If you are looking to install a new door in your home, you not only have hardware choices, but you must also decide what type of doors you want. This post provides an overview of the most common types of doors that can be used for your home's interior; wood and molded doors.
The most popular wood doors include stile and rail, hollow core, and solid core. Wood doors can be stained or painted, and come in a variety of species. Stile and rail doors are made of solid wooden panels interlocked with horizontal wooden rails and vertical stiles. Strong and durable, stile and rail doors can be configured to almost any design, provide excellent sound insulation, and hold up well to everyday use. These classy doors are heavy, however, and can be quite costly.
Solid core wood doors have a center made of engineered wood or synthetic wood composites with a wood veneer used on the exterior. They are strong, durable doors, as well as great sound and temperature insulators. However, they too can be quite heavy, and may require upgrades in mounting hardware, such as ball bearing hinges.
Hollow core wood doors are lightweight and made from honeycomb cardboard with a wood veneer on the exterior. These are an economical wood door solution for a home with a lot of doors, or for closets or pantries. They don't have the strength, durability, or insulation qualities you'd get from a stile and rail or solid core wood door, but they are unlikely to warp, easy to install, and cost less than either of the other two options.
Molded doors are made from wood by-products or other synthetic materials pressed together (or molded) into different designs and styles, with a synthetic wrap on the outside that can be smooth or textured. Similar to wood doors, molded doors are available in solid core and hollow core, with the hollow core being more economical and lighter weight, but also much less durable with little sound dampening. These doors can only be painted since they do not have a wooden veneer, and cannot replicate the sharp, defined edges of a wood door. However, molded doors can cost significantly less than a wood door.
Before purchasing new interior doors for your home, carefully consider how you need the door to function and what kind of durability you want. Consider if you want a painted or stained door, the style you're looking for, sound insulation needs for privacy or work, amount of use the door will get, how rough your household will be on the door, and your budget.