Essential to get right early on in any project, there is much to consider when choosing internal doors. Traditionally cost, size and material were the main drivers behind decision-making. However, the way we design and interact with our homes has changed and suppliers have taken note and upped their game.

Developments in functionality and finish come with increased considerations homeowners need to undertake before making a purchase. No longer just practical products to make up the fabric of the house, selecting the right interior door for the design scheme, be it period-style or über-contemporary, can make or break a house.

What’s more, the decision as to whether to buy them on a door-only basis or as a complete doorset with ironmongery in place can hugely impact the flow of a self build, conversion or renovation project.

crittall internal door

Crittall‘s Innervision internal sliding doors continue the home’s contemporary industrial design, while allowing natural light to flow throughout

Open plan living is great for main living areas but elsewhere in a home internal doors are a must. Also, the rise of the ‘broken plan’ layout has reassessed the way homeowners utilise a space and getting internal doors right can make or break this design process.

What Are the Different Types of Internal Doors?

Most internal doors will either be hollow or solid, so it’s important to know the differences between the two as the quality can vary, affecting price as a result. The general rule of thumb with internal doors is the lighter the doors, the cheaper the price.

Doors with a hollow two-skin door:

  • Have air spaces within the core
  • Less robust
  • Lighter in weight
  • Cheaper
contemporary blue internal door

The Catton internal door has a solid core and  is a classic style that can be personalised and painted to a number of colours (by JB Kind, here in Muted Blue)

Doors with an engineered timber core:

  • The best value for money
  • Less likely to twist or change shape than standard wood throughout the year
  • Provide better sound and thermal insulation

How Much Do Internal Doors Cost?

The price of internal doors varies greatly depending on three key factors: material, construction quality, and whether you’re buying a single door or a doorset.

  • When buying on a door-only basis, expect to pay £50-£200 per door — budgeting a further £30-£40 per door for handles, latch and hinges.
  • For doorsets, to show how greatly prices can vary, companies such as JELD-WEN offer sets ranging between £90-£300, while the likes of Urban Front advertise doorsets starting at £1,200.
cottage moulded door howdens

The Cottage moulded door from Homebase is made from two skins pressed on a solid timber frame core (priced at £31.75)

Can I Buy Internal Doors Online?

It is tempting in today’s world of online shopping and easy, fuss-free delivery to buy all furnishings online and while internal door suppliers often have great online brochures and beautiful inspirational imagery, it’s very important to view the doors in person before purchasing.

Generally it is best to be cautious in cases like this as although great resources of inspiration and interior ideas, online product imagery can be deceptive, especially when the doors are on the cheaper side.

If you do end up sourcing your doors online, it is very important to inspect the doors immediately on delivery.

Buying a Doorset or Single Leaf

Doors can be purchased either on its own or as a doorset and you would be wise to be clear with your supplier which you are after from the outset.

contemporary door in modern home internal

Urban Front‘s Root internal doorset has been customised to match the geometric floor design

Doorset:

  • A single source supplies each element (lining, door leaf, fixings and architrave)
  • Available as off-the-shelf products, in a range of standard sizes to fit new doorways or can be custom built
  • Labour costs are reduced because less specialist skill is required
  • Installation is faster. However, as the entire unit is fitted in one go, the door can be damaged or get in the way during a project

Single leaf:

  • Perfect for renovations as they can be fitted into existing linings
  • Other works in a project (such as plastering) won’t cause damage as they can be fitted in stages 
  • Can be better suited to older buildings with uneven doorways or floor levels
internal door for period style home

This Jack Badger rustic oak internal door is a great example of finding a new single leaf door for a renovation project

Installing Internal Doors

Most standard doors can be installed on a DIY basis, but factor in in the cost of all the separate components and the labour associated with installing a door leaf before ruling out a doorset. 

The time it takes to install a door leaf largely depends on the type of product being installed. The task of installing a new door where there is not an existing lining and architrave involves fitting the lining and architraves, painting them, planing down an oversized door to make it fit, hanging it and then adding the door handles and latches.

bifold internal doors in library

Create a stunning modern rustic finish by painting bifold doors (like this Howdens product) the same colour as the frame, architrave and any panelling or shelving.

You may need to paint or finish the door if you’ve bought a primed or untreated model, too. The process can take the best part of a day. It’s often more cost effective to ask your carpenter to undertake the task for you. (Fitting a door to an existing opening will obviously take less time.)

Doorsets, on the other hand, provide a more time-effective alternative, with arguably a superior end result. The door is already pre-fixed to the lining as part of manufacturing process, so only the architraves may need adding and cutting down to size, and the handles added. 

How Do I Choose the Right Internal Doors?

For internal doors to have real impact the should be considered in two separate phases: the size and the finish.

No matter what kind of project you are working on, a decision on the size and configuration of your doors should be made as early on in the architectural process as possible to ensure the correct sized openings.

A great example is pocket doors. The cassette into which they slide needs to be built into the wall itself and it is essential to have the requirements before the walls go up. This will mean there are no disruptive alterations when it comes to fitting them.

Although there is nothing wrong with choosing doors right at the close of the project, the finish should at least be considered at the same time as the rest of the interior design scheme. 

modern moulded door from homebase

Howdens’ internal primed door has been matched to the modern interior design of this cosy bedroom

It is natural for your wish list of ideas to change throughout the planning and building process, but factoring in the aesthetics at the beginning of the project allows for these to develop. However, it is important to be aware that this route comes with limitations.

Choosing Between Internal Door Styles

Modern homes’ love of the open plan layout has led to the advent of internal doors that can slide or fold away to open up various living spaces on the ground floor while doors to separate more private areas upstairs are still firmly rooted in more traditional.

Most homeowners want internal doors on the ground floor to be special and to bring a certain wow-factor to the overall design while people are generally less bothered about other floors because guests don’t tend to see them.

matching internal doors in modern home

JB Kind’s Ivory laminate doors have been configured differently in this home to best suit how the homeowners will interact with the spaces

Don’t underestimate the importance of planning your design scheme in advance. This doesn’t just mean the colour or material finish, but you will have to decide on the orientation of the door and direction to which it opens. You will have to deal with this for the foreseeable so it’s best to get it right the right time around. 

A well-planned internal door can complete a design and with cross-directional grains, different timbers, glazed inserts and a variety colour options, a wow factor can be created in many ways.

Pocket Doors

A stylish and space-saving option, pocket doors can be hidden away in the cavity of an adjacent wall. Architrave free or flush designs are great additions to contemporary homes while more traditional ‘barn-style’ sliding tracks wouldn’t look out of place in a renovated cottage.

(MORE: How to Choose Pocket Doors)

Bifold Doors

Bifolding internal door are great for spaces that want an open-plan aesthetic, but also the privacy of separate rooms.

glass and wood bifold internal doors

Choosing glazed internal doors (like this Benchmarx Shaker four light bifold room divider) is great for spaces that want to increase natural light but retain the privacy of separate rooms

Glass Doors

Crittall-style doors, with their black industrial-inspired bars, can update an existing home in no time, opening up spaces while providing the option for privacy.

Frameless Doors

Although more expensive than other styles of internal doors, frameless doors create a modern and seamless appearance. Made with an invisible frame and a shadow gap, these doors need to be planned at design stage. The wall needs to be built so the junctions between the wall and the door are perfect as they won’t be hidden by an architrave.

Oversized Doors

With modern houses increasingly featuring vaulted ceilings, designers and architects are starting to realise that internal door heights also need to be enhanced to maintain proportion with the room. So, taller oversized doors are becoming more popular too.

However, going from a standard-sized door to a bespoke, oversized one will be reflected in the price. This is especially true if you’re specifying a full-height 2.4m-high door, as this will require stronger hinges or pivot hinges.

If you’re renovating, the opportunity to choose over-sized doors will be limited unless you widen the structural opening. However, if you have a blank canvas and factor it into the wall construction phase, there is much more freedom. Interior doors can become focal design features without requiring specialist skill or diminishing traditional charm.

Do I Need a Fire Door?

Fire safety doors are usually required when the property is more than two storeys – fire doors may be required when a loft is converted, for example, to meet Building Regulations requirements – and/or if the garage is integral. Many suppliers have noticed an uptake in converting their standard doors into fire doors. This is particularly true in more vulnerable rooms such as kitchens.

Expect to pay between 10-20% more for a fire door.

laminate internal door black wood design

All of JB Kind’s internal doors offer an FD30 (fire door 30 minutes) option, including the Alabama Cinza shown here

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