Friday, 28 October 2016

Solid Wood vs Solid Core

It wasn't too long ago that all doors were made from pieces of wood. Times have since changed, and in recent years many doors are now supplied veneered with various types of composite cores. SolidWoodenDoors began life selling hardwood doors only, but have since shifted away from this method of construction; all of our internal doors are now veneered or MDF facing. There are two main reasons for this: consumer demand and fire regulations:

Consumer Demand

We have entered an era where many people see doors as contemporary pieces of furniture. For example, demand for completely flush doors has risen over the years recently. Pictured below is our model L505, and simply is not possible to make a door like this from a single piece of wood, because simply aren't big enough!

To get a mirror-like glossy finish, a door would ideally have to be quite stable. Warping would cause the beautiful gloss-coating to crack, which would be an awful shame!

Traditional hardwood doors would almost always fall victim to warping over time, making it a nuisance to close doors that had misaligned themselves over the years. 

It's also worth noting that some people want a painted door with a perfectly smooth finish (no wood grain). MDF is perfect for this.

Our model L505 

Pictured is a piece of painted hardwood, with the glossy paint having cracked over time.

Fire Regulations

Most homes across the country now require fire doors if there are three floors or more (but this does depend on your local authority). For example, a basement, ground floor and first floor would probably need fire doors in ares where the fire could spread, i.e. hallways. 

Funnily enough, a solid timber door simply cannot withstand a fire long enough, being made of wood and all. However, a veneered door with a specialist type of chipboard mixed with chemicals may be fire rated over 30 or 60 minutes depending on the thickness. 45mm would last a minimum of 30 minutes and a 55mm door would survive longer than 60. 


Solid core doors really are the way forward, the plethora of advantages they offer have rendered timber doors obsolete. An walnut-veneered door will look identical to a timber equivalent. Solid wood hasn't been ditched altogether though, our doors typically have 20-25mm thick lippings all around, which is a bit more generous than most other doors in the current market. This is important for screwing in locks and hinges, as chipboard is not ideal for this.

Despite all this, our external doors are still made from solid wood and always will be! The joints and general construction of our front doors allow for movement, which is simply unavoidable, especially in the Great British weather!

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