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Doors are a gateway to your home, and the same is true for interior doors as well. They help in defining the various spaces in your home. They have many critical functions and roles that they play in our everyday life. They provide security, protecting us from the atmospheric elements like draughts of wind and pollution. They help in reducing noise from leaking from the privacy of our homes to the outside world. They help in keeping the cold or heat in, thus making the home more energy-efficient, and they give us privacy. When all these functions are involved, it is so important that we choose the best quality doors that are available on the market, so that they can do their job for a long time, with minimal maintenance required.

Why is it important to choose the right door?

Doors are a very prominent part of our home. To walk through a room requires you to walk through a door. Choosing the wrong door will mean that you will have to spend time and money on maintenance. The right doors will stand up to the rigours of daily usage, act as a proper sound barrier between rooms, and overall impart a style or an aesthetic look to your home.

What are some common problems with low-quality doors, or high-quality ones that have not been installed or serviced properly?

Poorly installed doors will not close or latch properly, and that won’t work. Doors made from poor quality materials will erode and get damaged much quicker than good quality doors. Doors that are not installed well will also not fit correctly into the wall, thus kicking up privacy and security concerns for the home. Let us look at the different interior door options that are available on the market today and see which one will suit your budget while still having a good degree of reliability and durability.

What are the types of interior doors?

Interior doors are available on the market, coming in a variety of styles and configurations, manufactured from a lot of different materials. Whichever type of door you choose will determine the aesthetic and the overall functionality of your home. Two types of interior doors are available on the market today – the first being a flush type door, and the second one is a panel type door. What are the differences between a flush type door and a panel type door?

Flush type door

A flush type door is basically a door with a smooth and flat surface, that is mostly painted fully or can be patterned to achieve a wood-like finish with the help of wood stains. These types of doors are not very flashy, and as such, they typically blend in nicely with the surroundings of your home. However, it may not blend nicely in a Victorian-style home which has a regal design.

There are three types of commonly available flush doors on the market today. The first one is a solid core flush door, otherwise known as a laminated door, a cellular core flush door, and the most commonly used, low-budget flush door, the hollow core type flush panel.

Solid core flush door

A solid core flush door has a core that is just as the name suggests, solid. This is a very popular type of flush door but is not as economical to use. It has a core that is made of solid pieces of wood. The advantage of this door over the other two types of flush doors is that due to its solid core, it has excellent soundproofing qualities that prevent sound from leaking out of a room. These are very strong doors, but in normal use, they are heavy and use a lot more material. Typically, these doors are preferred for exterior doors but can be used for interior doors as well. These are very expensive doors.

Cellular core flush door

The second type of flush panel door is the cellular core type, which is made by combining plywood sheets, glueing them under a lot of pressure. In this type of door, the thickness of the plywood used is no less than three millimetres, making this type of door stronger than the hollow core type door, but less strong than the solid core flush door. This door is mostly preferred for interior use, and it costs less than a solid core flush door, but more than the hollow core type flush panel door.

Hollow-core flush door

As we’ve just seen, the most common type of flush door installed in most homes today is the hollow core type flush panel door. This type of door is a very low cost and a very lightweight version of the traditional flush door. These doors are hollow inside and are only supported by means of a honeycomb structure. These doors are lightweight, but not as strong or as durable as a solid core flush door, and this makes it very popular for usage as an interior door.

Panel type doors

Another type of interior door is the panel door. The panel door is a more expensive door that is great for giving a posh look to the interior of the house. They are made from solid wood, patterned with horizontal rails and vertical stiles. Why are panel doors made this way? Because generally wooden doors tend to warp or shrink with the various changes in humidity and temperature, and this type of construction helps to prevent that from happening.

The most expensive types of panel doors are built with precise measurements and use a precise interlocking system, to provide the best ease of use and durability. However, in the scope of the discussion of this article, this type of door is costlier to buy and install, and does not fall under the category of a low-cost door.

Why should I buy a flush type instead of panel type?

Let us look at the advantages of using a flush type door as an interior door for your home

  • A flush type door looks great. Being a nondescript door, it blends into the surrounding environment very well and can be customised to your heart’s content.
  • It is designed to be very simple and effective in its usage. This factor contributes to the low cost of production and thus these types of doors are available for a cheaper price when compared to other types of doors.
  • When comparing the durability of this door vis-à-vis the price, it beats the panel door by a mile.
  • If you want a flush door to look great and opulent, it is as simple as choosing a door with a good finish to it – be it a veneer finish or a proper wood type door.
  • Flush doors are very easily available in the market throughout the world.
  • They won’t twist very easily. They are relatively stable doors.
  • Because of the honeycomb structure present in a hollow-core type door, it is very lightweight, but sturdy at the same time, rendering it very easy to handle and install in different locations of the home, be it the bedroom or the bathroom.
  • Being a faux wooden door, it is resistant to humidity, cracking, peeling, and remains unaffected in all of these situations.
  • It is not very noisy in regular usage scenarios.

You might also want to check out: Choosing the best type of internal wooden door for your home

What are the downsides to choosing the flush type?

What are the disadvantages of using a flush type door as an interior door for your home?

  • Being a factory produced door, a flush type door comes with certain specifications which must exactly match the size of the door opening made during the construction of your house. If there is a mismatch, it is very difficult to make any modifications to the door to make it fit properly.
  • A solid core flush type door is a heavyweight door, and that makes it difficult for you to bring it to your home yourself and install it. You would need a professional to come and help you with the installation.
  • A flush door that is made of plywood panelling cannot be used in areas exposed to water and heat, like a bathroom door or a door opening out to the yard or patio, because the water exposure will damage the plywood layer and render it useless.
  • They are very difficult to maintain and repair, especially if the top layers of the door start to delaminate.

What type of frame does my door need?

Interior doors can further be sub-classified based on the types of frames that are used in the construction of the doors. They are as follows: hinged doors, folding doors, bypass type doors and so forth. The most common type of door used for the interior of a home is the hinged type door. They can either be left- or right-handed type doors. A hinged door is attached to the frame using either two or three hinges. This type of door requires less maintenance and is easy to operate and use, however with time, the hinges may start to creak and cringe, making an audible sound.

Why should you choose a bespoke door over a standard flush type door?

A standard flush type door being a factory produced door will not fit properly into a custom-sized door opening, and in that case, it is impossible to modify the door to fit. This is where a bespoke door comes in. It is perfect for odd-sized internal door openings and can be properly modified to sit properly in those openings, thus ensuring durability and longevity of the door mechanisms. A bespoke door is otherwise known as a made-to-measure door.

You might also want to check out: Bespoke or B&Q doors: where to get internal wooden doors for your home

A bespoke door comes with all the advantages of a standard flush type door – so you don’t miss out on any of the features, and also can be made at an economical price, so that they don’t break the bank for your construction project.

Bespoke doors can be endlessly customised as you have control over the final specifications of the door, unlike the standard factory produced flush type doors. They come with more purchase options, such as working with the CAD engineer. You can provide your input as he/she makes a model for you with the final specifications for your drawings which you can sign for approval. Once final, the company can start producing those doors to your specifications.

How long will it take to complete my bespoke door?

Due to the customisation possibilities, getting a bespoke door for your home’s interior doors will take a lot more time than compared to a regular flush door where you can just go to the store and purchase immediately. Typical bespoke doors will take around ten to twenty weeks to manufacture depending on the range of customisation that you have requested from the company, and so it is important to plan your door requirement in advance, keeping the measurements and specifications required ready to go, so that your bespoke door can be sent to manufacturing much more quickly.

What is the best, budget-friendly door for me?

In conclusion, whilst there are many types of doors available on the market, choosing a good quality door with a shoestring budget is quite difficult due to the wide range of choices available on the market today. Knowing the different types of doors available, and carefully selecting a door to meet your needs is a decision that must not be taken lightly, as any wrong choice made during the purchase and installation of the door will lead to maintenance and usability issues in the long run.

On a shoestring budget, a flush door is the best type of door you can go for and provided they are not exposed to adverse environmental conditions like rain and excess heat from the sun, they will be very durable and last you for a long time. If you are in the process of construction of the rooms, make sure you finalise a door and make the door openings to such specifications. However, if you are purchasing a door after the fact that the door openings have already been made, then your best bet is to go for a bespoke door, as they can be customised to exactly fit the door openings in your rooms.

Pieter Boyce - Wooden Window and door specialist

Pieter Boyce
Wooden Window and Door Specialist

This article was written on behalf of The Wooden Door Company by Pieter Boyce. Pieter has an intense passion for English Architectural history and has been specialising in the conservation of original wooden windows and doors for decades. His exceptional knowledge of timber windows and doors, both listed or non-listed, is attributed to his hands-on approach to learning all aspects of the complete restoration of original features as well as having personally surveyed thousands of items throughout his long tenure as a head surveyor for one of the largest window and door restoration companies in the UK. He now runs a boutique wooden window and door consultancy and fervently champions the retention of original windows and doors. To learn more of Pieter’s services, visit his website at www.boultonboyce.co.uk.