Interior doors are an important part of any home and should be used to complement the rest of the home's design scheme. However, they come in such a variety of options that can be hard to know where to start. We've gathered research from home experts to determine what the best door is for the interior of a home.
When choosing interior doors, you should use hollow core doors (the cheaper option) for closets and pantries and solid core doors for bedrooms and bathrooms. You can also choose from a variety of styles - paneled, flush, or glass-paneled - depending on the aesthetic of the home. Finally, choose the opening format - standard swinging, pocket, bifold, or barn door - based on the location and purpose of the door.
That's a lot of options! But don't worry, in this guide, we'll cover each one in more detail. So be sure to keep reading for a more in-depth explanation of these types of doors as well as answers to other commonly asked questions about interior doors.
How To Choose An Interior Door
The location of the door plays a crucial role in determining what kind of door it should be. There are several factors to consider when selecting the doors for your home:
The three most popular weights of interior doors are:
- Hollow core
- Solid core
- Solid wood
Hollow and solid core doors are made from composite materials and have either a thin plywood veneer or a fiberglass veneer molded to look like wood.
Hollow core doors are lightweight and not as durable, usually made with cardboard on the inside. They are significantly cheaper than solid core doors and are fine for closets or other rooms where sound and privacy are not concerns. They do not provide much insulation or fire protection, so they are not recommended for bedrooms or bathrooms.
Solid core doors have a solid material on the inside like steel, wood, or foam. They deaden more sound than hollow core doors and are recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms. For more information on bedroom doors and privacy, check out Should Bedroom Doors Have Locks?
The most expensive (and durable) option is a solid wood door. These are made of real wood and often have a steel laminate on the inside for fire protection, insulation, and sound deadening properties.
Most doors are either paneled or flush.
Paneling on a door is a way to provide simple decoration. This is an example of a "six-panel" door, which adds depth and variety to a home.
Flush doors, on the other hand, have no designs and are perfect for a modern-themed home.
Other styles of interior doors include louvered doors that have horizontal slats. This type allows air to pass through but is less private than other types. Consider louvered doors for laundry rooms or closets.
Glass-paneled doors are great for distinguishing rooms without eliminating sightlines. You can often find these doors in home offices, children's playrooms, or formal dining rooms.
French doors, double doors with full-length glass windows, are a type of glass-paneled doors that provide elegance and openness.
Standard doors swing open and closed and work well in most rooms. However, don't limit yourself - consider other options!
Pocket doors slide into the wall and should be used for small rooms. They allow you to use space more efficiently without the swinging door.
Bifold doors are another space-saving type of door mainly used for closets or laundry rooms. They are easier to install than pocket doors, so consider them if you're looking for a simple way to conserve space.
Double doors are perfect for rooms that need to be flexible. Try a set of glass-paneled doors (as pictured below) to provide a grand feeling to a room. Or, use hollow core double doors to hide your laundry room or closet.
Barn doors are popular right now. They essentially work the same way as pocket doors, sliding instead of swinging, but they slide onto the outside of the wall instead of the inside. They work well to achieve a particular farmhouse or modern industrial aesthetic and are easier to install than pocket doors.
What Is The Best Color For Interior Doors?
Interior doors should match the overall decor scheme of the home. Most interior doors are a neutral color that matches the aesthetic of the rest of the home. Depending on your home or preferences, this could be white, off-white, or gray. Please note that a lighter colored door will show dirt marks and stains more easily.
Another popular option is a natural wood color. This can be used to match kitchen cabinets, trim, or furniture.
But if you'd like to use your interior doors to make a statement by painting them a striking, vibrant color, go for it. Interior doors should be used to further the home's decor scheme, whatever that looks like.
This home, for instance, uses its sky blue doors to accent the rest of the decor.
Should All Interior Doors Match?
Ideally, all interior doors should match each other in style. Pay attention to the paneling, style, and color of the door and try to match that throughout the home.
However, this does not mean that they all need to be exactly the same door. If you have a small bathroom and would like to save precious space by using a pocket door, that's great! Make sure that the paneling and color match the rest of the house.
Want a glass-paneled double door into your formal dining room? Make sure the border of the door fits in with the home's aesthetic.
If you need to paint the room-side of a door so that it can match that room's style (like in a bedroom), that is acceptable. The idea is to create a consistent flow throughout the home and to allow interior doors to play a role.
Should The Door Frame Be The Same Color As The Door?
The door and door frame do not have to be the same color: it's completely up to you. Most homes have matching door and trim colors, but it is not a requirement.
In fact, having differing door frames and door colors is a great way to create depth in your home. See how this house has natural wood colored doors with white frames? This is a great way to make the doors stand out and be highlighted in the color scheme.
Are French Doors Still Popular?
French doors are still popular! They are a great way to create a barrier between rooms while still allowing the room to feel open and bright. Open concepts are very popular, and French doors help create that feeling.
They also provide flexibility between rooms, as they can be closed or stand open depending upon the situation. We recommend French doors for children's playrooms, home offices, and formal dining rooms.
For more information and advice on French doors, check out this article!
Are Interior Doors A Standard Size?
The standard height of an interior door is eighty inches, with a standard width of 32 inches. These are fire code dimensions for any door classified as a "passage" door. Closet and utility doors are permitted to be 78 inches tall and 30 inches wide.
Some doors are 36 inches wide in order to comply with certain Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. These doors should be installed in homes for those with mobility issues, and are popular choices in many apartment buildings and assisted living facilities.
Interior doors are a great tool to further the desired decorating scheme in your home.
Choose the door weight based on your budget and the room's privacy needs. Pick out a complementary style of door depending on how you want your home to feel: paneled, flush, or glass-paneled. Look for ways to conserve space in small rooms by using a pocket, bifold, or barn door.
Don't be afraid to be creative, as doors are a great way to highlight your home's personality. Good luck, and have fun!