The Difference Between Solid and Engineered Doors

It's easy to get stuck in visual considerations when shopping for a door. This is particularly common online as you’d be creating your impression from a flat image of the product. However, the construction inside is just as important as the outside appearance.

We’ll be discussing the differences between solid and engineered doors, from performance to environmental effects. One of the common misconceptions is that engineered cores are inferior to solid counterparts. This idea is probably drawn to the lower pricing and the context that comes with the term “engineered” and “solid.” While full knotty alder is remarkably durable, engineered systems also have benefits that you may want to consider.

Understanding Key Terms: Engineered Wood, Solid Wood, and Veneers

You can build a door using solid wood or veneered systems.

Solid wood doors are made entirely of a single piece of solid wood or pieces of solid wood glued, jointed, or dowelled together. All of them will be connected despite the use of multiple wood pieces.

Engineered wood doors have a core made of less expensive pieces of wood. The outer layer, which is called a “veneer”, is costlier. The veneer gives the appearance of hardwood. You have to spend a lot more money if the entire door is made of the same material as the veneer.

Some people probably think of the chipboard whenever they hear “engineered wood.” Chipboard is made of tiny wood fragments glued together to build inexpensive furniture. Although there is truth to this—with others manufactured using MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) and FJL (Finger Jointed Laminated Timbers)—all of them undergo “lipping.” Here are the 12 types of engineered wood.

Lipping is the process of trimming the door and placing a 0.6-0.9mm thick veneer on its face to give it the hardwood look. At the same time, it strengthens the bond around the edges.

Engineered doors are cheaper to manufacture. Plus, they won’t twist or warp. Even if you opt for pricier veneers, you’d still enjoy the economy and beauty of hardwood. It’s essential to understand that engineered doors are not solely cost-saving options. Furthermore, they’re not always of “inferior quality”; it boils down to craftsmanship.


Some manufacturers of engineered doors cut corners, and it becomes apparent only within a few months. If the veneer application was incorrect, bubbles might form underneath it due to trapped air or excessive glue use—either way, your door would look blemished. That’s why it’s essential to purchase from a reputable supplier with high regard to the Australian Consumer Law.

Although solid wood doors are less likely to have that kind of problem, they are more prone to warping because the layers run in one direction. In the case of engineered wood, the stress (due to temperature changes and moisture) is distributed evenly through different wood layers. As a result, the planks cancel each other’s warping.

Energy Efficiency

“Warping solid door edges can allow cold/hot air into the house, forcing your air conditioning/heater to work harder. Aside from the more affordable purchase cost, many businesses opt for engineered doors for their stability through temperature variations,” says contractor and pest control specialist Harrison Hamblin of Habitat Inspections.

Environmental Impact

The production of engineered timber creates 25% lesser waste than solid timber. Leftovers can also be recycled—making engineered doors a greener option.

It’s also essential to choose a supplier that gets its materials from legal and responsible sources.

We can’t deny that there’s something beautiful about opening and closing solid wood doors. But if you want to lean on practicality with the same aesthetic sense, check out the engineered doors from Sky Doors.

Written by Amelie Coleman freelance writer.

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