Your Guide to Wooden Doors

By: Architectural Visions

Wooden doors are a great way to tell a unique story about your home, and there is a range of factors about doors to consider when telling that story.

Fortunately, homeowners have a vast array of exterior and interior wood door options to fit your needs. Here is a guide to those options and the factors you should think about when making your door decisions.

The Benefits of Exterior Wood Doors

First and foremost, the aesthetic appeal of an exterior wooden door is undeniable. A solid wood door made of knotty alder can emit a rustic, cottage feel as a person walks up to your house. On the other hand, a solid oak door conjures a traditional suburban entrance way. If you choose a solid wood door, you can size and trim it to a doorway. You can also add special features such as panels and moldings and you also have the option of adding windows or glass. You can further tailor a solid wood door with a unique stain or paint color. Overall, an exterior wood door can offer durability as well as insulation, helping with concerns about security, the weather, energy saving, and noise.

The Benefits of Interior Wood Doors

Similar to their exterior counterparts, interior wood doors serve both form and utility in your home. A mahogany barn door for a bathroom entranceway reflects a rustic feel in a cottage home that ensures guests their privacy and security. A lighter, solid core door of pine for a bedroom entranceway continues that woodsy feel but is lighter and easier to install. Regardless of type and composite, interior wooden doors will provide privacy, noise/weather insulation, and security from room to room.

It’s All in the Wood

The type of wood you choose goes a long way in telling your home’s story, as well as serving a particular function. The sheer variety of wood options is a plus, and here are a couple of popular wood choices for your door.


This highly grainy wood comes in two main categories: red oak with swirly grain patterns ranging from light brown to pinkish red; white oak with its yellowish striped grains. If properly cut, oak can be highly water resistant, making it an excellent choice for an exterior door. Its unique grain texture stands out with a subtle bright finish.


Poplar is lightweight and easily worked. Its grain is straight and fine and takes all types of stains and paints, making it a great choice for households on a budget.


Durable, stable, hard, and strong, mahogany is great for either an interior or exterior door. Its various shades of red, straight grain make it highly unique and mahogany takes stain and paint well.


Known for its strength, maple has great shock resistance. With its milky white, subtle red hue, it can take a beating while still looking great. It also takes stains very well, making it a more affordable substitution to more expensive woods.

Knotty Alder

This wood is naturally weather resistant, and its natural honey color along with the knots in the grain make this a great choice for rustic, exterior door design. Knotty alder is also known for its strength and durability.


Lightweight and inexpensive as well as resistant to swelling and shrinking, pine also takes paint and stain well. Its whitish color and dark brown knots convey a rustic style, great for interior doors.


In a modern house, the chocolate brown to yellow color of a walnut door emits a cutting-edge design feel. Walnut’s color is unique and attractive, typically oiled or clear coated to accentuate its straight grains.

It’s All in the Door

Similar to the type of wood you choose to guide people through home, you have a lot of options when it comes to the composition of your doors.

Solid Doors

A solid wood door means solid throughout. This type of door offers durability and strength, as well as noise and weather insulation, energy saving, privacy, and security. Consider this option for a strong, reliable exterior door. A solid wood door also offers more customization, as it can be trimmed/refitted to fit a doorway.

Solid Core Doors

Made up of veneers on each side glued to a solid core, solid core doors still offer noise/weather insulation as well as privacy and security. However, they are lighter weight and typically come pre-fitted and pre-hung, thus making installation easier. Consider solid core doors for pathways inside the home where a heavy solid wood is not necessary or practical.

Hollow Core Doors

Composed of a combination of sturdy materials including veneer and fiberboard, Hollow core doors are lightweight, easy to install, are less likely to expand/contract due to weather, and typically come pre-primed. In a household with 20 doorways, several floors, and multiple closets, hollow core doors can still provide insulation and security while not breaking the bank.


A slab door is a stripped-down door without a frame and offers a great deal of customization options, while also being less expensive. A slab can be refitted to a doorway and may work well as a solid wood interior wood door as weatherproofing is not an issue.


A pre hung door comes with hinges and frames attached, as well as mortises. This makes installation easy and fast. As prehung exterior doors automatically come weather tight, this makes them a good choice for a house entrance where proper weather insulation is vital.

Wood’s Got Style

Certainly, the choices you make regarding wood type and composition will convey your style in your house story-telling. The pattern of the grain as well as the color can come together to make people feel they are taking a journey through a pastoral past or leap into a state of the art, contemporary home. The sheer variety of wood styles and composites allows wood doors to transcend and blend into various styles. You can convey a rustic feel with a large solid wood mahogany front door and that sliding barn door for the bathroom or create a modern air to your personal office with a brown walnut door. French doors made from oak work great to invite your guests to the patio while still standing up to the weather. As you can see, wood doors can help you speak your house’s style, whatever that may be.

Wood’s Got Flexibility

As seen from the variety of wood types and compositions, there is lots of room for customization when it comes to a wood door.  There’s the possibility of adding molds, glass, windows. Furthermore, certain woods can take a variety of stains, finishes, and paint, while others you’ll need to be selective about.

How to Tell Your Story

Whatever story you want to tell, AVI has the wooden doors to help you tell it. We have a variety of doors and the experts with the knowledge to help guide your choice. Online or in person, AVI is your one-stop shop for design, purchasing, and installation.

Call us today for Georgia and North Carolina projects at 678-297-1111 or for Tennessee projects at 615-712-6498 so we can help you tell your story about your home.