Hollow Masonite Doors vs Solid Wood Doors

The Pros and Cons of Interior Solid Wood Doors versus Hollow Core Doors

By Mark J. Donovan




When it comes to buying interior doors you have numerous options to choose from, however the most common types of interior doors installed are either hollow masonite doors and solid wood doors. Both door types have a number of pros and cons, however the two major factors to consider most in the hollow Masonite door vs solid wood door decision are price and aesthetics.

Hollow Masonite Door Advantages and Disadvantages

First and foremost, hollow core doors, a.k.a. Masonite doors, are inexpensive and easy to install compared to interior solid wood doors.

Masonite doors typically come as pre-hung doors. To install them you simply need to separate the door into two halves, install the side with the door on it into the door opening, and then slide the other half into place. A level, hammer, and a few shims and finish nails are all the tools and materials required.

Hollow Masonite doors are available in a wide range of sizes and styles. Some are designed to mimic 6 panel solid wood doors, where as others have flush veneer surfaces. Some are designed to be stainable or paintable, and others come already finished.

There are various qualities of hollow Masonite doors available on the market today. Some have a thick core structure to add weight and structural integrity to the door, whereas as others are mostly hollow. The heavier duty Masonite doors hold up much longer than the basic hollow core door, so if you are looking for a compromise relative to price go with the heavier duty Masonite doors.

Traditionally hollow Masonite doors have been viewed as flimsy and poor noise insulators. They have also been considered poorly fire rated in years past. However the story has changed a bit in recent years with higher quality manufacturing techniques and materials used in their construction.

Solid Wood Door Advantages and Disadvantages

Solid wood doors typically offer much more elegance and natural beauty than hollow core doors. They also hold up better in the everyday use that interior doors are put through. Unlike hollow Masonite doors, it is very difficult to accidentally punch a hole in a solid wood door. Also, solid wood doors typically provide more sound and air insulation than hollow Masonite doors.

Solid wood doors vs Masonite doors cost significantly more due to the fact that they are made completely from wood.

Tips on buying interior doors.

Solid wood doors are available in a variety of woods including pine and oak. Interior solid wood door prices can vary significantly depending upon the size of the door and the type of wood used in its manufacture.

Lower priced solid wood doors are often constructed out of pine and sold as pre-hung doors. Higher end interior solid wood doors are made out of hardwood and typically need to be installed first, and then door trim installed second.

Solid wood doors versus Masonite doors typically offer more heft and privacy. They also do a better job of retarding fire. They also typically require less maintenance, albeit they can be sensitive to changes in moisture levels.

Though interior solid wood doors can be painted, most homeowners who purchase these types of doors elect to stain them instead, as they want to highlight the natural wood beauty of the door.

So to conclude, before making your hollow Masonite door vs solid wood door decision first carefully consider all of these factors.


For information on how to install interior door trim, see the “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook from HomeAdditionPlus.com.  The “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook provides step-by-step instructions on how to install interior door trim. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

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Additional Door Resources from Amazon.com


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