Wood door cores are central to the door’s performance and durability. Each core type has benefits and specific applications where they are recommended or even required to be used. The core type can also greatly affect the cost of the wood doors on your project. We’ll briefly cover each core type and talk about some of their benefits.

The 4 commercial wood door core types commonly used are:

  1. Particleboard
  2. Structural Composite Lumber
  3. Stave Lumber
  4. Mineral

1. Particleboard Core

Particleboard wood door cores are made of ground up raw wood that is glued together to form the core. Particleboard is very durable and will meet most, if not all, of the requirements for door performance on many commercial projects. Low cost and availability are major benefits of using particleboard cores. Particleboard cores are available as non-rated, 20 minute, or 45 minute fire rated.

2. Structural Composite Lumber Core

Structural composite lumber (SCL) cores are made of strands of different species of wood that are combined together with special resins. This creates a strong core that is much more durable than particleboard cores. SCL cores are available as non-rated or 20 minute fire rated.

When lite/lock conflicts arise on doors with particleboard cores, sometimes changing to a structural composite lumber core will help reduce the minimum dimensions needed to maintain the integrity of the doors and keep the dimensions of the lite cutout the same.

3. Stave Lumber Core

Stave lumber cores are assembled using blocks or strips of wood that are from the same species. This creates a durable core that is lighter in weight than particleboard. Stave lumber cores are not used as frequently in recent years due to the introduction of structural composite lumber cores which provide similar durability at a lower cost.

4. Mineral Core

Mineral core doors utilize a mixture of noncombustible minerals and are only used in doors that require fire ratings of 45, 60, or 90 minutes. Mineral cores are very lightweight and do not hold screws well. This requires internal wood blocking in the core to allow hardware to fasten securely.


Each manufacturer should be consulted about which cores they offer and the differences in construction they may use. Beacon Commercial Door & Lock can help you find the right wood doors for your project. Choosing the right doors will ensure your building will perform as expected for years to come.

Learn more about Masonite Architectural wood doors here.