The Best Types of Wood for Doors

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


As homeowners, we do a lot to keep our homes in prime condition. We regularly clean and redecorate the interior. We even add a new coat of paint to the exterior every other year to keep everything looking spick and span.

Sometimes, weather, the sun, and other factors work against our efforts. For example, a particularly wet spring or bad humidity could cause the front door on a home to warp. Or perhaps a bedroom door cracked down the middle. Whatever the case, these doors need replacing.

If you need to upgrade or replace the doors on your home, read on. Below, we've listed the best types of wood for doors so you can choose a material that withstands the tests of time.

provia wood door samples

Mahogany

Mahogany is one of the best woods used for doors. Its thickness and hardness makes it incredibly durable. Additionally, mahogany's stability allows it to resist rot, so this wood is perfect if you live in a more humid or wet climate.

Unfortunately, most red-brown woods are labeled as mahogany-even if the wood doesn't belong to the same species as mahogany. As you browse for mahogany doors, look for the following labels:

  • Genuine mahogany
  • Swietenia macrophylla
  • Khaya ivorensis

You should also look for labels that include a country or region of origin, including:

  • Honduras
  • Brazil
  • West Africa
  • Dominican Republic
  • Belize

American mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), or any mahogany that comes from Latin and South America, is the most durable of mahogany species because the trees grow in hot, wet, sunny climates. African mahogany (Khaya ivorensis), is also a high quality wood, though not as durable as its American cousin.

Mahogany also stains incredibly well, so if you want to recolor your door, this wood choice stands as your best option overall.

Oak

Native to the northern hemisphere, oak trees provide a highly stable wood. Oak's high tannin levels also make it insect- and fungus-resistant. In the 9th and 10th centuries, oak was used to build Viking longships because the wood is waterproof as well.

Oak comes in many varieties, including cork oak, red oak, and white oak. For doors, choose a type of oak that can withstand the elements in your area.

For example, red oak contains open capillaries. Unless the wood is cured with the appropriate preservatives, it can easily soak up moisture. White oak, on the other hand, repels water quite well due to its tight cell structure. However, this characteristic means that the wood doesn't absorb preservatives and will rot over time.

Jarrah

This Australian wood, a species of the eucalyptus tree, is a heavy, fibrous wood that becomes a reddish-brown color as it ages. This wood is also termite-resistant, a feature which makes it ideal for doors, railings, and other wood structures.

When jarrah is freshly cut, carpenters can work with it and shape it with little effort. But over time, the wood becomes so hard and strong that traditional tools can't be used on it.

Jarrah also resists water and rot quite well. If you choose this wood type for your home's exterior doors, you can rest assured that the material will last longer than most other wood types.

Cherry

This hardwood ranges from rich red to light reddish brown colors. Additionally, the wood darkens overtime, especially when exposed to sunlight.

Cherry wood is smooth in texture and has a fine grain that makes staining an easy option. Sometimes, the wood even contains blonde streaks within the wood, a characteristic that makes it a truly unique material for doors. If you need to upgrade your home's interior doors, cherry stands as a reliable choice.

Maple

Another dense wood, maple is known for its longevity, smooth texture, even grain, and strength. The grain also forms in different shapes and patterns such as: 

  • Tiger stripes (flame maple)
  • Quilted folds (quilt maple)
  • Swirly eyes (bird's eye maple)
  • Ripples (burl maple)

You can easily recognize maple wood by its warm, mellow color and dark streaks.

If you want a door that contains a unique design, choose maple. However, this wood can be brittle, so inclement weather or a rogue baseball could cause the door to break easily. You should only use maple for doors inside your home to avoid high maintenance and repair costs.

Walnut

Walnut remains one of the most versatile types of wood. The dense, hard timber is tight grained and absorbs finishes and polishes well. You can find walnut doors in a variety of colors, such as:

  • Creamy white
  • Chocolate brown
  • Dull brown
  • Purple-brown

Because this wood absorbs finishes so well, you can stain a walnut door with numerous other colors, such as black or golden brown. However, its porous nature means you'll have to coat the wood with lacquer and other preservatives to prevent water damage-especially if you use walnut for a front door.

When you decide to upgrade the doors on your home, keep these wood types in mind. Once you select a wood species, call a local door and window company to place an order. If they don't sell the type of wood you prefer, ask if they can special order a door for you.


For more tips about doors and windows, check out the rest of our blog.

FAS Windows & Doors is Central Florida's largest volume window and door dealer, with direct from the factory pricing for replacement and new construction windows and doors. We have showrooms and distribution facilities in the major metro areas of Tampa, FL and Orlando, FL. Call us at 866-737-7173 to see how we can assist you with your windows and door needs today!

Alexandra 11/10/2015

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