Choosing a veneered door: what to look for

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In this Article: Veneered Door Technology hollow and solid canvas; types of veneer and methods of obtaining it; pros and cons of different types of veneer; positive and negative characteristics of veneered doors; criteria for choosing a veneered door.

Choosing a veneered door: what to look for

Interior doors are an obligatory attribute of any home; they are designed to delimit space, including private and public. It would seem that the design of modern doors and the variety of materials from which they are made allow you to realize any whim of the household, however, glass and metal doors characteristic of modern and high-tech styles are popular only in offices. And in private houses and apartments, natural wood remains popular, the main disadvantage of which is the high price. To equip internal doorways with externally wooden sashes and not incur excessive costs, veneered doors will allow.

Veneered door production technology

Interior veneered doors are produced in two versions – a hollow leaf (flat, with molded panels or paneled) in a solid wood frame and a solid door leaf made of glued wood in a wooden frame.

The creation of a hollow door leaf begins with the construction of a frame made of pine timber (usually with a section of 30×33 mm), the humidity of which is not higher than 8%, which avoids putrefactive processes, cracks and curvatures of the frame during door operation. If a double-glazed window is inserted into the door leaf, then an additional frame will be required, exposed along the perimeter of the glazing, its horizontal racks are attached with a groove connection to the main (external) frame.

The finished frame on one side of the future sash is pasted over with a 4 mm MDF panel, then a honeycomb filler made of cardboard or, in some models, extruded polystyrene foam plates is placed in the cavity between the frame ribs, after filling the cavity is sealed with a second MDF panel.

Choosing a veneered door: what to look for

Before veneering the finished door leaf surfaces with veneer, it is necessary to prepare the finishing material. The fact is that the width of natural veneer strips rarely exceeds 300 mm and it is required to form sheets from them, the width of which is slightly larger than the width of the door leaf. The veneer is sorted by texture and color so that adjacent strips mirror each other – every second strip is turned 180 ° for this. The strips collected in this way are placed in a special machine where they are glued together – an adhesive tape (thread) is inserted into the line of a straight or zigzag seam and veneer strips are glued together in a mustache or overlapping.

Choosing a veneered door: what to look for

At the end of this operation, the formed veneer sheets are cleaned along the seam line from excess glue and turned according to the door leaf template..

Now the surfaces of the assembled door leaf are glued (veneered) with prepared sheets of natural veneer, the thickness of which is 1-2 mm. Glue is applied to both sides of the sash, veneer sheets are laid and the sash is placed in a hot press, which tightly presses the veneer to the MDF base and accelerates the curing of the adhesive layer. Then the sash is placed in an end press, after having glued the veneer along the perimeter of the sash ends. The veneered sash of the future interior door undergoes grinding of the surfaces until they become perfectly smooth, after which its surfaces are covered with two layers of colorless two-component varnish. Coating with varnish allows you to enhance the decorative properties of the veneer layer (color and texture), as well as to increase the protection of the door leaf from moisture penetration.

The solid leaf of the door leaf is assembled from pine beams, tightly fitted and glued together into a shield by hot pressing. The finished sash base is subjected to profile milling and grinding, then pasted over with MDF panels, then with veneer sheets similar to hollow sashes – these and subsequent stages of their production coincide.

Hollow door leaves, lined with natural veneer, weigh much less than those made of glued wood, which makes it possible to use less powerful hinges and door frame elements for hanging them, they are relatively cheap – about 3,500 rubles. behind the door leaf (without box). The disadvantage of veneered hollow doors is the insufficient stiffness of the leaf of the sash – an accidental blow can cause a hole, which is almost impossible to close without damaging the appearance of the door.

Compared to hollow doors, veneered doors with a laminated veneer base are extremely difficult to punch through; it will only be possible to scratch the veneer finish. Due to their significant weight, sashes with a frame made of glued solid wood must be hung on a reinforced frame using particularly durable fittings. The cost of veneered doors with a solid glued frame is about 6,000 rubles. behind the door leaf – they are more expensive than hollow ones, since they are more difficult to manufacture.

Choosing a veneered door: what to look for

In addition to veneered interior doors, there are metal entrance doors, also finished with natural veneer. First, MDF panels are attached to the leaf of a metal door using self-tapping screws, then veneer sheets are glued to them. A rational choice would be a metal door, the inside (facing the inside of the house) of which is finished with natural veneer, and the outside with a plastic or MDF panel, since replacing such a panel is much easier than changing the veneer finish..

There are three ways of finishing the door surface with veneer: cold veneering, hot and membrane-vacuum. The simplest technology is cold veneering – the veneer is glued to surfaces under a press. Hot pressing involves the use of a hot press and special adhesives, and its results exceed the characteristics of cold veneering. Membrane-vacuum veneering method allows finishing both flat surfaces and those with complex relief with natural veneer, and therefore is the most effective among others.

Veneer types

Sliced, sawn and peeled veneer are distinguished by the method of production. By planing a wooden beam on special machines, veneers are obtained from valuable wood species (walnut, Karelian birch, mahogany, acacia, etc.) with a particularly beautiful texture, 0.2-5 mm thick. Sawed veneer, 1-10 mm thick, is obtained by sawing softwood, it is expensive and is used mainly in the creation of musical instruments. Peeling – cutting in a spiral from the wood chips 0.1-10 mm thick – produces the cheapest peeled veneer, for which oak, birch, alder and pine wood is used.

Choosing a veneered door: what to look for

The veneer obtained by one of the methods described above is called natural, because during its production, the texture of the wood remains unchanged and does not undergo any modification. Two other types of veneer – fine-line and multi-veneer – undergo special processing in order to improve the decorative characteristics.

Fine-line veneer is made from natural wood of low-value species – trees that grow rapidly (most often poplars). Fine-line veneer technology allows creating a special texture and colors that do not coincide with any of the known wood species. Fine-line veneer production takes place in several stages: peeling and cutting of the obtained sheets to size; drying and sorting by color; through painting by immersion in a vat of paint; gluing veneer sheets with identical fiber direction into blocks under pressure; planing the resulting block to obtain a veneer of a certain texture. Advantages of fine-line veneer – a given pattern, complete absence of defects in the form of knots, etc. Cons – the reconstructed veneer turns out to be brittle and excessively porous, which increases the consumption of adhesive when placed on the door leaf.

Choosing a veneered door: what to look for

Reconstruction of a multi-veneer is carried out according to a method generally similar to the technology of fine-line veneer production, however, the blocks are assembled so that the final texture of the pattern has a geometric shape. Accordingly, the positive and negative characteristics of multi-veneer are the same as those of fine-line veneer..

Features of veneered doors

The main advantage of door leaves finished with natural veneer is the natural beauty of wood at a relatively low price. a sash made of a natural array of valuable species will cost several times more. In addition, the positive characteristics of veneered doors include:

  • uniqueness of texture, variety of colors;
  • resistance to temperature extremes and high humidity in rooms;
  • maintainability for minor surface damage;
  • low sound and heat transfer;
  • environmental safety for households.

There are few disadvantages of veneered doors:

  • Difficulty finding multiple doors with a similar texture
  • the surface darkens with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

The operational characteristics of veneered doors largely depend on the professionalism of a particular manufacturer, on how accurately the technological processes were followed and the materials of which production were used during assembly.

How to choose a veneered door?

Veneered doors are produced by many companies, whose capacities are different – the criterion of “long-term activity” may not work, since young companies, whose workshops are equipped with modern equipment produced by the EU, technically surpass manufacturers with a “name”, but with outdated equipment and technologies. The usual choice “for the price” also does not work – cheaper products may turn out to be of much better quality than expensive analogues. In addition, the buyer may try to sell doors finished with artificial veneer (eco-veneer, laminate), which at first glance is difficult to distinguish from natural.

Choosing a veneered door: what to look for

The choice of a door is more correct to build on a visual inspection of the proposed door leaf models:

  • appreciate the texture and pattern of veneered surfaces. If the texture is repeated, especially on two or more doors, then they are finished with artificial veneer. There cannot be a complete coincidence of texture for two doors trimmed with natural veneer of the same type of wood;
  • check the quality of the veneer in the end sections of the door leaf. If the veneer, slightly picked up by a fingernail, easily lags behind the base, the door is of poor quality;
  • veneered surfaces should not contain any cracks or cavities in their structure;
  • we check the quality of varnishing – the pores on the veneer surface should not protrude from under the varnish, when viewed under a stream of light, the varnish layer should be uniform over the entire sash area, i.e. no stains are allowed;
  • the door leaf should not emit a noticeable “chemical” smell. Don’t listen to sellers’ assurances that “the smell will pass soon”.

Before paying for a door leaf you like, be sure to find out if its price includes a door frame, fittings (if so, what quality and with what guarantees), delivery and installation.

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