Beyond Function: Choosing The Right Interior Doors For Your Living Space

Interior Doors

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Many homeowners spend time carefully selecting an exterior door that matches the style of their home but gives little thought to the doors inside their homes. Aside from providing the pr function of privacy, you might think that there isn’t a lot of variety when it comes to an interior door.

There’s no rule that your interior door needs to be basic and boring. Not only can an inside door provide security and privacy but it can also play an essential part in your home décor.

Whether you need to upgrade the doors interior doors throughout your home or you just want doors that help enhance a specific design style, you have more options than you might think. We will discuss some of the most common types of doors for the interior of your home and some tips for picking the right one for your living space.

Interior Door Basic Styles

Visit any home improvement store and you might be surprised by all the different types of doors. Before you purchase a door, it’s a good idea to get a better understanding of the various types. Here are some of the most common inside doors:

Passage Doors

A passage door is the most common interior door found in all types of homes. Passage doors swing open and close and typically have two hinges. Some passage doors are available as a slab or with a door frame attached (this is often referred to as a pre-hung unit).

Passage doors that come as slabs are more versatile but may require a little more work to install. A pre-hung door usually has a hole for a lockset or other door knobs. A pre-hung unit makes it easier for DIYers to install their own interior doors rather than hiring a carpenter.

While passage doors are some of the most common doors for inside the home, they can also be the most basic of design styles.

Louver Doors

A louver door is similar to a passage door but instead of a panel across the surface of the door, angled slats make up parts of or all of the door. The best way to describe this style is that a louvered door looks similar to Venetian blinds; unlike blinds, the slats are fixed and cannot be moved.

Although louver doors might be seen anywhere throughout a home, they are most common for closets, laundry rooms, or even in utility rooms. These types of inside doors are popular for these rooms because it provides privacy but allows for sufficient airflow.

Depending on your design style, you might like the look of a louver door in other areas of your home such as the kitchen or bedroom.

Bifold Doors

Much like louver doors, bifold doors are often used for a closet, pantry or laundry room. Instead of hinges, bifolds pivot on pins which are inserted on the top and bottom edges. Due to their design, bifold doors typically open wider than a sliding door. While some bifold doors are solid slabs, some have louver doors.

Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are popular in areas where there’s not enough room for a passage door. While there are many styles of sliding doors, interior barn doors are a popular type of sliding door to enhance the décor of any living space (particularly living rooms or master bedrooms).

Pocket Doors

If you live in an older home, you may be familiar with pocket doors. Pocket doors are another common type of interior door that takes the place of a passage door, especially in smaller spaces.

Pocket doors slide open and close and are tucked away into the door frame. They are often a solid slab, but some pocket doors have a unique design to improve the aesthetics of a room.

French Doors

Interior French doors are essentially two passage doors that meet in the middle when closed and swing open to create a large space. Each door can be left opened or closed, and each door typically has glass windows.

Depending on your home décor and your privacy preferences, many French doors have frosted glass and other types of glazes.

Selecting The Right Material For Your Interior Door

Despite what you might think, not every interior door is made of solid wood. While some doors may have materials such as metal or glass, the primary material is wood, and you have three choices to consider.

Interior hollow core doors are lightweight due to the thin plywood. When shopping around for doors, you may also read or hear about Masonite interior doors; these are another type of hollow core doors.

Hollow core doors are popular because they are usually inexpensive and resistant to shrinking or swelling due to temperature change. Since they are not solid doors, they do not soundproof and can be damaged quite easily.

A solid core door looks just like a solid wood door but usually has a wood fiber core. Solid core doors are more durable and provide a better sound barrier than hollow core doors but are less expensive than a solid wood door.

A solid core door may have foam or chipboard, which can help provide insulation and be more fireproof.

If you live in an older home with the original architecture you probably have solid wood doors. These doors are heavy and provide the best soundproofing. If you want to replace or install a solid wood door, it will be the most expensive option but is likely to last the longest, too.

Picking The Perfect Inside Door For Your Interior Design

Some people assume that every inside door needs to match. Much like other design elements, the type and style of door you choose are entirely up to you. If your home décor is more on the traditional side, you’re more likely to select matching doors that have a basic and solid wood design.

If your design style leans towards transitional, you may use a sliding barn door as a focal point in your home library while using louver doors in other areas of your home.

French doors with paned glass windows can help you open up a small space while still providing a little privacy. Folding doors can break up large areas of space without committing to a standard passage door.

While inside doors have traditionally followed one specific style, today’s doors can have a design with a variety of elements and materials. Like other elements of home décor, there are little to no rules when selecting the style of door.

Additional Things To Consider Before Buying An Inside Door

While you may feel inspired to replace all of your inside doors with a new style, there are a few things to consider.


Whether we like it or not, the cost is always something to consider when replacing or upgrading an interior door. While hollow core doors are some of the least expensive available, you may still end up spending more than you’d like. If you have a budget, you may have to replace your doors over a long period.

If you have your heart set on having a solid wood door in your home, but it’s not in your price range, don’t select a cheaper alternative that you won’t enjoy (unless you’re in desperate need of a door right away). It’s better to save up for your dream door than choose something that you don’t particularly like.

Wear and Tear

Other factors to consider when shopping around for an interior door is the climate where you live and if you live in a home with children. Hollow core doors are prone to damage and may not withstand the wear and tear or daily traffic that comes with a household full of children.

If you live in a region where the temperatures fluctuate, and you experience a lot of humidity, a hollow core door might not last as long as a solid core or solid wood door.


A final thing to consider before purchasing is whether or not you’ll be installing the interior door on your own. As we mentioned earlier, pre-hung passage doors are the easiest type of door to install on your own, especially if you have little experience.

While you can certainly attempt to install any style of an interior door on your own, always make sure you read the installation guide before you start and make sure you have the proper tools and accessories needed; a second or third pair of hands always helps, too.

Finishing Touch On Your Home Décor

An interior door can provide safety, privacy, and even a quiet space but it can also be an important design element that can help you bring the room’s décor together for a finished look that reflects your personality and style.

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