How to Choose the Perfect Internal Doors

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Your first thought might not be choosing your internal doors when planning the interior design of a home, but a well-thought-out interior door can make all the difference when finishing off a room and bringing certain character and charm to the space. Doors are not just functional for access and security, but they add a decorative element to the room that can enhance or transform the style.

There are many things to consider before choosing the perfect internal doors for a home project, including the material, style, size, colour and finish, as well as hardware and accessories.

Are you looking for privacy, soundproofing, insulation or just general aesthetics? Do you need your doors to be lightweight or robust? Victorian or contemporary? Fully finished and ready to install, or unfinished and ready to be personalised?

We’ve put together a guide below to make sure you’ve considered everything before settling on a certain door.

Internal Door Material: How to Choose

Choosing the material of your internal doors is a crucial step because it can greatly affect not only their appearance but their durability, insulation and soundproofing.

Doors are usually made from wood like MDF or plywood, composite materials, PVC/uPVC, metal or glass. Make sure to consider the architectural style of your house and the existing décor, as well as your budget and whether you’d like something low maintenance. 

The material of your door will depend on where it’s going in the home and its main purpose. For example, if you’re after a hallway door, you might want it to block out as much outside noise as possible, and so a robust, solid oak internal door would be a good choice. For bedroom doors you might want something more lightweight and easier to install and might opt for MDF which is cheaper and lighter.

Wood materials like MDF, plywood and solid oak are a classic and versatile choice, but they might be prone to warping, cracking and expanding/shrinking, so they might require a little more maintenance. They’ll also need priming and painting and might not last as long as other materials. Composite doors are created from a mixture of recycled materials like wood, plastic and fibreglass and offer better strength, durability and insulation than wood, with less maintenance too.

Metal and glass doors are more modern, sleek options if you’re going for a more minimalist or industrial vibe, but they may not provide much privacy or warmth.  

Door Size 

It can sometimes be difficult to determine the exact size door you need for your rooms. Generally, you’ll match your internal doors to the existing door frames and the overall proportions of the room. Make sure to measure the height, width and thickness of the door frame.

So, what is the standard UK door size? It varies, but the most popular standard internal door size is 1981mm x 762 x 35mm (2’6”). However, lengths tend to vary from 1981mm to 2400mm, with widths between 536mm up to 926mm, and thicknesses from 35mm to 45mm.

If you’re working on a room that doesn’t have a lot of space for a door to open and close, there are some space-saving options available to you such as bi-fold doors, pocket doors and sliding doors.

Door Style to Suit Your Home

The style of your internal door is the most important choice in terms of its appearance. Its style should complement the design of the room and reflect your or your customer’s taste. There are countless types of internal doors to choose from: shaker, panelled, flush, cottage, glazed and louvered, to name just a few.

Flush internal doors have no panels, with a smooth, flat surface either side that provides a simplistic appearance. Moulded doors and panelled doors are probably the most common choice for standard properties. Panels can be horizontal or vertical and the number of panels is up to you – most doors have 4 or 6 panels.

You can use recessed panels for a traditional shaker style, and typically the more panels your door has, the more traditional the look. You can even add clear or frosted glass panels to allow extra light into darker rooms. Cottage internal doors feature vertical panels running the entire length of the door.

The colour and finish of your internal doors is also important. You can buy prefinished doors that are ready to install, primed doors that just need a lick of paint, or completely unfinished doors that are ready to be personalised. Choose from smooth, high gloss surfaces or textured, matt finishes – make sure to match the design with the overall look and feel of the room. You can play around with colour too, either by matching the door to the walls or creating some contrast, such as a gloss white panelled door with dark wood floors, or black doors with light walls.

You might be wondering what internal door styles are most popular right now, but trends are constantly changing and what’s ‘in’ right now might not be in a few years’ time if you’re thinking of selling the property in the future. Our advice would be to choose the style of your internal doors based on your or your customer’s personal taste and preferences, rather than what’s currently fashionable! Another question you might be asking is, should all your internal doors be the same?

Again, it’s up to you – matching the doors in your home can create a cohesive finished look, but don’t be afraid to mix and match too to separate and highlight the different areas of the home.

Special considerations

It’s important to consider the primary function of your internal doors. If you’re after additional insulation or soundproofing, then solid wood doors are going to be a better option than hollow MDF doors or glass doors. If you want something low maintenance that’ll last for years, composite doors are a good option. And if you’re looking for doors with additional fire resistance, you’ll need to specifically search for fire doors, which are thicker than standard internal doors and offer up to 30 or 60 minutes of fire resistance.

Door Handles and Hardware

Once you’ve settled on your interior doors, it’s time to add the perfect finishing touches, and this includes door hardware. Handles, knobs, latches, locks and hinges not only add functionality by aiding access and security, but they can add a stylish flair to the door too. You can choose from a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and finishes to bring the overall look of your internal doors together. Choose from brass or chrome handles for a classic look, matt black latches and handles for something more contemporary, or even crystal doorknobs for a vintage or romantic look.

Make sure to coordinate your door furniture and hardware with other features of the room like your windows, cabinets, wall coverings, flooring and lighting.

Choosing the perfect internal doors for your home interior project might seem daunting because of the sheer amount of choice, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience once you figure out your preferences and needs. By considering the material, size, style, specific requirements for your door, and picking out some stylish door handles too, we’re sure you’ll be pleased with the result of your internal doors shopping.

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram

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