A door skin is the cosmetic outer surface of a door, made up of a thin layer such as veneer and designed to apply over existing flat panel doors for a new, fresh look and providing a solution that is environmentally friendly where you no longer have to throw away your old door.
The Water Absorption Rate
Door skins are meant to protect the wood or veneer of a door to make the door last longer. Moisture can cause significant amounts of damage. If you're considering a door skin for a door in a high humidity room like the bathroom or laundry room, it's important to make sure you check the skin's water absorption rate. The lower the water absorption rate, the better it will be at resisting moisture.
Is It Environmentally Friendly?
Taking care of the environment should always be a concern when buying any consumer product. This holds true for buying a door skin as well. Choose one that's kinder to the environment in the materials it's made from and the manufacturing process. Door skins manufactured in an Earth-friendly manner from Earth-friendly materials will be specifically labeled as such.
The thickness of the door skin can determine how effective it'll be at protecting the surface of the door. The thicker it is, the more protection it will offer. On the downside, the thicker the skin, the more likely it is to show, which may not be a good feature if you have a beautiful door you want to display. Sometimes the thicker skins can be more difficult to put on because they're awkward and don't have the flexibility to allow them to move as easily. There's also a downside to installing thinner skins. Any creases created during the installation process are more likely to show. Thinner skins have a higher chance of tearing during the installation process too. Weigh the pros and cons of door skin thickness carefully based on your personal needs before purchasing.
Chance of Shrinkage and Splitting
Most door skins on the market today are specifically designed not to shrink or split. Still, it's a good idea to check the manufacturer's specs when buying a door skin to make sure the percentage of shrinkage or splitting is acceptable for your needs.
The Type of Surface
A basic door can be made to look fancier or made out of more expensive wood by using a door skin. Various surfaces of skins are available in black walnut, white maple, gray wenge, pearwood, white wood grain, cherry, red wenge, redwood, beech, cherry, sandal, apple, teak, and white oak. It's a more economical way to make a door look more expensive and/or match the look of the furniture in a room.
Modulus of Elasticity
The modulus of elasticity is the give-in-the-door skin and its ability to stretch. Look for at least a 40 MPA of modulus elasticity.