Architectural Wood Doors: Our Commitment To The Details of Design

3 minute read

Behind every successful construction project is a well-thought-out plan. The importance of harmonizing the doors' look, feel, and functionality should always be considered during the planning process. At Unified, we understand the pivotal role doors play in the quality and aesthetics of a final construction. That is why we have dedicated specialists on our team who know architectural doors like it’s their second nature. 

Distinguishing Architectural vs. Commercial Doors

Wood veneer architectural doors are known for their superior appearance, versatility, and environmental sustainability and are constructed to meet higher standards of durability and aesthetics than standard commercial doors. While commercial doors are efficient and practical, they often cannot deliver the same look and feel as architectural doors. The differences lie primarily in the construction of the doors and the materials used—particularly wood veneer. Commercial doors are simpler and better for projects with a more straightforward design and a tighter budget. 

Architectural doors are crucial components in construction projects where the developer wants customized options that cater to diverse project requirements and design preferences while maintaining quality. Wood veneer enables parties working on a project to align the doors perfectly with the overall project vision.

The Versatility and Complexity of Wood Veneer

Wood Veneer is thin slices (generally 1/52”) of wood adhered to doors or other products. The veneering process allows the use of less available, more expensive wood species over a door constructed from materials that are more accessible and less expensive. Because Wood Veneer is a natural material, environmental factors can make each flitch of veneer display a range of colors and textures, especially in species like maple and birch. 

When customers ask for “Natural” maple and birch, they often do not realize that this means the veneer could look streaky and inconsistent due to the patterns of the sapwood (light sections of a log) and heartwood (dark sections of a log). That is why a “Select White” option is offered, allowing the sapwood to be pulled out and spliced together to create a consistent color. Customers can occasionally opt for “Select Red/Brown,” which contains all heartwood but is rarer and produced in limited quantities. 

Grades and Customization within Architectural Doors

Aside from species varieties, there are two aesthetic grades for architectural wood doors: custom and premium. Custom grade is the standard grade that allows for autonomy over the workmanship, materials, and installation of a project, while premium grade is reserved for special designs or featured areas within a project. Premium doors are specified when the highest degree of design control is required. The primary differences between custom and premium grade doors are the veneer grade — either A or AA — and how the veneer is matched, cut, and assembled. 

The matching, cutting, and assembly of veneer impact the final appearance of the door, allowing for a precise alignment with project specifications and design intents. 

Veneer cutting styles include: 

Veneer matching styles include: 

Veneer assembly styles include: 

Every project comes with its unique set of needs and budget constraints. Balancing design aspirations with functional requirements and budget allocations is crucial to making any construction project great. Through collaboration with experts who can provide insights and recommendations, project managers can ensure the chosen doors align with the construction’s look, feel, and operational needs.

Unified’s Difference in the Details

At Unified, our team is empowered by their many years of experience with architectural wood veneer doors. This collective knowledge is behind the confidence to ensure that every architectural door provided meets the highest standards of long-lasting quality and design integration. 

Whether educating customers on the difference between Natural and Select Veneers or helping unify the doors with the architecture and design aesthetic, our team knows what works. By asking precisely the right questions, they are constantly considering the excellence of the final product and how everything will work together once the project is completed. 

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