Interior Doors: Hollow Core vs. Solid Core vs. Solid Wood

Interior Door

With so many decorative choices to make as a homeowner, some of the most important decisions are often overlooked. Adding potted plants or colorful décor may grab attention, but choosing the right interior doors makes a noticeable difference. Providing both form and function, interior doors can help show off your style while offering the privacy you need. It can be difficult, however, to choose which interior door cores are most suitable for your home. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of solid wood, solid core and hollow core doors to help you decide.

Solid Wood Doors


Solid wood doors are made of solid wood, providing strength and stability over time. They can generally hold up to the wear-and-tear that will inevitably occur, and when available, would be the best option. They also offer sound-dampening properties, an ideal privacy feature that you and your guests are sure to appreciate.


Solid wood doors are not always available in every style. The closest to this option is solid core doors (see below). However, they do come along with several important drawbacks. For one, solid wood doors are typically more expensive than solid core and hollow core doors, as they are made of pricey heavyweight wood. Also, their heavy and bulky construction makes it a little more difficult to install or remove. And while durable, they tend to swell and contract in different weather conditions. If you don’t monitor the temperature in each area of your home, your solid wood doors could begin to split or get stuck in doorways after expanding. Solid wood doors are also made of several solid wood pieces. If they contract, one could see a gap between the panels. All of this can usually be avoided by properly sealing all six sides of the door.

Solid Core Doors


Solid core doors are molded doors, made from a single wood veneer on each side glued over a solid core of engineered or composite wood. Like solid wood doors, they can generally hold up to the wear-and-tear, as well as help to provide additional insulation in the winter months. They also offer sound-dampening properties, as, the thicker the door, the better sound insulator it will be. In this regard, it may even be better than solid wood.


With a variety of styles and options to choose from , solid core doors may seem like an easy choice. However, they do come along with several important drawbacks. For one, solid core doors are typically more expensive than hollow core doors, but not as expensive as solid wood doors. Additionally, unlike solid wood, solid core and hollow core doors cannot be but down if you have an unusual size opening. Any cut would ruin the integrity of the door and it would not hold together. It is important that you order the door slab in the exact size you need.

Hollow Core Doors


Hollow core doors are constructed from a combination of several sturdy materials, including fiberboard and veneer. Lightweight in nature, these interior doors make for quick and easy installation throughout your home. Plus, their hollow cores mean that they are less likely to expand or contract in different conditions. They will hold up nicely during the scorching summer and frigid winter months without causing any problems.

Hollow core doors are also generally inexpensive, allowing you to stick to your budget while attaining a cohesive look throughout your entire home. Even more, these doors often come pre-primed, helping you to save time and money when you’re ready to paint them. Considering some homes can have up to 20 interiors doors, these features make hollow core doors an easy decision for many homeowners.


Hollow core doors are just that, HOLLOW. They are lightweight and can be damaged more easily than solid core or solid wood doors. Additionally, they won’t block sound or temperature in the same way that a solid door will. As these are interior doors, you may not care about that in choosing these items. As a rule, I certainly recommend hollow core doors for closets, but you may want to consider something a bit thicker for rooms like Bedrooms and Bathrooms.

The Bottom Line: Opt for Dependability and Strength

While both options offer an elegant appearance to your spaces with interior doors, hollow core doors deliver a host of advantages that often make them the superior choice. That’s why Home Surplus offers a wide range of high-quality hollow core doors, which give you peace of mind without having to sacrifice style. From 2-panel Roman Arch doors to 6-panel Colonial doors, our helpful staff will assist you in finding the right fit.

If you’re still unsure which interior door cores are right for your home, our experts are here to navigate you through your options. We can even create personalized design options to suit your preferences, whether you’re replacing the doors on your kitchen pantry or adding more stability to your bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets. When you’re ready to take the first step in the process, stop into one of our three locations today or contact us by phone in Keyport (732-888-3600), Bellmawr (856-931-8900), or North Bergen (201-869-0400).