I bought a house built in 1970 which still has the original interior doors. They are hollow-core, boring, brown doors. I am debating whether to simply paint them white or replace them with new pre-hung 6-panel doors.

So I am wondering if more value would be added by going with solid-core doors instead of hollow-core (enough to justify the added expense). To my untrained eye, I can't tell the difference by simply looking at a door whether it's hollow or solid.

Secondly, I know that solid-core doors do have some sound-dampening attributes that can be useful between rooms, but does it make any sense to replace a hallway closet door with a solid-core?

  • I'd like to know the answer to that too.
    – hookenz
    Apr 22, 2014 at 21:51
  • I'm surprised no answers have graphs or data. I'd love me some data!
    – neuronet
    Jan 8, 2019 at 14:10

5 Answers 5


The differences between the types of doors is pretty obvious in use:


  • Mimics the appearance and feel of a solid wood door
  • Muffles sound better
  • Heavier and slams better


  • Lighter and easier to handle than a real wood door
  • Cheaper?

Jeld-wen says:

Hollow core doors are a good choice for areas where sound transmission is less important, like a closet or pantry. Solid Core doors are heavier and more resistant to normal wear. Solid core doors are commonly used in areas where more privacy is preferred. If interior noise reduction is a priority, consider the JELD-WEN® ProCore The Quiet Door®, which reduces sound transmission by up to 50 percent when compared to a hollow flush door.


The other answers talk about the direct benefits. The question seems to imply an additional interest in the effect on resale value, so I'll try to focus on that. There are several aspects to resale value.

One is things that are recognized by appraisers and tax officials as directly affecting the baseline market value. This is stuff like square footage, number of rooms of different kinds, type of construction, age, relative valuations of similar houses nearby, etc. The type of doors doesn't matter there. On appraisals, there is often an adjustment for things like quality of finishes and materials, and general condition, but it is in the aggregate. Door type won't really help or hurt there, either.

Another effect on resale value is "saleability". These are qualities that make the house seem desirable to a buyer, perhaps influencing whether you get an offer, or how many offers you get. These might even tip the scale a little on what a buyer is willing to pay.

There are big influencers and little influencers, and the little influencers don't matter unless you get past the big ones. The big ones are things like location, curb appeal, how move-in ready it is, and how well cared for it appears.

The little influencers are things like cool features and the quality of workmanship and materials; is everything bottom-of-the-line builder's grade or something better? Potential buyers will notice decent doors because they feel more substantial. The doors will add to the sense of quality.

But a caveat--they need to be generally consistent with the grade and quality of other things in order to matter for resale value. You can't take a simple and plain, inexpensive, cookie cutter house, just stick elaborate crown molding in the living room, and expect that molding to affect the price. The quality of materials, finishes, and workmanship are assessed in the aggregate. One item that is inconsistent with everything else stands out like a flag. A high-end item that's out of place with everything else can even call attention to everything else looking cheap.

So, like many improvements, good doors might affect resale value positively if they are consistent with the quality of other things in the house or part of a general upgrade program. Don't do it as an "investment", expecting them to return their cost at resale. Base a replacement decision on whatever benefits and satisfaction they will provide to you while you live there and consider any effect on resale just gravy.


You have hollow core doors, solid wood doors, and solid core doors. Solid core doors are heavier than solid wood doors so are the best choice for sound reduction for an inside door. Simple soundproofing rule is more mass (dense weight per sq. foot) = more sound blocked. They are also cheaper than solid wood doors but not cheaper than hollow doors but if sound reduction is what you're after solid core doors are worth the money.


Check with your home owners insurance... I'm fairly sure solid core get a lower rate due to being better/safer during fires...with discount on insurance they may be cheaper than you think

The value of the home should go up also.

And if you want more sound reducing... You know the expanding spray foam-dont get it at a big store...get it from a dollar store...often its same type and brand- Find wall studs drill very small hole just enough for tub & fill the walls. Better soundproofing,lower heating and cooling costs.

  • +1 for mentioning the major difference - fire performance.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 16, 2016 at 13:48

Trust me, solid doors are much more valuable. You will know the difference the first time you close one! Short answer, no more need be said.

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