Wood and its substitutes for your interior
Earlier doors and windows were used only for safety. But now, it’s not the case. Now beautifully decorated doors and windows are a part of elegant interior decor. Preference is given to its shape, designing and architectural works also. Though it costs 10-15% more while making doors more beautiful, everyone is willing to afford that extra cost. Now not only wood, but certain substitutes are also readily available in market that is durable as well as less expensive, comparing wood. Scarcity of wood also asks people to go for alternatives. Through this article let me give you a few tips about wood and other substitutes for your interior.
Measurements are significant for doors
Normal dimensions of a door are 210cm height X 100-120cm width X 3-4 cm thickness. If you are using doors with double panels, each panel should have at least 80-90 cm width. If a person needs to get inside the room freely, the door should have this dimension at least.
Two types of doors are used in construction of houses - giving a small step at the entry during construction and fitting door later or just an opening provided during construction process. Normally, in both cases doors are fitted at the later stage. In the first method, doors are stronger than the other method. If you have decided to fit door at the early stage itself, an elevation from ground should be given and it should be at least 3-5cm height. But today, most constructions choose the second method. That’s the reason why such wooden steps are seen in old constructions only. Makes changes in plan is possible at any stage if you are choosing the second method for doors. Decisions can be made to choose materials for construction. Choose suitable bearings so that doors can be opened and closed without much difficulty.
Doors and its panels as per trend
Single panel, two and even four – you can design doors of any type. Old homes had doors with four panels. Though it gives more ventilation, single or two panel doors are best for main doors.
Many methods are used for the security of doors nowadays. Lens can be fitted on the other side of door, hiding from normal vision. By a single lock, it’s now possible to lock the door at three places now, giving extra security to your home. Now cameras can be fitted also.
According to trend, as per you desire
Among all woods, teak is most popular for doors. Never opt for two types of wood for a single door, as a colour change may occur. Now people are choosing PVC, fibre, glass, veneer and steel for constructing doors and windows. Except main entry, you can use such substitutes as they cost less. Also they are available readymade in market thus saving you a lot of time.
Normally bathroom doors are given 80cm width. But for senior citizens, it’s better to give 90cm bathroom doors as you may need to assist them to bathroom. Also it’s better for people who use wheel chair.
Substitutes of wooden doors
Earlier, only wood was used for making doors. But now, except front door we have wide options to choose while constructing homes. Such ‘ready to use’ doors are cheap, less maintenance cost and easy to fit. You just need to give measurement. Your favourite door with your favourite colour and pattern will reach your home. Less than one hour is needed to fit such doors. Now, seeing the latest trend, a lot of door materials are arriving the market daily, giving you a lot of options to choose. You can be cheated also. So, it’s better to consult an engineer or architect before buying such readymade doors.
- Veneer flush door – Gives wooden finish and design. They are less weight comparing normal wooden doors. Expense is just 1/4th of normal doors.
- Steel-glass combination – They are more durable and strong comparing veneer doors.
- PVC – They are less weight doors and are water proof.
- Glass – They allow a lot of sunlight inside and gives an ‘open feeling’ for your interior.
- Treated wood – They are also durable and strong
- Fibre – They are water proof doors
- Aluminum – Best for sliding doors
You can use such substitutes for your interior. In addition to wooden doors, you can use such substitutes to give your home a fresh look as well as reducing your total expenses.
Veneer – a substitute of any type of wood
You can choose any design type for your doors; veneer can help you here by providing you with a range of wooden designs. From teak, mahogany and jackfruit tree of Indian traits to imported oak, maple, European Beachwood or Burma teak finish, veneer can give you.
How veneer sheets are prepared?
Natural wood hard wood or soft wood are used for this purpose. A veneer sheet up to 0.5mm thickness is used as a sticker on the top of any one of these woods to make it useful for construction purposes. Next process is coating. This veneer sheet can be coated on the surface of black board, ply wood or MDF. If it’s the case of treated wood, this process is done with the application for high pressure. Veneer is available from 0.5mm to 4mm thickness.
Veneer substitutes are mainly used for interior décor. It can be used anywhere except front door. So, it’s commonly used for kitchen’s interior designing and designing of shelves and partitions in dining room and living room. It can be used for doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, table tops and partitions. Though it can be used for the front door, it should be core filled. If so, it will be stronger and resists moisture more easily.
If you want to make your interior more elegant, use glass-veneer combinations for designing shelves, windows, cabinets etc. Grilling work is simply the best.
If you are buying readymade wooden doors, they are seasoned wood with core filling material and it’s purely a ‘factory-made’ wood. They can be used for grilling work, inlay work and classy opening.
Treated wood is durable
Waste wood is chemically treated to make useful for interiors and furniture. This category of processed wood is known as treated wood. Extra strength and life span of treated wood is due to the chemical processing. Rubber wood, mahogany, red wood – treated wood of these trees are widely available in the market. They are imported from foreign countries also. Treated wood is mainly used for doors and cup boards.
Furniture of cheap cost can be made using treated wood. It’s commonly used in the interior designing of flats also. Treated wood with the finish of normal wood are available in different designs also.
The substitute – his name is plywood
Now, the no.1 substitute of wood used in construction is plywood. Small layers of normal wood are arranged one above the other to prepare plywood. Through this layering process plywood becomes stronger, durable and everyone’s favourite. Plywood is prepared by the application of high pressure and temperature on the layers of wooden sheet, in desired conditions. Now plywood is available in different textures of wood, both imported and exported. It’s broadly divided into two.
It is used for home construction purposes. 18mm thick plywood can be used for making tables. 15mm and 12 mm plywood are used for racks and cabinet making. 8, 6, 4 mm plywood are used for concreting. But we should keep it away from moisture contact.
As name suggests, this plywood is used in the construction of ships and boats. It’s water proof and durable. It’s available in 18, 15, 12, 8, 6 and 4 mm thickness. Very often, veneer sheets are fixed on its top and used in making panels for homes.
MDF for your interior
Waste parts of wood are converted to pulp and added with sufficient amount of resin and wax. Then it’s treated with extra pressure and temperature to stick the mixture together to get MDF. Bamboo and less weighted wood are used for making medium density fibre. Though hard wood and soft wood are present, hard word is most popular. Laminated MDF is also available.
Cup boards, kitchen cabinets, partitions, furniture – MDF is most commonly used for these purposes. Any paint or wood finish can be applied on it and any design work can be done. Such designed sheets used for door making are readily available in markets which are available in 4mm to 18mm thickness. But it should be kept away from moisture and fungal attack. If polishing is not done in good manner, it may be attacked by pests. Ready made doors, kitchen cabinets and bedroom cabinets made of MDF are commonly used in constructions, of which Jack wood MDF is most popular. New wood and Nova pan are two other derivations of MDF.
HDF for flooring and doors
HDF is most widely used for interior flooring. As MDF, HDF is also produced by applying high temperature and pressure. In addition to floors, HDF is also used for windows and doors. Above core filling material LDF covering is given and molded panel doors can be made for homely purposes. Such doors have enough strength and durability.
Molded panel doors are made by applying HDF sheet covering over the surface of core filling material. They have minimum 3mm thickness and outer coating is known as ‘hardwood skin’ and this door is also a 100% factory made one. You can paint desired colour on its surface.
Particle board and block board
Both are made using wooden chips. Wooden chips are nothing, but waste particles and small layered pieces of wood while it’s used for making doors and windows. When wood is cut to desired pieces, a lot of such waste wooden particles will be there. It is mixed with synthetic resin to make particle board and block board. They are used for making furniture like chairs and tables, computer table etc. They are cheap, strong enough and durable also.
Block board are a little thicker comparing particle board. Wooden sheets are neatly arranged to make thicker block boards. On either sides of hard wood, plywood or veneer can be fixed, according to user’s taste. Block boards are available from 18 mm to 1 inch thickness. Polish it once in a while and you can use it for many years. It’s most commonly used for industrial works and for making racks. Yet, excess sunlight and rain are its enemies.
Toughened glass for a modern look
If you want to give a modern look to your interior, no need to think twice. Use glass doors. You can choose single piece glass doors of 8-10 mm thickness without frames. If you use ceramic coating, you can attain any colour. It also gives a tinted effect. Use stainless steel fittings to fix glass doors.
Steel and glass – Amazing combination
Steel doors are no.1 in terms of durability, strength and stiffness. Since it’s a pre-fabricated material, fixing such doors and windows are easy. Mild steel, powder coated steel, galvanized steel, stainless steel – its derivatives are numerous. Stainless steel is a bit expensive comparing others. It can be used for main doors and windows also. If you are choosing steel for main doors, make it at least 30mm thick. For inner doors, you can use steel-glass combinations.
PVC is water proof
PVC is most suited for bathroom doors. Light weight, resistive to water, won’t rust and no need to fear pests – these factors make PVC the best choice for bathrooms. It’s available in different shades and colours and no need for painting or polishing. Solid molded PVC doors are also available nowadays. Such doors can be used as inner doors also as it gives extra strength.
Fibre doors are cheap
Fiber re-enforced plastic (FRP) is the material used for such doors and windows and they are very cheap too. Since it is water proof, it can be used in bathrooms. No painting is needed. It exposed to sunlight, it may fade and hence such accessories are not good for outdoor fittings.
Bison board with German technology
They are cement boards with embedded wooden pieces. Its panels can be cut into any desired shape or size. For making doors, inside wooden frames, 6-8mm thick bison boards are fitted or use 16 mm thick bison boards instead. They are resistant to pests, fire etc.
UPVC – free of stains
Unplasticized Poly Vinyl Chloride – is used for this imported pre-fabricated material. Shining surface that never catches stains or dirt and low weight makes it a popular one. It can resist any climatic variations or seasonal change and can resist rusting too. It’s easy washable also. So, it’s best suited for doors and cabinets.
Aluminum is durable
It can be fitted easily and its maintenance cost is very low comparing normal doors, windows and cabinets. It has good life span too. Within aluminum frames, particle boards can be given (of glass or wood) to design doors or windows. You can use aluminum sheet also, as substitute. It should be at least 12mm thick and if particle boards are used, panels need at least 3-4 mm thickness. Quality of aluminum should be increased using powder coating before it’s used for construction purposes.
Through this article, I have given a brief description of wood and different substitutes that can be used for designing doors, windows and cabinets for your interior. Hoping it will be helpful for your new home.
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