How To Make Solid Core Doors

Doors help you transition from one space to another. However, have you considered how doors are made, particularly solid core doors? We did some research for you and compiled exciting answers from experts here.

Manufacturers have a synchronized process of making solid core doors. They first stamp the wood layout into the door skins, cut the wood to the design of the layout, then glue the pieces together. Lastly, wood stiles are added to the edges for hinges before they are polished and packed.

Do this sounds like a doable process for your upcoming DIY? Read on as we detail the process in this post.

A newly built house with a wonderful door and furniture, How To Make Solid Core Doors

The Process Of Making Solid Core Doors

If you want a solid core door, you don't need an explanation as to what it is. These doors have a superior look and are suitable for chic interior decor without being expensive.

The manufacturing process is straightforward and understandable. Here are the steps for curious homeowners who want to start a similar manufacturing process or make their doors.

Stamped Skins

set of core doors with different wood type colors

These skins have a door layout stamped into them. They are either smooth or textured to imitate wood. The stamped skins come in twos for either side of the door.

Solid Core

It is wood, and it is cut out to fit the layout on the door skin. The core is heavy, making the door layout feel like a solid wood door.

Coating And Assembling

wood crafts, close up hands woman artisan carpenter painting with brush and paint jar white the door in workshop

Like you would assemble a sandwich, the internal parts of the door are arranged and sandwiched between the skins using glue. The assembling must be done correctly to fit the stamped skin or layout design.

Wooden stiles are added to the edges for stability and hardware installation. The 'sandwich' is weighed down and left to completely dry for hours. At the top, you find a single rail, but at the bottom, there are two or three rails.


When the doors are dry, they are trimmed, primed, and packed for shipping. That's all there is to making solid core doors.

Here's a short ">video demonstrating the process of manufacturing solid core doors.

Can You DIY A Solid Core Door?

Yes, you can! Beginners might take a long time to complete the process. However, more experienced woodworkers will have a breeze doing it.

Follow these steps to make a solid core door for your bedroom, basement, or bathroom.

Purchase Materials

You'll need good quality MDF or plywood, wood glue, nails, a saw, and a hammer. The smaller tools can be purchased online or in a hardware store. Avoid hardwood as it warps over time.

Rent huge tools such as table saws, sanding machines, and wood clamps. Alternatively, you can invest in these tools if you want to do other DIY projects in the future.

Click here to see this water-resistant wood glue on Amazon.

Measure & Cut

Measure the door frame and cut all the pieces accordingly. Maintain the standard door thickness, which is an inch and three-quarters. However, you could have a broader or higher door, so measure correctly to fit your door.

Cut the panels to size. At this point, you should cut the lock groove when cutting the stiles and rails. The lock groove (which is two inches deep) is often is for a mortise lock because it commonly used for solid core doors.

Check out this self-adhesive tape on Amazon.

Gluing & Assembling

Glue all the pieces together and sand the door again for an even final look. Use clamps and nails if necessary. Let the door dry completely before you prime and paint it.

Painting & Mounting

Prime the door, paint it the desired color, and let it dry. Now you can install the door hinges before you mount the door. After mounting the door, you install the lock. All done, you now have a new solid core door.

You can ">watch the following video to get the confidence to do this DIY project.

Click here to see this paintbrush set on Amazon.

Is Plywood Better Than MDF For Solid Core Doors?

Each type of wood has its advantages and disadvantages. Although we all like the look and feel of solid wood, it can be expensive. Therefore, most DIYers settle for less costly but quality woods such as plywood and MDF.

MDF and plywood are engineered woods with a percentage of hardwood and softwood. The main difference between the two is MDF has wood fibers and resins glued together, while plywood has wood layers and resins.

They are then put together under high heat. Plywood and MDF come in panels you can cut to size for any project.

Do Solid Core Doors Need A Fire Rating?

Building codes require a fire rating to ensure the occupants of any building have enough time to evacuate in case of an emergency. The rating tests the durability of the material in question. The fire resistance test can be a 20, 40, 60, or 90-minute one.

Solid core doors can be fire-rated and usually rate at 20 minutes, sometimes more. The fire rating also affects the cost of a solid core door. Additionally, locks play a significant part in increasing a fire rating.

What Locks Are The Best For Solid Core Doors?

Solid core doors are mostly interior doors, and they can use almost any lock. The most commonly placed locks on these doors are mortise, thumb turn, cylinder, and rim locks.

Alternatively, you can use deadbolts and latches on these doors if they don't need to be locked. Here's a post that elaborates on locks in interior doors. Can You Replace A Mortise Lock With A Cylindrical Lock?

Have a look at this mortice lock on Amazon.

Application Of Solid Core Doors

Since solid doors can withstand heavy use and remain elegant, they are often installed in residential and commercial interiors.

Solid core doors can be used in bathrooms, bedrooms, or basements in residential interiors because they block out noise efficiently. They are also popular in finished office interiors.

Solid Core Vs. Hollow Core Doors

Designers might overwhelm homeowners when choosing between solid and hollow doors for their interiors. The decision might be more challenging if you don't know the difference.

Solid core doors are not expensive, durable, and are the best insulators. However, they are heavy and don't come in many designs.

Hollow core doors are easy to install, lightweight, and affordable. But they fall short when it comes to insulating the room and durability.

Are The Solid Wood Doors The Same As Solid Core Doors?

old wooden door with sandstone lining, wreath, lantern and cross

Solid wood doors differ from solid core doors immensely. You won't find anything besides plain wood in a solid wood door. They come in panels rather than one piece.

On the other hand, solid core doors are made of engineered wood. It means the wood has other materials like veneer and resins added to the hardwood or softwood. Solid wood doors are ideal as front doors, while solid core doors work well in the interior.

Can You Have A Solid Core Door Custom-Made?

Front door and stoop

Yes, you can have your solid core door custom-made. Solid core doors have limited designs, which might not match your interior decor. But for extra pay, you can have that particular door you have visualized for your bedrooms or bathrooms.

You can browse the internet for the design you want (or close to it) and have a home improvement company tailor it to your taste.

How Much Do Solid Doors Cost?

A solid core door can cost $70 to $250. The door's cost will depend on whether it's a DIY door or store bought one. The installation will cost more as you'll have to pay for the labor, door(s), and door frames. The cost will be between $360 To $1,159 plus an extra fee of $40 to $80 to assist the homeowners in disposing of the old door(s).

Other Types Of Doors

Apart from the solid core and solid wood doors, there are other types. In the market, you'll"> find hollow core and panel veneer doors that have some wood.

You could go for glass, plastic, or metal doors if you wish to deviate from wood completely. The door choice depends on where you want it installed.

The Verdict

A newly built house with a wonderful door and furniture

If you want to make a solid core door, use plywood or MDF. Stick to a simple pattern and use the steps described above. Homeowners who don't have the time or skills to embark on a DIY woodworking project can purchase the doors from any home improvement store.

Here are more interesting posts to read at your leisure:

What Size Screws For Solid Core Door?

How Long Is A Typical Door Handle?

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