Things to Consider When Choosing Internal Doors

Interior doors are an important feature for your home that can make a difference in your home’s style. The doors found in your bedrooms, bathrooms, dens, closets, hallways, and others make an important visual statement that doesn’t go unnoticed. A lot of people buy or rent homes with doors already installed, so it’s easy to look right past them.

Interior doors are vital parts of the house. While exterior doors offer security, besides the entrance and exit to your home, interior doors are made for providing privacy, lessening noise transmission, controlling temperature, and adding a visual statement. Whether you’re building, remodeling or redecorating your home, it’s an important factor to consider the interior doors. Here are the things you need to think of when choosing one:

1. Door styles

Interior doors can be uninteresting and utilitarian, but these can be integral in establishing your room’s interior design style. The doors you choose must reflect the overall style of your home while serving its intended purpose. For instance, if you have adapted a minimalist style house, you won’t pick a massive, ornate door. The door must also blend well with your existing furnishings, accessories and other items at home. If you’re an owner of high-tech appliances and sleek furnishings, you may feel the need to replace the cheap-looking, molded hollow doors your house came with.

There’s no rule that says you have to mix and match your styles and keep all your interior doors the same. Feel free to mix it up a little to give your home a fun and eclectic look. But be careful not to overdo the mixing – try to keep some elements the same to provide a sense of flow throughout the house.

2. Door size

You shouldn’t rush to the door store without measuring your door opening. Here’s how to determine the size you need:

  • Height – measure the existing door frame vertically at the left, center and right. The longest measurement should be the height of your new door.
  • Width – measure the existing door frame horizontally at the bottom, middle and top. The widest measurement should be the width of your new door.

When shopping for an internal door, you’ll probably be able to choose from one of the standard internal door sizes. If the standard sizes aren’t quite fitting to your door opening’s measurement, you can make some small adjustments to your door.

3. Door framing

Make sure you install a proper door frame because if not, this can quickly detract from the value of the quality door you choose. Good doors can be damaged by using cheap framing materials or construction shortcuts, which can cost you more in repairs in the future.

Doors come as pre-hung or slabs. Pre-hung doors come with all the parts you need: the door, frame, and hinges attached to the doorjamb. Slab doors, on the other hand, comes just as the door itself. You can buy just slabs if you plan to use your existing door frame.

4. Door sound ratings

All internal doors are given an STC (sound transmission class), which measures the amount of sound loss through the door. The higher the STC number, the less sound will pass through it. The STC number largely depends on what material the door is made of. The lower end of the STC scale is generally around 25, wherein most normal speech can be heard through the door; 40 is normal, and anything over 60 is almost soundproof.

5. Door swing

When you order a door, you will choose between a right-hand or left-hand swing. This will determine where the hinges and handles should be installed, and which way the door would swing as it opens and closes. A right-hand swing door is the one with handles on the right side when it opens towards you.

When deciding about the door swing, make sure your doors would never open into a hall or a corridor, so as to prevent hitting someone on the face as you open the door.

6. Types of doors

There are many types and styles of doors to choose from, but before considering anything, consider its practicality and functionality in the room you are planning to put it in.

  • Panel doors – the most common of doors seen in houses today, panel doors are constructed of stiles and rails that create a panel design. They are available in different styles and numbers of panels and can also accommodate glass inserts. These are typically made of wood, MDF or other composite materials.

Types of doors

  • Sliding doors – consist of two or more track-mounted segments that slide past each other. This style is often used on closets (which are sometimes mirrored), but it can have different applications as well because it takes up a minimal amount of space. Since the door slides along the wall and doesn’t swing open, it’s best for limited floor spaces.
  • Pocket doors – a type of door that slides into the wall, rather than along the side of it. Like the sliding door, this type of door is best for spaces where a swinging door is not practical. Pocket doors can be made of solid panels or glass inserts.
  • Bifold Doors – usually in a bifold form, sometimes in accordion form. They are hinged and slide on a track. It is typically used on closets, laundry rooms, kitchen pantries, and other small spaces.
  • French doors –usually made of wood or metal frame around panels of glass. The glass panes are usually transparent or filled with foggy or translucent material. It adds a glamorous appeal to the room, making it perfect for rooms that are more on display like living rooms or music rooms.
  • Flush doors – have smooth and plain facings on both sides and have either a solid or hollow core. It is usually made of plywood or MDF. Because of its plain design, it works well with contemporary and minimalist styles of homes.
  • Barn doors – style originally constructed for barns but now adopted for residential homes for its rustic appeal. These doors slide open and close through specialized flat track hardware. These are typically made of wood and are larger and heavier than regular interior doors.
  • Dutch doors – popularly used in kitchen entryways, Dutch doors are divided in half horizontally. This design allows you to swing open the top half of the door while the bottom half remains shut. Great for passing out freshly cooked dishes to people outside the kitchen.
  • Blind doors – also called hidden doors, these doors that have no visible trim, hinges or handles. They are designed to completely blend in with the wall, working as a secret passageway to a room.

7. Door material

When deciding on door material, choose the one that suits your style, taste, and budget. The most common door materials include:

  • Solid wood – Doors made of solid wood can be made from a wide variety of wood species such as mahogany, cherry, maple, alder, pine, oak, fir and walnut. Some species are hard, while some are soft, and each species have unique characteristics that affect the grain and color of the wood. Solid wood doors are typically used on exteriors because they are sturdy and substantial in weight, but they can also be used indoors. Solid wood doors can shrink or expand in changing temperatures and humidity, so it’s not advisable for use in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or other damp areas.
  • MDF (medium density fiberboard) – This type of material is weaker than solid wood, but is very popular for its wood-like appearance. MDF is an engineered material, so it won’t warp, shrink or expand like real solid wood. It also doesn’t have any grain, so it’s smooth and easier to paint. It is also durable and less prone to denting.
  • Wood composite – This material is made from a compound of wood fibers, reconstituted wood or other wood derivatives. Wood composite is less expensive than solid wood. Wood composite doors are either:
  • Hollow-core door – this type of door is made of plywood, fiberglass or any molded composite skin, and the inside is hollow. This means that sound and temperatures can easily pass through, and the door can become punctured or dented when struck harshly. But overall, it’s the cheapest solution for a long-lasting door and makes use of fewer materials, making it a common interior door for new homes.
  • Solid-core door – like a hollow-core door, this type of door has an exterior side made of plywood, fiberglass or molded composite, but the inside is filled with a wood fiber blend. Because of this, it’s heavier than hollow-core doors and provides more substantial sound-deadening and temperature control qualities.
  • Metal and glass – Metal frame doors and glass doors offer a more modern and streamlined look, compared to solid wood doors and the other door materials mentioned above. This type of door is used for functionality and design.