[caption id="attachment_481" align="alignright" width="216"] A cross section of an engineered door showing the veneer and construction[/caption]
Our customers often ask if our doors are constructed using solid pieces of wood. This question occurs as some customers see our door descriptions referring to ‘solid panels’; this term usually refers to the design style of the door having a panel construction opposed to a flush design or a glazed panel.
Historically, doors were made using solid pieces of timber and some companies do make bespoke doors using this method. Generally manufactured doors will state that they are engineered, although parts of the door may have some solid timber components along with the manufactured timber sections.
A manufactured door is not necessarily inferior to a solid timber door, its just different, economically less challenging and usually less likely to warp and twist due to humidity variations. An engineered door will usually have a timber, veneered face over a manufactured construction. This method allows for the same style to be made using a variety of timbers. The main advantage of using wood veneers over an engineered door core is to give the best grain appearance, consistency of appearance and additional environmental benefits as less specialist timber is needed as recycled mixed timbers are used for the cores.
So what is a veneer? It is a thin slice of real wood usually from 0.6mm up to 5mm in thickness. This is typically glued to the core panel, which can be a mixture of other timbers or board. Real timber veneers are used in many products from doors, panelling and furniture to smaller items such as board games, musical instruments and jewellery boxes.
A real timber veneer is acquired by peeling the trunk of a tree or a flitch, which are large rectangular blocks of wood cut from the trunk, the saw blade thickness is know as a saw kerf. The appearance of the veneer is dependant on the grain and figurative nature of the wood and the angle from which it is sliced through the tree’s growth rings. The slices of veneer are always kept in order as they are cut from the log and sold as a set so the manufacturer using them can match up veneers and maintain consistency. The veneer making companies use the best quality and the most figurative timbers in order to gain the best looking veneers. This process is costly in terms of materials, as a piece of timber with an unsightly imperfection cannot be used.
What Patterns are created for doors when using veneers? The way the wood veneers are laid up creates a further decorative pattern. You may notice some of these terms on the doors supplied by Doorsan.
Book matched: when the veneers are opened from the flitch as the pages of a book so they create a mirror image.
Radial matched: where the veneer has been cut into wedged shaped pieces and joined together.
Slip matched: where the pieces are joined together in order as they came from the flitch.
Diamond matched: a pattern is formed in a diamond shape.
I hope this information is helpful to you and remember from an ecological viewpoint, using wood has the least impact on energy use, water pollution and greenhouse gasses. Apparently 70% less energy is required to use a piece of wood compared with other materials used in construction.