Advantages and disadvantages of a wooden door

We know well that it is better to live behind a metal door. Calmer. But once we ended up at the same building materials exhibition. We walked between the stands, talked to manufacturers. And they thought: why only metal doors? Or, as they are also called, steel, or safe? And what about the wooden entrance doors – it’s all about seams? It turns out no, there are some pretty good options. For example, they told us here a curious story …

…Dmitry Viktorovich P., a middle-class entrepreneur, had a strong respect for himself. And as soon as his business got better, he immediately made a steel door for himself. It seemed that she was sleeping better and eating better. Yes, and the wife and children can be safely left at home – they will not snatch, if anything, God forbid. In general, Dima laid out at one time a tidy sum for the steel beauty. And he lived happily.

But then doubts overcame him. Once he saw the plot in “Time”. On the screen, one citizen was sobbing just in front of such a door, slamming her young son in the apartment by negligence. The TV people boldly described how the rescuers from the Ministry of Emergencies arrived, how they cut the door with an autogenous gun … Then the plot, to everyone’s joy, ended well: the baby was rescued, the mother was consoled. True, what the family did later with the mutilated door was not shown. But it is clear that I had to change.

And if, God forbid, there is a fire or explosion in the apartment? Then the metal door wedges and warps. In a word, businessman Dima thought hard. And I remembered with a kind word the old wooden door! I must say, “in a past life” he was an engineer, and therefore, remembering the knowledge accumulated at the institute, he thought: “But really, progress has not reached the point that wooden doors could be made reliably, stuffed with good locks and security systems ?! ” And he went to look for the truth about wooden doors. I must say, I didn’t have to go far. A lot of new things were told to him literally in a nearby store. Most importantly, it became clear that wooden entrance doors exist in nature. The question is what? The store manager’s name was Misha, the guy was smart and talkative. We will listen to you too.

About African moisture and Siberian frosts

– I will say this: wood is a living and capricious material. Wood breathes, absorbs moisture, and therefore can change its color, shape, crack, rot, finally! At one time, in the old days, there was a selection technology for inventory, furniture or building a house: the age of the tree, its resinousness, place of birth, the state of the bark and crown were taken into account. Now there are almost no experts left. Woodworking enterprises mainly receive wood that is easier to buy. Here everyone decides for himself – to take, for example, a Belarusian oak or not. After all, there were cases when, according to environmental standards, consignments of Belarusian oak were deemed unsuitable due to the increased level of radiation..

– Can’t “suspicious” timber come from abroad??

– How can you! But an honest manufacturer will not risk his reputation. So if you do not want to be deceived, ask the company for documents on the “pedigree” of the tree (that is, where this door was made, where the wood was taken for it) and a certificate for compliance with environmental standards. And even better – check the material yourself “for radiation”. By the way, it is easy to do this: a radiation dosimeter should be in every company engaged in the manufacture of wood products.

– I’ve heard that wooden doors “lead”?

– It happens. Therefore, check the “moisture” of the door. To do this, the store must have a so-called pin needle meter (you should be given it upon request). If they do not give it, then they are afraid of something. I would not contact such a manufacturer.

By the way, many people ask whose doors are better – ours or imported ones? Personally, I think: how many firms, so many opinions. Some believe that in Russia only the forest of our climatic zone can be used for the manufacture of doors. They say, it is important that the wood then does not “be capricious”, getting used to new conditions. In the middle lane, the moisture content of the “native” well-dried tree is 6–8%, depending on the species (oak – 6%, pine – 7–8%). True, a board coming, for example, from Asia is considered dried, but it is difficult to predict how it will behave in the Moscow region? And then, to be honest, many suppliers drive us hack (“wet” board). Such doors are just “leads”. How many times has it happened: from somewhere in Africa, rocks come with a moisture content of 18%. It is clear that there will be a lot of trouble with such a door later. But some firms still prefer foreign raw materials.

Or else: sometimes the doors literally cry.

– And what is this?

– Such a failure occurs if the resinousness of the tree is increased. But now such breeds are almost never used. For example, larch is considered a good raw material, but it is too resinous. If such wood is not subjected to expensive and labor-intensive processing (and this process is not available to all enterprises), then under the sun’s rays the door can “cry”, dropping resin tears and destroying the paintwork. So producers ignore larch. Like a Christmas tree.

– We will get more for the New Year!

– Oh, by the way! It’s good that they reminded me of winter and frost. At what temperature the tree grew is not the last thing for a future door. If the frost hits thirty degrees, and even if such a coldness lasts for several days, then the tree turns black. (So, by the way, it was already in the cold winters of the 1940s. Then many Russian forests suffered.) When cutting, the blackened layers have to be removed (otherwise they will quickly begin to collapse). And this is extremely expensive for firms. So they buy wood in the warm Krasnodar region. To minimize waste, as they say.

Moreover, the change of seasons also affects the texture of the wood. For example, in winter the tree practically does not grow, it “sleeps”, and with the onset of warmth it wakes up and sprouts. In places of “awakening”, curvature of the trunk and knots are formed. And they require additional attention when processing wood. (Remind me, I will tell you more about this in more detail.) In “evergreen” countries, trees are more comfortable to live and have fewer knots. So it turns out that African and Asian trees are easier to process and, accordingly, boards from them are sometimes cheaper. What is not an argument in their favor? And if we consider that many Russian consumers trust foreign firms more, then the conclusion suggests itself.

– Well, well, we have decided on the place, now we can finally choose the door?

– Do not hurry. Next is drying. If the drying was so-so, then the door will turn out to be useless. Woody “capillaries” flow “woody blood”. But these juices are good only in a living tree. So, just drying reduces the movement of tree sap (in a professional way – “sap flow”). The wood is dried in natural or forced (accelerated) ways. With natural drying, the tree is kept in a dry, ventilated room for a period strictly determined by technology (maximum 50 years, and on average 5-10 years). It is important not to dry out the breed!

With accelerated drying, excess moisture is removed from the wood, periodically heating and cooling the wood. The process is automated and, one might say, shrouded in mystery (in the sense that specialists carefully hide their know-how). Natural drying is considered to be more reliable. But there are practically no conditions for it, and the wait is long! Therefore, if some trading company tells you that the wood is dried exclusively by natural means, do not believe it! This process is long and, therefore, not cheap. Most likely, it was like this: for 3-4 years a tree sawn into planks lay under a ventilated canopy, and then was subjected to forced drying. So much for natural drying.

– Now that’s all?

– Not yet. After drying, the struggle begins to protect the delicate wood from external enemies. This is a kind of tree makeup. Moreover, just as different cosmetics are used for dry and oily skin, oak and pine are treated with different solutions and methods. The main thing is that the substance does not contain carcinogens. Some firms first apply a layer of an antifungal solution to the wood, then a water-repellent emulsion or wood paint. And then they cover it with several layers of clear varnish..

– But, as I understand it, all these cosmetic subtleties do not affect strength?

– In terms of strength – yes, but serious manufacturers, before putting the last gloss on the door, “conjure” over the wood to give it greater strength. So that your wooden door can certainly compete with a metal one. In the past, steeping (heating) was the best way. The oak, for example, has been kept under water for several years. It was with difficulty that he took such a snag and an ax. Everybody knows that the houses made of driftwood, built 100 and even 200 years ago, are still standing. By the way, the foundation of the first Cathedral of Christ the Savior was also built on the driftwood..

But nowadays the snake is the exception rather than the rule. But you can find out how the wood was processed for your future door. A serious manufacturer (if you want) will take you to the shop and explain what’s what. Will not reveal only secrets that competitors can use.

– But this is a complete mess! Is this what – I have to control everything? Is it really impossible to come to the firm, read some paper there with the signature of the person in charge, that, they say, your door, citizen, consists of this and that, that it will not fall apart in a year and will not create an increased radiation background around itself … So that if something happens then say: “Citizen is good, drive the money back, and even pay a fine for deceiving the workers!” Is it possible to make it so that later you do not fool your head and do not find out about that piece of wood that was dried – not dry, stained – not finished?

– Alas, there is still no complete guarantee that they will not be deceived. Many firms know that our person believes in paper more than himself. So they have all the necessary certificates and certificates. It happens, and fake. So the main indicator of quality is the reputation of the company. If her customers have not had any complaints for several years, then everything is fine and paper confirmations can be trusted. By the way, if a company not only sells “wooden products”, but also makes them itself, this is a big plus for it. The client himself can see where, on what equipment and how his order is executed.

– Well, we checked the quality of the wood. How to check the door itself when buying? Suddenly, in a month or two, problems will begin?

– There will be no problems if you know the most important thing about its “internal structure” and how the “correct” wooden front door should look like. By the way, we often ask buyers why they want a wooden door. Most often, the answer is simple: like it, they got used to such doors since childhood! And besides, I will add on my own: they have become durable, by the way, not like the former, Soviet.

1 – sealing gasket
2 – 180 ° wide-angle eye
3 – vertical reinforcing profiles “Omega”
4 – internal insulation
5 – upper closing rod
6 – steel with galvanized zinc coating
7 – automatic movable sill seal
8 – safety stopper
9 – cylinder lock
10 – patented deflection block “ARTIGLIO”
11 – adjustable hinges
12 – fixed anti-removable thorns
13 – stainless steel casing
14 – adjusting screw of the threshold seal
15 – group of non-return drive
16 – floor receiving bushing

– I understood: today a wooden door can be made no less reliable than a steel one.

– With only one proviso: alas, a wooden door, even the most durable, can still be set on fire! But steel can be blown up! But that’s how fate will dispose … Yes, and so, a solid wooden door is a door made of solid wood.

– That is, from a single piece of wood?

– But no. When it comes to a high-quality entrance wooden door made according to modern technology, then an array is understood as glued pieces of wood of the same species.

– And what’s the point then? I have always believed that the most reliable door is made of a single piece of wood..

– This is a common delusion. The door, of course, can be made of solid pieces, but, I assure you, it will soon “lead” (that is, it will deform and crack from temperature and humidity changes). And the glued door is assembled so that the bars (if they begin to deform) would “pull” the door, not allowing the structure itself to bend. A small serrated seam remains at the place where the web is glued (experts call it a “serrated microthorn”). Such a glued joint is made on machines, and it is much more difficult to break it than a uniform board..

– You asked to be reminded of the bitches. I remind you. In the eyes of an amateur, they look beautiful…

– For the front door, of course, the most important thing is strength. Therefore, if you see that the door leaf is all in knots, hints and in resin pockets, there is only one piece of advice: do not look at it at all! Such a door will not last long. The knots crack and fall out, and resin comes out of the resin pockets over time. At the same time, the door loses both beauty and strength..

At a decent firm, all these “misfortunes” are cut out. If the manufacturer proves to the customer that the knots in the door are left for beauty, that they are specially processed and not dangerous, you should know: you are being deceived. And a reputable manufacturer will not give you a 100% guarantee of durability. And for beauty…. Here is the French firm “Roziere” (Roziere) offers models “antique”. Their doors are specially treated in such a way that they look “rough-cut”: cracks and potholes are visible on them. But this is a “decoration” for beauty and lovers of “antiquity”. It seems as if the door was brought from a medieval castle. For beauty and quality, you will be charged more than $ 1,500.

By the way, about the prices. It is almost impossible to name even the average price. It depends on the type of wood, door size, model, shipping cost, accessories. By the most approximate calculations, we mean the price of the basic single-leaf model (height about 2 m, width no more than 1 m, door leaf thickness 50 mm).

But in any case, a solid wood door is more expensive (but also more durable) than, for example, a veneered door.

The core of a veneered wooden entrance door consists of chipboard or MDF, and on the outside there is a layer (about 0.5 – 1 mm) of real wood. In another way, this layer is also called plywood (aka veneer).

– So, maybe it’s better not to mess with such a door from sin?..

– Well, why not? In terms of strength, MDF is not inferior to wood. In addition, MDF, unlike wood, practically does not deform.

– Or maybe then, in order to save money, order the door itself from solid wood, and the box from MDF?

– I do not advise. The door frame must be of the same material as the door itself. Otherwise, either the hinges will pop out (if the door is heavier than the base that holds it), or it will jam or, conversely, over time, cracks will appear.

Move on. The assembled door structure (door + frame) can be treated with fire-fighting or antifungal agents at your request. And varnish. I remind you that the varnish must be required for outdoor work, so that later it does not burst from the cold. If the door is painted, the wood grain should still show through (wood pattern). After all, texture is the main decoration of a wooden door. Each breed has its own texture.

– I would still choose oak. More reliable somehow, after all, for centuries they have made…

– Well, for centuries they have made from other breeds: pine, cherry, maple, even birch – all are good in their own way. This is just a matter of taste and desire of the client. Each wooden door can be made so as to maximally insure against “foreign” intrusion.

Wood against steel, or a Way out is found

– You can put the same security systems (in other words, locks) on a wooden door as on a metal one. For example, do not be greedy and embed a lock like “Kale” (Kale, Turkey), “Multilok” (Mul-t-lock, Israel), “Class” (Russia), etc. Or you can put a whole locking system, when with one turn of the key, the lock tongues are released in three directions at once (sideways, up, down). Particularly cautious people use electronic locking devices. You can even put anti-removable hinges, an internal latch, a video surveillance system, etc..

In short, a wooden door can be equipped with any locks, just like a metal one. Alas, no locks will help against plastic explosives, and the thief works quietly and therefore he doesn’t care which door to open the lock. But a modern wooden front door will completely (and reliably) protect from a bully, a violent neighbor and street punks.

Although there is one more radical means of protection: you can order a combined version, when the door is wooden on the outside and metal on the inside. And even top-notch soundproofing can be ordered. But such services are more expensive, and I advise you to negotiate all this in advance by ordering a wooden entrance door. Upholstery (color and type of veneer) can also be ordered on request, from various types of wood. For example, the upholstery made of sapel (mahogany)! The cost of such a combined door of domestic production ranges from 1000 to 2000 US dollars, but the quality is not inferior to imported.

– Yes, but what about if suddenly a fire?

– Well, during a fire, a steel door can jam: the metal expands and deforms when heated. The same problems can arise if you have a combined entrance door (wood-metal). But the Italian group “Dierre” (Dierre) thought out a variant especially for such cases. (Its products, as well as the products of the Italian company Garofoli, are distributed in Russia by the Itakom company.) So, they have a metal door hidden under the upholstery made of natural wood. It is the door, not the frame or sheet of metal, as in the doors of most other companies.

Moreover, the thickness of the metal in these Italian doors is at least 2 mm. Italians guarantee that such a door will not warp in the event of a fire. At least a couple of hours there won’t be any problems. During this time, let’s hope the firefighters will come and rescue you. By the way, the doors of their subsidiary company “Tredi” are considered to be one of the best fire doors “Dier”.

In addition, the doors are equipped with internal heat-insulating and sound-absorbing panels. Sound insulation reaches an average of 36 decibels. Simply put, you won’t hear a drunken brawl on the stairs, even in the silence of the night. And, of course, the kit includes a peephole, a latch, a chain (or safety stopper) and anti-removable pins.

And such doors also have a rare feature – a movable threshold seal. This miracle of technology looks like this. It is attached to the bottom end of the door. When the door is closed, the seal rests on the floor, stopping drafts and dust. As soon as you open the door, the seal automatically retracts into the door. beauty!

Yes, here’s another thing! Each Dier door has a Mia block. I will explain now what this means. This block allows you to change keys without changing the entire lock. Let’s say you lost your keys, or, God forbid, they were stolen from you – you just replace the old block and the old keys with new ones. Very convenient and hassle free!

The company has different options for locks: from basic models with a cylinder and a double bit to electronic – with a billion combinations or mechanical – with a perforated card. Reinforced door with an electronic lock and an electric drive is equipped with the Eletra system. Moreover, it is possible to order more than 200 models of metal and wooden doors with various wood upholstery from the Itakom firm. Including on an individual project.

– Yes, by the way, and how much I have to wait for all this pleasure?

– Let’s count. Together with the measurement, the choice of accessories and the desired design, a massive wooden door is made to order for at least 20 days. Time is spent on pressing, drying and other waiting outside the master’s control. For a combined door, the term is shorter – after all, it is easier to cover an iron base with wood than to work with an array. If the company offers ready-made exhibits, then the time is mainly spent on transportation. If the door is manufactured abroad, you will have to wait for the arrival of the batch.

– And if I choose a ready-made model and ask to fit it to my size…

– I do not advise. Some firms do offer ready-made models. Such doors look good on the exhibition stand. But when such a door begins to be “made to fit”, it, as a rule, loses its decent appearance. So you better order and wait.

Let’s better tell you about the accessories! Because there are a great many of them. If the door is heavy (more than 50 kg), then the hinges need strong and more than two in number. Metal doors upholstered with veneer (weighing more than 100 kg) are completed with a bearing. The bearing is attached to the door itself from the side of the keyhole (to the very top), and a nest is arranged under it in the door frame at the same level. The bearing will allow the door to close freely even with a slight draft of the house. The price for such a door is 1500-2000 US dollars.

Remember to choose the right handle. The handle for the front door should be “tug-resistant”. It is better that the metal handle is insulated – then hands will not freeze in winter (for enemies, you can think of other options: for example, with removable insulation – a joke). Some firms offer to use handles with a wooden insert. Not a bad option too. But they will also deliver what you bring them – even a handmade pen. Personally, I like polished brass pens, today there are many of them on sale from various manufacturers..

And if you want to reliably protect your house from drafts, street dust and noise, install a special gasket in the door frame with an internal stiffener and a special holder along the entire length of the gasket. Such a holder fits into a special groove in the door frame.

– Got it. Yes, but there is already a peephole in such a door or you need to buy it separately?

– Most often the peephole is already installed, and the so-called “fisheye” allows you to see the “surroundings” quite well. Yes, if the door is heavy, do not forget about the “closer” – it will allow the door to close on its own.

– They say that a wooden door, like a woman, loves affection…

– Yes. A wooden front door must be loved and cared for. If she goes directly to the street, it would be nice to make a visor that protects her from the sun and rain. It is good if the house has an electronic microclimate system that maintains the desired level of moisture and temperature – in such conditions, wood products will retain their original appearance for a long time. By the way, reputable companies guarantee the correct operation of their products from 10 to 15 years.

And the last tip. Remember: the darker the paint used to paint the door, the longer the wood will last.

Now I understand everything. We believe: the cheapest, domestic, but high-quality solid wood door will cost me about $ 1,000. For the same money I can buy the same French MDF. If I order with some “bells and whistles” – it will be more expensive. I can go pay?

Well, if you have already decided what exactly you decided to order, why not?

On that and parted. We do not know what our hero chose, but after a while the entrance to his apartment was guarded by a reliable stronghold – a new entrance wooden door. We heard that it cost him $ 2,000. Now Dima, as in the old days, sleeps sweetly and eats deliciously. And when he leaves the house, be sure to gently, like a young mistress, stroking the smooth warm wooden “body” without knots and hints.

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