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Hollow Core Door: Pro’s and Con’s

hollow core door

There are different types of doors that are seen inside and outside of the home. A new door is one way that you can give your house a new style without breaking the bank. One way is you can have a door that has glass in the middle of it for the front door. This type of door is sturdy, protects the home, allows natural light to come in and there is no need for painting or staining.

On the other hand, you don’t need to have a door like that in the interior of the home or spend that type of money. Interior doors can be hollow. What is a hollow core door? It is a door that is usually on a bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, and closets for example. It is made with fiberboard or laminated wood and can easily be broken, but is a way to save money inside the home.

Let’s take a look at why you should know about hollow core doors, the pros and cons, and also solid wood and solid core doors, price comparison, other things you need to know when replacing doors, other ideas around the home, and when to call a professional.

Why You Should Know About a Hollow Core Door

Hollow core doors come in all different designs. Many people think they are in just one design, but a home improvement store or door store will have a lot of styles to choose from. You can find a style that works in your home for a lot cheaper than thicker and sturdier doors. It is good to know about these so you can budget for them, but also take a look at the pros and cons.

hollow core door on a bedroom

Pros of a Hollow Core Door

Price– hollow core doors are cheaper than solid wood doors and if you have a lot of doors to replace, this can save you a lot of money.

Installation – this is easy as the doors are light and can easily be hung on the hinges. One person can do this and save money on labor charges.

Privacy – they do their job of ensuring privacy in the interior rooms of the home.

Variety of Styles– there are a variety of styles such as the 6-panel door or 2 panel door and more! The difference in the price of these styles is about $10.

Cons of a Hollow Core Door

Let’s take a look at the cons of hollow core doors.

  1. The doors are made with fiberglass or laminate which is a cheap material.
  2. The edges of the doors are made with Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) and also pine, which is a softwood and is easily breakable.
  3. Sound is easily heard through the doors – these doors are not soundproof so if this is something that is necessary for you, you may want to look at solid wood doors.
  4. No sanding only repainting – the material is a cheap material that cannot be sanded. Your only option is to repaint the doors.
  5. Resale- this material does not help in the resale of the home as it is standard to have this material and not an upgrade.
Solid wood door

Pros of Solid Wood Doors

  • Sound proof which will keep the noise out and allow for a quieter room.
  • Can sand and repaint as they are 100% wood, and can be filled to be stronger as well
  • Longer life and sturdier than a hollow core door
  • Heavier material and swings well when opening and closing
  • Resale value of the home stays about the same or may increase. This is because the material is more sturdy, has a nicer finish, and a classier look.
  • Only door material that has some fire resistance
  • Can be used for exterior doors as well but does need to be painted and sanded.

Another Alternative: Solid Core Doors

Solid core doors are another alternative. Let’s look at the pros and cons of these doors:

Pros of Solid Core Doors

  • Made with a fiberboard that is heavy and a natural wood veneer.
  • Solid core doors don’t expand or contract as the hollow core doors do in humidity.
  • The material is solid with a price in between the hollow core doors and solid wood doors.
  • This type also has better soundproofing features like solid wood, but close to half the price.
  • Lastly, this material has good sound resistance when they are at least 1 3/4 inches thick.

Cons of Solid Core Doors

  • A heavy door and harder to install so you may need to budget paying for the extra hands to help or the extra time it will take to install.
  • Fewer style options than the solid wood doors.

Solid Core Doors and Solid Wood Doors: What’s the Difference

Solid core doors and solid wood doors sound very much alike. However, there are a few differences:

Solid Core

This type of door has a natural wood veneer, only used for interior doors, very heavy, and hard to install.

Solid Wood

Made with solid wood, frame, and panel, can be used for interior or exterior, and add to the resale value of the home.

Maybe the hollow-core is something that you like and you want to change the look of it? Check out this video:

Price Comparison

Hollow core doors range in price from about $45 – 60.

Solid wood doors range from $300 and up.

Solid core doors range from $175 and up. This type of door allows you to have the look of solid wood but at a cheaper price.

There is a huge difference in the price of the three types of doors so deciding what is in your budget is important.

Adding a door to a home

Other Things to Know When Replacing or Adding Interior Doors

When replacing doors in the home, there is more to know than just the styles. There are also pre-hung and slab. What is the difference?

A pre-hung door has a frame-mounted door and hinges. It is ready to install in a doorway that has been prepared properly.

A slab door is just the door and doesn’t include a frame, hinges, or a handle set. This type of material has a choice of unfinished and requires painting and staining, or you can choose finished that are ready to hang.

Size of the Door

You will need to know the measurements of the door. If you are replacing a door, make sure you get the same size. If it is new installation, you will need to know if it is 24, 28, 30, 32, or 36 inches. The height is always a minimum of 80 inches.

For a slab door, you will measure the width, height, and thickness of the door.

A pre-hung door requires measuring the width and height of the slab, the rough opening (space between the studs with no door installed), and the thickness of the jamb. The jamb is also known as a doorpost and is where the door is secured on the vertical portion of the frame.

The Swinging of the Door

You will want to know if the door swings to the left or to the right. The door swing is also known as “handing.” If the hinges are on the left, it is a left-handed door. While if the hinges are on the right, it is a right-handed door. Either way, you need to make sure you purchase the correct one and there is enough space for the door to fully open and close.

Door Handle

Think about the door handle as well when replacing or adding a door. Again, there are various styles such as lever handles, pull handles, and doorknobs to choose from. Some of the door handles you can change on your own or add on your own, while others may need a professional.

garage door open

Other Ideas Around the Home

While thinking about changing out the doors in your home, take a look around the house for other maintenance and upgrade ideas. One of those is the garage door.

Garage Door

Check the door that goes to the garage to make sure the knob still works and the door opens and closes. This door will be different than your other interior doors. It will be fire-rated and cannot be a hollow-core door. Also, check that the garage door opens and closes with the remote. If not, it is time to change the batteries to see if that is the issue. If it is opening intermittently and is an older system, it may be time to call a professional about replacing it.

Front Door and Sliders or Back Door

Check the front door and the sliders or back door to see if there is a draft. If there is, it may be time to replace the weather stripping. One way to check this is if you can slide a dollar bill under the door to the other side, then there is a draft. Fixing this will keep critters out and also save on the electric bill.

vinyl siding
Damaged vinyl siding

Check Exterior of the Home

Since you are near the outside of the home after checking the garage door, take a look at the exterior of the home. If you have vinyl siding, check it to make sure it is not damaged. On the other hand, if you have stucco, make sure you clean the stucco on the house. Look first to make sure there are no cracks present. If there are, check the size of them and if it is less than 1/8, then you can fill it in. Do this first before you clean so there isn’t water seeping into the house.

When to Call a Professional

Call a professional if you need help deciding what type of door to buy, measuring the door, or any questions you have about the doors in your home. Also, call a professional if you want to know if you have a repair to make on a door or if you need to replace it. If you are thinking about selling your home, consulting a realtor for advice on the doors is always a good idea.


Looking at the comparison of the different types of doors is important. It is often a choice between style and also budget as to what you choose for your home. Think about resale value down the road but also what makes you happy in the home. Call Waypoint Property Inspection to inspect your home in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Orlando, Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and surrounding areas.