20+ Types of Exterior And Interior Doors | Upgraded Home (2023)

20+ Types of Exterior And Interior Doors | Upgraded Home (1)

The doors in your home serve to separate the interior from the exterior, define interior spaces, provide privacy, suppress sound, and instill our homes with appeal and flair. When you start to create the interiors of your home, you’ll find virtually endless types of doors to choose from.

They can be categorized based on material, style, and function – whether interior or exterior. Continue reading to learn about the most common types of doors used in the home to make an informed decision about which to buy when the time comes.

Exterior Doors vs. Interior Doors

The major difference between interior doors and exterior doors is the fact that exterior doors are required to provide security and stand up against the elements. For this reason, exterior doors are usually heavy and interior doors are lightweight and made of less extensive materials.

Interior doors are usually either hollow-core or solid-core medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Hollow-core doors are constructed of veneer or pressed board wood, and are an economical way to provide several doors for your home. However, these doors get damaged easily and do a meager job of reducing the transmission of sound. Sold-core MDF doors, on the other hand, eradicate all of the downsides associated with hollow-core doors, but come at a higher price tag.

All homes are outfitted with exterior front doors, and all exterior doors have similar qualities. Instead of being hollow-core, all exterior doors are solid. In most cases, these doors swing inward and can be fitted with both a doorknob and deadbolt for maximum security. Aside from that, the other choices are made based on your personal style and security needs.

Wood has long been the preferred material for exterior doors, as it solid and can be stained and painted as desired. However, wood is high maintenance. For this reason, fiberglass and insulated steel doors have gained popularity in recent years. Although both of these materials offer a different look and offer years of durability, they must be painted regularly.

Types of Doors Based on Material

One of the many ways that you can categorize doors is based on the material it is constructed out of. Let’s take a look at some of the most common materials – broken down further based on interior vs. exterior – including the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Exterior Doors

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Since wood can warp, expand, and contract with exposure to the elements, an exterior door cannot be made from a single slab of wood. Hundreds of years of experience have resulted in the tradition of constructing doors using interlocking pieces. On panel doors you can see the panels, stiles, and rails.

With flush doors, there are frames and fill-in components, covered by a solid piece of veneer. Some materials perform better than others, which makes it so important to understand the various exterior door materials to find one that meets your specific needs.

1. Wood-Panel Doors

Wood-panel are constructed for both exterior and interior applications. They offer a classic appeal and solid wood offers excellent strength and good insulating properties. Hardwoods, like oak, are dent-resistant, while softwoods like pine can be easily dented but still offer exceptional durability. You can expect to pay more for a stain-grade door, which is constructed of full-length appealing pieces of wood.

Whereas, a paint-grade door is a combination of smaller pieces. Regardless, all exterior doors must be protected with either paint or finish to prevent cracking and warping. Over time, wood can natural warp from being exposed to the elements. This can cause a break in the door’s air-sealing capabilities. For added stability and insulation, some exterior wood-panel doors feature a foam core.

2. Fiberglass Exterior Doors

If you still want the look of wood but with more durability, a fiberglass exterior door is the ideal choice. For this reason, fiberglass doors are quickly gaining popularity in recent years. These doors can be stained or painted with a wide array of colors to create the same gorgeous look of classic, natural wood. Unlike real wood, the material is resistant to warping, shrinking, and expanding.

Fiberglass can be easily molded into virtually any shape and style. These doors also have an insulated core, which protects against the elements. In regards to cost, fiberglass exterior can be slightly more expensive than wood options. Though, their long-term energy savings offer a nice return on investment down the line.

3. Steel Exterior Doors

When you opt for a steel exterior door, you are choosing one of the safest options when it comes to break-ins. What was once considered an option solely for commercial applications, steel exterior doors are increasing popularity residentially. Some feature a steel face with foam core insulation, while others have a core made of foam that is wrapped in steel and a wood veneer on the exterior.

In either case, steel doors offer excellent insulating properties, durability, and resistant to burglaries. However, if these doors become dented, it can be difficult to repair and likely won’t pop out of the material. In this case, replacing the entire steel door is often the only option.

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4. Stave-Core Exterior Doors

Also referred to as “core-block,” stave-core exterior doors appear like a standard wood-panel door, but have is actually made of several thin pieces of wood that are laminated together. This laminated core is then enclosed in a wood veneer, which results in an incredibly stable exterior door. However, the drawback to stave-core doors is that the veneer can peel off if it’s not properly protected with paint or stain.

5. Glass Doors

With glass doors, it’s important that they are well-built – especially when it’s an exterior door. Though, the major advantage to this material is the view that you have from inside and the amount of natural light that comes into the space. On the other hand, this can also lead to drawbacks depending on your preferences.

For instance, natural light can also bring cold air into the home through the cracks and the glass makes the interior of your home visible from the outside. If either of these factors worry you, it’s best to opt for a steel, fiberglass or wood exterior door for your home. Though, you could pair a glass storm door with one of these options to enjoy the best of both worlds.

6. Solid-Core Flush Exterior Doors

Solid-core flush exterior doors are constructed similarly to hollow-core interior doors, however the space in the wood frame consists of solid particleboard instead. These doors may be heavy, but they’re not as durable as alternatives. If not protected with paint, the veneer can delaminate from the particleboard. If the particleboard gets saturated, these doors essentially become useless.

Interior Doors

20+ Types of Exterior And Interior Doors | Upgraded Home (3)

Since interior doors are shielded from weather and the elements, they can be constructed of less substantial materials than their exterior counterparts. For this reason, an interior door should never be used for exterior applications. No matter how well you protect the door with paint or finish, it will ultimately warp and fall apart after a couple of years. That said, here are some of the most common interior door materials on the market:

1. Hollow-Core Flush Interior Doors

These doors are a popular choice for new constructions. They consist of a frame made out of solid wood boards, usually about 1 ½ inches wide. To provide stability and prevent drumming, a cardboard webbing runs through the inside of the door. If treated gently, these doors can last for several decades.

Though, if a hollow-core flush interior door gets hit with a lot of force, it can get dented or even punctured. For the least expensive option, opt for a door with a lauan mahogany veneer. Though, this option will soak up paint like a sponge. That said, hollow-core flush doors with birch or oak veneer tend to be better long-term investments.

2. Stamped Hardboard Interior Doors

In terms of affordability, stamped hardboard interior doors are the best choice. This hardboard, often called by the brand name Masonite, is fairly soft but is typically shielded with a hard-baked paint. The hardboard can be molded to look almost exactly like natural wood grain.

Some hardboard doors are hollow-core, while others are filled with either particleboard or foam. While these doors will look excellent for many years when treated with care, they are easily dented. Not to mention, if they are wet over an extended period of time, the hardboard will swell. Both denting and swelling are challenging to repair.

3. Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

Medium-density fiberboard, or MDF, interior doors are gaining popularity, and for good reason. These doors usually come in a paneled, yet contemporary look but can be found in a wide array of appealing styles.

When compared to hardboard, MDF is more durable and less prone to denting. However, it is still not as strong as solid wood. These doors are also often three to four times more expensive than hollow-core interior doors.

Types of Doors Based on Style

In addition to classifying doors based on their function and material, you can also break doors down based on their style. Let’s take a look at some of the door styles that you’re most likely to come across in your search for the ideal door.

1. Dutch Doors

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Dutch doors are a type of exterior door that is split in half horizontally, allowing the top and bottom halves to be opened separately. You also have the option of opening and closing the door with the two panels locked together. In addition to offering a lot of personality and appeal to a home, Dutch doors are also incredibly functional.

For example, if you have children or pets, a Dutch door can essentially serve as an indoor safety gate. Simply leave the bottom half of the door closed to keep them indoors and safe. With the top panel open, you can still have visibility and receive fresh air into the space.

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Even though both panels are weather-stripped and sealed appropriately, the outside air can still leak through. For those who live in an area with especially inclement weather conditions, you may want to keep your Dutch door to a more protected part of the home or opt for something else entirely.

2. Hinged Doors

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Also commonly referred to as passage doors, hinged doors are the most common style of door found in homes. They are typically either a solid wooden panel door or a hollow-core door that is attached to a door jamb via two or more hinges. One end of the door is attached to the hinges, while the other end swings into or out of the space.

Hinged doors can be purchased as a singular component or as a pre-hung door system. It’s also important to mention that the term “hinged doors” is very broad, as many other doors on this list can also fall into this category.

3. French Doors

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French doors are double doors positioned side by side, usually consisting primarily of glass panes. When operated, the door doors open inward. When they are shut, the doors meet and one door attaches to the top and bottom of the doorframe. French doors are commonly seen used as exterior doors, as they provide plenty of natural light to a space.

These doors are especially beneficial for rooms that lack windows or do not have enough windows. However, with all the natural light they provide, French doors can make it more difficult to keep a room warm or cool because of the substantial glass panes.

4. Pivot Doors

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More modern in design, a pivot door swings on a vertical axis, or spindle. They differ from conventional hinge doors, which have the hinges attached to the side of the door and the adjacent wall. In most cases, pivot doors are larger and heavier than hinged doors.

The spindle that the door pivots on can be placed at any location, depending on your needs and preferences. When it comes to inswing doors, the further that the spindle is placed from the side frame, the larger the tail (or the section of the door that swings outward).

Pivot doors have a very smooth operation and in the case of front doors, can create a sophisticated first impression. You’ll also typically find pivot doors in a variety of commercial applications, in addition to workout rooms, bathrooms, spas, and more. The minimalistic nature of pivot doors makes them ideal for modern-style homes.

5. Pocket Doors

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Pocket doors are a type of interior sliding door that, when opened, vanish into the wall. To slide the door, you must flip the latch to use it as a handle, which allows you to pull it shut or push it open. In most cases, the latch can also be fitted into a receiving plate on the doorframe to serve as a type of locking mechanism.

These doors are incredibly advantageous when it comes to small spaces or anywhere where the swing of the door will get in the way of other elements in the room. One of the drawbacks to pocket doors is that they can come off-track and be a pain to fix. However, if you treat these doors with care, you will be able to enjoy them for many years with no issues.

6. Bifold Doors

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By definition, bifold doors are interior doors that fold inward towards the user. As they fold, they slide open at the same time. Bifold doors consist of two or more panels that are hinged together at the ends. When slid open, the panels “fold” or stack together and rest on one side. To close a bifold door, the panels are slid from this “stack” to straighten out and form one long door from end to end.

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Bifold doors can offer aesthetics and practicality to both commercial and residential spaces. When it comes to commercial applications, you’ll often see these doors in large meeting spaces, hotel ballrooms, or in restaurants to connect an indoor dining area with patio seating. In residential settings, bifold doors are commonly used on clothes and laundry room closets.

Like pocket doors, bifold doors can also come off-track on occasion. However, they are very easy to put back in position. On the downside, these doors are very thin and, therefore, should not be used wherever blocking sound transmission is desired.

7. Roller Doors

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Roller doors are typically found in garages, sheds, or storage facilities. Though, these doors can prove to be a very trendy choice for living rooms or to separate your living space from an outdoor patio. They are comprised of a corrugated steel curtain that, when lifted open, roll into a bundle at the top of the door.

The corrugations in the doors allow it to flex – the wider the space that the door must cover, the deeper and stronger both the steel and its corrugations must be. You’ll often find roller doors attached to a motor, which allows you to open or close the door with the use of remote control.

8. Sliding Doors

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Instead of swinging open like both hinged doors and pivot doors, sliding doors (you guessed it) slide open on a track. Since they don’t swing open, the major benefit to these doors is that they don’t conflict with other components in the space. They are often used to cover large openings, like those in closets, bedrooms, leading to a patio or deck. When it comes to exterior sliding doors, they are almost always made of glass and found on either the back or side of the home.

These sliding glass doors allow tons of natural light into the home, but can be quite drafty. For this reason, you’ll want to seek out a sliding glass door that features high-grade seals. For areas of the home that are very bright or get a lot of sun exposure, choose a sliding door with additional heat control window film.

9. Storm Doors

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A storm door is a supplementary door that is mounted on the outside of exterior doors to serve as protection against inclement weather and to reduce drafts inside. These doors also allow for proper ventilation in fair weather. In most cases, storm doors have interchangeable or retractable screen and/or glass panels.

Like traditional front doors, storm doors come in many sizes and materials. In warm weather, your front door can be opened and the storm door will provide ventilation without letting bugs in. When properly installed, storm doors protect your primary entry door from ice, rain, and stone. They also create a pocket of insulation that helps keep cold air out and warm air in.

When it comes to figuring out whether or not your home needs a storm door, you must consider your climate. If your front door is regularly exposed to the elements, a screen door may be the better option. Though, you may choose a storm door if you have a new, well-sealed, energy-efficient front door. Generally speaking, warm climates do not require storm doors, as a screen door will be sufficient for air circulation.

10. Screen Doors

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Like storm doors, screen doors are installed on the outside of exterior doors. They are exactly as the name implies: a door with a screen. Screen doors are lightweight, with a frame that may be made of a variety of materials. The main purpose of these doors is to provide protection against pests and bugs, while still allowing light and air to circulate continuously in the home.

Screen doors can also save money on your energy bills by reducing the need for your air conditioning system. In fact, homes with a screen door on the front and on the back can benefit from the whole-home cooling effect of a cross-breeze.

However, because of the thin screen and light construction, screen doors can easily get damaged. So, operate with care and make sure you have an extra screen on hand whenever you need to perform a repair.

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11. Garage Fire Doors

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For homes with an attached garage, you cannot install just any type of door between the garage and the interior of your home. In order to protect your home against fire, most building codes require either solid or honeycomb-core doors that are no less than 1- 3/8 inch thick and a minimum 20-minute fire rating.

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Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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