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3 Popular Wood Types for a New Garage Door

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

When replacing a garage door it is important to understand the material choices available. Modern garage doors come in a variety of wood and metal types suitable for various uses, climates, and appearances. If you are looking at a standard residential door, chances are you will focus on wood. Metal is usually reserved for commercial doors, large barns, warehouses, and so forth. Wood, however, is great for home use. It is versatile, allowing you to customize colors, stains, and styles in ways that metal does not. Wood also insulates very well, making the door more efficient. Garage doors can come in many wood types, but for most homeowners looking for a replacement or upgrade there are three popular ones to consider.

1. Plywood

Plywood is the cheapest and most versatile garage door wood type widely available. No matter the size of the door, plywood can be used and at minimal cost. This is because a plywood garage door is rarely solid wood. Instead, plywood is secured over a skeletal frame to create an outer shell. The low weight and high strength of plywood allow this to happen without lessening the door’s durability. It also contributes to the lower cost. This construction method allows for plenty of customization, too. Typically, plywood is secured to the frame in panels rather than a single large piece. These individual panels can be a different shape, size, or thickness in order to create designs or other cosmetic features.

2. Douglas fir

Douglas fir can be found in many garage doors, but there is a good chance you do not always see it. This stiff, dense wood is often used to build the skeletal frame that other woods are installed over. Douglas fir is cheaper and lighter than metal but durable enough to resist warping or buckling, making it perfect for the framing of an affordable garage door. However, that is not the only use for this attractive softwood.

Douglas fir can be just as useful as the outer paneling of a garage door. It is certainly durable enough, and with the right finish, the look can be striking. Properly cut panels of Douglas fir feature very visible grain lines. With the right treatment and stain this grain will stand out remarkably well, producing a high-end appearance at a price point reserved for far less attractive construction-grade wood types.

3. Mahogany

Mahogany is the cream of the crop when it comes to high-end wooden garage doors. It is one of the most expensive wood types, but is also one of the most durable and attractive. Mahogany is a hardwood, making it extremely heavy and strong. Its durability makes it a common choice for expensive furniture. As a garage door, it is equally durable. Because of mahogany’s weight, most doors will only use it in panels to cover a skeletal frame made of a lighter wood like Douglas fir.

The look you get with a well-treated piece of mahogany is where the popularity comes from. Like granite, mahogany comes in a wide array of options. There are various colors to choose from, and within those color choices are numerous grain types and patterns. Each piece is slightly different. They will all react differently to paint and stain. It makes for a beautiful, long-lasting, and unique garage door. If money is no option, opt for mahogany. Otherwise, there is plenty to love about cheaper, but equally useful, wood types.


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