Wood doors -- help!

parksJanuary 24, 2013

Hello, We're in the process of an exterior and then kitchen renovation. I want to replace the doors on the first floor, because the new kitchen will be white and woodwork is white. Thiought it would be nice to add stained wood doors in a medium tone to break up all the white. I don't need many doors: bifolds for a foyer closet, one door in the kitchen, pocket door to half bath and pocket door to laundry. What species of wood is good for staining? What are the mid- or lower cost species? I am assuming maple, cherry and mahogany are most expensive; is that correct? How much should I expect to pay for a pre-hung wood door? I am looking at Craftsman style doors, with one flat panel on top, and two on the bottom.
Same thing for exterior doors -- how much roughly and what species is best?

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Check out http://www.jbomeara.com/new/product.asp

Then go to HD or another big box store, and see what they have that compares.

Staining cherry or maple is difficult.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 4:14PM
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I got 2 doors from our local lumber yard for 300 each solid wood(Douglas fir not knots, very good for stain, I think there is name for it, but I am not sure), 6 panel style, pre hang with ORB hardware, we did stain ourselves. I am consider to get more doors from the same place for my master bath/bedroom redo.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 4:26PM
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I've been pricing wood interior shaker style doors and prehung prices are over $300 a door in fir. Keep in mind the doors like you want are likely special order, and if you are only getting a few, shipping costs will influence pricing more than for a large order.

Also, pocket doors will likely have to be custom to get the stile wider on the side that will be hidden in the wall when closed. Otherwise they will look unbalanced.

I just got a quote from a local lumber yard of $400 prehung and over $600 for one size they said was "non standard" and therefore "custom". Ouch.

I know fir stains well (we stained our exterior fir doors), and maple tends to blotch. I was told that's why most maple cabinets have a glaze. I never heard that cherry was hard to stain like doug_gb stated. We will probably go with cherry but we plan to leave them natural anyway - just a protective sealer. Natural cherry has a nice rich color.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Thanks for all the info. You've given me a lot to consider. More research ...!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:10AM
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Numbersjunkie -- I'm not sure what you mean about the size of the stile? Can you explain a bit? Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:16AM
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Stile- the vertical member of a frame.

Rail- the horizontal member.

In wood working, solid panels are contained in a frame. The frame is made of rails and stiles. A 3-panel door has 2 stiles and 4 rails. The stiles are the same length as the height of the door.

A pocket door does not slide all the way out of the pocket. When the door is closed, one stile is partially concealled. To make the door look balanced, it is a good idea to have one stile wider than the other.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Alder doors are a nice mid-range door. Stains well.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 6:00AM
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Got some wood samples today. I really like the birch and alder samples, actually. The cherry scares me, because of how much the color can change over time. Numbersjunkie, thanks for the explanation -- makes sense. Had never even considered that!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:11PM
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parks - Who did you get the samples from? I'm really undecided about what type of wood to go with. Samples might help a lot. Are they stained?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:37PM
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I got the samples from a rep for WoodHarbor, a company that makes primarily kitchen cabinets, but also custom doors. They were recently purchased by TruStile. My contractor will give me the doors at cost, but they're still pricey - though beautiful. However, the samples were a great help. There was a whole box full. You can go to their website and find a local seller -- maybe they have the samples there: www.woodharbordoors.com. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:14PM
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Thanks! I am actually waiting on a quote for WoodHarbor. I possible, can you post pics of the Alder and Birch? We are undecided about type of wood.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Hi numbersjunkie, These are all the samples together, so you can compare/contrast, but if you would like me to email you more photos of any or all, you can email me. The first row on the left, going top to bottom, are all knotty alder. He did not have clear alder samples, which is what I would get. He said the color would be the same, but there would no knots. This is the lightest weight wood of the three types of wood I took samples for. (WoodHarbor has probably 8 different species of wood, though -- 2 different oaks, maple, mahogany, the three I have here and not sure what else.)
So, the alder colors, top to bottom are: caramel, honey, amaratto and nutmeg.
The light colored one is birch; WoodHarbor only does birch standard in two colors, both light, because (they say) it is tricky to do a darker stain. But I did like the grain, very subtle, which is why I took the sample, even though I do not want doors that light. The third row is cherry, in amaretto on the top and nnutmeg in the bottom. Though these two cherry samples show a lot of grain, that amount of grain would only be in certain sections of the door. I know someone with cherry WoodHarbor doors and the grain is not that intense; it's very pretty -- but it scares me because it will darken over time. Oddly, the amaretto on the cherry appears lighter than the amaretto on the alder, which should not be the case. That cherry sample has been in the box, though, and would darken as it was exposed to light. My favorites are the nutmeg on the cherry and the amaretto on the alder. I'm worried alder doors will not have as much heft -- in which case, why go with such expensive doors. (Since I'm going with flat panel, that, too, will lessen the heft.) Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:35PM
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Thanks parks! The samples look beautiful! Still waiting for our quote.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 8:44PM
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"Oddly, the amaretto on the cherry appears lighter than the amaretto on the alder, which should not be the case."

Cherry wood is more dense than alder. Cherry also needs a preconditioner or wash coat before staining.

Both those means the cherry takes less stain than alder---accounting for the difference in color.

In almost any stain\dye color, different woods will look different after staining. Wood of the same species but from different trees can also be different colors after staining with stain from the same container.

That is the main reason most furniture manufacturers use a stain/dye formula comprised of different components rather than a single color stain/dye.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 2:03AM
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Finally got the quote on WoodHarbor doors. OMG. About $750 each. That's not going to happen, no matter how beautiful they are! Back to the search...

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:38PM
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Don't know about where you are, but around DC there are a number of 2nd hand or recycling places which have good doors and very good prices. some need a bit of work, others no. you might want to call around and see what's available

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 11:49PM
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