Solid Core vs. Hollow Core Doors: How to Make the Right Choice?

January 23, 2021
by The Finished Space
Solid Core vs Hollow Core Doors
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When you’re designing your home, there are many important decisions to make. Most people don’t often think about their doors as a major decision. However, your home’s doors can make or break the look and function of your home.

Like most interior design projects, it’s not as simple as opening a catalog and simply selecting a door. There are several types of doors, including solid wood, solid core, and hollow core doors to choose from, making the whole decision much more complicated.

People generally use solid wood doors on the exterior of their home. However, there are a few things you need to know about when it comes to the interior doors.

Do you want solid core doors or hollow core doors? What is the difference between solid core vs hollow core doors?

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type for a true head-to-head comparison between solid core and hollow core. 

Solid Core Doors: Pros & Cons

Solid Core Doors: Pros & Cons
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Solid core doors are made of a mixture of wood and synthetic wood composites. They have a heavy, solid interior and a wood veneer exterior. They provide the durability, sound insulation, and look of a solid wood door without the weight or hefty price tag.

Solid wood doors tend to expand or shrink because of moisture and temperature changes, whereas solid core doors resist these fluctuations and will maintain their shape over time.

In many ways, the solid core door merges the benefits of a solid wood door with the benefits of a hollow core door as a meet-in-the-middle option. However, solid core doors aren’t without their drawbacks.

Solid core doors tend to be heavier than hollow core doors, since the center of the door is solid, and they can be hard to repair if something happens to them. 

Solid Core Door Pros:

  • Affordable Alternative to Solid Wood Doors
  • Mimics Look and Durability of Solid Wood Doors
  • Typically Paint-Ready
  •  Resists Fluctuations Due to Temperature and Moisture
  •  Durable and Heavy-Duty
  •  Terrific Insulator to Prevent Sound Transfer Room to Room

Solid Core Door Cons:

  • More Difficult to Install Due to Weight
  •  Hard to Repair.
  • Limited Style Options

How does this compare to hollow core doors? Let’s take a look.

Hollow Core Doors: Pros & Cons 

Hollow Core Doors: Pros & Cons
https://www.thespruce.com/pros-and-cons-of-hollow-core-doors-1821461 Credit: Lee Wallender

Despite their name, hollow core doors aren’t completely hollow inside. They have a honeycomb cardboard interior that’s wrapped by veneer or fiberboard. These doors are easy to install, lightweight, and cost-effective.

They’re so lightweight that one person can easily handle and install them. This can be an excellent benefit for DIYers. Plus, the cost-effectiveness can be a huge selling point for homeowners or contractors who have many interior doors to replace.

However, hollow core doors don’t insulate sound very well. They also aren’t very durable. If they’re damaged, you’ll have to replace them, because fixing them isn’t usually possible.  

Hollow Core Door Pros:

  •  Lightweight
  • Easy to Install
  • Cost-Effective

Hollow Core Door Cons:

  • Not Very Durable
  • Don’t Insulate Sound or Reduce Noise
  •  Lower quality feel than Solid Core Doors
  •  Hard to Repair.

While it’s clear that hollow core doors are less expensive than solid core doors, how much of a cost difference is there? 

Solid Core vs. Hollow Core Doors Cost Comparison

Solid Core vs. Hollow Core Doors Cost Comparison
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How different are the prices for hollow core and solid core? According to HomeAdvisor’s latest averages, the cost differences are pretty significant.  

Hollow core doors tend to cost between $50 to $150 per door. Solid core doors cost $70 to $250, on average. As a frame of reference, solid wood doors typically cost between $250 to $600 per door.  

It’s only a $20 to $100 difference between hollow core and solid core doors at face value. However, if you have to replace or install twenty doors (the average amount of doors in a home), you’re looking at a difference of $400 to $2,000.

In the end, hollow core doors cost less than solid core doors. However, both options cost a lot less than solid wood doors.

So, which type of door is best for your home? 

Deciding Between Solid Core vs. Hollow Core Doors

Deciding Between Solid Core vs. Hollow Core Doors
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Now that you know the difference between hollow core and solid core doors – choosing your interior doors should be much easier. Many homeowners don’t go with just one. Instead, they can select a mixture of the two.

Solid core doors are fantastic for any rooms where you want a higher-quality option. They’re ideal for rooms where you might want a bit more privacy and sound insulation, so you might consider using solid core doors for your bedrooms, bathrooms, and home offices.

You can use hollow core doors on closet doors and pantry doors, where no sound insulation is necessary. Many homeowners opt to vary it up to cut back on costs and make installation a bit easier.

If budget isn’t an issue, you might opt for solid core doors throughout your home. You might even choose solid wood if you aren’t worried about expansion and contraction due to moisture and temperature changes,or if you want a natural wood look.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you aren’t sure which style of door is right for your design, give our tool Option M a try. We’ll match your aesthetic with the perfect interior elements for all of your rooms.