When it comes to amazing upgrades to make your home really stand out, few are quite as impressive as the addition of a decorative door. The average home features a plain entryway that’s less than inspiring. Since it’s typically the first part of the home a visitor sees, choosing a more ornate exterior door sets the standard for beauty throughout the home. Besides elegant features such as iron fixtures or sidelights, today, homeowners also have their pick of many wood species.
While it may seem like a footnote to people who are inexperienced with solid wood options, each species has many advantages as well as styles. Most notably, different species of wood uniquely accept different colors of stain. Depending on the color and style of your home, the wood you’ll choose will have a profound effect on the overall mood of a house. Chooses the best wood species for exterior doors of your home is an exciting way to truly customize the style and create a new statement.
Why Choose Wood for Exterior Doors?
The most obvious reason to choose a wood door is its incredible beauty. Nothing can imitate the natural grace and elegance of wood. What’s more, it’s a highly alterable material like no other. Wood can be readily worked into more than just a slab; it can be meticulously shaped into unique forms and shapes. Imagine being the envy of the neighborhood with a custom carved wood front door! It’s a wonderful material capable of so many looks, but the best parts go deeper than looks.
Wooden doors also serve a few very practical purposes. The first is pure insulation. Wood, as a building material, does a great job at retaining an even temperature. In other words, solid wooden doors are the most energy-efficient option. Furthermore, they’re also excellent noise insulators, keeping your home safe from the annoyances of noisy neighbors and roads outside. Finally, wood is the most sustainable and green option when it comes to building materials. Many wood species are even locally grown in the US and are sustainably harvested.
The Regal Splendor of Oak
When it comes to truly wonderful hardwoods, look no further than oak. When most people imagine this species, they imagine white oak. In truth, many different species exist and are essential to different ways of life across the world. In the US, red and white oaks are native and are often part of managed forests. As the names suggest, these two species differ by the basic color of their raw material. White oak is a very light cream color with some yellows, whereas red oak is a pinker crème hue with streaks of red, especially in the grains.
Red has much more dramatic grains than white, so for those looking for the striking visual texture, it’s a terrific choice. It looks best in cherry wood stains that bring out the rich, warm colors. Otherwise, white oak is an excellent choice for those unsure about which stain color they’d like best. Due to its very light coloration, white oak responds very well to almost any stain. It’s especially popular with a deep brown or a very light stain to allow the subtle wood texture to shine through.
The Rustic Beauty of Knotty Alder
If you require a door that speaks of outdoor adventures, then alder is the species for you. What makes this wood so truly unique is its tendency to feature evenly spaced and symmetrical knots. It’s the perfect door for a cabin deep in the woods or a handsome log home in the suburbs. Even if your home is a more standard style found around the country, there’s no reason it wouldn’t look stunning with an alder wood door.
Most often, these doors are given a handsome golden stain, which highlights the grain against the rich dark knots. The result is a beautifully textured surface that resonates with natural elegance. Like white oak, it accepts a number of stains readily, but the next most popular color is often a chocolatey brown. Finally, alder trees are also a carefully managed US species, making them a great choice for families concerned about making green choices.
A Tradition In Mahogany
For many people, the best wood species for exterior doors has and always will be mahogany. The species doesn’t originate from the US, but rather Brazil making it a special and sometimes pricey choice. However, nothing matches the historical and real-life elegance and grace of mahogany. The species has been used for centuries to adorn the most opulent of homes and structures. From mansions to castles, mahogany doors are a part of a long-standing tradition of fine crafting materials. If you’re looking to impress, choosing and routinely name-dropping this choice of species among friends will always impress.
Mahogany, like cherry wood, is typically only paired with stains featuring its name. Generally, only a deep and rich brown is used. The darker color is part of its luxurious identity, so anyone worried about weighing the room down visually should opt for a different species.
Cedar’s Unique Advantages
If you’re looking for a wood species that has a few bonus traits, consider cedar. People have been using cedar for a variety of uses other than construction for hundreds of years. Namely, cedar is chock full of resins and oils, which give it a wondrous pine-like smell. As a door, some of this fresh aroma can still be detected underneath the finish. More importantly, though, the finish seals in much of the oils. It’s the oils that help to keep cedar from succumbing to the elements, making it a very long-lasting and sturdy option for many years to come.
Additionally, the purpose of aromatic oils is to ward off pests in the wild. Cedar is a natural pesticide, hence its long-time presence inside moth-free closets and drawers. As a door, cedar maintains this quality and helps form a bug-proof barrier. Any insect that tries to chew through the door will inevitably fail, making this wood a great choice for areas with insect species that tend to damage wooden homes and fixtures.