Skip to main content

The Best Wood for Your Exterior Door: your go-to road map

December 10, 2023 by Fred Azad

Choosing the best wood for your exterior door has always been a challenge for home designers and home owners. Embark on a journey to find the best kind of wood with our comprehensive guide. Delve into a curated selection of top-tier materials, from the sturdy reliability of oak to the weather-resistant charm of cedar. Explore the rich aesthetics of mahogany, the timeless allure of teak, and more, each boasting unique characteristics for a blend of durability and style.

Our detailed list equips you with insights into the qualities of each wood type, ensuring an informed decision. Elevate your home with a door that reflects your style and is built to endure. Make an informed choice and transform your entry into a statement of craftsmanship and resilience.

Why choose wood for exterior doors?

Wood, as one of the most attractive and lucrative materials, has always been one of the first go-to choices in home design. And due to its durability and availability while providing a wide range of choices, it’s safe to say it’s also the most favorable material in making wooden doors. Now we’re going to have a look at what kind of wood is the most suitable for you and your house.

Best types of wood for external door?

There are various types of wood you can choose from to have your door made out of. These woods all fall under the category of either soft wood or hard wood.

Hardwood vs softwood: which is best for external doors


Comes from deciduous trees, which are characterized by broad leaves that typically shed in the fall. Examples include oak, maple, and mahogany. Generally denser and harder than softwood. This makes hardwoods more resistant to wear and damage.


Softwood trees are coniferous or evergreen trees, which have needle-like or scale-like leaves that are usually retained year-round. Examples include pine, spruce, and cedar. Typically, less dense and softer than hardwood. While this makes softwoods easier to work with in many cases, it may also make them more susceptible to dents and scratches.

Best hardwoods for external doors

While almost all hardwoods share many of their characteristics, they are all unique in their own, this can be their color, strength and their timber material. Here’s a list of the best hardwoods for making your external door from:


Accoya wood is a high-performance, sustainable timber known for its exceptional durability and dimensional stability, it’s also a very popular wood for an external door. Accoya wood boasts enhanced weather resistance, making it suitable for various outdoor applications like decking and cladding.

 Its eco-friendly production process, utilizing fast-growing, sustainably sourced softwood, positions Accoya as a reliable choice for environmentally conscious construction projects and home design. Accoya is incredibly strong and resilient, also it’s very easy to maintain.


Oak wood is a hardwood prized for its strength, durability, and distinctive grain patterns and one of the most stable woods for doors. It is commonly used in furniture, flooring, and cabinetry due to its rich, warm appearance and resilience.

Oak comes in two main varieties, red oak and white oak, each with unique characteristics that contribute to its flexibility in various woodworking applications. Although, you need to refinish oak doors every couple of years to maintain it.


Ashwood is a hardwood known for its light color, straight grain, and excellent strength-to-weight ratio. It is commonly used in furniture construction, flooring, and sports equipment. Ashwood’s manageability and ability to take stains and finishes well make it a popular choice for both contemporary and traditional designs.


Cherry wood is a hardwood recognized for its warm, reddish-brown tones that darken over time, lending an elegant and timeless aesthetic. Renowned for its fine grain and smooth texture, cherry wood is often used in high-quality furniture and cabinetry. While like all other hardwood types, cherry timber’s color changes and fades overtime or the reddish tint may grow darker than it has been.


Mahogany wood is a luxurious hardwood prized for its rich, reddish-brown color, fine grain, and exceptional durability. Widely used in high-end furniture, cabinetry, and musical instruments, mahogany’s natural beauty is enhanced with a polished finish.

Its stability and resistance to rot and decay contribute to its popularity in crafting timeless, upscale pieces. But unfortunately, Mahogany is a pricy timber. Also, Mahogny is quite dense, which contributes to its noise reduction, but makes the door significantly heavier.

Best softwood for external doors

While almost all softwoods share many of their characteristics, they are all unique in their own, this can be their color, strength and their timber material. Here’s a list of the best softwoods for making your external door from:

Knotty Alder

Knotty Alder is a medium-density hardwood known for its rustic charm, featuring a distinctive grain pattern and knots that add character and is a good wood for exterior doors. It is commonly chosen for interior applications like doors, cabinets, and furniture, providing a warm and inviting aesthetic.

Although, Knotty alder is a type of hardwood, but doe to its relative softness we count it as a softwood. Also, Knotty alder requires proper treatment since its relative lower endurance.


Cedar is a fragrant softwood known for its natural resistance to decay, insect infestations, and weathering. Its aromatic scent and attractive grain make it a popular choice for outdoor applications such as fencing, decking, and external doors. While it’s not as expensive as some hardwoods, Cedar can still be relatively costly.


Hemlock is a softwood with a pale, light-colored appearance and a straight grain. Commonly used in construction and carpentry, hemlock is valued for its manageability and cost, making it suitable for a range of interior and exterior applications. Yet, Hemlock is less resistant to decay and insects if not maintained properly. Also, there are not many variations of color that you can choose from with Hemlock.

Western Red

Western Red Cedar is a highly durable softwood known for its rich, reddish-brown color and natural resistance to decay and insects. Its lightweight yet stable nature makes it a preferred choice for exterior applications such as siding, decking, and external doors. While western red can be praised for its quality, it can be more expensive than most softwoods and its color changes to silver gray over a period of time.

Douglas fir

Despite its classification, Douglas fir is known for its density and strength, making it harder than many other softwoods. It is commonly used in construction and woodworking due to its favorable strength-to-weight ratio and versatile applications, but it is not as hard as most hardwoods.

Yet, it is susceptible to pests and fungal infections and it’s prone to splitting if not maintained properly.

Which type of wood is best for a front door?

Choosing the best wood for a front or external door depends on factors like durability, aesthetics, and weather resistance. Hardwoods such as mahogany, oak, or cherry are popular choices for hardwood doors for their strength and timeless appeal. On the other hand, softwoods like Cedar or Hemlock may offer better appearance and have better manageability.

It’s crucial to consider the specific climate and desired aesthetics to select a wood that complements your home while withstanding external elements.

What is the best wood for external doors in Canada

In Canada, where weather conditions can vary widely, choosing the right wood for external doors is crucial to ensure durability and performance. Several wood options are suitable for external doors in Canada:

Western red: very resistant to decay and rust.

Mahogny: Excellent durability and warm appearance.

oak: Very strong resistant to decay.

Maple: Very durable, but requires maintenance.

Best wood for your exterior door summary

In general, we talked about two categories of wood, Softwood and Hardwood. Both have different subgroups of varies timbers with their own specific characteristics that can be utilized in different situations. Some are more durable, some have more appealing and inviting color.

It just comes down to the matter of “in what situation and condition you want to use them”, in which case, TimberDoors is a one-step solution for all your door needs.

Fred Azad

Fred is the President at Timber Door Inc. and has over 16 years of experience.

Recent Posts

December 22, 2023

Red Oak Wood

December 22, 2023

The Magic of Mahogany wood

December 22, 2023

Walnut Wood Doors

December 22, 2023

White Oak