What To Look For When Choosing Interior Doors For a Remodel

 Contemporary Custom Home, Living Room Remodel with Barn Door

Contemporary Custom Home, Living Room Remodel with Barn Door

The Basics of Interior Doors for Home Remodeling

Beautiful interior doors are a subtle element that can make a big difference in your homes aesthetic style. Like trim or molding, your interior doors are a subtle element that often goes unnoticed, but they can have a dramatic effect on the look of the room. Since when we rent or purchase a home, the doors are already installed, we often look past them without even noticing.

Simply defined, an interior door is ant door that does not provide access to the outside of your home. This includes closet, bedroom, basement, bathroom or office doors.

But your interior doors are a vital element of your home, and there should be a good amount of thought when choosing them. If you're building, remodeling or just looking to update your space, a new interior door is an important design choice. Style, materials, soundproofing and door swing are just some of the elements to consider when considering the endless options you'll have for choosing the perfect interior doors.

Interior Doors: Styles, Swings, and Sound Ratings

Once you begin to design your home's interior you'll find that there are plenty of different types of interior doors to choose from to give your space the right look and still serve its function. Styles, swings and sound ratings are three way you can effectively narrow your choices when it comes to picking the right interior doors.

Door Styles

The style of your door plays a major role in your design. You should feel free to mix and match a little, to give your home a fun, eclectic look, but try to keep some elements similar to maintain a sense of flow. Pay particular attention to proportion. A massive ornate door may overwhelm a smaller space, making a small room feel smaller.

Door Swing

You can choose between a right-hand or left-hand swing when ordering or customizing a door. Door swing determines where the hinges and handles are and which direction the door swings when opened or closed.

Whichever side the handle is on as the door opens towards you, will decide whether it's a right-hand or left-hand door. For example, if a door has the handle on the right and opens towards you, it is a right swing. Remember, whenever possible a door should never swing into a hall or corridor, so keep that in mind when you're choosing your door swing.

Interior Doors: Primary Function

Before you begin the process of choosing the type of interior doors you'd like for you home, go room to room and make a list of how many, and what each doors primary function will be.

Here is a list of the various types of interior doors you can choose from:

• Passage Doors – The most common type used in homes, swing on two or more hinges. Can be purchased as slabs (just the door) or pre-hung (preinstalled with the frame and hinges) Pre-hung doors save installation time be eliminating the need to construct the jambs, mortise the hinges, and fit the door to the jamb. Pre-hung door selection is limited.

• Louver Doors – Passage doors in which the panels are replaced by angled wooden slats. Typically used for closets, utility rooms, and laundry rooms because they provide privacy and ventilation. A full-louver offers the most ventilation, but a louver over panel format offers the most style.

• Sliding Barn Door – Very trendy right now, they're also called bypass doors. Typically used in areas with a wide opening, or in spaces with a reduced swing area.

• Bi-Fold Doors - Generally used to enclose a closet, pantry or laundry area. The doors may be wood, metal, or composite. They typically in four panels. Bifold doors pivot on pins inserted at the top and bottom which allow greater opening space than a sliding door. A similar option is folding or accordion-folding doors which take up less space when opened.

• French Doors – A dramatic look, French doors hang on hinges located at either side and swing toward each other, meeting at the center. When fully open, you have an unobstructed view. French doors come in a variety of styles and glass to complement your home decor.

• Pocket Doors – A style traditionally found in Victorian homes, they are making a comeback with designers and homeowners. They offer an interesting architectural element and save floor space. Basically, a pocket door is set on tracks and when open recess into the wall. They come as singles, or double panels and slide to the left or right. Double picket doors slide to meet in the center.

Interior Doors: Construction

Once you decide on the type of door, you'll then need to decide what type of construction you'd like. Doors come constructed in three basic formats: hollow-core, solid-core, and wood.

Hollow-Core doors are made from thin plywood veneer or hardboard with a cardboard core. They are lightweight, inexpensive, easily punctured and do not offer any sound control. However, the benefits of hardboard are that it resists shrinking, and swelling looks like wood, is easy to paint and very affordable.

Solid-Core interior doors look and feel like solid wood doors, but feature a wood fiber core. They are more soundproof than hollow-core doors and more durable. Most solid core doors are designed with the same style and properties of solid-wood but without the high price tag.

Solid Wood panel doors can be stained or painted for a custom finish and provide a natural sound barrier. Most manufacturers offer extensive lines of custom wood doors in a wide range of wood species to compliment any architectural style.

You can mix and match the type, style, and composition of doors you use throughout your home to match your aesthetic needs and décor and to save on your budget. Be sure to work with your design-build contractor the type of door you want to be used for each opening and space in your new home.


Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.