Read on to find out more about the various options available for interior doors. We’ll help you choose the door style, material and finish that match your personality and add to the existing charm of your home.
Interior Door Style
To begin, it’s good to understand your options when it comes to door style. Interior doors come in hinged panel, flush, bi-fold, French, sliding, pocket, and other styles. Here’s a description of the most popular door styles, so you can be familiar with your options.
Panel doors are the most commonly used interior doors for residential buildings. They have square or rectangular patterns that can range from a single large panel, to eight or more small panels. The patterns can also include rounded tops and decorative finishes, as well as glass inserts to add extra glamour. Selecting a door from this category simply comes down to personal taste. Interior doors styles that are currently trending in new homes include: the three panel mission, five panel equal and standard whole panel door.
Flush interior doors offer a clean and classic option for your home. The door is completely flat and offers an affordable price tag for most home owners.
Bifold doors are a set of interior doors hinged together that fold into each other and are mounted and hung from a track. Bifold interior doors are most commonly found in areas like bedroom closets, laundry rooms and the kitchen pantry. Consider using this type of door in small spaces, or in areas where you’re hesitant to dedicate a full swinging door footprint.
French doors add a dramatic touch to any entryway. This door configuration contains two hinge-hung doors mounted on either side of the opening that swing towards one another. French doors commonly use glass inserts or decorative panels to add glamour to your space. These interior doors are commonly used in areas meant to put a room of your home on display, like music rooms, home offices, living rooms, master bedrooms, etc.
Sliding doors are a less commonly used door configured by hanging two or more interior doors mounted to a track. They do not swing, so are useful in areas without available floor space, but, do require space to either the right or left of each door to ensure the doors can slide freely back and forth to provide a wide enough entry into the door’s room. While not extremely common, these interior doors can be used to provide a unique option for rooms that may originally have been constructed for a French door opening.
Pocket doors are an ‘old school’ style that has recently come back with a bang. These interior doors slide similarly to a sliding door, but generally are just a single door mounted to a rolling overhead track that slides into a prepared space within the wall. New versions of the pocket door allow double doors to be stored in spaces on either side of the doorway. An added benefit to the pocket door is that the wall basically hides any door part, making it a great option for rooms where the door rarely needs to be closed. Pocket doors are great to use in small spaces like toilet rooms, passages where it would make sense to end a room, closets, music rooms, etc.
Interior Door Material
Selecting a door material usually comes down to two factors: taste and budget. We suggest going in to a local door shop to feel the difference between opening solid wood, solid core and hollow core interior doors, before you submit your order.
Solid Wood Doors
Solid wood doors naturally have the most heft and weight to their feel. They are extremely sturdy, offering resistance to cracking or chipping, and have a pleasing aesthetic appeal. While generally the most expensive option, many buyers consider solid wood to be a good value due to their long lasting composition. Solid wood interior doors also offer great insulation and provide a natural sound barrier.
Solid-core doors are made from plywood or molded composite exterior, with a filled-wood-fiber interior. Solid-core doors generally look and feel similar to that of a solid wood door, maintaining the same quality or ‘expensive’ feel. Again, they offer good insulation and offer a quality sound barrier between rooms. These doors, like solid wood are heavy and may contract with heat and moisture levels, which may cause issues if extreme weather conditions are a factor in your home.
Generally the least expensive of the three materials, hollow-core doors are constructed from a wood frame, plywood or hardwood surface and filled with rigid cardboard to maintain their shape. While lighter and less expensive than solid wood or solid-core doors, hollow-core are not as durable or fire-resistant. The sound barrier is also weaker due to the door’s composition. If heat and humidity changes in your home are of concern, hollow-core doors provide a great option, as they do not warp from these conditions.
Finishing your Interior Doors
Picking either a paint or stain finish for your door will give it that final touch.
Wood stain is a popular way to finish new interior doors. The stain gives the doors a warm, classic look that adds to a traditional or bungalow atmosphere. Stains are most popular for solid wood doors, as it emphasizes the wood grain. Stains are also available in a variety of colors. Depending on the type of door material you have selected, you’ll want to ask your door manufacturer/salesman to offer recommendations on appropriate stains for that material. Make sure to consider your trim colors if those are also being stained.
A simple paint finish is a great way to add color or charm to existing or new interior doors. Homeowners most often paint their interior doors when hoping for a contemporary feel or to better match existing trim or wall colors. Many hollow-core doors often come primed with a white base coat, requiring the owner to paint that type of interior door. Check with your door manufacturer to see what finishing options they suggest for the specific door you have selected.