Solid core bamboo doors

Sliding solid bamboo doors

Would you sleep well at night if your entrance doors were removed? Nice big gaping holes where your doors used to be?

Often, the conversation in your head, when you’re choosing exterior doors, is mostly about style. BUT, there is always the deeper underlying basic requirement for your exterior doors – security.

Is your front door secure? How about your kitchen or back door? How secure?

Could a determined someone barge or kick it open?

Solid steel doors are the best for security, but are they practical and cost effective for a home? My guess is that they are not.

Being good stewards of our planet’s limited resources, first prize is to choose a door made of a renewable material – wood.

How are timber doors made?

Have a look at how solid wood doors are typically constructed. This quick exercise will to give us an idea of how strong (and therefore secure) each type of door is.

Wood bows and buckles at wider dimensions. This is why door designs are all jointed.

Types of joins in door designs

Frame and panel door - types of joins

Frame and panel door – types of joins

Door construction - midrail detail

Door construction – midrail detail

Let’s have a look at how the joins are made, as this will give us a good idea of how strong or weak a particular design is.

I’m not going to go into the technical details of all the types of joins. But just look at the two pictures on the right – thinner sections of the planks are “hooked” or inserted into the notched slats.

“A chain is only as strong as the weakest link”, the saying goes. See how thin some of those joins really are?

How are those joins going to hold up to force, determined brute force?

Another point for consideration – how long before those joints loosen up after repeated banging of the door over the years?

All these factors affect the structural integrity of the door and it’s suitability as a good security barrier.

Solid bamboo doors are the ideal candidate for a compromise between aesthetics and security. One hundred percent solid bamboo all the way through. These doors don’t have any weak joins in their construction. There are no weak points in the door that need reinforcing – the door is a single solid bamboo panel.

Show them the door

Now that you know what to look for in a timber door design, let’s talk about the all important aesthetics.

You want a door that is attractive, inviting, a feature piece for your home.

Solid bamboo doors are available ready to install as it – just coat with your preferred finishing product.

You an also have an artist carve out a custom design, either using a chisel or with a CNC machine. Think of them as a blank canvas, ready for you to express yourself on.

Why not just get a security gate?

Security gates are an obvious door security solution, even though they are not that kind on the eye (actually, they are just plain ugly unless you have one designed and custom made).

You have to admit, it really is a pain to have to lock and unlock a door and a security gate all the time. Then there’s the extra time it takes to get in or out of your home in an emergency situation. And those keys, all those extra keys.

And lastly, what does it cost to buy an additional security gate, especially a quality gate?

Whilst not specifically designed as a security door, a solid bamboo door is an ideal option.

Bamboo is strong, it has a higher ultimate strength than cold pressed steel. It’s ultimate strength is 663% higher than Pine Wood.

We had a 40 mm solid bamboo board tested at a lab to see just how strong it really is; it moved only 3 mm under a 1,050 kg (one ton) force. Go on, measure out 3 mm with your fingers – that hardly counts as moving. Good luck with trying to kick this door in.

Living in South Africa, it made sense to arrange for a few shots to be fired at a 40 mm bamboo board (the standard bamboo door is 4 mm thicker), just to see how a bamboo door would fare under a serious attack. A quick bit of research told us that the weapon of choice would be the trusty old shotgun.

International guide lines for door breaching include the popular shotgun approach. Here is a description from a Wikipedia article on door breaching:

While in theory other firearms can be used, handguns are usually underpowered[4] and rifles are less effective than the shotgun and pose a far higher risk of ricochet and collateral injury.[3]

The article goes on to say that it typically requires two shots to breach at the latch or one for each hinge if you are attacking the hinges. A picture (or three) is worth a thousand words. Take a look and see for yourself at how our 40 mm solid bamboo board fared under fire.

Solid bamboo door - shotgun shot

Solid bamboo door – shotgun shot

Solid bamboo door - shotgun shot - how deep did the shot penetrate?

How deep did the shot penetrate?

Solid bamboo door - shotgun shot - let's measure

Let’s measure … 10 mm

The deepest penetration point of the shot was 10 mm. It’ll take a few more than the standard 2 shots to start to weaken this door sufficiently. If you are using quality door hardware, this is going to be one tough door to breach. And no-one, not even a Sumo wrestler, is going to be able to kick this door down.

At a very competitive price to other comparable solid timber doors, you get a really solid door PLUS that “sleep well at night” kind of peace of mind when you choose a solid bamboo door.

How’s your current exterior doors faring?

My front door is pretty weathered and has a weak frame from cracks where screws have been put in. I know I need to have the whole frame, door and screen door replaced but it is not something I can really get done right away. Even though I have a metal reinforcement on the frame also, I still feel like someone could kick the door down easily.


Which door is right for you?

Where does a solid bamboo door fit in when compared to other types of solid wood doors?

We’ve compiled a retail pricing comparison table for your convenience. Unfortunately prices can vary greatly between door suppliers, so we’ve tried to provide you with a representative range for the comparison.


  • Security: Low
  • Price: Low
  • Exterior use: No

500 – 1,800

per door

Frame & Fill

  • Security: Good
  • Price: Medium-High
  • Exterior use: Yes

1,800 – 3,800

per door

Frame & Panel

  • Security: Med-Good
  • Price: Med-High
  • Exterior use: Yes

1,400 – 3,800

per door

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