Interior Doors 101

By: Jill Wuertz, Product Manager

The style and type of interior door you select for your opening can set the tone for the space. It is important to consider the construction style of doors as well as the materials they are made out of in order to make informed decisions on which doors will be right for your home. This week we want to cover some of the basic construction styles in order to help you consider your options for interior doors.

Stile & Rail Panel Doors

Most panel doors are constructed from a variety of components including rails, panels, and stiles. In the beginning panel door components were shaped from solid wood exclusively. Over time these components have been modified and engineered to create a more durable door that resists warping and twisting. Most panel doors available today are primarily made from medium density fiberboard with a wood veneer overlay and are joined together with dowels. The current construction allows for a wider variety of species that are available in a panel door. Oak, Maple, Poplar, Knotty Alder, Knotty Pine, Hemlock, and Cherry are all readily accessible from manufacturers. Walnut, Hickory, Mahogany, and other species are most often special order.

A variety of panel door styles and configurations are available to complement the architectural style of your home. A two panel arch top door would fit nicely into a Spanish Revival home or a 3 panel door would help bring out other details in a Craftsman residence.

Stile and Rail Door ConstructionPCA3 PPOB2

Molded Panel Doors

Molded panel doors are constructed from high density fiberboard that resists shrinking, swelling, cracking, and joint separation. The fiberboard face of these doors is made by mixing and compressing wood fiber and a resinous binder. This gives molded doors the look of traditional panel doors. Molded panel doors come primed and ready for painting with either a smooth or a textured finish. The trend towards painted millwork lends itself nicely to paintable molded doors. They are available in a variety of door styles and can be used to compliment any architectural style.


Flush Doors

These doors do not have the best reputation for style, but are quickly becoming trendy once again. Flush simply means that the surface of the door is flat. Generally these doors are available stainable with a wood veneer or paintable with hardboard surface. Flush doors are available with a hollow core or solid core construction. Hollow core flush doors are generally constructed with wood stiles and rails and have a honeycomb core. The particleboard core used in solid core flush doors reduces the sound transmission of the door and adds strength and stability. Flush doors are available in a variety of wood species and textured or smooth paintable surfaces.

Flush Door ConstructionLynden Sapele

French Doors

Sometimes the term French door is used generically for double doors that lead to a patio. In the case of an interior French door it is defined as any passage door with glass. Most often French doors have a piece of glass that is the full length of the door, but basically any panel in a door can be replaced with a piece of glass. French doors bring light and warmth to any room without losing functionality. There are endless glass options available, including decorative, obscure, clear, or camed options.

FB9015-Lite Knotty AlderFPORA
Check out all of our interior doors options for more details and selection.