Which species of wood is best for your windows and doors?

Wooden Doors and Windows

Once you have made a decision to fit timber windows and doors in your home, how do you decide which species of timber is best for you? KAT’s sister company Spitfire Doors offer both external and internal timber doors. Their external doors are made from beautiful Canadian Red Cedar in 5 finishes and these S-400 Series doors have excellent acoustic and thermal values.  Their internal door range features Ash, Bamboo, Beech, Bubinga, Cherry, Etimoe, Iroko, Maple, Walnut, Burr Oak or Walnut and Spanish Pine. Contact [email protected]

KAT now specialise in the manufacture of Aluminium and PVCu doors and windows and no longer manufacture timber products. Contact KAT for more information on 01625 439666.

Canadian Red Cedar

Canadian Red Cedar


Thuja plicata is native to North America with the oldest known tree being 1460 years old. The soft red-brown timber has a tight, straight grain and very few knots. It is valued for its beautiful appearance and aroma and its very high natural resistance to decay.





Timber windows and doors are aesthetically pleasing and if well-maintained will last a long time. Wood is the traditional choice of material for manufacturing windows, because of the availability, practicality and appearance. Wood is our only naturally renewable building material. Click here to download a brochure for all KAT doors and windows. Wooden windows and doors are naturally insulating, providing better insulation as compared with other materials and can be recycled at the end of their lifetime. When considering whether to buy wooden windows and doors you need to be prepared to inspect them annually and paint every three to five years. Once a decision to choose wood has been made, it is important to understand the benefits of different species of timber.


Canadian Red Cedar S-400 Door from Spitfire Doors

Canadian Red Cedar Door



Benefits of Softwood

Softwoods such as Fir or Spruce have a low resistance to decay, which makes them good for manufacturing windows. Softwood is less expensive than hardwood and is often the choice of timber when considering your budget. The disadvantage of softwoods is that they absorb moisture so aren’t as stable as hardwoods.

Benefits of Hardwood

Hardwoods such as Oak, Idigbo and Sapele are popular for windows and doors as they are more stable and durable than Softwood.

Benefits of Oak

Benefits of Oak

Engineered Oak being prepared for a Bespoke Front Door at KAT in 2016

Oak has been used for centuries and is admired for its beautiful grain and its’ strength and durability. Most supplies of Oak come from sustainable sources. A protective microporous finish can be applied to maintain the natural appeal of Oak. Idigbo is a yellow-brown colour hardwood, sourced from West Africa, it’s a moderately durable hardwood commonly used as an inexpensive alternative to Oak, due to its likeness when stained to the same colour. Also sourced from West Africa is Sapele, which has a medium reddish brown appearance. The beauty of the natural grain of Sapele is enhanced when a natural microporous finish is applied and when painted achieves a really smooth finish. As timber is a living material it does present natural challenges when used for certain applications.

open window painted grey - reduced

Flush wooden windows with georgian bars, painted anthracite grey.

If you are looking for naturally beautiful wooden windows made from the most durable wood possible, guaranteed to last at least 25 years, then Accoya timber could be the timber of choice for you. Swelling and shrinkage is reduced by 75% or more, paints and varnishes last 3 or 4 times longer than other timbers, greatly reducing maintenance costs. Accoya wood is sustainably sourced and is naturally renewable and is fully reusable and recyclable. It is in consistent supply being produced from fast-growing species such as Radiata Pine.

Contact Spitfire Doors for more information about external or internal wooden doors on 01625 412570.

In 2016, KAT ceased the manufacture of timber doors and windows and can offer a wide range of products in Aluminium or PVCu.  For more information, or to request a brochure, please contact [email protected] or telephone 01625 439666.