Although they may look similar, not all wooden doors are created equally. Different types of wooden doors are available to meet several different needs. With all of the available options, comparing the characteristics can be overwhelming. We have researched to help you navigate the different types of wooden doors to help you find a door that meets all of your needs.
Wooden doors offer a variety of durable and secure options for your home’s interior and exterior. You can select wood types, core types, and additional features to create a door that meets your needs, such as:
- Hardwood doors
- Softwood doors
- Hollow core
- Solid core
- Solid wood
- Fire retardant doors
- Soundproof doors
- Slab doors
- Pre-hung doors
After you’ve selected materials based on the functionality that works best for your door needs, have fun coordinating your home with the stylish choices available for wooden doors, such as:
- Barn inspired
Along with knowing the difference between different types of wooden doors, there will be other questions that will probably arise during the course of your project. What is the difference between solid core doors and hollow core doors? Is hardwood better than softwood for my door? Can I afford a new door? Do I need a fire retardant door? We will discuss the answers to all these questions plus some other closely related topics, just keep reading.
Types of Wooden Doors
The type of wood used for making your wooden door can affect much more than the door’s look. Depending on the wood that your door is made of, your choice of the wooden door can affect sound control, temperature regulation, and installation. Most woods used for making doors are grouped into hardwood or softwood. Within those two categories, there are multiple choices in wood; we will discuss a few examples of these.
Hardwoods come from deciduous trees with broad leaves. Known for its soundproofing properties and tendency to resist decay, hardwoods such as oak, walnut, and elm trees (just to name a few) make excellent exterior doors. While the name may suggest that the wood itself is hard, this is not necessarily the case.
Oak is a popular hardwood, possibly due to its durability and appearance. A slower growing tree contributes to this wood’s dense properties, making it an excellent exterior door material. The oak’s decorative grainy look also makes it an attractive option, and oak is also one of the less expensive hardwoods.
Many people think of security doors as metal doors or doors with metal bars. Wooden doors, especially those made of strong hardwoods, can also be security doors. This wooden security door is reinforced with steel and outfitted with numerous safety measures, including reinforced panels and multiple locks on several levels. As secure as this door is, it still has a traditional feel due to the wood covering.
On the other hand, softwoods, such as pine or fir, come from evergreen coniferous trees that have needled leaves and cones. These trees grow year-round and at a more rapid pace than hardwood trees. This decreases the density of the wood compared to a dense hardwood and also decreases the cost. Doors made from softwoods are better suited for interior use as softwood is not as resistant to decay as hardwood.
Pine comes from conifer trees that are readily available due to being grown year-round. Although it is classified as a softwood, pine is durable and longlasting. Because of this, pine is usually the more cost-efficient choice in wooden doors. For these reasons, six-paneled pine doors are the most popular interior solid wood doors. In the past, pine has been used for exterior doors, but it is now recommended to reserve pine doors for your home’s interior as pine can be less durable than hardwood.
Types of Wooden Door Cores
While the core of your door may not seem like an important factor, a solid core versus a hollow core can make huge differences in sound-blocking, temperature regulation, and fire-resistance. While hollow-core doors are the most popular type of interior door, there are benefits and disadvantages of all three types of doors.
Consisting of a wooden frame or shell with a paper board or plastic core, hollow core doors are only made for interior use. The six-panel hollow core door is widely popular for use in the construction of newer homes. Hollow core doors are lightweight and inexpensive but not soundproof and are less fire retardant than solid wood doors.
Solid core doors are usually a composite wood core, such as particleboard or masonite, covered in a higher quality wood veneer. Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is an alternative to the veneer and composite solid core door and looks very similar to a solid wood door but requires no veneer and is still lightweight and easy to install. Solid core doors are a more expensive choice for interior doors but may be worth it if a door with sound-blocking properties is important in your home.
Solid wood doors have historically been known for their quality and durability, making them a popular exterior door choice. Solid wood doors can be used as interior doors but can be much more expensive than the other two alternatives. While not many solid wood doors are made from a solid wood slab, they are heavyweight and durable but more expensive than other alternatives. When used on the exterior of your home, solid wood doors should be painted or finished to avoid sun damage.
How Core Affects the Weight of Wooden Doors
As we discussed, there are differences in the cores of wooden doors. These cores make the difference between a lightweight door and a heavyweight door. Hollow core doors are lightweight, while solid wood doors are considered heavyweight. Solid core doors are also considered heavyweight, as some can be heavier than solid wood doors. While heavyweight doors can offer many benefits, as discussed above, lightweight wooden doors are less likely to warp and are easier to install.
How Core Affects the Cost of Wooden Doors
The main reason for the huge popularity of hollow core wooden doors is their cost-efficiency. Ranging from about $50 to about $150, hollow core wooden doors are the least costly of the three types of wooden doors. Solid core doors typically run anywhere from about $100 to about $250. Solid wood doors can range from about $150 for solid wood interior doors up to $1,000 and up for some solid wood exterior doors. With such a wide price difference, knowing what kind of door your space needs can possibly save you hundreds of dollars.
How Core Affects the Longevity of wooden doors
Known for their durability, solid wood doors cannot be matched in longevity. Hollow core doors are more likely to sustain cracks, breaks, or even holes. Because of the slow-growing trees that it comes from, dense hardwood is the most durable and longest-lasting material for your door.
Additional Wooden Door Features
While wooden doors themselves are not fire-proof, they can be fire retardant or treated to be fire retardant. Fire retardant means being able to slow the spread of fire. Wooden doors can be purchased with fire retardant properties. Solid wood doors have a higher fire rating, meaning they are more fire retardant than hollow core wooden doors. An alternate option for fire protection is a fire barrier paint applied to any paintable surface to help decrease flame spread.
When it comes to sound-blocking properties in a door, the most cost-efficient option is a solid core wooden door. While not as expensive as a solid wood door, solid core doors are a comparable option for sound-blocking. As a rule, dense hardwoods are good for soundproofing a room, while less dense softwoods have less sound-blocking ability. For an alternate soundproofing option, consider adding soundproof weatherstripping at the door’s bottom.
Slab versus pre-hung doors
A slab door, the least expensive option in hollow core type doors, is just the door itself with no additional hardware or attachments. Pre-hung doors come with the frame and the hinges already in place and ready to install. Pre-hung doors offer a quicker and easier installation than slab doors.
Design Options For Wooden Doors
From traditional to modern, rustic to elaborate, and even barn-like, the design options for both interior and exterior wooden doors are endless. Whether you prefer a clean traditional look or a funky rustic look, there is a door for everyone.
While some think of traditional as boring, this traditional wooden door is anything but. You can transform a traditional, plain wooden door into a classy and sophisticated entrance to your home with the right paint color.
Modern style wooden doors can add the perfect touch to your home. The modern hardware and distinguished lines etched into the wood of this wooden door make this porch space seem larger, and the glass side accents give the small area a more open feel.
The simplicity of a rustic home look has become extremely popular recently. With bold dark hardware and faded woods, this rustic door is a good example of a rustic design option for wooden doors.
Another version of the rustic design look, barn inspired designs for doors are widely used for both exterior and interior doors. The railing above the door gives the space an industrial, barn-like feel.
With so many choices and options in wooden door designs and types, it may seem like an enormous task to choose the right one. Deciding what factors are important to you and your space prior to choosing a door can make the process of choosing the right door a bit easier. We hope that this article has helped to inform you of the available options and pros and cons of a few of several wooden door types.
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