doors, windows, hardware

Traditional Wood Doors for Restoration & Custom Building

Hardwood panel doors convey an image of high quality.

Click here for a list of traditional wood door suppliers

The materials revolution of the past two decades has touched the door market in profound ways. Doors made from fiberglass, metal, vinyl and other materials are commonly available. Yet despite this range of choices -- or perhaps because of it -- the traditional hardwood panel door continues to be the choice of clients who want to stamp an image of highest quality on their restaurant, hotel, office or institutional facilities -- and their own homes. A well-made wood door is built like a piece of fine furniture. And where fire codes are a factor, it's possible to get a good-looking rail-and-stile door that will still meet all life-safety codes.

When evaluating a door, here are some factors to consider.

WOOD QUALITY. Doors made from today's fast-growth softwoods have an open, porous grain that -- in an exterior door -- makes them very susceptible to rot. Look for recycled old-growth woods or plantation-grown hardwoods from ecologically responsible suppliers.

SOLID WOOD CONSTRUCTION. The sound made by a solid wood door closing is more satisfying to the senses than the clank of cheaper substitutes.

JOINERY. Traditional mortise-and-tenon joinery with floating panels is the hallmark of top-quality construction.

THICKNESS. A thin door usually says "cheap door." Look for thicknesses running from 1-3/4 ins. to 2-1/4 ins.

PROVEN CUSTOM CAPABILITIES. If you need a door with an unusual shape, curvature or size, you'll want to select a shop that can demonstrate a lot of experience with custom work.

HARDWARE. The quality of the hardware should match the quality of the door. Don't install thin sheet-brass hardware on a heavy-duty Honduras mahogany door.

Click here for a list of traditional wood door suppliers