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Ok guys, I promise this is the last interior door post

Posted by elizawhyza (My Page) on
Fri, May 18, 12 at 8:37

Apologies for dragging out this interior door question. If you are sick of my debating tit, you are in good company. I am sick of myself, actually!

When I first posted about my interior door questions, I didn't have enough knowledge about the difference between door types. Our spec calls for Simpson or approved equivalent MDF doors, which are not cheap. (around $250-$300, I think?) We think we just want a four panel, colonial looking door, so since we aren't choosing anything out of the ordinary, maybe we should go with wood doors, or molded doors, and use the credit that would result on nicer hardware, or something else for that matter. We've done a lot of quality things in this remodel, including cedar roof, hardie shingle on the front of the house, and smooth plank elsewhere, azek corner boards, & simulated divided light windows with spacer bars (not sure I'd do the spacers again, nice but not necessary). It's a rambling 3-sectioned cape cod style house with three doghouse dormers on each of two of the sections, cupola on top of the garage, a portico and covered porch over the front door and right side of the house. We intend to stay for a long time, but I don't like spending money for stuff that doesn't deliver much better aesthetics or added function.

One thing I noticed in the masonite molded doors is that the raised panel is as thick as what the stile would be if there really was a stile, and I'd prefer that the panel be a little thinner, like in a traditional real wood door. I would not rule out a molded door, but if I could find a manufacturer that apes traditional doors a little more than others, that would be great.

Based on the look we are going for here, together with the fact that the style of door we want is not a reinvention of the style wheel, if you can weigh in on the following, I would be most grateful:

1) go with the spec, Simpson or equivalent MDF solid core.
2) go with a molded door that has some authentic details (do you know of makers other than masonite who make a door that looks traditional and has crisp edges, or one with wood veneer on the side edge where the lock is?)
3) go with wood, and if so, would you consider 1 3/4" thickness for resistance to warping
4) to throw a monkey wrench into things, there is an MDF door I saw online that is a plank door with no frame around it, so it looks like an 18th century style door. I haven't seen the back of it, so it may not have the cross braces that the true old ones did, but I don't care about that so much. In my opinion that type of door could look cool in my upstairs where there are four bedrooms and two baths. (Master is on first floor). If I chose that style for up there, it would have a cottage look, which from a resale perspective down the line could turn some people off. On the other hand, it would be a throwback to even the fourties or fifties when people built cape style houses.

Thank you to all who have already weighed in. If you have anything to add now that I have (hopefully) added clarity to the nature of my question, that would be awesome!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ok guys, I promise this is the last interior door post

To save a few dollars you may choose to go with the MDF stile and rail doors in the prominent area and use a smooth Masonite or Jeldwen Brand Solid Core Hardboard Door on the closets and second floor doors and then change them out over time when you have the $.


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RE: Ok guys, I promise this is the last interior door post

You should be able to purchase nice raised panel 4 panel interior doors in that price range. There's no benefit provided against warping by going thicker. I just dealt with a 12" beam that had warped over the years (It and all of the posts and beams in our house were installed after only a year of drying outside). I think that it would actually be pretty unusual for a raised panel door built from kiln-dried lumber to warp if it's finished. Sawdust and wood chips molded into things arguably have a place in home construction, but for finished surfaces, it's hard to go wrong with the real deal.


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RE: Ok guys, I promise this is the last interior door post

We installed Craftmaster MDF molded doors in the Corvado style. Primary doors are solid and closets are hollow. The doors are very substantial. Craftmaster also has solid wood doors.


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