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gavin55
Composite vs MDF

I am looking to replace a number of hollow core doors that are 50 years old. Is there a significant difference between a solid core composite (molded) door and an MDF door/

A. Spruce
Re: Composite vs MDF

They are one in the same, and actually both are hollow core (interior only ). If you have any exterior doors, including a garage door, it must be solid core for fire rating purposes.

MLB Construction
Re: Composite vs MDF

spruce, they do make solid core MDF molded doors.

the main difference between the solid core MDF doors and solid core wood door is getting them wet, which usually doesn't happen inside a house so it's really a non-issue.

as for a fire rated door, in Massachusetts, you have to have one on the garage entrance door if it brings you directly into the house. it can be a door filled with insulation as long as the garage side of the door is made of a material that can withstand a fire for 1 hour.

the options for doors are endless when it comes to materials, insulation value, thickness and style.

Jeanne
Re: Composite vs MDF

I replaced my hollow core doors with six panel oak doors that are a combination of solid oak panels with an oak veneer over the areas around the panels. I am not sure what the veneer is over – MDF or composite. They are not painted and came pre-stained and varnished. Our trim work is white, but I wanted wood because I like the warmth wood adds. The basement has MDF six panel doors painted white. Both are much heavier than hollow core – and more expensive, (we did a few at a time) but it is a classic look.

A. Spruce
Re: Composite vs MDF
MLB Construction wrote:

spruce, they do make solid core MDF molded doors.

Well, if you pick up a hollow core, whether it's a flat slab or a colonial 6 panel, it is very lightweight and manageable. Walk over to the solid core doors and pick up one of those (regardless of flat slab or 6 panel ), you'll see that there is a major weight difference between the two.

To the OP:

For general interior doors, hollow cores are the way to go, for two reasons, they're much easier to deal with during install, and hollow core doors only require two hinges, where a solid core requires three hinges. It would be a major pain in the butt to have to install a 3rd hinge on a 2 hinge jamb.

Lynne
Re: Composite vs MDF

I used Masonite Safe-N-Sound MDF doors for my basement bedroom for noise abatement. Works well.

Lynne
Re: Composite vs MDF
queen60 wrote:

I used Masonite Safe-N-Sound MDF doors for my basement bedroom for noise abatement. Works well.

We put three of these in our basement as well--stairwell, bathroom, and bedroom. They do cut down the noise quite a bit.

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