What's Their Story? Wood Interior Doors
Learn the history of these hefty room dividers
One way to tell a new house from an old one is by its interior doors. Open one and give it a good knuckle-rapping.
Doors in homes built before 1950 are typically made of solid wood, whether oak, maple, chestnut, or mahogany. They've got heft, and they make a satisfying thump when you knock. They also have sturdy stiles and rails that frame panels in a variety of configurations, depending on the home's architectural style.
Compare that with new, hollow doors—made of veneered plywood or fiberboard—which tend to be lightweight and echoey, and have about as much detail as an ironing board.
This isn't to say that all houses built in the past 60 years have hollow doors. Some newer homes do have the good stuff. It's just that solid-wood doors in anything other than paint-grade pine can be hard to come by. Aside from going to a mill shop, salvage yards are pretty much your only source.