What type of wood for front door?

txsuszqSeptember 19, 2011

I am putting in a custom front door with a transom & 2 sidelights. I spoke with three local shops. Each one gave me a different opinion as to which wood to use. Douglas Fir, hard Maple or Mahogany. Clearly there is a price difference here depending on the wood. My front door has a good overhang so it is protected well from rain. I am in N TX so we get extreme weather here. The door faces East. I do realize whether I stain or paint, I will have regular upkeep on the finish. My main concern is which door will hold up the best & longest? Thanks for your thoughts.

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RRM1

It is not just durability, I'm sure, that you are looking for. What each of these woods represent is something quite different. DF is a softwood, the others are hardwoods. Maple is a very light and dense hardwood, while mahogany (depending on the type and region of origin) is darker with various grain characteristics. You need to give us a better idea of what you want and what you want to say with this door. Also the style and other details of the look you want. Each of these woods is very different in look and function.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 2:53AM
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terrybull

are they made of solid wood or do they have a engineered core, glass, etc. i make custom doors for living and just finished and shipped a mahogany one to hona lulu. lots of humidity there.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:32AM
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millworkman

I would recommend Mahogany and Sapelle or a Genuine Mahogany at that. Becarefull as some people will what is a Luan Mahogany or what i would call swamp cedar and pass it off as mahogany and these will tend to deteriorate rather quickly compared to sappele or genuine mahogany

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:40AM
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txsuszq

Thanks for the responses.

RRM1: It will be a contemporary door that is mainly glass. It will be similar to the door linked below but with sidelights & a transom. And there will be a band of clear glass about 1 inch all the way around with the rest frosted. I have not decided yet if I will paint or stain. I have an active boy with lots of friends coming in & out of this door multiple times a day. It needs to be able to handle a stray soccer ball from time to time.

terrybull: There is a significant amount of glass. Not a lot of humidity where I am. More the hot/cold extremes. Summers are usually around 98-108 degrees & the heat lasts a good 4 months. With the Eastern exposure, even on says that are not that hot, my door gets pounded by the sun.

millworkman: Good point - sounds like I need to ask more specific questions about the mahogany.

Here is a link that might be useful: Door

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 5:12PM
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RRM1

Not the kind of door I was expecting. An awful lot of glass for a front door that will double as a soccer goal. Personally, I would most often choose a hardwood for a front door, but in the case of this door, I think the mix of materials, especially the mahogany, might not work as well. Actually I think VGF would look great with this door. I grew up hating fir, but for this application it might be a perfect match with this design. My friend just did an architect's large office in all VGF (vertical grain fir). A large firm, therefore a large office with several office suites and boardroom. Similar design feel as your door. You would have to seal and finish it very well and keep it up with a softwood, but that goes with what ever species you choose. You must have a contemporary home because the door, especially as a front door, looks almost commercial, like a doctor, lawyer, architect office. Any other questions, just ask. My personal preference for a front door of a more classical type would be one of the mahogany species, although it can get pretty expensive, but it can finish up beautifully. After all it is common in custom furniture and for yacht cabinetry when teak is not used.
Richard

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 11:29PM
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terrybull

mahogany would look the best with the sidelites and transoms with a very very very good finish.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 10:47AM
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txsuszq

Thanks for the replies. Dog just had emergency surgery, so front door may be on hold for a few months while we deal with getting her back up to speed. Will let you know what we end up doing!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 2:29PM
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