Monday, December 16, 2013

Hollow Core Doors vs Solid Core Doors

Choosing doors for your home is a big decision and the first thing you need to decide is whether to install hollow core doors or solid core doors. So why choose one over the other? Lots of reasons, aesthetics, cost, sound issues, fire rating concerns, the need to stain the door vs painting the door and ease of installation are the main factors.

So lets start with aesthetics. Solid core doors look fabulous, and just like the feel of a fine fabric in your hand you will also feel the weight of the this door. Nope you won't be holding the door fully in your hand but don't think for a second you won't feel the weight and importance of that door. Also because it is a solid piece of wood you can stain the door as well as paint it. A solid door will provide a great deal more privacy by lessening the sound that one can hear through the door and it is also a great deal more fire resistant so you can feel a lot safer concerning a fire moving into your bedroom space while you are sleeping. Solid core doors are very heavy and do not come in a frame, and therefore your carpenter will need to install the frame itself and then the door has to be installed into the frame which is obviously more labor intensive. You can get the solid wood doors already carved in the design you want or you can place your own wood moulding on top of the door.

This is a kitchen in a house where we installed solid birch wood doors, installed the moulding on top of the door, and then stained the door.

In the house below the foyer sets the stage for the rest of the home. The front doors are wood stained doors with an elaborate door casing which includes crown moulding, an applique, and fluted columns on each side. Inside we installed solid core doors and painted them white instead of staining them.

Here is the master bathroom showing the ladies vanity area and the solid core door to the left. It has a gloss finish on the door. As you can see we applied the moulding onto the door. 

Hollow core doors are affordable and easier to install because they come with the door frame already attached. Although of course you can buy an individual door without a frame, if you only need to replace the door itself. Hollow core doors are just what they sound like, they are hollow, so obviously much less expensive than a solid piece of wood, they also aren't wood, but rather a composite material. Hollow core doors are a great economical choice and they come in a variety of panel configurations in which to choose from. 

Below is an example of a hollow core door. It looks great, it does the job and it is about half the cost of solid core doors. You can see a tour of this house by going here.
To save money some people choose to install solid wood doors on their first floor and hollow core doors upstairs. It is your choice.

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  1. I really like the wooden doors in the homes you built. Even in photos one can see their weight.

    I have an old house, and I sanded and painted the old, interior doors. When I began they looked pretty crappy, but I was pleasantly surprised with how they turned out. I didn't start out wanting to preserve them. I looked at the pre-hung, hollow core doors and then realized they would not fit unless all the openings were modified.

  2. I don't think I've lived in a house with solid wood doors except for an old one I had the builder use when our bonus room was being constructed and I love the solid wood door. Heavy, more sound proof, a luxury I've always wanted.
    thanks for sharing.

  3. All of those doors you showed are really pretty. I especially liked the front door that you shared. I guess we have a mix in our house. Our front door is solid wood, but our interior doors are the standard 6 panel doors that most builders use. I'm sure they're nothing special. LOL!

  4. We used solid wood doors in our renovation, and we love them! It was definitely worth the additional expense... Also, I LOVE that tufted bench for the vanity in the third pic... beautiful!!

    The Glam Pad

  5. I would surely prefer a solid binnendeuren (Interior Door). As you rightly stated that it is strong, durable and gives a good look to the room. A bit expensive but I would look at it as an investment

  6. All these home doors designs are really very beautiful. Wooden doors are the most traditional ones and these doors really give house a classical look. That’s why these doors are still in trend.

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