How to Choose Interior Doors

March 28, 2021

By: The Finished Space

Masonite - Cheyenne - Green Wainscot Hallway

Many homeowners spend countless hours and bundles of energy decorating their homes. Their walls are immaculate, the furniture fits perfectly into their design aesthetic, and the color schemes are fluid and intricately woven into every fiber of their space.

But what about the doors? In so many homes, the interior doors are often untouched and undervalued. It’s not enough to simply throw a fresh coat of paint on a chipped and worn-out door and forget they exist. Doors get a lot of use, so they deserve some attention.

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Interior Door

Black 3 Panel Door and Black Accent Wall Bedroom.png

It’s not always as simple as closing your eyes and blindly choosing something from the hardware store. From material to color scheme to door style, there are many variables that homeowners should consider when choosing an interior door.

1. Material

The first thing to consider is the type of material used to create the door. This may be a simple choice because some homeowners may already have a material preference. However, some may be left scratching their heads because there are so many options available.


Wood is a superb option that is often used for interior doors. Wooden doors can be intricately designed, stained or painted to fit into any color scheme or aesthetic. They’re also long-lasting, don’t conduct cold or heat, and, as an added bonus, they’re excellent sound dampeners.


MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is another fantastic option that homeowners should consider. It’s more cost-effective than wood. The material is smooth and free of imperfections, thus making it easier to paint and design, and it doesn’t split or crack like wood, so you won’t have to worry about pesky splinters or unsightly damage.

2. Hollow Core vs. Solid Core

Hollow core doors are more affordable and lightweight than the solid core alternative. This makes hollow core doors an attractive option for contractors, homeowners, and designers on a budget, and due to their lightweight nature, they’re easier to install. 

On the other hand, solid core doors are better for insulation and sound-dampening. They’re also less likely to become damaged and have a more luxurious look and feel than hollow core doors.

3. Color

When choosing an interior door, it’s best to go with the color that fits your design aesthetic. Luckily, doors come in many different colors. Even if you can’t find a perfect match, most doors can be painted or stained any color you’d like.

4. Hardware Styles

Picking the right doorknob and hardware is critical to the overall design and look of an interior door. Which material and colors are right for your door’s hardware? Do you want a door with locks? If so, what kind of locks would you like to use (deadbolts, chain locks, padlocks, hand levers, etc.)? There are many ways to customize your door’s hardware style, so take your time and consider every option.

5. Panel Layout

There are countless variations to the paneled layout, from a single panel to eight panels stacked in two columns, and everything in between. The panels can be arched, square, radius, or curved. Plus, you can customize the depth of the panels, the shape of the bevels, and the number of edges. There are endless possibilities.

6. Pre-Hung vs. Slab

A pre-hung door comes pre-attached to a three-sided door frame. It’s sort of the “complete package,” requiring less work than a slab door. A slab door, on the other hand, doesn’t always come with a door frame. You are responsible for the hanging and installation. In this instance, you pay for convenience.  

7. Pre-Drilled Hardware Specifications

Similar to the pre-hung vs. slab consideration, you can also purchase doors that have pre-drilled hardware specifications. This decreases the effort required for the installation. When you buy pre-drilled hardware, it’s just one less thing you have to do yourself.

The Most Popular Door Styles

Of course, when choosing an interior door, no rule dictates what it should look like. In fact, there are many popular styles for interior doors that fit different design aesthetics, look amazing, and profoundly impact the look and feel of a room.

Hinged Doors

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Hinged doors are the most common door type. They’re connected to a three-side frame with hinges and can open outward or inward. This is an excellent option for no-fuss, classic interior designs. 

Pocket Doors

For Blog Only - Double Frosted Glass Pocket Doors

A pocket door is a little like a door performing a magic trick. Instead of opening outward or inward, pocket doors slide into a slot built directly into the wall. The installation may be more difficult, but they’re great because they take up no additional space.

Barn Doors

Masonite - Lincoln Park - Vintage Industrial Living Room

Barn doors are a beautiful and rustic option. Much like the pocket door, barn doors take up very little space. They’re installed flush with the wall and slide back and forth in front of an entranceway or doorway. These are often statement pieces and are great for living rooms, offices, and sitting areas. 

French Doors

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Though not always possible for every room in the house, French doors are a beautiful and high-end option that fits almost any design aesthetic. They’re typically built with glass, so rooms feel brighter and more open. Plus, homeowners and designers love them, so a French door can actually add value to a home.

The Best Way to Find Beautiful Interior Doors

Are you still unsure which interior door is right for your home? Use Option {M}. There’s a short quiz that will help you identify the perfect style for your tastes and sensibilities. Looking for more help and inspiration? Check out our Inspiration Galleries today to help get those creative juices flowing and find the perfect door for your home.