Selecting a Hardwood Entry Door
Real estate agents, builders and homebuyers alike
realize that first impressions make a difference. Installing a
distinctive entrance door made from oak, mahogany or walnut hardwood
may be the easiest and most cost effective way to boost your home's
curb appeal. A more attractive front entrance is likely to increase
the perceived value of any home. Real wood adds warmth and beauty and
will provide years of outstanding protection from the elements with
just a little bit of simple maintenance. You can feel the difference.
Hardwood Entryway Door
There are many types
of materials used for exterior door construction — metal, fiberglass,
wood veneer and solid hardwood. Solid hardwood sets the standard for
all other door types to achieve. Finely crafted wood doors are a
source of individual expression and beauty in domestic and commercial
architecture. Wood has the ability to adapt to many designs, allowing
for thousands of creative possibilities. No other material delivers
the architectural detail, precise shadow lines and mesmerizing grain
patterns of wood.
The inherent warmth
of wood doors is due to millions of naturally occurring, tiny
honeycomb cells between the fibers, which provide a relatively high
percentage of air volume, an excellent insulator. Wood's insulating
properties are 600 times more effective than those of steel. And
because wood doesn't conduct hot or cold like most man-made materials,
the possibility of “thermal bowing” is diminished. Extreme
temperatures cause thermal bowing, when one surface of the door is
very cold at the same time the other side is very warm. When the cold
side of the door contracts and the warm side expands, the uneven
pressure that results may cause the structure to bow. Hardwood is much
less susceptible to this problem.
All woods are not
created equal, and it is important when selecting a wood species for
an exterior entrance door that you understand some of the
characteristics of wood.
The most common way
to categorize wood is under the general headings of hardwoods and
softwoods. Examples of hardwoods are oaks, mahogany, maples, cherry
and walnut. Examples of softwoods are pines, firs and cedars.
Hardwoods like oak,
mahogany and South American walnut are excellent for exterior door
applications. Oak generally is pale yellow to mid-brown in color with
a medium to fine wood-grain texture, is very durable and extremely
resistant. Mahogany is red to brown in color with fine wood-grain
texture, is very durable, very resistant and because of its fine
texture is suitable for painting. South American walnut is a wood that
is naturally distressed, very dense, light to medium in color, very
durable and has a unique textural quality. Mahogany and South American
walnut are becoming more and more popular as a choice over oak. The
cost of mahogany is often less expensive but has a perceived higher
Wood comes from a
living tree and is more sensitive to the elements than metal, but far
more beautiful. It will change and grow in character over its life.
With modest attention and care, a wood door can last for many years
and add tremendous value to your home.