Thursday, October 8, 2015

Knowing the Difference: Hollow Core, Solid Core, and Solid Wood Doors

By Gretchen Sawatzki

At first glance a hollow core or solid core door may fool the untrained eye for a solid wood door. With artificial grains, today's manufactured doors often pass for their solid wood cousins, but the benefits of a solid wood door outweigh the competition - here's to knowing the difference.

Image source
1). Hollow Core Doors

An interior door that does not use solid materials in its construction. Hollow core doors typically have a plywood exterior with a cardboard honeycomb center. These doors have a lower fire rating, are not the best insulators, lightweight, and easily damaged. Hollow core doors are the least expensive door on the market, and are often used as closet doors or in areas that don't require sound dampening or significant insulation.

2). Solid Core Doors

As the name implies, solid core doors have a "solid" center, but not to the same degree as a solid wood door. Instead, solid core doors have a center made of particle wood or fibercore and a plywood shell. These doors are heavier and have a higher fire rating than hollow core doors. They make great insulators and can take the daily wear and tear. Priced more than a hollow core door, but less than solid wood, solid core doors are great option if you are looking for durability on a budget.
Solid wood doors, while expensive,
can be found for a bargain at local
 architectural salvage dealers. Image by
Hannah Manning for Materials Unlimited

3). Solid Wood Doors

Solid wood doors are made from solid panels of wood. Often made of hardwoods, they are assembled with rails, stiles, and panels for their construction. They are heavy, solid, and extremely durable. Excellent insulators and sound dampers, solid wood doors offer privacy and lower heating and cooling bills. Solid wood doors can be expensive, but finding a salvaged door is a budget-friendly alternative. Solid wood doors can also be easily cut, patched, and refinished giving them a long lifespan.



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