When it comes to wood garage doors, there are many different options to choose from. Each species has unique characteristics, pros, and cons. In this blog post, we will discuss the most popular wood species used in garage door construction and what makes them a good or bad choice for your home.
To arrive at our decision on the best wood for garage doors, we have taken our owner’s 20+ years of experience, combined with client feedback and generally accepted wood traits. Having built thousands of garage doors in different species like fir, mahogany, and cedar, we’re confident in our recommendation. Let us do the heavy lifting on your wood garage door research.
We’ve put together a comprehensive review of each wood species below, but two types of wood always come out on top: cedar and douglas fir.
Best Wood for Garage Doors
Here is our quick list of the best wood for garage doors:
- Western red cedar: Best all-around wood garage door material. Affordable, great for staining, and weather resistant.
- Douglas fir: Most versatile wood for garage doors. Easy to paint, stain, and maintain.
- Medium Density Overlay (MDO): Best budget wood garage door. Needs to be painted and will last for years.
- Clear Cedar: Most beautiful wood garage doors. Nearly perfect clear grain with slight exceptions that don’t detract for the overall fine appearance.
- Redwood: Prized for its appearance and durability.
- Mahogany: Most expensive wood garage door species. Suited for staining.
A Detailed Comparison
Cedar Garage Doors
Cedar garage doors offer many benefits over doors made from other materials. It is naturally decay resistant, meaning it will withstand the elements without rotting or deteriorating. Cedar is also naturally insect-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about termites or other pests damaging your door. Perhaps most importantly, cedar takes stain beautifully, so you can easily customize the look of your door to match the rest of your home. If you’re looking for a durable, long-lasting, and attractive wood garage door, cedar is a good choice.
May be further identified as Knotty, or STK stands for Select Tight Knots. This grade has knots and is more rustic.
Douglas Fir Garage Doors
Fir is one of the most popular choices for garage doors due to its versatility and strength. The wood has a high strength-to-weight ratio, making it sturdy and durable. In addition, Douglas Fir has rich coloring that ages well, with the heartwood darkening to a tan-red color over time. The sapwood remains light tan, providing a contrast that is both eye-catching and elegant. Douglas Fir garage doors are an excellent choice for those looking for a combination of beauty and strength.
MDO Garage Doors
When it comes to garage doors, there are a variety of different materials that can be used. MDO garage doors are a popular choice because they are low-cost and provide a smooth surface that is easy to paint. These doors are made of medium-density overlay, a type of material known for being strong and durable. In addition, MDO garage doors are resistant to rot and insect damage, making them a good choice for those who live in areas where these problems are common. If you’re looking for a garage door that is both low-cost and high-quality, an MDO door may be the perfect option for you.
Wood Garage Doors Made from Clear Cedar
Clear Cedar refers to A & Better Cedar and is mostly clear of knots, but it isn’t 100% clear. If you want Cedar that’s 100% clear of knots, which is difficult to find and costly, then you would need Clear Vertical Grain Cedar. Clear Cedar garage doors are less expensive than clear vertical grain cedar doors because they don’t have to be milled precisely. The tighter the grain, the more expensive the door. Clear Cedar is a good choice for a garage door because it’s a beautiful wood that weathers well, doesn’t show nicks or dings as easily as paint-grade or steel garage doors, and has excellent insulation properties.
Redwood Garage Doors
Redwood is a popular material for garage doors due to its beauty and durability. It may be sawn and planed smooth or resawn to leave a slightly rough texture if desired for rustic applications or for siding, where the rough texture serves to hold finishes well and hide marks. Like cedar, redwood lumber will naturally turn silvery gray with exposure to the elements and UV radiation. Redwood will also blacken if exposed to constantly wet climate conditions. To preserve the original red color, it should be stained when first installed, then restained every three or four years after that. When properly cared for, redwood garage doors will last many years and add beauty and value to your home.
Garage Doors in Mahogany
Mahogany garage doors are an excellent choice for several reasons. First, it is known for its excellent workability – it is easy to sand and machine, with a perfect balance of density that is just hard enough but not too hard. Second, it has superb dimensional stability and will remain flat and intact even amid seasonal changes in humidity. Finally, mahogany has respectable rot resistance, making it a durable and long-lasting choice for a garage door. With all of these excellent features, it is no wonder that mahogany garage doors are a popular choice among homeowners.
Best Paintable Garage Doors
We consider Douglas fir the best paintable wood for garage doors. DF doors don’t require much prep work – like other softwoods; it only needs light sanding before the surface is ready for painting. These characteristics make Douglas fir an ideal choice for paintable garage doors. When choosing a paint color for your garage doors, remember that the lighter, rosy hue of Douglas fir will show through paint colors with a light tint.
Best Rustic Garage Doors
If you’re looking for a rustic garage door, there’s no better choice than knotty Western red cedar. Cedar is well-known for its beauty and durability, and knotty cedar is especially sought-after for its rustic charm. When choosing a rustic garage door, it’s important to select a wood that is both beautiful and durable, and knotty Western red cedar fits the bill perfectly.
Best Modern Wood Garage Door Designs
When it comes to modern garage doors, clear douglas fir is the best option. Clear grain and free of knots, it is ideal for a smooth finish. It can also be stained or painted to match your home’s exterior. Douglas fir is also a durable and long-lasting wood, so you can rest assured that your garage door will withstand the elements for years to come. If you’re looking for a modern wood garage door that looks great and is built to last, clear douglas fir is the way to go.
Different Wood Garage Door Designs and Shapes
Garage doors come in various materials, but wood is the most flexible. It is easy to stain or paint to match the exterior of your home. They can also be designed into various shapes, including arches and ellipticals. This flexibility makes wood an excellent choice for homeowners who want a unique look for their garage door. For these reasons, wood is the material of choice for many homeowners.
For more info on garage doors, we’ve written a handful of helpful articles
- Garage door not closing
- Can I open my garage door if the spring is broken?
- How long do garage doors list
- Can I replace just one garage door spring?
When buying a wood garage door, we recommend starting with the finished product and working backward. If you want to paint your garage door a solid color, you can choose a less expensive wood because it will be covered up anyway. However, if you want the wood grain to stand out, choosing a more expensive wood is worth it. No matter what kind of wood garage door you choose, we can help you personalize it to match the style of your home. Call us at 817-500-5988 or fill out a form to contact us today to get started.
Sources referenced to help complete this article.