Why Stile and Rail Doors are Worth the Investment

When you want the best quality wood doors for a hospitality or office project, stile and rail doors provide both quality and beauty. When you fully understand the level of craftsmanship that goes into stile and rail door construction, you see why they make a worthwhile investment.

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1. What Goes Into Manufacturing Stile and Rail Doors

A sleek white-painted door with subtle panel detailing and silver handle

When the television show “How It’s Made” produced an episode on stile and rail doors, whose factory did they feature? They went behind the scenes at Masonite to show, step-by-step, how our craftspeople meticulously cut, treat, and assemble all the pieces.

Unlike a slab or flush wood door, stile and rail door construction uses linear strand lumber, which consists of strips of wood glued together. One door requires a dozen or more pieces—stiles, rails, panels, mullions and, in some cases, glass and muntins. They absolutely must be cut precisely so that they fit together perfectly.

Glue and dowel pins create strong joints and a sturdy door. The panels are made from MDF and are “floating” between the stiles and rails. With no glue restricting their natural expansion and contraction, you avoid warping or cracking of the door. In the end, they give the illusion of a single carved piece of wood.

Masonite uses a hot press technique to build its stile and rail wood doors, which involves pressing each door individually in a platen under controlled pressure, temperature, and time. This method results in greater consistency and quality compared with a cold press technique. With cold pressing, the pressure is uneven and the bottom door in the pile receives more pressure than the top one.

2. Customization for Stile and Rail Doors

Stile and rail wood doors bring a luxurious touch to an architectural construction project. They’re often a good choice when you’re trying to achieve historical authenticity. More importantly, however, you can customize them to fit just about any style or brand standards.

You can customize the number, shape and size of panels to achieve different looks. Add lites and archtops to fit your design sensibility. Choose from various wood species, and think beyond the standard maple and oak. The perfect factory-finished stain can add a gorgeous touch to match flooring, trim or furniture. Factory painted doors provide even more options when it comes to color matching, especially if you need to follow strict brand standards.

In 2011, the WDMA published its Industry Standard for Architectural Stile and Rail Doors. This document can help you to specify wood stile and rail doors thoroughly, precisely, and accurately. You and your clients will surely appreciate these doors’ structural integrity as well the strong impression they make with their timeless beauty.

To learn more about Masonite Architectural’s stile and rail doors, download our brochure or take a look at some examples of our work for Vic’s on the River and Hotel Indigo.

Masonite Architectural – Want help?

Our expert field of Territory Sales Managers can help guide you through the process. We’ll make sure you get the perfect doors to delight your clients on opening day (and for years to come). 

We can apply our expertise of wood type, grain, stain and door design to complement your space. Often, designers give door hardware more consideration than the door itself. Masonite Architectural knows the whole opening matters. We offer a wide selection of veneer options and available material choices.

If you’re ready to get started on your current project, you can call 1-877-332-4484 or email us archinfo@masonite.com