Making an interior door

tinanApril 5, 2013

We have a funny little closet near the front entry that houses our hot water heater and utility shut-offs. The door is about 60" wide and 60" tall and is currently a flimsy bi-fold door that doesn't close flat - it bows in in the middle at the hinge. The opening is framed and has trim, too.

I was thinking of replacing it with a slab door to make it blend in better, but of course they don't come in this size, so I would have to build it. What materials would you suggest? Obviously it's rather wider and shorter than a regular door, so a lighter weight would be good. Could I make a frame with 1x2's with a cross brace across the diagonal, then face it with masonite (to be painted to match the wall) and use plywood on the back? I just want a nice flat smooth door that blends with the wall better.

In fact, I'd prefer to make it "disappear" - any suggestions on that - if I remove the trim from the front face and paint up to the edge...

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Look up 'torsion box' for some clues on how to make a large but lightweight panel.

That is what a typical hollow core door actually is.

They just us cardboard for the inner elements.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 6:04PM
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OK so it's basically a grid of supports.

Is masonite a good sheathing to use for painting on the room side or are there better options?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Masonite is fine.

It is what many hollow core doors have used for 'skins' for many years.

1/8 inch thick, tempered Masonite.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 1:08PM
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That's what I thought was used for many doors, but I wasn't sure.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:36AM
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Having cut into way more than my 'fair share' of these doors, that is what the skins are.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:20PM
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I suppose the torsion box info probably mentions this, but in case they don't: make sure you build your door on a truly flat surface. Otherwise, you will end up with a warped door in the same warp as the surface it is built on. I had exactly your situation, and just winged it with that unfortunate result. Otherwise it was fine and not blatantly obvious, but I always knew it was warped.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:58PM
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