Buying guide: internal doors
Selecting the best door for your home or building project can be a challenge. The type will often be dictated by the space you have available and where it’s going to be located, while style might be necessarily a little way down the list. Here’s our guide to the basic door types to help you choose.
Cavity doors slide into a wall cavity, making them the ultimate space-saving option compared with a hinged door, which needs space to swing open. Unlike barn doors, a cavity door doesn’t take up precious wall space either, so you can use the wall for furniture or art.
The installation process can be labour intensive if fitting into an already built wall, as it requires the wall to be removed to fit the cavity in its place. You’ll need to consult a structural engineer to check the wall is not load-bearing.
You’ll also need to be sure there are no plumbing or electrical services running through the wall, as these will need to be rerouted by a licensed tradie.
Cavity sliders can either retract fully into the wall (flush jamb) or protrude slightly (flush pull). Be sure to choose the right hardware – the flush jamb style, for example, will need a flush ring pull in the edge of the door.
Embrace a neat, minimalist look and save on space with a cavity door
On-trend barn doors are face-mounted sliding doors, running on exposed tracks and rollers on the outside of the wall rather than into the wall cavity, explains Matthew Menichelli, director of Elevate Building Group.
Barn doors have a strong, modern industrial aesthetic, great visual impact, and are simple to install or retrofit. “Installed over the top of any door opening, barn doors can make a feature out of an ordinary doorway,” says Matthew. Consider the weight of the doors and size of the opening. Also, some barn doors can be heavy, so make sure you have the right hardware for the weight of your door.
Flush and panelled doors
Also known as hinged doors, these are the swinging ones we know so well. Flush versions have a plain profile, while panelled doors have detailed profiles that work in traditional homes or anywhere you want to add extra character.
Hinged doors can be challenging to install, unless you’re a confident DIYer. But if you’re starting afresh, pre-hung doors– where you replace the door and jamb together with a pre-hung system – are an easier option. “They’re a great time saver,” says Matthew Menichelli. Always check the size of your existing doorjamb and the direction it swings before you buy.
Watch the video: How to hang a door
“Repairing, replacing and hanging doors yourself can save you thousands of dollars,” says Belinda Westblade of The 2 Belindas. “Try to start in an area that’s less significant, such as the laundry. Because the area isn’t so obvious, it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect, and each door after that will only get better.”
Watch the video: How to install sliding doors
Hinged doors generally take standard universal passage set door hardware. All handles are interchangeable, which helps to make revamps quicker and smoother.
A panelled hinged door mirrors a panelled wall and adds character
The major difference between doors lies beneath the surface. Know your cores to choose the right door for you.
Solid timber doors are 100 per cent natural wood. Usually reserved for exteriors for the timber’s beauty, strength and security, they’re great for indoors where soundproofing, security and/or privacy is required.
These are engineered doors, made from wood by-products. They have similar uses to solid timber doors but are less expensive and are often stronger because of the high density of engineered wood.
Relatively inexpensive and lighter than solid timber and solid core versions, these doors have a honeycombed centre within a solid outer frame, and a veneer surface. While hollow core doors are ideal for budget-conscious makeovers, they are not great sound insulators.
Get a handle on it
Once you’ve chosen your doors, the next challenge is finding door hardware. Quality hardware that is fit for purpose will ensure a more professional and longer-lasting result.
The doors and door furniture you pick – for example, knobs or levers, square backplates or round – should also reflect the design of the house, says Belinda. Bear in mind that if you have small children or elderly relatives in the home, lever handles may be easier to work than knobs.
For a cohesive look, choose a similar style throughout – for example, all made of the same material, such as satin chrome.
Watch the video: How to install a door handle
Find your perfect door
Browse our full range of internal doors to find the right door for your home.
Photography credit: Brigid Arnott, Gap Interiors/Bureaux, Hume Doors & Timber