Hollow Core vs Solid Core Doors

Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, one thing is certain: you’re going to need doors. Lots of them. Between the front door, back door, bedrooms, bathrooms, closets and pantries there are often more than ten doors in just one house.

When installing or replacing new doors, prices can add up fast. You’ll want to consider whether solid core or hollow core doors are the best fit for your needs so that you don’t end up spending unnecessary time and money. Unless you’re a professional builder or architect, you likely don’t know too much about doors, but not to worry. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of both types of doors as well as how to easily check if a door is solid or hollow core.

Hollow Core Doors

If you’re replacing a door or adding a new one to a closet, pantry or similar space, you probably want to go with a hollow core. Hollow core doors are light weight, but they’re not exactly hollow. Typically, they’re filled with a light material such as cardboard.

These types of doors are light weight, low cost, and easy to move and install.

Because of their light weight nature, these doors are not good at blocking out sound, making them best for spaces where noise is not an issue, like closets. Since they are very low-cost and easy to install, many people choose to use hollow core doors for bedrooms and bathrooms as well. Sound is not typically a huge problem for these rooms so hollow core doors will be fine, especially if you have a lot of doors to replace and don’t want to spend a fortune on expensive new doors and installations.

If noise becomes an issue in a room where you have already installed a hollow core door and you don’t want to deal with the hassle of replacing it, check out these sound-blocking panels that hang over any door frame and reduce noise.

Solid Core Doors

For rooms where sound blockage is important, like a home office, recording studio or nursery, you may want to consider a solid core door. These doors are more expensive than their hollow core counterparts and are typically made from composite wood, making them extremely heavy. Due to their weight, you may need to hire someone to install them for you, further increasing costs.

Though they are more expensive, these doors work well to block out sound, and often have nicer finishes than hollow core doors.

Testing the Core

If you are replacing existing doors in your home and want to see if the ones you already have are solid or hollow core, follow these easy tips.

  1. Check the weight. Solid core doors are much heavier than hollow core ones and will therefore be more difficult to move. Swing the door open and shut a few times. If it swings easily, it is likely hollow core.
  2. Knock on it. If it sounds hollow, it probably is.
  3. Drill a small hole into the door to check the material in the center. Keep in mind this will damage the door and should only be done if you plan on removing it.

Next time you need to install a new door, make sure to consider the differences between hollow and solid core in order to make the best choice for your renovation! Have any other tips about hollow vs. solid core doors? Leave them in the comments below!

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