Although it may take an expert to manufacture a quality wooden door, it thankfully does not take an expert to judge the quality of that door. By taking time to understand the materials, build, and manufacturer used to create the door – you can be confident in making the right decision with your upcoming wooden door purchase. Buying directly from a door manufacturer increases your chances of having access to honest details about the manufacturing process.
Not all wooden doors and door manufacturers are created equal. Use these details as a guide when distinguishing good quality materials and service from the bad.
Not only do these words rhyme, but they are also crucial details to take into account when choosing the right wooden doors for your home or business. Solid core doors are solid from front to back, while hollow core doors are lightweight and empty within the doorframe.
Hollow core doors may be cheaper and easier to carry, but they do not hold a candle to the quality of a solid core wooden door. Solid core doors will muffle sound, control temperature, and last longer through wear and tear.
Unfortunately, solid core doors are no longer the running standard, as many manufacturers place cost and ease of handling over quality. If in person, give the doors a few solid knocks to understand what is underneath. Not in person? Check the product’s specifications or ask for more information from the manufacturer.
The thickness of a door also plays a role in its level of quality, and luckily this is a very simple quality measure to compare. Virtually all door descriptions on the web will list the width of a door. While the most common width of a solid door is 1 and 3/8 inch, some door manufacturers go the extra mile. ETO Doors, for example, manufactures wooden doors at 1 and 3/4 inches thick to ensure the highest level of sound separation and durability.
Although a door’s core and thickness are incredibly important details, the care that is taken during manufacture greatly affects quality, such as the potential for trim pieces to come loose, or warping and shrinking. Read the manufacturer’s description and specifications for a sense of pride in the assembly process. Look for details about the material of the core, the fusion process, the thickness of each solid wood layer. Notice if they describe the wood selection process, which would refer to cutting the door with respect to wood patterns, knots, and grain thoughtfully to enhance the beauty of natural wood. . If no details are given, it is probably that steps were performed with less attention to detail or lower quality materials.
‘Stain grade’ and ‘paint grade’ are other quality factors to consider. A stain grade door is sanded finely and ready to receive your stain without any further treatment or sanding. Similarly, check to see if a primed door has been double or single primed, and with a quality primer. Either of these steps will save you time and money during the installation, and are a sign that a manufacturer truly cares about the finished product when displayed in your home or office.
When choosing to spend hard-earned money on new or customer doors, it is not too much to ask the manufacturer about their testing process. If a manufacturer guarantees a door will provide good acoustics, ask how they are able to verify that. Quality door manufacturers should also be in the research and development business, creating new products and testing them to ensure their quality and viability. Fire, hurricane, and acoustic ratings are just a few examples of standards that should be tested and certified before a wooden door product goes to market.
The last detail to pay attention to when choosing the right wooden door? Turn your attention to the track record and reviews received by the door manufacturer themselves. Check the company’s Google reviews, visit their company website to learn more about their mission and history, and ask previous customers about their experience.
The most trustworthy door manufacturers will also provide satisfaction or money-back guarantees, as well as longer term warranties.
When choosing the right wooden door, the quality of the door manufacturer is just as important as the quality of the door itself. Be aware of these characteristics, and do not be afraid to ask questions. Making the right choice will guarantee your money is put to good use for generations!
Tal Hassid, founder of ETO Doors, is a door and wood expert in the industry for 15 years. ETO Doors, one of the largest online marketplaces for doors, carries solid wood and fiberglass doors including Interior, Exterior, and French doors.