What's the Best Wood for the Barn Door?

When you design your barn, there are many things to consider. The door, its look, and its feel are definitely on that list. The entryway is the first impression, so you need to put some thought into it. The first choice and, in most cases, the right choice is to go with wood. What is a barn without a wooden door?

When deciding what kind of door you want for your barn, you must consider the type of wood used. There are many different options to pick from.

What Makes a Dood Barn Door?

There are many different factors one must consider when determining the best choice for a barn door.

Budget

The first thing you need to consider is how much you want to spend on a barn door and the type of wood used. The type of wood you choose to use will determine the appearance and longevity of the door. Certain types of woods are sturdier, some will be heavier, and some will be quite aesthetically pleasing. The goal is to get the kind of wood that is within your budget and tends to last long.

Treatment and finishing

Another thing you might want to consider when choosing the type of wood used in barn doors is figuring out what kind of treatment and fishing you prefer. It would help to consider how much sun exposure the barn door will be getting to determine the treatment you will give it. Certain types of wood are susceptible to termites and pests, while others resist them. Your choice of treatment will also select the type of wood you choose.

Durability

Certain types of woods are harder and more durable than others, in which case you won't find much trouble if your door is exposed to a lot of wear and tear. The key is to find durable wood but also not far on the pricier side. Softer woods are often cheaper, and you will easily find them within your budget, whereas harder woods might be expensive and challenging to get your hands on.

Maintenance

Maintenance of the wood is an important consideration. No matter how durable the wood is, it will be affected by weather and sun exposure in the long run. Wood tends to soften and shrink if it isn't treated well. Wood can also deteriorate when it holds moisture. If the wood has sustained damage over the years, consider repairing it as soon as possible.

Purpose

Lastly, it would help if you considered the very purpose that the wood would serve. You must determine the dimensions of your door, whether you want the door to be lightweight or heavy? It would help to consider what the barn would be used for and the implications of livestock and hay storing on the wooden door in the long run.


Types of Wood to Use and Why?

1. Pine

Pine is a popular wood used in construction. There are many different colors and species of Pine. If you want to go lighter brown, Pine is a great choice. The Pine barn door will have a smooth finish and a glassy look. You can also improve the sleekness and shine with the proper finishing.

Pine is not as expensive as it is softwood. This type of wood is prone to scratching but with the proper treatment and maintenance; you can have a Pine last about 10-20 years. The Pine door does not require much maintenance. You must sand and refinish areas that may absorb any moisture, and that's about it.

2. Knotty Alder

Alder is another type of softwood. The Red Alder is commonly used in woodwork despite being easy to scratch because it provides a fine, straight grain and a smooth texture. The red and light honey hues make for the ideal barn door. You can also use alder to fit in with other types of wood with the right stain and paint job.

The Europeans used Alder for water management purposes which shows that, unlike many softwoods, Alder has a high resistance to moisture absorption. This means your Alder barn door will do fine when exposed to rain and other natural elements.

The Knotty Alder is the type of Alder that comes with knots and gives a beautiful rustic, ranch aesthetic to the barn. The Knotty Alder can be difficult to cut because of the knots, but it is one of the best medium-priced woods.

3. Poplar

Another popular type of wood used in North America is Poplar. This type of wood is the cheapest Hardwood you can get your hands on. It is susceptible to insect attack, but you can prevent that with the proper treatment; you can ensure that your poplar barn door is protected from insect attacks.

Poplar provides a straight grain uniform texture, which makes it so easy to use in woodwork. The density of the wood may leave fuzzy edges when cutting, but that can be rectified with just the right amount of sanding to give a clean finish.

The barn door made out of poplar has a light-colored sapwood look due to its stripes, and the Hardwood ranges from green hues to purple and even black and blue sometimes. With Poplar, you have endless possibilities and a wide range of colors and shades to pick from.

4. Knotty Pine

Knotty Pine is another type of softwood that can be damaged easily but can be used for creating a wooden barn door with the proper treatment.

The Knotty Pine has a unique style and will give your barn a much-needed farmhouse look. The knots are also why you have to be more careful when cutting them. The saw can be hard to control with the knots getting in the way; you can turn Knotty Pine into great wood for your barn using the proper treatment and finishing.

5. Hardwood

The Hardwood has all the essential features you are looking for in a barn door. Hardwood provides longevity and durability. This type of wood can last ages and survive immense wear and tear, which is expected considering that it can be used as a barn door. In addition, the barn door would be so much easier to maintain and clean.

The Hardwood can be sanded and varnished to look brand new.

As this is a solid wood barn door, you will be incurring more expenses than a softwood. The Hardwood may be expensive initially, but it is an excellent investment in the long run as you wouldn't be spending so much on maintenance and treatment.

6. Oak

The Oak is among the sturdiest of hardwoods and is highly water-resistant and durable. The oak can withstand a great deal of wear and tear. The white oak is an excellent choice for your barn door with its beige and brown hues. The red Oak is also a beautiful wood with pink and reddish hues. This type of wood can resist insect attacks and funguses, making it an excellent choice for your barn door.

The Oak is on the pricier side, but it is an investment of a lifetime.

7. White Cedar

White Cedar is a softwood commonly used in the northeastern region of the US. The white cedar contains natural oils that provide it resistance against mold, moisture, insect attacks, and even temperature changes. The natural oils of the wood are why you can use the wood as it and not need to spend extra on coating, treatment, and maintenance. This is great for your budget, but it is also environmentally friendly.

White Cedar is light and has a beautiful color which will make for a great barn door. It has a straight, consistent grain with tiny knots, which will help you achieve a rustic, ranch aesthetic.

8. Birch

The Birch barn door has a beautiful color and straight grain that makes for a great barn door. It is also resistant to wear and tear, an essential characteristic of a barn door. When exposed to sunlight, the Birch can turn into a yellowish color. This type of wood tends to crack when exposed to too much sunlight and other environmental factors. This type of wood also doesn't fare well in dry locations.

Birch is a low-cost wood common in most parts of the world. It is Hardwood and tends to be more expensive than softwoods. It is more suitable for indoor use than outdoor as it is prone to insect attacks.

9. Fir

Fir is a common type of wood available everywhere and relatively inexpensive. This type of wood is one of the most durable softwoods out there. It is harder than most softwoods, is of medium weight, ht and tends to have low shrinkage. You will likely find the light cream and reddish-brown type of Fir.

With Fir, you can work indoors and outdoors. It is easy to shape and can be pretty resistant to rot and decay. With the proper treatment and finishing, you can have a barn door for years to come.

Conclusion

Deciding what type of wood to use for your barn door can be difficult as there are many options. It is essential to consider the specific properties of all these types of woods and determine your individual needs, the kind of environment your barn is located in, and your budget for this project.

We recommend picking a type of wood that fits your budget and works for you in the long term and adds to the aesthetic value of the place.

March 23, 2022 — Della Wang

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