Solid oak or veneer for internal doors?


20 Jul 2014
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United Kingdom
Hi, I'm replacing 4 internal doors and would appreciate some advice on whether to get solid or veneered oak doors. Obviously, the veneered oak is much cheaper, but the doors are going to need adjusting to size and I know there's a limit to how much you can cut off a veneered door. I'd have to buy the standard 1981mm height, but they'd have to be trimmed, at the smallest door, to 1940mm. Is that too much to trim off a veneered door? I suspect so, in which case solid oak would be needed. The concern I have about that, is that I know they're very heavy and need 3 hinges, but I'm not replacing the pine frames, so would that mean having to chase out 3 new hinge areas, or would a carpenter use the original two and then add a third? I don't want the frames to have loads of gaps, as even though I'm painting them it's look a mess. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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That's too much material to remove from a veneered door, I'm afraid......regarding the hinge issue, 3 hinges would be best, and a joiner could use the existing hinge rebates and add a third. It's simple enough to go up a hinge size too.
John :)
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Taking 40mm off a door depends on where and construction. Cheap veneered doors don't have much of a strip top, bottom and sides, more expensive do. If you're taking 40 off just one end, you might struggle.

I had a similar challenge as you do a few years back. There aren't many door manufacturers in the UK, and you soon recognise who made what. When I was looking, I was very surprised just how approachable the manufacturers were and how willing they were to provide technical drawings and advice. Eventually I settled on a make and model and had my joiner source them. More surprising to me was that one of the major DIY warehouses had really well made oak veneered doors with plenty of scope to trim.

As for hinges, if the hinges are big enough, two will do the job. In a house, three tend to be used where there's a danger of warping e.g. large changes of humidity in bathrooms. Most of my doors are on two hinges each. Fire door, fit three fire rated cos that's one door you don't want sticking.
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I can not understand why folk spend large amounts of money on new doors only then try and shoe horn them into crummy casings.

Bite the bullet and get new proper sized casings fitted, if you have the size tolerance that is.

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