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What are Some Different Types of Wood Doors?

By Amy Hunter
Updated May 16, 2024
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Wood is commonly used for both exterior and interior doors. People that want a traditional-looking home often choose wood doors for both the interior and exterior of their home. There is a wide selection of wood doors to choose from, in both interior and exterior styles.

Exterior wood doors offer a warm and solid appearance. In the past, exterior wood doors had some features that made them less than desirable. When subjected to changes in the weather condition, wooden doors could swell or contract, making closing or locking the door difficult. They also could permanently warp, forever changing the shape of the door.

Newer construction methods make wood doors much less susceptible to damage from the elements, and they can make an impressive entry door. It is necessary to prime and then paint or stain the door to offer additional protection from the weather, but otherwise, wood entry doors can be remarkably maintenance free.

Not all exterior wood doors are the same. You can easily personalize the look of your entry door by adding a window, glass insets, sidelights or a transom. If you are adding a large piece of glass, such as a window, to your exterior door, you may consider investing in insulated glass.

Without insulated glass, you will lose heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Additionally, the cold winter air will seep into your home in the winter and the hot summer sun will heat up your home. This is common if you use traditional decorative glass in your window. Of course, if you are only adding a small suncrest or other sliver of glass, the decorative choices make sense. They are available etched, stained or beveled, and can add a great deal of beauty to the outside of your home, without costing much money.

Wood interior doors may be either hollow core or solid core doors. Hollow core wood doors are less expensive than solid doors. Wood doors with a solid core, however, make up for their higher price tag by dampening sounds on either side of the door. If your budget does not allow for solid core doors in all of your rooms, adding them to your bedroom and bathroom are a good compromise.

Interior doors do not need paint or stain to protect them from the elements, but applying paint or stain that matches the rest of your home’s trim is a great way to coordinate the look of your home and an easy way to dress up the area.

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Discussion Comments
By Izzy78 — On Jun 05, 2012

@JimmyT - Obviously, it is after the fact now, but one thing you could have tried (or still can try if you want) is to post an add online saying you are looking for a maple door. A lot of times when people are remodeling a house they will switch out the doors. Some people will just have to throw them out if they can't find anyone to take them, which is a shame. That being said, though, you can usually get them pretty cheap.

Some contractors will also save nice doors instead of tossing them out. If you post an add online and in the paper and don't get a response, it might be worth calling up some of the local handymen and seeing if they know where you might be able to get the kind of door you are looking for. Good luck!

By JimmyT — On Jun 05, 2012

I wish there were more selection in terms of interior wood doors. At least things that are reasonably priced.

When I moved into my house a couple of years ago, there was no door for what I wanted to be my office. It was just an open doorway. I looked around, and there wasn't as much as I expected in the way of "natural wood" doors. What I really wanted was a maple door, because it would have gone well with my floors and the rest of the room.

I could find some maple and oak doors, but they were all incredibly expensive. More than I thought they should be worth. I can't imagine having to buy something like mahogany wood doors. In the end, I just settled for a plain pine door that I painted the same color as the trim in the room. It looks okay, but isn't exactly what I wanted.

By matthewc23 — On Jun 04, 2012

@cardsfan27 - I agree. You can still find solid entry doors that are relatively inexpensive. The investment is well worth it.

I think that having a wood front door adds a lot of class to a house. I especially like the oak doors that still have the dark color and haven't been painted or anything. I see them a lot on brick houses, and the colors go really well together. You can also get them with a bunch of different window designs in them to match whatever style you want.

I guess the main benefit of metal doors is that they are usually easier to paint. You don't have to worry about priming them or anything.

By cardsfan27 — On Jun 03, 2012

It might go without saying, but if you are installing a wood entrance door, make sure it is solid wood and is very sturdy. Somehow, hollow core entry doors are still on the market and people buy them for the savings. I know that some people would have a hard time affording a solid door, but not having one could cost a lot more.

I remember when I was looking at apartments one time when I was in college one of the places I was looking at had hollow entry doors. I liked the rest of the apartment, but I wasn't comfortable with the safety the door provided. Just a couple of months later, there was a string of break-ins at those same apartments where the people just ran into the doors and busted the locks. Since they were hollow, they didn't put up much resistance, and the people got in the apartments without a problem.

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