The Sapele Door is or I should say was the most popular of doors but that was during the 70' - 80's and just like the Sapele doors after a few years in place their colour has faded as quickly as their popularity.
The humble Sapele door was championed as a "luxury" door during the 70's and 80's by builders of new homes, they were actually very cheaply made with a honeycomb core, almost always hollow in construction and even more cheaply finished resulting in the colour fading over a period of time.
The odd situation of a cheaper door being better was when there was a "Sapele" paper foil applied to a plain plywood door, it was even cheaper than the veneered sapele door but seemed to retain its colour longer than the veneered version, life is odd some times.
The move away from the Sapele door has been fairly steady and the replacement in our opinion is the Walnut veneered doors which are available at DirectDoors.com with all walnut doors being properly lacquer finished with UV protection built in.
Sapele was very viable commercially and is from the mahogany timber family, it has distinctive figuring and has a density of 640 kg percubic metre. We as a company use Sapele or similar hardwoods for our bespoke solid wood doors, generally speaking it is now most commonly used for all types of flooring but other uses were in the manufacture of musical instruments with the Sapele being used for both sides of acoustic guitars.
One of Americas largest car makers (Cadillac) uses sapele timber for wooden trims on a number of its vehicles, we would never say that Sapele is bad, it isn't, but it has definitely lost its popularity, no doubt it could make a re-appearance and become popular but the cost or the bad press it seemed to attract due to the "cheapness" of the doors it adorned may now be the prohibitive factor.