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Veneer Snobs Take Note. Introducing Paulownia.


Your door store tour for your raw door core...

Solid wood doors are considered to be the top of the tree, pun intended, when it comes to choosing the best build for hard wearing, stylish doors. However, discounting veneered doors is to discount any consideration for what materials the door may be constructed of behind the veneer.

Obviously there are some veneered doors that are of dubious build and then there are others where the suppliers have specifically chosen the best wood for the core and the most durable top layer veneers to match. Our engineered doors use a highly prized wood called Paulownia for its core. You may have never heard of it but doubtless you will have used or owned furniture or other wood products that use its versatile qualities, even if you didn't know it at the time. It’s strong, durable and used for all sorts of heavy duty items such as surfboards or wardrobes. Here’s a guide to what Paulownia is and why it’s suitable to make the best quality veneered doors on the market.

What is Paulownia?

Paulownia are deciduous trees native to China that are extremely fast growing at up to twenty feet in one year when young. Once harvested new saplings for growing more timber don’t need to be replanted but can be regrown fully through existing branches earning them the nickname ‘the Phoenix Tree’. This coupled with a readiness to be cut for timber just five years after planting makes them extremely attractive to timber farmers. Also, their ability to grow quickly with firm roots has made them an attractive choice for environmentalists when considering trees for combating deforestation. Reforestation projects using the species have been set up in Australia, USA, Panama and China.

What’s Paulownia used for?

Paulownia has some of the 'holy grail' characteristics manufacturers and wood sculptors look for alike. It is fine grained and soft so it’s easy to work with yet it’s warp resistant and durable. These qualities make it ideal for surfboards and only Paulownia surfboards do not require further glassed coatings which goes along way to proving the hard wearing qualities of the source material. The wood is also used for snowboards, guitar bodies, chest of drawers and even clogs.

Sounds great, why cover it up then?

A solid Paulownia door is a possibility and is available in some places but our decision to add to a doors strength and improve the looks still further with utterly realistic veneers was a ‘no brainer’. We chose to use Paulownia as the core wood once we’d found the high quality oak veneers to marry it with. We love solid oak doors but there is a place for veneered doors providing the core materials are superb, the build quality is top notch and the veneer is hard wearing and good looking.