The Basics of Panel Doors
Frame and panel construction, also called rail and stile, is a woodworking technique often used in making doors and other decorative features such as cabinets or furniture. Panel doors are wood doors constructed with vertical stiles and horizontal rails framing panels of wood that are either raised, recessed, or flat, usually forming a simple pattern on the door. In some panel doors, panels of glass are also used. Panel doors are constructed using this method of grooved panels because this decreases the chances of warping due to fluctuations in temperature.
Solid wood doors are usually sold without finishes, so it’s up to homeowners to choose and apply an appropriate finish based on the door's species of wood. However, some species of wood, such as pine, alder, cherry, or oak, might not need finishes before being used. Be sure to research the particular wood species you’re using before applying a finish.
Interior panel doors are a classic, simple style for your home. | @ fotolia.com / icafreitas
Costs and Maintenance for Panel Doors
Panel doors have widely varying costs, depending on the species of wood. However, panel doors are generally more expensive than flush doors, with the cheapest panel doors costing about the same as the most expensive flush doors. Panel doors should be applied with finish, as this will prevent the door from absorbing moisture, rotting, and fading. If you’re buying pre-finished panel doors, look for high-gloss finishes and durable stains. As with all wood doors, panel doors require regular maintenance. However, with their durable solid frames, properly maintained panel doors are strong enough to last for many years.
Styles for Panel Doors
Panel doors are aesthetically pleasing and easy to fit into many different style schemes. When choosing your panels doors, remember that, the more panels the door has, the more formal and traditional the design will be. A six panel door generally fits with classically designed spaces, such as colonial style homes. Five, four, three, and two panel doors, however, tend to fit with more contemporary aesthetics. Also, using glass panels, instead of traditional wood, is a great way to add a contemporary touch to panel doors.
Bottom Line: A Versatile Door for Any Home
While panel doors are more expensive than flush doors, they also come with enhanced aesthetic value, and so they can be easier to fit into a variety of different designs and styles. Additionally, panels doors are strong and sturdy, and with proper maintenance they can last for many years. With highly customizable options for wood species and panel material, the possibilities for panel doors in your home are nearly endless. To contact a specialist and learn more about panel doors, check out our contractor database today.