Your guide to choosing the right wood for doors and windows

Wooden doors and windows have been the preferred choice for luxury homes, offices and hotels for centuries. The natural warmth, elegance and beauty of wood when used in doors and windows instantly elevates the look of a space and adds character, which cannot be duplicated with any other material.

So, if you have decided to incorporate wooden doors or windows in your space, the next essential step is to choose the appropriate wood species, as that will define the price, performance and durability of the product.

As one of the most frequently operated elements of your space, doors and windows need to withstand a lot more action than other parts of your house or office. Additionally, they need to endure constant direct exposure to external factors like rain, extreme weather conditions and direct or indirect sunshine – all of which impact their longevity and efficiency.

While looking for the right kind of wood, here are a few factors worth considering:

  1. Dimensional stability
  2. Screw and nail holding ability
  3. Resistance to rot, termite and decay
  4. Suitability for carving (if needed)
  5. Ease of installation
  6. Maintenance requirements
  7. Aesthetics

In India, tropical woods are widely and popularly used for making doors, doorframes, door jambs (chaukhats) and windows. However, in current times tropical woods have become prohibitive in their costing and of uncertain quality. Also, use of tropical woods has a direct, unfavorable impact on the already shrinking forests of the east.

Canadian wood species like douglas fir, yellow cedar, western red cedar and western hemlock provide an excellent alternative to tropical woods. Sustainable and certified, these wood species come in standard grades and sizes and can be tailored to a reasonable budget. The wood is seasoned scientifically in kilns to the right level to ensure suitability for the end use.

Users have discovered that because of the inherent light weight of the wood, doors and windows in Canadian wood species are easy to install without compromising on strength.

Douglas fir

Douglas fir is known for its extraordinary strength to weight ratio and is available in large dimensions. It is greatly recommended for solid doors and door frames. Being strong yet lighter than tropical hardwoods, doors and windows in douglas fir are relatively easier to install.

Additionally, this species has good screw holding abilities ensuring that hinges and other fittings are strongly in place. It provides a ready canvas for intricate carvings and can take on a range of paints, stains and finishes easily.

Timeless chic doors in douglas fir

Casement windows in douglas fir

Western hemlock

Western hemlock is an outstanding wood for appearance products as it is inherently free of pitch and resin. It is highly recommended for creating statement doors and doorframes. With good strength to weight ratio and moderate nail and screw holding abilities, doors and windows in Western hemlock will prove to be durable.

Western hemlock does not just take on stains and finishes really well, it also shapes, planes and polishes beautifully. Carvings can be easily achieved on western hemlock.

Windows and door frames in western hemlock. Also seen is panelling in hemlock

Contemporary carved door in western hemlock

Tilt and turn window in western hemlock

Western red cedar

Western red cedar is an extremely attractive, premium woodspecies with a rich mocha color. It also has exceptional resistance to rot, termite and decay making it the ideal wood for external doors and windows. The wood is lightweight and has excellent working properties. It can be sanded to a smooth, satin finish and takes on stains and paint very well.

Ornate, classic door in western red cedar

Yellow cedar

When you are looking for ornate doors with detailed carving, yellow cedar is your best choice. One of the most naturally durable species in the world, yellow cedar is inherently resistant to termite and decay. Exceptional working properties, good nail and screw holding ability combined with the ease of staining make it the perfect material for beautiful doors and windows. Yellow cedar is a popular wood in India for constructing door jambs (chaukhats)

Medieval style door in yellow cedar

Large yet elegant windows in yellow cedar

Investing in the right wood for your space will not just transform the look of your place, but will also save you from the arduous task of replacing them for a long time. With a plethora of beautiful, certified Canadian wood options available in the market, you can achieve almost any kind of look within an affordable budget.

FII India, funded by the government of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada represents Canadian wood in India for all its five species viz. Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Yellow Cedar, Western Red Cedar and Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF). FII works closely with architects, manufacturers, importers and real estate developers to provide technical and procurement assistance for their requirements free of any cost

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