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Solid Core Doors vs. Hollow Core Doors: What’s the Difference?

interior door design

One of the most significant decisions during home decoration is the choice of interior doors. There are two main types of interior doors: solid core doors and hollow core doors. These two types of doors have different constructions and unique advantages and disadvantages. Choose the right interior door based on your needs, lifestyle, and budget when choosing interior wood doors. By reading this article, and examining the pros and cons of the solid core door and hollow core door, you will understand and have the right fit for your home.

What are solid core doors?

Solid Core Structure

Solid core doors are interior wooden doors constructed with a solid core material, typically made of wood or wood composites. Solid cores are covered with wood veneers or other decorative materials to create an appealing, finished appearance. Multiple layers of wood or wood-based materials are often used to create these solid and sturdy interior doors.

grey solid core door
Source: OPPOLIA

Pros of solid core doors

  1. Strong and durable: Solid core doors are more resistant to damage than hollow core doors. Due to their solid construction and dense core material, they are resistant to dents, warping, and general wear and tear. This solid wood door can withstand heavy use and is less likely to crack or split over time. A solid core door has a longer lifespan than a hollow core door. The structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of these products can last for years with proper maintenance and care.
  2. Blocking noise: Solid core doors offer excellent sound insulation. By blocking and absorbing sound waves, the solid core material reduces noise transmission between rooms. Solid core doors are especially useful in bedrooms, and home offices where privacy and noise control are crucial.
  3. Affordable alternatives to solid wood doors: Compared to solid wood interior doors, solid core doors mimic the appearance at a lower price. And the solid core wood door could be customized with various wood veneers, finishes, and decorative elements to suit your personal preferences.
white solid core interior door
Source: OPPOLIA

Cons of solid core doors

  1. Hard to install: A solid core door is heavier than a hollow core door, which makes installation difficult. It can be more challenging to install heavy solid core doors and may require additional support or hardware. Solid core doors need a more robust frame and hinges than hollow core doors, so it is important to consider structural capacity when choosing them
  2. More expensive than hollow core: A solid core door is typically more expensive than a hollow core door. Solid core construction requires higher costs due to the materials used and the construction process. Solid core doors may not be a good option if your budget is tight.

What are hollow core doors?

hollow core door structure

The hollow core door features a hollow interior construction. Typically, cardboard or honeycomb-like materials are sandwiched between thin plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) panels. An outer panel is then finished with a veneer or other decorative finish to complete the look.

beige hollow core door
Source: OPPOLIA

Pros of hollow core doors:

  1. Lightweight door: Interior wood doors with hollow cores are significantly lighter than those with solid cores. Due to this feature, they are easy to handle, transport, and install. Additionally, the less weight puts less strain on doorframes and hinges. The lightweight feature makes hollow core doors easier to install than solid core or solid wood doors.
  2. Extremely affordable: In general, hollow core doors are cheaper than solid core or solid wood doors. Due to its cost-effective construction process and materials, this type of wooden door has become popular for projects on a budget.
modern dark hollow core door
Source: OPPOLIA

Cons of hollow core doors:

  1. Not as durable as a solid core door: A hollow core door has a shorter lifespan than a solid core door. Due to the hollow core, often filled with cardboard or honeycomb-like material, this type of door is more prone to punctures, dents, and impacts. Unlike a solid core door, a hollow core wood door may not withstand abuse or heavy use.
  2. Poor sound blocking: A hollow core door has less ability to block sound transmission than a solid core door. Having a hollow core makes the door a less efficient sound insulator between rooms, as sound can easily pass through them. There may be a problem if privacy or noise control is a significant concern in the area.
  3. Less security: Hollow core interior doors are less secure than solid core doors. Because of their hollow cores and lighter construction, these doors are easier to break into. Compared with doors with solid cores, they may not offer the same level of security and protection.

It is never necessary to select interior wooden doors all of the same type, which means you can choose different doors for different rooms. If you are on a budget, why not choose hollow core doors for your pantry and walk-in closet, and solid core doors for your bedroom and home office? It is important to fully understand the differences between these wooden interior doors so that you can select the right one for your space.

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