Commercial Wood Doors

A general overview of aesthetic features of commercial wood doors

Surfaces and Finishes:

Commercial solid core wood doors are available in wide range of surfaces and finishes. Wood veneers are available in several different grades, cuts and colors. Selecting the correct options are critical in both the design and cost of a project. Below is a basic overview of what you should consider when specifying commercial / architectural wood doors.

Paint Grade Surfaces:

  • (HDF) High density fiberboard – HDF doors offer a low cost, pre-primed smooth surface for field painting. HDF is recommended only for interior use in low moisture applications.
  • (MDO) Medium density overlay – MDO doors offer an equally smooth paintable surface as the HDF wood doors, but are more durable and more resistant to moisture. Often used in roadside signage, MDO is an engineered wood product with an impregnated resin coating.
  • Paint Grade Birch or Oak – Paint grade oak and birch doors are typically constructed from grade A/B wood veneer with grain imperfections that make it a less suitable door for staining. Paint grade oak and birch doors have a natural wood texture and porous grain that is preferred by many painters and designers.

Stain Grade Wood Types

  • (RNB) Rotary Natural Birch – Rotary cut natural birch offers a natural wood look that may contain natural color variations between the sections of heartwood and sapwood.
  • (RWB) Rotary White Birch – Rotary white birch is more consistent in color than a natural birch door. White birch is often used on doors that will be stained a lighter color where a consistent color is preferred.
  • (PSRO) Plain Sliced Red Oak – Plain sliced red oak has a cathedral like grain pattern with a slightly red hue.
  • (PSWO) Plain Sliced White Oak – Plain sliced white oak has a similar grain to red oak, but is lighter in color. White oak doors are typically used with a clear coat or light colored stain.
  • (PSWM) Plain Sliced White Maple – Plain sliced maple doors have a soft and gentle grain and can be used with any stain color ranging from clear to very dark.
  • (PSC) Plain Sliced Cherry – Plain sliced cherry veneer includes a cherry color and strong grains.
  • (PSAM) Plain Sliced African Mahogany – Plain sliced African mahogany doors include a dark brown wood tone with a ribbon grain.
  • Custom Wood Types – USA Fire Door can provide almost any wood species available in the United States. Contact your USA Fire Door account manager for more details.

Stain Grade Surfaces:

When selecting wood veneers it is important to understand the different ways that a tree can be cut and how the veneer sections will be matched or aligned with one another. How the wood is originally sliced from a log and how the veneer sections are matched with one another will determine the uniformity and grain pattern of the door.

Wood Cuts:

  • Rotary Cut – Rotary cut is the most commonly chosen option for most wood species. Rotary cut veneers are produced by spinning the log as a blade peels off a continuous sheet of veneer. Rotary cut lumber has unique and random grain patterns.
  • Plain Sliced or Flat Cut – Plain sliced wood veneers are cut parallel to the growth rings in a logand are re-assembled with a very gradual transition from one piece to the next. Plain sliced oak, maple or cherry doors often resemble a look of multiple boards with a typical arched pattern in the grain.
  • Quarter Sliced – Quarter sliced veneer has a long and straight grain. This veneer is manufactured by cutting a log into quarters and slicing the veneer perpendicular to the growth rings.
  • Rift Cut – The production of rift cut grains are similar to that of plain slicing but the log is tilted to a slight angle. Rift cutting is typically only done to red oak or white oak. Rift cut oak doors have an accentuated vertical grain with very little difference from one piece of veneer to the next.

Veneer Matching

Veneer matching refers to how each section of veneer is positioned in relation to its adjacent sections.

  • Book Match – Book matching is the most commonly used veneer matching in the commercial door industry. Book matched veneer is designed so the grain is mirrored in each adjacent section for a clean and continuous grain pattern.
  • Slip Match – Slip matching is typically utilized with rift cut and quarter sliced veneers. Sections of veneer are placed consecutively to provide a consistent and repetitive grain pattern.
  • Random Match – Grain is intentionally mismatched to product a random and rustic pattern.

Assembly Matching

Assembly matching defines the direction of the grain pattern as it is placed on the door.

  • Running Match – Running match is the most frequent layout for commercial doors. And consists of veneer pieces of unequal width, running across the door.
  • Balance Match – Balance match is more symmetrical in appearance when being compared to running match. Each veneer section is combined and then aligned symmetrically across the face of the door before being trimmed. Balance match is often higher in cost due to the excessive waste it creates.
  • Center Balance Matched – Center balanced match is similar to balance match except the door face is assembled from an even number of veneer sections with the veneer joint in the middle.
  • Pair Match – Pair matching continues the grain of one door onto the face of another. Pair matching is intended for use on double door openings.
  • Set Match – Set matching is similar to pair matched doors, however the grain is meant to be uniform for multiple openings within the same area of a building.

Plastic Laminate Doors

Plastic laminate doors are becoming more and more popular in the commercial building industry. Plastic laminate offers limitless design capability in solid colors, textures, abstracts and woodgrains. Plastic laminate is more durable, easy to clean and oftentimes outlast their wood veneer door counterparts in high traffic applications. USA Fire Door provides commercial doors with plastic laminate faces from nearly all US manufacturers. Contact your account manager for more details.