March 27, 2010
ABOUT PANELLED DOORS
Panelled doors have been around at least since Roman times. The Pantheon in Rome, one of the world’s oldest buildings, is still in daily use and its panelled doors date to 125AD, the era of Hadrian.
Panelled doors are strong as well as decorative. The combination of a strong frame with mortise and tenon dowelled joints, make for a door which is more resistant to warping and movement, and the panels with decorative mouldings add the aesthetic appeal. It was not always so; early carpenters were frugal as well as canny. The panels are always thinner than the frames, giving the benefit of lighter weight and using less timber, with no compromise to the strength.
The number of panels, the mouldings and the timber used have changed according to the tastes of the time. Georgian doors were normally 6 panel style with the two smaller square panels at the top. These doors were quite wide and short compared to todays modern standard size. Victorian doors were normally four panel style, constructed in pine (which they always stained or painted) and in some cases with the upper panels for glass. In the deco period, doors had one square panel at the top over two or three long ones beneath and were often made with ply wood panels set into a pine frame.
Today you can buy panelled doors made from metal, plastic and engineered woods. Often they are stamped or moulded to simulate panelling. But none of these phoney solutions can hold a candle to a handmade made solid wood door, constructed in the traditional way.