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Solid Core vs. Hollow Core Doors

Don’t let the entrance be forgotten when your upgrading a room in your home! Learn the difference between solid and hollow core doors to make the right choice for your home and budget.


An Affordable Solid Core Door


Solid core doors are made of particleboard or steel centers and covered with wood or fiberglass veneer to give a durable finish. They are made differently than solid wood doors, but replicate their weight and feel. They are also a more affordable alternative to high-end, expensive solid wood doors. Also, similar to solid wood doors, they are not made of one piece of material. They are constructed of several layers of materials bonded together or nonbonded, but instead pressed together under high temperatures and pressure.


In relation to sound proofing, solid core doors offer better insulation from sound than a hollow core door. Sound Transmission Coefficient, or STC, is an indicator of a material’s ability to act as a sound barrier. The higher the STC, the better the door will be at blocking out noise. Solid core doors rate about 15% higher than hollow core doors in this area because they are so lightweight. Solid core doors may provide more insulation as well, increasing energy efficiency.


The Making of a Hollow Core Door


Hollow core doors are made of cardboard baffle centers covered by veneer. The inexpensive materials allow for hollow core doors to be fairly inexpensive, but in exchange low quality. Hollow core doors consist of a wood perimeter and faces of hardboard. The hardboard faces are divided by Styrofoam bars or ribbed paper blocks inside. Typically painted instead of stained, these doors can only be used as interior doors. One of the reasons why is because of their ability to absorb moisture and therefore expand and contract, causing warping.


Cost of Materials Relating


Both solid core and hollow core doors can be designed to mimic the elegance and style of a solid wood door, but because of the cost of materials, they will never deliver exactly the same product. For example, the metal plates and molds that stamp panels and intricate details onto solid wood doors to give the high end finish are very expensive. The design can be replicated on a solid core door, or even a hollow core door, but the cost of design has to be reduced to match the price it will retail at.


Looking to Replace a Door in Your Home or Office? 


Replacing the doors in your home can be a great investment, but you want to be choosing the right door for your needs. Contact Creative Millwork at (630) 762-0002, and let us help you make the right choice.

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