Construction of wooden doors
The day of the traditional solid wooden doors is over. In only a couple of generations, the environment we live in has changed tremendously. Where our forefathers made up fires in individual rooms and took hot water bottles to bed with them, the modern home is equipped with a sophisticated heating system and is thoroughly insulated to reduce heating costs as well as improve its carbon footprint. Traditionally produced solid wooden doors have a hard time in this draught free, modern, arid environment.
As a naturally occurring raw material, all timber has moisture content. When turning wood into something that can be used to make doors, great care must be taken to ensure that it is dried to a degree that it will perform without bending or twisting within the modern hermetically sealed property. At the same time, the relentless pressure on product cost has led to developments in both the manufacturing processes and materials involved in doors.
Cost Effective Doors
The doors of choice of the modern builder are simple moulded skin panelled doors. Having the appearance when painted of a traditional panelled door, there is actually little real wood involved in its construction at all. A simple pine perimeter framing is often the only recognisable ‘wood’ involved in the door. The faces are reconstituted fibre, mixed with adhesive that has been moulded into the desired panel shape in a press. Depending upon the manufacturers’ option, the two resultant skins are then held apart either by cellular paper cores or blocks of polystyrene or wooden offcuts. These simple doors are usually the cheapest product available to the property developer but are scarcely flamboyant.
Current trends are more towards flush doors. The same door technology involving cellular paper cores can be used as a filling between two sheets of MDF or plywood that can then be veneered or painted to create the widest variety of design options. The basic doors themselves are very straightforward to make.
Where more robust solid doors are required, for reasons of design or specification such as fire resistance, solid door options are widely available. Once again, the traditional idea of solid planks of wood has been replaced by an assortment of materials. Generally referred to as composite or engineered cores, these cores are manufactured from reconstituted wood such as chipboard, blockboard, plywood or MDF. Each of these raw materials can be used in different ways to make up the core component parts of a variety of doors. They are more stable in use than solid timber within the modern built environment. When used in combination with real wood veneers or laminates, they are much more affordable than if they were built using solid timber.
In common with most industries, machines have replaced people within the manufacture of doors. The preparation of and the assembly of component parts is far more accurate and consistent when the operation is performed by a machine than by hand. Humans do still have a part to play however. The assembly of veneered faces is often still performed by hand where symmetry of graining or a matching of pigmentation is needed that cannot be performed by a machine.
Timber veneers are a natural material and variations in the colour and graining should be expected.
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