Wooden door

Solid Wood Doors vs. Hollow-Core Doors

Types of Interior Doors

Whether you're upgrading the interior of your current home or are in the process of finalizing the details of your new build, you'll need to make a number of decisions regarding fixtures and finishes.

While your choice of wall colors or drawer pulls may only have aesthetic value, other elements like interior doors can have a much greater impact on your budget and overall feel of your home’s interior.

In order to maximize your comfort and investment without breaking the bank, give careful consideration when deciding between solid wood doors, solid-core doors and hollow doors:

Solid Wood

These doors are heavy and expensive. Solid wood doors are primarily used for the main entrance of a home and are used for interior doors sparingly.


These doors are used for interior and exterior applications. They have the benefits of solid wood doors but without the high cost. These doors are not made entirely of wood and have a synthetic wood core.


These lightweight and inexpensive doors are typically used for interior rooms.

Solid Wood Doors

Doors are utilitarian, but that doesn't mean they can't look good, as well. For this reason alone, you may be tempted to install solid wood doors throughout your home to give it a richer look and feel. Solid wood doors are made entirely out of real wood, may be embellished with architectural details and can be stained or painted as desired; this makes them a great choice for the main entrance.

Solid Wood Door Pros:

  • Excellent insulation and sound-dampening qualities.
  • Potential return on investment with potential buyers.
  • Less prone to damage.
  • An abundance of options with regards to wood type.
  • Solid wood doors are also available in fire-rated models.
  • Easy to repair.

Solid Door Cons:

  • Price, which can be 50 percent higher than the cost of a hollow-core door.
  • Prone to expansion and/or shrinkage due to fluctuations in temperature or moisture.
  • Added weight makes them more challenging to install.

Solid-Core Doors

Unlike solid wood doors, solid-core doors use synthetic materials with a real-wood veneer on the exterior to reduce weight and cost. These types of doors strike a balance between solid wood doors and hollow-core doors. Of course, there are also “semi-solid doors,” which have more characteristics of hollow-core doors. Foam-core doors are essentially hollow-core doors filled with foam to give them better sound insulation characteristics.

Solid-Core Door Pros

  • More affordable than solid woods doors with real-wood look.
  • Resistant to expansion and contraction.

Solid-Core Door Cons

  • Can be difficult to install due to weight.
  • Not as many style options.
  • Can be difficult to repair.

Hollow-Core Doors

Comparing solid doors vs. hollow doors is an important consideration with regards to your budget, when you consider that the average home has approximately 20 interior doors. The makeup of a hollow-core door is significantly different, with a honeycomb cardboard interior encased by fiberboard, or veneer, compared with the all-wood composition of a solid wood door.

Hollow-Core Door Pros:

  • Cost less than solid wood doors.
  • Lighter weight makes them easier to install.
  • Less susceptible to expansion and/or contraction.
  • Often pre-primed or painted for quicker installation.

Hollow-Core Door Cons:

  • More readily damaged.
  • Harder to repair.
  • Provide little in the way of insulation or noise reduction.
  • Cheap feel.

Mix It Up

Deciding whether to install solid wood, solid-core doors vs. hollow doors throughout your home doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition.

Consider compromising with a mix of these three types of doors; solid wood doors are a great option for your main entrance; solid-core doors are great where sound may be an issue, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, home office or study; and hollow-core doors are perfect as closet or pantry doors since those require no insulation or soundproofing.

Professional Door Installation and Repair

For professional assistance with the selection, purchase, or installation of any new door, or any other residential or commercial repair, maintenance or improvement project, request service online today or call us at (877) 685-1377