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wooden front doors

Urban Front are unique in the door industry because we make and specialise in steel reinforced, natural hardwood front doors. Our wooden doors are high performance due to the fact that every door is made to a high specification.

learn more about choosing a natural hardwood front door

Pivot door | Open | Urban Front
What are the benefits of a wooden front door?

Hardwood is a natural product and adds true beauty, texture and diversity. Hardwood doesn’t stay the same over time – it ages and develops its own distinctive appeal. You are never guaranteed the exact same door even if you do everything the same. Every tree is different and therefore the grain, the colour and the end product is fresh and unique every time.

It is also:

  • Probably the best natural insulator because it can be enhanced
  • Extremely Durable – hardwood outperforms any other material in the long-term.
  • Is Easily Repaired
  • Has Good design options
  • Is Highly sustainable and 100% recyclable

We always say that if you want a door that never changes and remains the same, then hardwood isn’t for you. As a natural product, hardwood weathers and changes so it’s not comparable to a composite or aluminum product.

What are the best hardwoods for a wooden front door?

Traditionally in the UK, most hardwood doors are made in European Oak. This is probably mainly because of the fact that it is readily available (from the UK and Europe), is a very durable wood, and is attractive working well with traditional and contemporary homes. Other hardwoods which are popular in the UK are Larch, Douglas Fir, Iroko and Walnut. 

At Urban Front we choose our woods based on a few different criteria:

  • We only choose hardwood which has been quarter sawn as this gives the wood strength
  • It has to have a long dry kiln time to reduce cracking and moisture in the hardwood
  • How durable it is to use outdoors – ie how much maintaining it needs
  • Its natural beauty and how easy it is to match to other materials

The hardwoods we currently offer are:

  • European Oak
  • American Black Walnut
  • Fumed Oak
  • Iroko
  • Western Red Cedar
  • Bespoke: we are happy to source other hardwoods which we have used in the past
Is a natural hardwood front door easy to maintain?

A lot of clients are scared of the word ‘maintenance’ as they imagine hours upon hours of having to sand their door back and refinish it!

It certainly doesn’t have to be like that. Nowadays, the finishes available are a lot easier to apply and preserve. There are really two options, oiling and lacquering. In the last few years, oiling has overtaken lacquering as our main choice of finish.  This is because of two things:

  • It’s easier to oil a door and to maintain it once its oiled despite needing to be done more often. (Once every 6 months to a year) It requires a light sand and applying the oil again. For one door this should take a maximum of 1 hour.
  • Lacquering doesn’t allow the natural beauty of the door to shine through like oil does. It also takes a lot longer to refinish as you have to take it all off before applying a new coat. Therefore can take a lot of work. It does however protect the wood on the door for longer.
What natural changes can i expect with a hardwood front door?

As explained above, hardwood is a natural product which evolves over time. Although there are only a few disadvantages to using it, they nonetheless exist and should certainly be taken into consideration. Knowing how to prevent issues with hardwood certainly prolongs its life span and the longevity of the door itself.  

Natural movement in the wood occurs due to the difference in the heat inside and the cold outside during the different seasons. Urban Front combat this with a ventilation system in the door. This helps to reduce the build-up of moisture (which can cause hardwood to move, crack and sometimes warp during the different seasons).

We combat warping using a steel reinforcement within the door.  However, natural movement is expected with most timbers and you will find that from season to season the small movement cracks open up and close again depending on the time of year.

What else is useful to know about purchasing a wooden front door?

There are a few other ways to protect hardwood from requiring extra maintenance:

  • If it isn’t protected by a porch or set back, installing a canopy of some sort is a great way to preserve the wood for longer.
  • If you are building a new house, always consider the location of the door and how it will be affected by the weather. Is it south or north facing? Does it get a lot of sun or rain?
  • Ensure you’ve chosen the right hardwood for the location. Some hardwoods are less resilient and require more attention than others so always take our advice before purchasing.
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Urban Front are wooden door specialists

Urban Front doors

We’ve spent a long time trialling different manufacturing processes to improve our doors continuously.” Urban Front co-founder and designer, Elizabeth Assaf

We started making doors 15yrs ago and have moved from a door at 45mm thick to 80 and 98mm thick as standard. If we know a detail hasn’t performed we change it and try new production processes until we get it right.

All of the products we use come from the best suppliers and the most tested.

We are also a family business so every detail is overseen by the directors who sign off every door and are involved in all the decision making.

As a small company, we care deeply about our customers experience and strive to do better all the time. We are very passionate about what we do and truly enjoy creating every design and making every door.

key features of an Urban Front wooden front door

Large front doors interior | Iroko | Urban Front
  1. Steel reinforcement
  2. A ventilation system within the door that allows air to rotate and reduces the build-up of moisture and warping
  3. High security hardware made in Switzerland which has been tested to a commercial level
  4. Tried and tested bespoke options including pivot and 3D hinges
  5. Double rebated hardwood frames with six layers of lamination enhancing stability and weather sealing
  6. Marine grade stainless steel fittings
  7. 80mm or 98mm thick door sets

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