interior door questions

elizawhyzaMay 14, 2012

I am about to pick out interior doors. Our GC gave us a Masonite brochure showing molded doors. I called Masonite to see whether they offered flat panel doors with ovolo sticking (which I don't think they do), but in the course of conversation, the woman there mentioned that there were molded doors which were shown in the brochure from our GC and stile and rail doors, which come in wood as well as in MDF.

Any opinions on stile and rail versus molded?


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I think stile and rail doors have a much crisper detail than molded doors.

The contractor may have given you the molded catalog only because that is what fits within the budget allowance for your project. A stile and rail door is going to be significantly more expensive particularly if you don't go with a standard style such as the 6-panel "colonial" style door.

You might check out Trustile. When I was replacing doors I looked at standard doors, at Trustile which gives many sticking and panel options for each style, and Maiman which is full custom. I ended up going with Maimain because I needed four panel flat with a very wide Greek Revival lock rail.

The doors were almost $1000 each, but it was not that much more than the Trustile variation I was looking at. It was significantly more than Trustile but I only needed 5 doors so overall it wasn't if you know what I mean. If you need 25 it is a different story. You can easily have a factor of ten between prices of doors.

So if a basic molded is $100, Trustile might be $500 and a full custom $1000 and up.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:14AM
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Trustile is going to be more expensive that Masonite stile and rail. Masonite molded is the least expensive. I think the stile and rail looks much better, but couldn't tell a real difference between the Trustile stile and rail and the Masonite stile and rail. We did the Masonite. I can't remember exactly how much they were.

They are in and I love them. They look much crisper than the molded doors and look more expensive (which they are ;))

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Thanks, palimpest!

My contract calls for MDF, Simpson or equivalent. Is the masonite brand equivalent to Simpson?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Both Simpson and Masonite offer molded, MDF stile and rail and wood doors. Simpson seems to have a larger selection of styles.

I think you need to find out what the contract includes or excludes because even within the two companies there are several offerings, with molded being the least expensive. You should also find out if the contract is for all solid, some solid and some hollow core or all hollow core.

You would not be able to get a flat panel in hollow core as far as I know because the molded shape is what gives the hollow panels strength.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 12:02PM
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It sounds like your contract calls for MDF doors, which is good. These are solid, not hollow. The Trustile ones and the Masonite ones I got that are stile and rail are MDF.

The next question is molded MDF or stile and rail MDF.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 1:39PM
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Athensmomof3, thanks so much for this. I reached out to the architect for clarification and she said molded. At least they're solid, as you say. I can live with that.

My architect just had a baby, so I'm trying not to bug her too much, but I realized I needed her input.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 2:15PM
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I did some more research and now have a better idea of what I want. My spec says Simpson or approved equivalent solid core MDF panel door. Simpson's doors are the same as Millenium doors.

My GC gave me a brochure for Masonite molded doors, which I now understand are not the same as solid core MDF doors. So now I need to pick out an MDF door, maybe from Simpson, or possibly Karona, which I heard about today. I'm trying to stay within the price range of a Simpson MDF door.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 6:29PM
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Ahtensmomof3, now that I have done the research, your comment about my contract calling for MDF being good makes sense to me.

When I asked the architect, I think she meant that we wouldn't be getting doors that were necessarily constructed in a stile and rail manner. I now know that Simpson has doors that are not molded, but that are also not true stile and rail. Too many options!

Thanks, again, for the help.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:31PM
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