Our doors are the gateways to our homes. They’re the threshold that all must cross before entering the intimate space where we live. Doors are the first thing people see upon arriving at a home, and the last thing they see when they leave. A great door fulfils both aesthetic and pragmatic criteria, particularly in the UK and Ireland, where the notoriously tempestuous weather threatens to wreak havoc on many a delicately arranged home. Even in pre-Roman Britain, when homes were made from mud, sticks, and clay, doorways were of enormous cultural importance, and this continues to this day.
While the ancient Britons and the Romans who succeeded them made their doors from the hardwoods and softwood that once dominated the landscape in vast, dense forests, modern technology allows for doors made from various metals and even synthetic materials, leaving today’s consumer with an unprecedented range of options available when it comes to the humble door.
One thing that many consumers forget to consider is the difference between internal and external doors. Internal doors don’t need to be durable in the same way as external doors, as they’re not tasked with keeping the elements out of your home. Accordingly, oak and walnut are very popular for internal doors, as these attractive, malleable woods won’t have their allure tarnished by exposure to cranky British and Irish weather, and they can be varnished and polished with relative ease to bring out their most attractive features.
If you’re buying doors for your home online, make sure to use a leading retailer that has numerous options for internal doors, with a wide range of woods available in a multitude of designs. You want your home to have the doors it deserves, whether it’s a door with utilitarian panels or one with a more aesthetically intricate glass inlay, perhaps with a resin swirl to give your doorways a unique, distinctive character.
External thresholds require different considerations compared to internal doorways. For example, external doors from Doorstore, an online retailer, are built from internationally imported woods known for their durability. Mahogany, which is a heavy, dark wood, is ideal for external doors, as its heft keeps the elements out, and it responds particularly well to a variety of paints and finishes. For door traditionalists, mahogany is actually a great resonant wood ideal for door knockers. That’s because mahogany, when tapped, has a dark, bass-heavy sound that travels large distances without compromising much in volume. Maple and other light, hard woods, have a sound heavier in treble when knocked upon, which doesn’t travel or echo as well as mahogany. Guitar and other musical instrument manufacturers still use mahogany as a top-tier tonewood precisely for this reason, in addition to mahogany’s notorious durability.
If you’re looking for a more modern touch, great door retailers, particularly those who operate online, also offer composite doors, made from a combination of woods and glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), to offer the best in weather endurance. GRP has the added bonus of coming in virtually any conceivable colour, so you can decorate your home exactly as you see fit.