When you’re creating or updating your business’ storefront, it’s easy to skip over the more classic options and opt for newer materials, for instance, textured fiberglass over traditional wood. Textured fiberglass exterior doors mimic wood grain and are colored to appear as painted wood. Fiberglass boasts advantages to traditional wood like thermal insulation, durability and less required maintenance. It is easily customizable and, like wood, can be designed with or without glass. While all these things about fiberglass are true, today’s exterior wood doors can actually share a lot of these qualities. And while they are more upkeep than a fiberglass door, they create a look and feel you can’t really copy with composite doors.

The Best Types of Wood for Exterior Doors

Wood doors are by far the most customizable type of commercial door because of the many types of woods, stains and finishes you can choose. Wood is a chameleon- it can create a rustic look in a business like a food co-op, or an antique look in a setting like an historic university. However, there are definitely species of wood that are better than others when you’re building an exterior door you want to be sturdy, insulating and weather resistant. Alder, Mahogany and Cherry are popular choices because they all possess these qualities and have elegant grain patterns. Another great choice for exterior wood doors is a material unique to California and stand all around you in the Sacramento area: redwood.

The Advantages of Redwood

Redwood trees can live up to 2000 years and can grow to over 350 feet tall (that we know of), so in their very appearance you can tell they are a strong and hardy wood. Further, since redwood is local to California, its weather-resistant qualities are tailored to the area- they resist sun and moisture well and even produce a chemical that repels insects, which is why they have existed for over 240 million years and are so resistant to blights. Redwood has a red to pink undertone and a really beautiful, varied grain. It’s also likely the wood you see on doors and windows on historic structures in places like Old Sacramento- logging of these trees began in the 1850’s. Using redwood on your exterior doors sends a message that you appreciate the history and the beauty of the Sacramento area, and using materials that are closer to home and require less transportation to reach you is a more eco-friendly way to build your storefront doors.

Bringing Wood Doors into the 21st Century

Businesses today have many local, state and federal codes to follow that didn’t exist during the gold rush of the 19th century. Fire codes are a big reason people switch to other materials, but today’s wood doors can easily be fire rated; most commercial wood doors today are actually solid core and follow fire-proofing standards. Solid core wood doors are also great insulators, extremely durable and resist warping. Worried about UV damage from all those sunny days? UV resistant wood finishes are easy to find nowadays, as are weather-proofing sealers. These advances in wood technology, coupled with redwood’s specific qualities, give redwood a lot of the same advantages as composite doors, but keep the ability to evoke that warm, inviting feel that might be lost with materials like fiberglass, steel or glass.

It may be 2021, but trends lately have been to honor the past- businesses and other commercial entities are using a more country, local, rustic appearance. Homey, vintage looks are in right now; businesses are reusing and renovating historic spaces, and universities are updating and expanding their campuses while still adhering to the original look of a 19th or early 20th century campus. It is possible for your business to exist in both worlds with exterior wood doors- you get all the advantages of the appearance of wood with all the 21st century features businesses need to function and thrive. And while in the past a business owner just needed to hire a carpenter to build them a door, today it is smart to ask a professional commercial door supplier and installer about all of your needs and options before ordering a door. Maybe even have us come look at your space for more specific advice. One thing is for certain, though, is in this age of industrial pollution and climate change, local materials are always preferred, and, luckily, Sacramento area businesses have one of the best options for exterior wood doors close to home.