interior doors vs exterior doors

Doors serve essential roles in buildings, providing both practical and decorative functions. It’s crucial to have knowledge about the various types of doors available to make informed choices when selecting them. Among the most prevalent kinds of doors are exterior and interior doors, which might seem alike initially, but differ in numerous significant ways. This article will examine the distinctions between exterior and interior doors, including their construction, materials, functions, and design, to assist you in making informed decisions when choosing doors for your home or building.

But first, let’s take a look at them separately.

interior doors

Interior Doors

Interior doors are created specifically to divide various rooms and areas within a building or residence. They are commonly positioned inside the structure and are shielded from external elements such as rain, wind, or sunlight.

There is a diverse range of styles and materials available for interior doors, such as solid wood or hollow core, composite materials, glass, and other materials. The design of the door can be customized based on the homeowner’s preferences and the available space, with options including swinging or sliding doors.

Interior doors are primarily used to create privacy, control noise levels, and visually separate various rooms or spaces. They are frequently utilized to partition bedrooms from hallways or living areas or to create a barrier between a kitchen and a dining room.

In addition to their functional purposes, interior doors can also serve as decorative elements in a home, adding character and style to a room. They can be painted or stained to match the overall decor of a room or to create a distinctive accent.

Interior Doors Styles

Interior doors come in various styles, each with its unique features and aesthetic appeal. The following are some of the most popular styles of interior doors:

  • Panel Doors: These doors feature rectangular or square panels that are raised or recessed. Depending on the number of panels and style, panel doors can have a traditional or contemporary appearance.
  • French Doors: French doors consist of two doors hinged on opposite sides and open from the middle. Typically made of glass, they allow natural light to flow between rooms and provide an elegant and timeless look.
  • Barn Doors: Barn doors slide along a wall-mounted track, saving space and providing a rustic, farmhouse-style appearance, typically made of wood.
  • Pocket Doors: Similar to barn doors, pocket doors slide along a track but disappear into a wall cavity when fully opened, making them ideal for areas with limited space or rooms that require privacy, such as bathrooms.
  • Dutch Doors: Dutch doors are split horizontally, with the top half opening while the bottom half remains closed. They provide a unique look and are often used in kitchens, nurseries, and other spaces where ventilation is crucial.
  • Flush Doors: Simple and straightforward, flush doors have a flat surface typically made of plywood or MDF and are ideal for modern or minimalist homes, where they can be painted or stained to match the room’s overall decor.
interior doors styles

Interior Doors Materials

Interior doors can be made from a variety of materials, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common materials used for interior doors:

  • Solid Wood: Made entirely of natural wood, such as oak, cherry, or mahogany, solid wood doors are sturdy, durable, and offer a timeless look. They can be stained or painted to match the room’s decor, but they tend to be more expensive than other options.
  • Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF): MDF is a composite wood product made of wood fibers and resin. MDF doors are less expensive than solid wood doors, but they are still sturdy and durable. They can also be painted or stained to match the room’s decor.
  • Glass: Glass doors are elegant and provide natural light flow between rooms. They can be frosted or textured for added privacy and are often used for French or sliding doors, as well as interior doors leading to outdoor spaces.
  • Steel: Steel doors are secure and durable, and are often used for exterior doors. However, they can also be used for interior doors in areas that require added security, such as commercial buildings.
  • Aluminum: Lightweight, durable, and low-maintenance, aluminum doors are often used for interior doors leading to outdoor spaces, such as patios or decks.
  • Hollow Core: Made from a thin layer of wood or MDF over a hollow core, hollow core doors are lightweight and less expensive than solid wood or MDF doors. However, they provide less sound insulation and are less sturdy.

When choosing the right material for an interior door, it’s important to consider your budget, design preferences, and the intended use of the door.

If you are a homeowner in GTA, make sure to check out our interior doors in Toronto.

exterior doors

Exterior Doors

Exterior doors are constructed to grant entry to a building from the outdoors. They are usually crafted from durable and weather-resistant materials such as metal, fiberglass, or solid wood, which can endure severe weather conditions and safeguard against unauthorized access.

To provide an increased level of protection against intruders, exterior doors frequently come with supplementary security features like heavy-duty locks, deadbolts, and hinges. Additionally, they may include insulation and weather stripping to enhance energy efficiency and prevent drafts.

Apart from their utilitarian purposes, exterior doors can also enhance a building’s aesthetic appeal. They come in a diverse range of styles, colors, and finishes, designed to complement the building’s architecture and design.

Exterior Doors Styles

Exterior doors come in a variety of styles and materials, each with its own unique features and benefits. Here are some of the most common styles of exterior doors:

  • Front Entry Doors: The main entrance to a home, front entry doors come in many styles, including traditional, modern, and craftsman, and can be made of materials such as wood, fiberglass, and steel.
  • Patio Doors: Designed to provide access from the interior of a home to an outdoor space like a patio or deck, patio doors are often made of glass to allow natural light into the home and can be either sliding or hinged.
  • French Doors: Typically made of glass, French doors consist of two doors hinged on opposite sides that open from the middle. They provide an elegant look and allow natural light to flow between rooms.
  • Dutch Doors: Divided horizontally, Dutch doors allow the top half to open while the bottom half remains closed. They are often used in spaces like kitchens and nurseries where ventilation is important.
  • Storm Doors: Installed in front of an exterior door to provide extra insulation and protection from the elements, storm doors are available in a range of materials and styles.
  • Garage Doors: Providing access to a home’s garage, garage doors are available in many styles and materials, including wood, steel, and fiberglass.

Also, there are single and double entrance doors. Depending on the entrance of your home, you can choose them and improve your home’s exterior and curb appeal. If you love contemporary or classic style doors, make sure to check traditional and modern double doors made by Marvel Wood Arts.

exterior doors styles

Exterior Doors Materials

Exterior doors are built to be sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather conditions and to ensure home security. There are various materials that can be used to make exterior doors, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are the most commonly used materials for exterior doors:

  • Wood: Exterior doors made of wood offer an elegant and timeless look that can be customized to match the home’s style. However, they require regular maintenance to prevent rot and warping.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass doors are a low-maintenance and durable option for exterior doors. They can be designed to mimic the appearance of wood or other materials and provide excellent insulation.
  • Steel: Steel doors provide exceptional security and strength, making them a popular choice for exterior doors in commercial buildings or high-security areas. However, they can rust over time and may require regular maintenance to prevent corrosion.
  • Aluminum: Lightweight and durable, aluminum doors are commonly used for exterior doors that lead to outdoor spaces, such as patios or decks. However, they may not offer the same level of insulation as other materials.
  • Glass: Glass doors can add a touch of sophistication and elegance to the home’s exterior. They allow natural light to flow between rooms and can be frosted or textured for privacy. However, they may not provide the same level of security as other materials.
interior and exterior doors

List of Main Differences Between Interior Doors and Exterior Doors

Here are some distinctions between interior doors and exterior doors:


  • Exterior doors are typically made of tougher and more durable materials, such as metal, fiberglass, or solid wood, while interior doors are commonly made of lighter materials, like hollow core wood or composite materials.
  • Insulation: Exterior doors are designed to provide better insulation against weather elements, such as cold or hot air, rain, and wind. However, this is less crucial for interior doors since they do not need to endure extreme temperature changes.
  • Security: Exterior doors have more robust security features, including heavy-duty locks, deadbolts, and hinges, whereas interior doors usually have simpler locking mechanisms, like doorknobs with basic locks.
  • Design: Exterior doors are generally more decorative and visually appealing since they are the primary entryway into a home. Interior doors, however, are often plain and simple in design and may even be hidden behind curtains or other decorative elements.
  • Size: Exterior doors are generally larger than interior doors, accommodating bigger entryways and providing better protection against the elements. Interior doors, on the other hand, can be smaller and narrower, depending on the size of the room they are in.
  • Cost: Due to the materials used and additional features such as weather-stripping and security features, exterior doors are typically more expensive than interior doors.
  • Functionality: Exterior doors are designed to withstand heavy usage and provide better functionality, such as opening and closing smoothly in all weather conditions. In contrast, interior doors are often designed to be opened and closed quietly and easily, and may not require as much durability.
  • Soundproofing: Exterior doors are often designed with better soundproofing to block out noise from external sources. Interior doors, on the other hand, are typically not designed with soundproofing in mind, as they mainly serve to separate rooms within a home.
  • Thresholds: Exterior doors usually feature thresholds to keep out drafts and moisture, which can be raised or lowered to provide a tight seal against the weather. Interior doors, however, typically do not have thresholds, as they do not need to protect against the elements.
  • Glass: Exterior doors may have glass inserts, but they are typically made of reinforced glass for added security and durability. Interior doors may also feature decorative glass inserts, but they are not typically made of reinforced glass.
  • Code Requirements: Exterior doors must meet specific building code requirements for energy efficiency, fire safety, and accessibility. Interior doors may also have code requirements, but they are generally less stringent than those for exterior doors.

Which is More Important for a Home?

Well, both interior and exterior doors are important for a home, but they serve different purposes. Exterior doors are the first line of defense against the outside world, keeping the weather and unwanted guests out. They also add to the curb appeal and overall look of a home. Interior doors, on the other hand, provide privacy, separate different rooms, and can help with noise reduction. So, it really depends on what you’re looking for in a home and what your priorities are.

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