Houses with solid wood doors
July 23rd 2021

How to Choose Between Solid Wood and Hollow-Core Doors

Up until the 20th century, wood was the material of choice for doors. In fact, solid wood doors used to be the gold standard for residential properties. Although this popular door style still has plenty to offer, homeowners of today have more options.

Hollow-core doors are emerging as more affordable alternatives that are equally stylish and of high quality. So if you are door shopping for your property and one of the first forks in the road is whether to get a solid wood door or a hollow-core door, this article tells you all you need to know.

Let’s get started!

A Comparison: Solid Wood Doors vs. Hollow-Core Doors

1. Structure

Solid wood doors are produced with either hardwood or softwood. Most wooden doors are made from trees like maple, pine, alder, cherry, mahogany, and red oak. Despite their heaviness, only a handful of solid wood doors available in the market are made of a single slab of wood. The majority are typically frame and panel attached and made of all-natural wooden materials.

On the other hand, hollow-core doors feature a honeycombed cardboard or plastic material covered with a thin layer of wood or fiberboard. A veneer finish is then applied to it afterwards.

2. Aesthetics

Solid wood doors have a vibrant and traditional design that gives any home an impression of luxury, especially when used as an exterior front entry door. Some even feature intricate carvings that are only possible on a solid wood door.

However, hollow-core doors do not fall behind when it comes to style. Though they may seem like products of pragmatism, these doors are rarely ever ordinary. Hollow-core doors can feature impressive panel work or a minimalist design that complements various architectural styles.

3. Insulation and Soundproofing

Generally, solid wood doors have better insulation and soundproofing.However, the insulating foam inside a hollow-core door can help in these aspects.

4. Price Points

Hollow-core doors tend to be less expensive than solid wood doors. They are a cost-effective option for frugal homeowners who want to give their property a secure and stylish interior door or who need several doors for various rooms without breaking the bank.

Hollow-core door installed in closet

5. Applications

The overall characteristics of quality solid wood doors give many a sense of security and even a touch of grandeur. For this reason, they are often preferred as exterior doors. And if the price point (and heaviness) isn’t an issue, some homeowners opt to have solid wood doors as interior doors as well.

On the other hand, hollow-core doors are only recommended as interior doors for homes. They are, after all, effortless to install, lightweight, and easy to swing, which are desirable characteristics for interior doors. Hollow-core doors are a perfect fit for the kitchen, bathroom, pantry, and wardrobe.

6. Damage Resistance & Maintenance Requirements

As you may have guessed, solid wood doors are generally more resistant to damage when it comes to physical force. This, however, does not make solid wood doors invincible because they are prone to warping, expansion, and shrinkage in response to variances in temperature and moisture. But the good news is solid wood doors are relatively easier to repair.

On the other hand, hollow-core doors are not as prone to warping, expanding, or shrinking. But because these doors are hollow, they are more readily damaged with physical force. Furthermore, when this happens, repairs are more challenging because of the relatively more complex internal structure of these doors.

7. Fire Resistance

Due to the differences in the structures of these doors, it is no surprise that solid wood doors have better fire resistance than most of their hollow-core counterparts. Unlike hollow-core doors, which are not even qualified for fire rating tests, some solid wood doors are available with fire ratings of up to 90 minutes.

In Summary: Solid Wood Doors vs. Hollow-Core Doors

Solid Wood Door Hollow Core Door
Pros

  • A traditional and elegant feel
  • A solid, robust structure
  • Better insulation and sound-proofing
  • Better resistance to damage from physical force
  • High fire resistance

  • Available in versatile styles
  • Can have insulating foam for better insulation and soundproofing
  • Lighter and easier to install
  • More cost-effective if many new doors are needed for a project
  • Generally more resistant to warping
Cons

  • Heavier and harder to install
  • More expensive
  • Prone to warping, expanding, shrinking due to moisture

  • Harder to repair
  • Damages readily with enough physical force
  • Cannot be fire rated
  • Interior use only

So Which Door Is For You?

When deciding between a solid wood or hollow-core door, think of the following factors.

  • Type of door – Do you need a new exterior or interior door?
  • Price – How much is your spending budget?
  • Condition – Where do you plan to install your new door? Consider moisture and temperature.
  • Door Sound Rating – Is soundproofing one of your priorities?
  • Energy Efficiency – What are the Energy STAR Ratings?
  • Aesthetic Appeal – What are the design options, and will they fit your home’s overall look?

A red solid wood door amidst the white facade of a house

If you’re looking to invest in an exterior door, solid wood doors are the better choice. They can last you a lifetime and are a worthwhile investment.

On the other hand, if you have a limited spending budget, have to replace many interior doors for your home, and/or would be installing them by yourself, hollow-core doors are reasonably viable options. You can have them installed in rooms that are not intended for relaxation like the kitchen or pantry, and where outdoor noise permeating through the door won’t be a significant problem.

Whatever you choose, make it a point to work with a reliable provider that guarantees high quality in all their products.

Fibreglass Replacement Doors

But beyond the two, fibreglass door systems and highly customized steel doors are your best bet for entry doors in terms of security, privacy, and durability. They are low-maintenance and can weather extreme conditions brought by the summer or winter season without warping or developing damage. A new door made from these materials will also save you in utility costs since they have remarkable insulation features.

Stylish, Secure, and Reliable Doors For Your Home

Burano Doors have been in the industry for over 40 years. We take pride in giving our customers the best value for their money. With our vast collection, you will easily find the perfect new door for every room in your home.

Reach out to us now to get our expert opinion between solid wood versus hollow-core doors. Check out our latest designs and take advantage of our free home estimate today.

Contact Burano Doors now!

Posted by Raj Kain
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