A paneled door highlights a particular kind of construction method. Manufacturers craft paneled door designs using separate panels and frames.
This design was developed to overcome wood’s tendency to shrink and expand in the weather. The different components of the door allow each other to change without affecting the overall structure.
A paneled door is the most common choice for interior and exterior spaces. There are such varieties of paneled doors styles that you can use unique varieties that set your home apart.
Components of a Paneled Door
There are three main components of paneled doors: the frame, the panels, and decorative molding. There are many variations of these components. Vertical pieces called stiles and horizontal pieces called rails are used to construct the frame of the door.
These doors also have inset panels or raised panel styles with different numbers and shaped panels. Some paneled door styles are solid and others have glass panels or “lites” Also, paneled doors have different style moldings that sets the look apart. Some like shaker panel doors have no molding which keeps the design simple and spare.
Paneled Door Materials
There are two main types of paneled doors: true panel doors and molded panel doors.
True panel doors
True panels doors are constructed using solid material and use frames and panels pieces in the construction. Molded panel doors feature skins or solid pieces molded to look like panels over an interior core.
- Wooden Panel Door – These are the oldest and most classic type of panel door. Wooden panel doors feature both true panel construction using solid wood of various types and molded door varieties. These wood panel doors have a wide variety of styles that feature both exterior and interior panel doors.
- Aluminum Panel Door – Aluminum is a lightweight metal that manufacturers use to create interior and exterior panel doors. All aluminum paneled doors are molded rather than using separate aluminum door panels and frames. Some aluminum doors feature exterior skins with an internal core. Others use aluminum frames with glass panels that fit inside them.
- Steel Panel Door – Steel is a heavier and stronger metal than aluminum. Like aluminum, steel panel doors are molded rather than separate pieces. Most people use steel panel doors on the exterior of the house. Steel construction glass panel doors are common as exterior doors but others use them to define interior spaces.
- Vinyl Panel Door – Vinyl or PVC/uPVC doors have become a more common feature in modern construction. Manufacturers mold vinyl panel doors from polyvinyl chloride. These are resistant to water, so they are useful in spaces like bathrooms and kitchens. These doors are a less expensive alternative to metal, wood, and fiberglass. Yet, they are not as long-lasting.
- Fiberglass Panel Doors – Fiberglass is a strong material and common for exterior paneled doors like entry doors. Like other materials separate from wood, fiberglass panel doors are molded rather than created with fiberglass door panels and frames. Fiberglass paneled exterior doors are long-lasting and made to resemble the texture of wood.
- Molded Wood Composite Panel Doors – Molded wood composite doors feature some kind of molded material that features wood as a component. Most interior panel doors have MDF, medium-density fiberboard, or particle board exteriors over an internal core. These are the most common type of interior paneled door. MDF cannot be used outside as it will break down with exposure to moisture.
Molded Paneled Door
Some paneled doors feature solid construction. Most of these are solid wood doors with separate frames and panels. Others feature molded door panel skins that are a solid piece over a separate core.
There are two main types of cores for molded panel doors: hollow core and solid core.
- Solid Core – Solid core doors feature cores that are filled with different materials. Solid wood core (SCL) doors feature a center that they have filled with composite lumber such as plywood. Solid particle core (SC) feature center that they have filled with particle board.
- Hollow Core – The interior spaces of hollow core doors feature cardboard honeycomb core material. This supports the exterior skin of the door. These doors are lighter in weight than solid core doors. Hollow core doors are not ideal for sound insulation.
Solid Wood Paneled Door
Solid wood paneled doors are the oldest paneled door type. There are benefits to using a solid wood panel door, but there are some drawbacks to consider too.
- Design – Solid wood panel doors are a common paneled door type. Therefore, there is a wide variety of styles that you can choose for different home styles.
- Natural Beauty – Solid wood has gorgeous color and texture that will add instant elegance and class to any home.
- Insulation – Solid wood is a strong material that offers good sound and weather insulation.
- Cost – Solid wood paneled doors are some of the most expensive exterior and interior door options.
- Maintenance – Exterior solid wood paneled doors require regular maintenance like staining and painting in order to preserve their structural integrity.
Molded Paneled Door
There are multiple varieties of molded interior and exterior panel doors. Each has benefits and drawbacks.
- Cost – Molded panel doors that are MDF are less expensive than solid panel doors. For exterior spaces, molded steel paneled doors are the most cost effective.
- Variety – There are many varieties of styles for molded panel doors that it is easy to find a door to fit your style.
- Insulation – Some molded panel doors like those of fiberglass and also solid core doors have good sound insulation. Exterior molded panel steel and fiberglass doors keep homes more energy efficient.
- Durability – Hollow core molded panel doors are lightweight and not as durable as more solid panel doors.
- Insulation – Hollow core molded panel doors also do not insulate well against weather or sound.
Popular Paneled Door Styles
There are many varieties of common paneled door styles. We have gathered some of the most common to inspire you for use in your own homes.
Glass Panel Door.
This home features a front door with glass panels. It has a metal frame with 8 glass “lites”. This is a modern-style panel door that works well in this transitional home.
2 Panel Doors.
These double entry doors each have two panels. These doors feature a sunken panel with decorative molding around the edge of the interior frame. This gives the door a more elegant style. This is also a front door with side panels of glass to bring in additional light.
This sliding 5-panel door features a simple sunken panel. This is also known as a 5-panel shaker door. Shaker style refers to the flat and simple panel shape. A shaker panel door works well with farmhouses and other simple-styled homes.
6 Panel Door.
This paneled front door features six raised panels within the door frame of stiles and rails. Raised panels are those that have sunken edges but a middle that is the same level as the stiles and rails. Raised 6 panel doors are some of the most traditional style panel doors. There are 6-panel interior doors and 6-panel exterior doors.
Sliding Panel Doors.
Sliding panel doors are common for both interior and exterior spaces. Solid panel sliding doors are used as both closet and pantry doors. Glass paneled doors are attractive as patio doors and to separate interior rooms. This design from VanBrouck and Associates features sliding barn doors with glass panels.
Panel Garage Door.
Paneled garage doors are a popular garage door style. This design features garage door panels of solid material and glass. The flat door panels work well with the garage’s simple design. There are also garage door panels of just glass which present a more modern style.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
How much do interior paneled doors cost to buy and install?
Interior paneled doors range in price depending on material. You can find paneled door costs anywhere from $35-$850. Solid wood paneled doors are the most expensive and hollow core MDF doors are the least expensive. Installing a prehung door is about $200-$400. A slab door is around $120-$180 if there is pre existing trim.
Which is better, a paneled door or a flush door?
The better door comes down to which style you like more. Paneled doors and flush doors are both common interior and exterior door styles. Most flush doors are less expensive than comparable paneled doors, but panel doors have more varied styles. Flush doors work best with modern and contemporary style architecture. Both doors can work well for sound and weather insulation depending on the exterior material and the core type.
What is a classic paneled door style?
All paneled doors have a classic style. Raised panels with decorative molding edges tend to work well for historic and classic style homes. Simple home styles like farmhouse and rustic look the best with shaker panel doors or another simple shape.
What is the best paneled door core type?
The best paneled door core depends on your needs. If your main priority is cost for interior doors, choose a hollow core paneled door. These are the most cost-effective choice. If you need the best insulated door, choose a solid core paneled door with a fiberglass or steel skin. These will keep your home the most energy efficient.