Wood Used for Front Doors
Wood Used for Front Doors

While there are several materials of front doors available, solid wood doors continue to be considered the highest quality material for front doors. These heavy, beautiful doors are the most easily customizable of any door, have gorgeous wood grains that other materials can only imitate, and have unique properties based on the wood species used for the front door.


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Mahogany is considered one of the best woods for a front door because of its hardness and durability. Genuine mahogany grows in a moist climate, which makes it particularly resistant to rot. While many people think of a dark, reddish wood when they think of mahogany, the actual color may vary greatly from pale and light to darker red with dark streaks.

Mahogany doors stain particularly well, making their design adaptable to nearly any style of home. It is also one of the more affordable woods and is a good insulator, making it energy-efficient.

  • Durable
  • Resists rot
  • Stains well
  • Affordable
  • Hard wood

As with most wood doors, mahogany requires regular maintenance and sealing otherwise it can absorb moisture and turn the wood black.

WOOD FRONT DOOR TIP: Some manufacturers use the term “mahogany wood” disingenuously, referring to the color of the wood instead of the actual wood species. For genuine mahogany, look for a country or region of origin such as African khaya ivorensis, Honduran Mahogany (typically called Brazlian Mahogany, American Mahogany, or Swietenia macrophylla), or Latin American mahoganies.


Oak is a highly-stable wood that is known for being waterproof, insect- and fungus-resistance. There are different types of oak, each with its own characteristics. For doors, white oak is often more popular since it is impervious to water. In fact, white oak was once used as the building material for Viking long ships. Red oak, however, is porous which often makes it less durable weather-resistant as front door.

Oak is one of the more popular woods for front doors because of its affordability and durability, as well as its attractive grain pattern.

  • Durable
  • Less expensive
  • Attractive grain pattern

WOOD FRONT DOOR TIP: Oak requires regular maintenance to maintain its durability, especially against weather elements. An oil-based stain along with a few coats of varnish can help protect an oak door against the weather.


Cherry is another beautiful hardwood that is especially popular for front doors. It is slightly more expensive than woods such as oak. Cherry is known for being dense and strong, and is moisture-resistant. This helps it resist shrinking and swelling better than many woods. Cherry front doors have a smooth texture and fine grain, which also make it particularly easy to stain.

  • Dense
  • Strong
  • Moisture-resistant
  • Easy to stain

Cherry can sometimes darken with time especially in the sunlight. It’s also important to remember to always seal cherry doors.

WOOD FRONT DOOR TIP: Cherry front doors are easily stained which means your finished product can maximize this finish, you may consider fine-sanding your door before treatment to ensure there are no dents or defects.


Douglas Fir

Douglas fir is one of the most popular woods for front doors because of its strength as well as its diversity in style. Douglas fir front doors can be rustic, contemporary, or midcentury based on the actual door design. Douglas fir is known as being a very strong wood, lending safety and security to a home.

Besides being strong and naturally beautiful, Douglas fir is also easily painted and stained, making it simple to tune to your home’s particular style.

  • Very strong
  • Naturally beautiful
  • Easily painted or stained
  • Versatile style

Douglas fir front doors are also quite affordable and readily available.

WOOD FRONT DOOR TIP: While Douglas fir is a strong wood, it does need protection from scratches and dents. Because of this, most homeowners use a lacquer finish when staining the door to provide extra protection.

Knotty Alder

Knotty alder is another popular wood used for front doors. These woods became increasingly popular as rustic, farmhouse, cottage, and shabby-chic styles gained a foothold in modern design.

One of the main draws of this beautiful wood is the authenticity and naturalness of the design, with no two doors being completely alike. In addition, knotty alder wood front doors are strong and sturdy.

Knotty alders are also effective insulators, helping block sound from the outside.

  • Beautiful
  • Sturdy
  • Unique
  • Sound-resistant

WOOD FRONT DOOR TIP: While knotty alders can vary in color from light brown to yellow, peach, or honey hues, this color can be adapted slightly based on the color of stain you use. Staining and finishing your wood will also protect it against the elements, protect it from dents and dings, and can help further highlight knotty alder’s signature grain.

Not Sure Which Wood is the Right Wood for your Front Door?

Let our front door experts help/ Call, send us a message, or click the chat icon at the bottom of this page to speak with one of our door experts about which front door wood is right for your home and region.

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ETO Doors