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.
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:
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.
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:
The hardwoods we currently offer are:
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:
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.
There are a few other ways to protect hardwood from requiring extra maintenance:
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.
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