d like to receive more information about Corian® Solid Surface and its capabilities, please feel free to contact our Customer Service Department today at 800-462-6047.