All About Alder Wood

Detail for a stained island in Alder WoodEveryone knows oak, maple and pine. Cherry has its moments. But, ever hear of Alder? It’s finding its way into kitchens and cabinetry as an alternative to the more well-known wood species. Before you decide if it’s right for you, there are a few key things you should know.

Alder is a relative of birch, and is a fairly soft wood. It has a beautiful straight grain and a fairly uniform texture which makes it a flexible choice that works for a variety of styles and aesthetics.

Kitchen island in Alder woodAlder can be painted or stained, and when stained can mimic the look of cherry but at a more budget friendly price.

Because alder is a softer wood, it works particularly well for distressed looks. It’s a good option to consider if you’re thinking of a wire-brushed effect or distressing, because it takes these effects well.

But be aware, just like pine and other soft woods, alder needs a gentler touch when it comes to everyday use. If you’re fairly hard on your cabinets, alder may not be the right choice for you. You may be happier with one of the traditional hardwoods like oak or walnut that can stand up to heavy use a little better.

If you’ve been thinking of remodeling for several years, you’re likely to be surprised and delighted by the choice of materials and finishes available for your project. Working with a Designer makes the process less overwhelming and more fun. White kitchen cabinets with a stained island and stone hood

Ready to take the next step toward remodeling your home? Set up an appointment to talk to a Normandy Designer. You can also click through images of finished projects for inspiration in the Normandy Remodeling photo galleries for examples of alder wood and more. If you’re on social media, so are we. We have wonderful communities of design fans on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok. Follow along to join the fun and conversations.

4 Reasons to Love a Tub Deck

Bathtub with tub deckYou’ve seen freestanding tubs in so many of your inspiration photos, it’s beginning to seem like a foregone choice your bathroom remodel… or is it? According to Normandy Designer Jackie Jensen, the answer for what type of bathtub to choose for your remodel isn’t quite as obvious as it may seem.

“Freestanding bathtubs have become very popular as a statement piece in your bathroom, but they’re not right for everyone,” says Jackie. “If you’re a fan of a long soak in the tub, then good looks are just one piece of the puzzle.”

Beyond the aesthetics of your choice, Jackie recommends you consider a few key points before choosing your bathtub:



Safety may not be the first thing on your mind when planning your new remodel, but there’s good reason it starts off our discussion. Stepping in and out of the tub means you’re often balancing on one foot with water in play, which can be a recipe for disaster. Large bathtub with decorative accents on the back wallAdd to the fact that many freestanding tubs can have higher sides to step over, it becomes something worthy of taking a moment to consider.

“Bathtubs with a deck allow you to sit down on the side and swing your feet over,” says Jackie. “This is a much safer way to enter and exit the bath for everyone, but especially if you’re recovering from an injury or thinking about aging in place.”



That statement look you get from a freestanding tub comes with a downside; you have to clean behind it, in what is often a fairly tight space. Bathtubs with a deck construction use cabinetry or tile to enclose the space beneath and behind the bath, making it simple and easy to keep the floors spotless.

“The surface of your tub deck these days is more likely to be a solid piece of quartz or stone, which means no more grout lines to clean,” notes Jackie. “These large surfaces not only perform better over time, they also make it easy to extend the tub deck into the shower.”

Space Utilization

Bathrooms are notoriously tight on space, and one way to make the most of those precious inches is to extend your tub deck right into the shower space to create a bench. The bench is a welcome upgrade to any shower for safety and convenience, and extending the tub deck into the shower creates a cohesive space without compromising a stand-alone shower or a separate bathtub.


Options Galore

Bathtub with a tub deck under windowsChoosing a drop in or undermount bathtub gives you a wider variety of upgrade options than you can find in a freestanding bathtub. “You can opt for bubbles of all sizes, but also a heated back, color therapy, sound therapy, and so much more,” notes Jackie. Decorative access panels can be created in the cabinetry surrounding the tub that are virtually invisible but provide a maintenance point if the need should arise.

You can create a stunning bathroom that features a tub with a deck or a freestanding bathtub. It comes down to making the right choice for you and your space so that you’re comfortable with the solution every time you get in and out of a luxurious soak.

Choosing the right bathtub is just one part of your bathroom remodel, set up a time to talk with Jackie about bathtubs, sinks, showers and so much more. You can also see photos of recent bathroom remodels, as well as find inspiration on a daily basis via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok.


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