American Alder wood (Alnus rubra), is from the West Coast of the United States and Canada. It has gained great popularity in the millwork industry for many of the Tuscan styled homes that were built in the last decade.
The wood is close grained, with no open pores. It can stain well to a dark finish and can mimic the richness of walnut at a much lower cost. It is relatively soft and not well suited for use as flooring. Alder hardwood lumber machines well and is excellent for any type of interior millwork project.
The alder tree is generally young and small (our CEO remembers them as weeds when he was in the forest service in college). Therefore alder lumber usually will not meet any existing hardwood lumber grading rules. The alder industry has created its own grades with names like "rustic" and "character" and "superior" to determine how knotty the wood will be. The sizes of the alder lumber is often narrow and short, requiring laminating for width for many moldings and other projects.
The major drawback to Alder hardwood lumber is that it has virtually no rot resistance. Many new homes do not have broad sweeping overhangs for stylistic reasons and therefore the doors and windows are exposed to the sun and rain. Insufficient finish allows water penetration and many doors are showing major decay issues at 4-5 years after installation.
Knotty or "Rustic" Grade Alder
Alder Entry Door
Alder Front Door
#1 Fredericksburg Road at “Five Points” | P.O. Box 5398 | San Antonio, TX 78201 | T 210-736-3137 | F 210-736-3136