Joinery colour and design trends have come a long way since the early 2000s, when door frames tended to be either painted white, or supplied unfinished ready to be painted or stained on site.

These days, increasing shortages of skilled tradespeople and a push to get buildings constructed as quickly as possible has led to increased demand for products that are supplied ready to fit, with no need for lengthy painting or staining once they are installed.

At the same time, architects and specifiers want to be more adventurous with their designs and door frames are no longer considered an afterthought. Instead, designers are looking to incorporate door frames, skirting and architraves into their finish by, for example, painting period-style door frames the same colour as the walls in an Edwardian room to blend the door into the wall, or by matching a stained oak door with stained oak frames and skirting to continue the high-end finish and create a seamless look around the entire room.

Implementing different colours and matching finishes used to be particularly difficult when it came to door frames and skirting. Getting solid timber to match a veneered door, or painting MDF to match a laminate, was difficult and often not very successful. Equally, technical specifications haven’t always enabled the designers and architects’ ideas to be achieved.

It has always been easier to wrap wood composites such as MDF, because the small wood fibres that MDF is comprised of does not create the visible wood grain, rings or knots found with solid wood. MDF is also more stable, and less inclined to bow or bend than some traditional timbers.

However, many projects state that entrance doors and frames must meet PAS 24 standards and/or be Secured by Design (SBD) certified, which leads architects to often specify hardwood materials, rather than MDF.

PAS 24 is part of the UK Building Regulations and is a minimum standard for windows and entrance doorsets, which certifies that compliant products offer a specific level of security and can withstand a series of measured manual and mechanical tests to prevent would-be intruders from gaining entry.

Secured by Design, meanwhile, is a police initiative created to improve the security of buildings and ‘design out crime’ by recommending products such as doors, windows and locks that are sufficiently robust to resist physical attack and deter opportunist burglars. Products that have been SBD certified must have been examined and tested by a UK Accreditation Service-accredited independent third-party certification authority.

Modern design trends often call for door frames to match the colour or finish of the door itself, meaning that if the project has an oak or walnut door, then the door frame should also be oak or walnut.

This, unfortunately, can be prohibitively expensive, and difficult to get hold of at the right quality. These problems increase further when the design is a stained timber finish, which is why leading manufacturers have been working hard to give their customers another option.

New manufacturing techniques mean that the W Howard Group can now give builders almost any type of finish they want for their door frames, perfectly wrapped around a more cost-effective timber such as engineered redwood or sapele, both of which comply with PAS 24 standards.

Frames can be wrapped in real wood veneers, including stained designs such as TABU and Alpi. They can also be wrapped in PVC/vinyl or even laminate, depending on how hard wearing the door frame needs to be, and whether it is being installed in a hightraffic area.

The W Howard Group works with worldleading manufacturers such as Egger, among others, when specifying its wraps, giving builders a huge variety of prints, colours and décor to choose from that can suit almost any interior or design.

A key advantage of working with Egger – a leading supplier of laminates and melamine-faced chipboard for kitchen worktops and furniture, and a popular choice of manufacturers for products in hotels and other commercial spaces – is that specifiers who are looking to enhance their building’s finish even further can match the finish of their door frames, skirting, architraves and even window boards with their furniture and worktops.

These latest advances in manufacturing technologies when it comes to door frames, skirting and architraves are opening up new avenues for builders and architects to create even more bespoke buildings that reflect the occupants’ individual style, designing a fully co-ordinated finish that brings the entire space together.