What are engineered oak doors and how do they compare with solid oak doors?
Engineered oak internal doors, also known as oak veneered doors, have many benefits compared to their more expensive counterpart. If you're considering oak internal doors, this guide will help you understand what they are, how they vary, and what is important when choosing your doors.
Engineered oak doors have a solid core, usually compressed particleboard, with a real oak veneer on the face, and real oak edgings (lippings). Essentially, the door looks like it’s made from solid oak, but due to the core being made from a different material, they cost much less.
Additionally, the engineered core provides a door that is more sturdy than solid oak because it is less prone to warping and twisting. And because the core is solid (and not hollow core or semi solid) it also feels like a solid oak door.
An additional benefit of engineered oak doors is that it uses all of the tree rather than selected lengths only which makes it a much more sustainable choice.
Variations in engineered oak internal doors
The main differences across engineered oak doors is related to the veneer and lipping.
Veneer is thin slices of real oak that is applied to both faces of the door. Veneer is graded based on the quality of the wood used with Grade A being the highest quality. All the doors that we stock are Grade A, but cheaper oak veneered doors tend to use Grade B or lower.
As oak has natural features and graining, the veneer is hand matched to provide a natural look. The higher specification engineered oak doors have a 'bookmatched' veneer which means that consecutive panels of veneer have been flipped open, like pages of a book, which provides symmetry and balance, and a more aesthetically-pleasing finish.
All engineered oak doors have lippings made from real oak, which forms the edges of the door. Not all lippings are the same thickness and this is an important factor to consider when selecting your doors. The majority of the oak doors that we supply have 20mm lippings which means that up to 15mm can be trimmed off each edge without compromising the integrity or guarantee. Many cheaper engineered oak doors have lippings of only 6mm which means that only a few mm can be removed. For most instances, this isn’t sufficient as most doors require a reasonable amount of trimming to fit nicely within the frame. Also, you need sufficient lipping for the screws to bite into when fixing hinges.
Benefits of engineered oak doors vs solid oak doors
Engineered oak doors have many benefits over solid oak doors. These are:
Performance: engineered oak doors are much more resistant to warping and twisting which occurs in solid doors due to moisture and heat, so they retain their integrity.
Sustainability: due to using a different material for the core and real oak in the veneer and lippings only, this makes more use of the tree and creates less waste
Low maintenance: real oak doors require regular maintenance: sanding, staining, varnishing etc. should all be done every few years. Engineered oak doors do not require this and pre-finished doors (more details below) in particular carry next to no maintenance.
Cheaper: Due to the cost-effective manufacturing method and use of a particleboard core, engineered oak doors are considerably cheaper. Solid oak doors cost around £700-800, whereas engineered oak doors can cost as little as £100.
Appearance: engineered oak doors will remain looking new for many years whereas solid oak doors age over time.
Thermal insulation: engineered oak doors provide enhanced thermal insulation compared to solid oak (and hollow or semi-solid core doors).
Treatment of engineered oak doors
Engineered oak doors do require treatment (if supplied unfinished), however, this is not identical to how solid oak doors are treated, and there are certain products that aren't recommended for engineered doors. We've covered how to treat oak veneered doors in this guide: How to treat internal oak doors, but recommend checking the guidance provided with your doors as advice varies between manufacturers.
Engineered oak doors are also available pre-finished which means that numerous coats of a clear lacquer has been professionally applied by the manufacturer and the door is ready-to-hang on delivery. An additional benefit of pre-finished doors is that they are very hardwearing and due to the finish won't require any maintenance and are easy to keep clean. Pre-finished internal oak doors are our most popular doors for these reasons, and you can filter by finish on our store.
Wide range of styles and designs
Engineered oak doors are available in many different designs ranging from traditional to contemporary, and styles including solid (unglazed), glazed, french, bi-folding, and fire-rated. Solid oak door ranges tend to be more limited.
Can we help?
If you're unsure about which doors to choose, we're always here to help. Just drop us a message via chat, or contact us, and we'll be happy to guide you.
If you'd like to view our range of doors, browse our engineered internal oak doors collection. All doors are FSC certified and come with a 10-year manufacturers guarantee. Some ranges have a 25-year guarantee.
There's free delivery on all orders over £750 and most doors are in stock and can be delivered in 3-5 days.