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Why Does Wood Warp?

If you have noticed your wood door changing shape over time, this is due to warping. The root cause of wood warping is moisture. Moisture in the wood dries out unevenly, causing the wood to also shift unevenly.

Why Does Wood Warp

Wood warps in a few different ways. Some common types of wood warping are:

  • Crook: Occurs along the length of the edge of the board

  • Bow: Occurs along the length of the face of the board

  • Kink: Occurs along the width of the lumber

  • Twist: Happens when the corners shift, making the board unable to lay flat

  • Cup: Happens when the width edges do not align with the center of the face

How to Prevent Wood From Warping

Common ways wood warps arise from the wood's storage conditions. These causes can include uneven finishing, changes in humidity, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays and high temperatures mixed with thinly cut wood. 

To prevent wood warping, ensure your stored wood is:

  • In a well-ventilated area.

  • In a cool, dry location.

  • Not exposed to direct sunlight.

  • Lying flat and slightly off the ground to prevent water damage.

Additional storage tips are to place weights on wood boards to keep them straight and put stickers — 1-by-1-inch pieces of wood — between the boards to allow for better ventilation.

Need a New Interior Wooden Door?

Can You Fix Warped Wood?

No — there is no reliable, foolproof method to fix a warped piece of wood and restore it to its former sturdiness. In general, if you are attempting to address warped wood, the wood needs to be wet down and then dried while in a flat position.

This technique can be achieved with irons and steam machines, but the process is complex and does not guarantee long-lasting, successful results.

What Type of Wood Is Best to Prevent Warping?

Choose durable wood to avoid malformations. The most durable wood:

  • Is stable under changing humidity, such as fir or pine.

  • Is dense, such as cedar.

  • Has a straight grain pattern, such as redwood.

The most stable doors are solid the whole way through without a core and veneer. However, solid wood doors are usually more expensive and still do not guarantee you will entirely avoid warping.

We recommend a few other options:

  • Plastic laminate doors: Plastic laminate doors have a composite core and are covered in durable plastic instead of a veneer. Plus, you can still achieve a wood look through customization.

  • Metal doors: Metal doors have many benefits. They can help protect an interior from fires and break-ins, and their hollow core allows for great insulation and soundproofing. Metal doors are the most secure, durable and cost-effective option for many applications.

Select Durable Commercial Door

Select a Durable Commercial Door

For a more in-depth guide on wood strength, we recommend reading our article on door durability. Our experts at DoorStop can assist you in choosing materials for custom doors based on your clients' unique needs.

Contact us today to learn more about durable commercial door options. With over 80 years of commercial door distribution experience, we can help you every step of the way.

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