The pantry door in my kitchen is a hollow-core door. There's quite a lot of wasted space between the door and the existing shelves, that I'd like to utilize by hanging full-width, full-height, 8"-10' shelves on the inside surface of the door.

The plans I've worked up suggest that the shelves, when full, would be supporting quite a bit of weight, and I'm concerned that the hollow-core door won't be able to support it adequately.

How difficult is it to replace one door with another using the existing frame/jams, etc. It seems pretty straight-forward, but something tells me that there's more to it than I imagine...

Is this something that is worth doing, or is it a rabbit-hole of pain and disappointment?

  • 2
    the door would probably support the weight .... the hinges are another story
    – jsotola
    Feb 27, 2019 at 22:36
  • 1
    Even if the hinges are upgraded, the door frames for interior hollow core doors are often only attached with finish nails through the door trim. If you do replace the door, pull of the door casing and make sure you have a good connection between the door frame and the studs.
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 1, 2019 at 19:15
  • A pantry door with a lot of inertia would be a pain to operate. Extending the shelves toward the inside of the door would be a better way to get more storage. Jan 21, 2022 at 20:26
  • @JimStewart - The shelves are way too deep already. The pantry is more like a phonebooth. Once things get past about half way back they're lost forever. I was looking for ways to spread out the shelf space so it isn't so deep. I don't think I'll be changing the door, but I'm not sure what "Plan B" is....
    – gnicko
    Jan 22, 2022 at 2:20
  • For our small pantry my wife bought the ELFA hardware for me to install six shelves: from bottom, four 20" shelves, one 16" deep and one 12" deep on top. The nominal width and depth of the pantry are 36" and 24", respectively. She sourced a solid oak prehung door with a large panel of copper (brass?) screen to allow air exchange. This door was sold as an outside screen door for a posh installation. We stained and sealed it with tung oil. To prevent critters going under the door I have laid in a hardwood threshold that leaves a paper thin gap but the door doesn't drag on the threshold. Jan 22, 2022 at 4:27

1 Answer 1


I have hollow core doors on my pantry and I have full height wire shelves on the inside, each one chock full of canned goods. No problem. Just be sure to use hollow door anchors to mount the shelves though, not just screws and not just the cheap little plastic inserts.

This type that expands behind the door skin:

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As to changing them to solid, the thing that you may find challenging is in getting the hinges in the right place. I've found that pantry doors often have less standardization than bedroom doors and setting hinges is a skill set that is not for the uninitiated (in my opinion). I'd try to not change them first.

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