Door Durability: What Door and Hardware Are Best?
Consider your key concerns when choosing the right material and hardware for your doors. How much traffic do the doors need to be able to withstand? What kind of climate will they be in — do they need to provide powerful insulation or sound-proofing?
If your main priority is aesthetics, you can choose a door with an affordable core and customizable veneer. The look of the door will depend on the veneer type, cut and match you choose rather than the interior composition of the door. However, if durability is more important than aesthetics, you may choose a door of solid material. You should also choose the right door hardware for your needs.
Door Material: What is the Strongest Type of Door?
Various interior door materials have different levels of durability. An economic choice is a door with a low-cost core, covered in your choice of veneer. For more demanding applications, you may want to opt for a solid wood door, laminate or metal. Learn about the most durable door materials available.
When it comes to durability, a good option is a door with small wooden blocks stacked and glued together, covered with veneer. The downside to these doors is that different parts and pieces might absorb moisture at different rates. This can cause the door to swell, come apart or rot. In a low humidity environment, this would not be a concern — so these doors make for an economic interior option.
If you are looking for a lightweight, easy-to-install door, one of these doors might be right for you. They have one of the lowest pounds-per-square-feet ratios available. Their lightweight makes them accessible, as well as easy to use and transport.
You will find improved durability with a composite core door. A structural composite lumber (SCL) door contains strands of wood connected with laminate — this combination of material increases strength. Composite doors tend to last longer than "diet" core doors, especially in demanding settings. The best wood for an interior door is actually a composite of wood and other material.
These doors are also covered in veneer, which allows for customization of appearance and other characteristics. A veneer is a thin piece of wood adhered to the core of a door. When you look at the door, the veneer is what you see. A door with a composite core and veneer conserve wood, which is better for both the environment and your wallet.
Veneers allow for a lot of customization, as you can choose from birch, oak, bamboo, mahogany, maple, cherry and other wood types. You can also choose the cut and the match to fit your personal preferences.
What is the best material for doors? The most durable doors are solid the whole way through, with no core and veneer. Though some prefer the appearance of wood, wood is susceptible to warping, bending and bowing, especially outside. However, solid wood doors tend to be more costly. For conditions of high-traffic or exterior placements, a plastic laminate door tends to be a stronger choice. With their composite core, these doors are similar to veneer doors but are covered in durable plastic rather than wood. These are a popular option because they are more durable than wood doors and you can customize the appearance to mimic wood if you choose.
Another highly durable choice is a metal door. Metal doors and frames are the most secure option, which will help protect you from break-ins, fires and natural disasters. They resist damage, decreasing maintenance costs. Additionally, their hollow core provides excellent sound-proofing and insulation, saving you heating and cooling costs. The only downside to a metal door is aesthetic — you may prefer the look of wood. However, if you are concerned about how long wooden doors last, you may opt for a metal door.
When choosing doors, you may tend to overlook the hardware, but hardware has just as much impact on the durability of a door as the material. Remember to consider the durability of each of these pieces of door hardware:
Hinges or pivots
Plenty of good options are available for your door hardware. For a low-traffic door, think about these hardware choices:
Hinges or pivots: The number of different door hinges or pivots available may surprise you. For small rooms, a flush hinge is a popular choice. A flush hinge is small and lightweight, and you can install it without cutting a recess into the door itself. For these reasons, you often find them on cabinet doors.
Locks: A standard lock type is the cylinder lock. Your key activates spring-loaded pins as it enters the cylinder, and only a precise key-shape will open the lock.
Door closers: A surface-mounted closer is a popular choice and is ideal for low to medium traffic applications. They mount directly onto the door frame, which makes them accessible for maintenance.
If you need a little more durability, you may opt for some of these hardware elements:
Hinges or pivots: The most common type of door hinge is a butt hinge — one leaf stays fixed in place while the other moves along with the door. These are a perfectly durable option.
Locks: A more secure type of lock is a deadbolt. Unlike a spring bolt, a deadbolt will only open when you rotate the correct key.
Door closers: An overhead concealed closer is a good choice for medium traffic doors. A concealed closer is also a good option for a more aesthetically pleasing entranceway. Door closing arms that extend beyond the door can take up a lot of space and change the look of a door, so concealed closers are a popular alternative.
High-traffic or heavy doors require the most durable pieces of hardware. Learn about these highly durable door hardware choices:
Hinges or pivots: The most durable type of hinge is the ball-bearing hinge, which is designed for minimal friction and wear. While hinges are more common, pivots tend to be better for heavy doors.
Locks: If security is a top priority, choose a mortise lock. These locks are more complicated and harder to break into — they are popular for high-security settings. If deterring burglars or intruders is the main objective of your locking system, a mortise lock is an ideal choice. The lock fits into the actual door with a precision cut.
Door closers: The most durable door closer option is floor-mounted, which can withstand heavy doors and high traffic. Since they are concealed in the floor, they are also a great choice for aesthetic purposes.
Choose Durable Commercial Doors With DoorStop
With DoorStop, you can customize every element of the doors you purchase — the material, the core, the veneer and the hardware. Choose a combination of door material and hardware pieces that meet your needs. If strength and durability are top priorities, you may decide to go with a metal or laminate door. When it comes to hardware elements, the most durable combination would include ball-bearing hinges, a mortise locking system and a floor-mounted closer.
The door material and hardware elements you choose should depend on your needs — the level of traffic the door needs to withstand, the climate where it will be located and the needed level of security. To learn more about durable commercial door options, contact DoorStop today.