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Interior Doors for Sustainable Households

Choosing Interior Doors for Sustainable Households

By Laura BourlandRise Writer
Nov 6, 2017

Countertops and floors may be fun to choose from, but don’t overlook the benefits of quality interior doors! 

Today's homes come standard with hollow interior doors throughout, an easy cost savings for the builder but a potentially big headache for future homeowners.

Whether you’re building a brand spanking new home or renovating an older house with good bones, interior doors play a big part in the life you and your family will spend inside its walls. Choosing the right interior doors for each room in your home can truly make it home sweet home. 

Traditional Solid Wood Interior Doors

When most people think of a door, thoughts immediately turn to a hard, solid wood door, a door with a heft made from a thick cut of wood. 

We want a bedroom door that will slam nice and hard to prove a point. And a thick door that stifles the constant noise of that new band your teenager listens to on max volume is necessary to keep the peace (and your sanity!)

Thick Wood Doors Hold the Heat In

Solid wood doors are ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms for their noise cancellation qualities and insulation. 

A solid wood door installed to seal securely can significantly reduce your home’s energy consumption by preventing heat and air conditioning from leaking. The heavy wood provides a thick barrier, making it easier to keep rooms warm and toasty on snowy days and cooler on those summer scorchers.

To further decrease your environmental footprint, close the interior doors to rooms like guest bedrooms and home offices when not in use. Your solid wood doors will seal those rooms off to help reduce your energy bill.

But keep in mind that solid wood doors are, well, solid. Installing new solid wood interior doors is a two-person job that is well worth the effort. For the least environmental impact, use solid wood doors sparingly and with intention.

wood door
Photo Credit: Glenview Haus

What Are Solid Core Interior Doors?

Solid core doors are a more modern door designed to mimic solid wood doors' benefits and feel with a significantly reduced environmental impact.

As you can imagine, solid wood doors contain a lot of wood, which means a lot of trees are sacrificed for our comfort. Solid core doors are built from a solid fiberglass fill encased in a wood veneer to look and feel solid wood without using any wood.

Like solid wood doors, solid core alternatives are dense enough to block sound for super-private rooms and have the good slamming capability. And because they’re manufactured, solid core doors are available in various styles and finishes to fit any designer’s unique style.

solid core door
JELD-WEN 30 in. x 80 in.. Photo Credit: JELD-WEN

What Are Hollow Interior Doors?

Take a moment and count how many interior doors you have in your home. Be sure to include bedroom doors, bathroom doors, closet doors, and yes, even your pantry door. Chances are you have a good number of empty doorways in need of interior doors.

While solid doors are ideal for private rooms like bathrooms and bedrooms, hollow doors are a much more affordable option for rooms that don’t require much privacy, like closets and playrooms. 

Hollow doors are built on a honeycomb cardboard sheet encased in fiberglass or a veneer shell to give the door strength and prevent it from warping or bending over time.  And at less than $50/door, they are the most affordable interior door option around.

Where you’ll save in upfront cost and quick installation, hollow interior doors do little to block sound and offer fewer options in refinishing. Choose hollow doors to match your solid doors for a seamless look at a fraction of the price.

hollow core solid core door
Stile and Rail Doors. Photo Credit: Amberwood Doors

What Are Decorative Stile and Rail Doors?

Stile and rail doors are a show-stopping interior door option, best suited for rooms deserving of a grand entrance. 

These doors are designed in creative patterns using rails, stiles and panels, and even glass to achieve a unique architectural design worthy of distinguished parlors, luxurious sitting rooms, and majestic home theatres.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix and Match Your Interior Doors

The best thing about interior doors is they can be mixed and matched throughout a home to reduce costs and create a private space you’ll enjoy living in. 

We recommend choosing simple hollow doors for storage spaces and heavier solid wood or solid core doors for bedrooms and bathrooms. Get creative by mixing in uniquely designed stile and rail doors and professional finishes throughout the house to draw your style from wall to wall.

If you do choose solid wood doors, look for doors produced locally and sustainably

Photos from Glenview Doors, Ban Meets Singh, Cents to Me, The Conscious Builder, and Materials Unlimited.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2021-03-25T23:01:34+0000
Laura Bourland

Article by:

Laura Bourland

Laura grew up in the California suburbs, far removed from environmentalism, but nature always has a way. She uprooted her life in 2015, moving to the countryside of Washington to live a more sustainable and simple life on 12 acres. She and her fiancee are learning on the job as they attempt everything from gardening and natural pest control to eco-friendly building and home improvement.