Apartment Fire Doors_ Choosing your Finish

Apartment Fire Doors: Choosing your Finish

As a specifier, one of the most important aspects (outside of safety and compliance) is the overall look of your fire door, particularly if you’re aiming to create a bold, unique statement.

Choosing your finish is arguably one of the most exciting parts of the process: your opportunity to experiment with colour, tone, grain and texture to deliver a result that creates a lasting impression on your client and end-users alike.

In this post, we offer practical guidance on choosing a finish for your apartment building fire door project, delving into key considerations around apartment buildings that you may not have thought about before.

Read on to find out more…

Veneer or Laminate Fire Doorsets?

Deciding on a veneer or laminate finish for your apartment building fire door will depend on a variety of key factors which will be explored below.

Laminate-finished doors have gained popularity in recent years since they actually look attractive nowadays, particularly if you go for a realistic wood effect.

Historically, a laminate-finished fire door would be specified in high-traffic environments due to it being easy to clean and durable, but more design options are making for increased possibilities. Some benefits of laminate doors are:

Consistent in appearance (as the wood grains aren’t natural)



Contemporary design options

Competitively priced

However, timber veneer internal doors offer the natural beauty of wood that simply cannot be achieved with laminate.

Natural veneers bring with them an organic look and feel – with unique grain patterns that vary from door to door. This natural variation will create a sense of intrigue and curiosity, whilst delivering an unrivalled sense of luxury.

With the resurgence of dark wood veneers, you have the opportunity to deliver a contemporary, yet stylish solution.

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The Resurgence of Dark Wood Veneer Doorsets

American Black Walnut Doorsets

Dark wood doorsets, such as American Black Walnut and Smoked Oak are a popular choice amongst interior designers due to their dark, bold and luxurious aesthetic, which is why they’re a great for those looking to make an impact.

If your apartment building has light-coloured walls, a row of American Black Walnut doors makes for a striking statement, particularly in an apartment building corridor.

Additionally, a dark veneer finish will emphasise the timber graining pattern – more so than lighter oak – helping you to make a sleek statement.

Dual Finishing your Apartment Building Door

Whilst the front doors of the apartments allow for you to create your statement piece, once inside the apartment, residents need something that is light and neutral to complement their interior décor.

And that’s where a dual finish is something worth considering. This allows for the designer to achieve different finishes on either side of the door leaf, delivering an impactful frontage and a more subtle interior.

Paint: Factory Finishing or On-site Finishing Your Door Leaf?

Whilst we don’t actively encourage this approach, you can opt to get your fire doorset finished on site. However, this decision shouldn’t be based on cost as you may find that finishing your door leaf on-site may actually cost more. Hidden costs such as programme implications or restricting access during decoration must also be considered.

To learn more factory finishing vs. on-site finishing, read our blog post here.

Lipping Considerations for your Fire Door

Not many people consider the impact that lipping has on the finish of your fire door. The difference between lipping four edges of the door leaf compared to two long edges of the door leaf is almost insignificant in price and yet substantial in longevity of the door leaf.

Lipping bad example Lipping RW Joinery Quality

The above images show two door leaves: one lipped long edges and one that is lipped all around. Can you see the difference?

When you opt for a door leaf that is lipped around all four edges, the facing material (whether it’s veneer or laminate) will finish to a nice, clean edge. This means that, not only will it look great, but it will increase the longevity of the door leaf, too.

A door leaf that is only lipped around two edges will expose the facing material, meaning it will deteriorate quicker.

The Quest to be Unique

If you’re looking to make a statement, then the finish of your fire doorset is going to be one of your most important decisions.

Why not try something different with the entrance door leaf finish? Give us a call and we can develop your ambitions and quest for uniqueness together.

From Our Experience

Here are a couple of considerations to take away before embarking on your apartment project:

-You have an opportunity to experiment with the height and width of the doorset with next to no additional cost*.

-On larger projects (500 doorsets +) don’t be afraid to consider impact vinyl. It has all the properties to achieve significant longevity of the door leaf and with many unique finishes. Talk to us.

-Experiment with external framing around your apartment entrance door. We have provided many simple cost effective solutions that enhance the visual experience.

-Don’t consider downgrading your internal apartment door leaves to standard proprietary supply. The difference in final aesthetic between proprietary and bespoke is great causing a detrimental effect within the apartment.

* Try not to let doorsets exceed 930mm wide or 2200mm high (cores over this size may have adverse effect on fire certification or cost. That doesn’t mean it is not feasible, it is. But they may cost a little more).

For further information, or to chat to an expert about your upcoming project, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0161 480 8722 or drop us an email on info@rwjoinery.co.uk

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