Flush doors have not been around as long as might be thought, having been developed as a cheap alternative after the last world war using technology developed during aircraft manufacture. By using a lightweight core between two pieces of plywood or hardboard within a wooden frame, the flush door created was both lightweight and strong, and was, more importantly, cheaper than conventionally manufactured doors.
Development of Flush Doors
Enhancements in veneering techniques meant that real wooden veneers were soon added to this process. This resulted in a mass market exposure for economic real wood flush doors. During the 1960's and 70's, countless houses were constructed containing real wood veneer flush doors. Sapele wood was extremely popular due to its attractive cost and its mahogany type graining features. It was a great step forward in style and door design compared to the panelled options and painted finishes available previously. Flush door designs lost popularity during the 80’s and 90’s as more panelled doors became available to the market.
Flush door renaissance
Flush doors have more recently become more popular. This is based primarily on 3 factors. Firstly, flush doors are relatively low cost to produce when compared to most panelled door products. Secondly, they are the ideal substrate on which any design can be placed, from the simplest of single decorative veneers, though the most elaborate of paint finishes to the most intricate combinations of inlaid veneers. Thirdly, when manufactured using solid composite cores, they can provide significant advancement in specification due to their stability. It is relatively straightforward to produce doors that are not only enhanced in respect of their decorative effect, but also that can be used as fire doors or acoustic doors at affordable cost.
As well as having real wood veneer or painted finishes, flush doors can easily be customised through the addition of decorative grooves to their faces, or perhaps the inclusion of metal or plastic inserts to create even more individual designs. They can form a tableau for a picture, a print or even a fabric and there are endless permutations available. Current fashionable décor seems to have popularised sharp, clean angular surfaces which is reflected in furniture design to which door design is related. The flush door lends itself ideally to being adapted as an individual feature in its own right or as a design accessory within a theme.