Choosing the right type of wood for your front door is stressful. This guide aims to help you a budget-friendly wooden door without compromising the durability of the wood .
Houses are one of the important assets people need to invests into. Owning a house is somewhat expensive but it’s a good investment overtime especially real estate business have been always growing and never undergo devaluation in the market. Real Estate is most of time, if not always a win-win situation. In the Philippines, housing can be obtained through a government housing insurance like PAG-IBIG payable depending on the number of years of agreement. There are other ways like bank financing, loan or mortgage, rent-to-own, and of course buying it with cold cash.
We are familiar with the proverb, “The eyes are the windows of our soul.” Just like the saying, a great door made of great material emanates a great house inside. Many home owners, especially within the socialite class are meticulous in choosing the right wood for their door. But since the financial capacity of most Filipinos are in the middle or upper middle classes, they tend to choose the inexpensive but durable wood for front doors.
In the United States of America, woods are classified into ten types that are commonly used in doors among the American households, that is according to Bill Esler of Woodworking Network. These are:
- Bamboo (debatable since it is classified as a grass)
- African Cherry
- Douglas Fir
- White Oak
- Red Oak
- Pacific Cherry
- Knotty Woods
However, due to the climate differences and other contributing factors, here in the Philippines, the most common types of woods for the doors you would see are: Melina, Mahogany and Narra. I was able to know these things because I went to many furniture shops in my province. I was asked by my sister for her house, so I thought it would be better to enlighten my readers and share this nugget of information.
1- Melina/Gmelina Wood
Known as Gmelina Arborea, of the Verbenaceae family. A growing forest species that are commonly used in industrial reforestation development due to its ability to grow fast, versatility, easy management, and its physical and mechanical properties. Melina’s great growing environment is in the humid or dry lands. And mostly found in countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, in southern provinces of China and throughout India. Its timber is commonly used in doors, window panels, in furnitures like drawers, wardrobes, cupboards and muqsical instruments. Frames, brush handles, toys, tea chests, plywoods and blackboards.
• 15% of the world’s total area planted with Melina is in Costa Rica, thus, the name ‘everyday timber’ in the country.
• The famous brand Faber Castel used it in their pencils
• The ‘Lion Throne’, one of the eight royal thrones of Myanmar, is carved from Gmelina arborea wood, and it is preserved at the National Museum in Yangon.
See also: To Blog or Not to Blog
2- Mahogany Wood
Known as Swietenia macrophylla, of the family, Meliaceae. Indigenous to America that ranges from Mexico to southern Brazil where the true commercialized species of mahogany is grown. There are also known species of mahogany like the African genera (Khaya), and Entandrophragma, the kohekohe of New Zealand, Toona species of China, Chinaberry (Milea), Pink (Bosse), Guarea of India, Crabwood (Carapa) and Shorea. The Philippine mahogany and Tanguile are included in the species Shorea. Shorea is known under many trade names like Lauan, Lawaan, and Meranti to name a few. The characteristics of mahogany are fine, straight-grained, reddish-brown, free from voids and pockets timber. It is known for its durability, beauty, and color and displays a reddish luster when polished. Primarily used in doors, cabinets, furnitures, boats and musical instruments.
• Mahogany is the national tree of Belize and Dominican Republic.
• Cuban and West India mahogany are the most rare, expensive and desirable species that people pay as much as $28 per board foot compared to the furniture-grade cherry species that only costs $3 per board foot.
• Mahogany was the most planted tree of the National Greening Program in 2010 and 2011.
3- Narra Wood
Known as Pterocarpus indicus, of the family Fabaceae, is full of well-defined clusters of knots. The grain is either interlocked or sometimes wavy. With a natural luster and uneven medium to coarse texture. Red or rose color, with a streak of yellow. It is termite-resistant and rose-scented. Other alternative names are asana, mukwa and padauk. Its timber is sought for its durability and is primarily used in floorings, doors, furnitures, decorative carvings and musical instruments. Narra is native to Asia and Africa.
• Narra is the national tree of the Philippines.
• In the Philippines, you need a permit to cut this type of wood.
• Narra is a leguminous plant capable of transforming nitrogen into other usable forms.
Canvasing, and looking for the pieces for your house is fun and informative. You get to know some things you aren’t familiar with. It’s the same feeling as when you are shopping. 😁 Unfortunately, I have to come up with conclusion.
First, you have to ask these personal questions: Why do I need this type of wood for my door? What will it benefit me in the long run? How long will this wood takes before wear and tear?
For that, when it comes to durability, I will recommend you all these three types of woods. They are all durable, hard and a great wood for furnitures especially for the door. When it comes to the wear and tear, Melina wood is the mediocre. However, according to my source during my canvasing, mahogany are prone to wood-boring beetles. So, it will shorten the usability and durability of mahogany woods. Wood-boring beetles are similar to termites, but not as destructive as the latter. When it comes to the price, this is where the deal-breaker takes place. Narra woods are very expensive, twice or even combined prices of both Melina and Mahogany. While mahogany is just a hundred to thousand bucks more than Melina wood.
So, Narra Wood is the sure winner among the three. Except that it comes with a hefty price tag. So if you are in a tight budget, I would recommend you the durable and cheaper Melina and Mahogany, but if you are willing to splurge more thousand bucks, I will definitely recommend you the Narra wood for your door.