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Interior Door weight in single wall construction

deren's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2017
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01-01-17, 05:50 PM   #1  
Interior Door weight in single wall construction

I'm trying to figure out if a solid core door would be too heavy for my type of door frame.

My house's interior walls are basically a single sheet of 3/4" MDF. The doors are framed with 2x3's where the MDF is cut out. In the attached pic, that's not trim, it's the 2x3's.

Currently the doors are cheap hollow core doors that of course barely do anything to block sound. While the rooms are never going to be close to sound proof because of the single-wall construction, it's obvious a majority of the sound is coming through the doors. The house was built in 1970 and I'm sure the doors aren't original.

So, my question is: Will a solid core door be too heavy for this type of door frame?

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CarbideTipped's Avatar
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01-01-17, 06:42 PM   #2  
I've never seen or even heard of this type of construction, but I have worked a lot with MDF for various projects.

So what you have is a frame of 2x3s that are essentially screwed or nailed into the edges of an opening in the MDF?

The worst case is probably when the door is open 90 degrees. The weight of the door will be pulling sideways on the top hinge with considerable force. I can't imagine screws into the edge of MDF resisting this force for very long.

What is the floor and ceiling structure like? Can you run framing members between the floor and the ceiling to provide something more substantial for the hinge side of the door? Then you might get away with a solid door.


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XSleeper's Avatar
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01-01-17, 06:52 PM   #3  
It all depends on how well the jamb and casing are fastened to the wall. The problem often is that if the door or jamb is made of mdf or veneered particle board it's soft and the short 3/4" screws used on the factory hinges often strip, get loose and pull out.

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01-01-17, 10:11 PM   #4  
Several houses ago we installed solid core interior doors. It was a conventional built (2x4) framed house with prehung style frames.

The doors were monsters, if anybody gave them a shove if sounded like they were coming off the hinges. Which was another problem, the hinges were wearing such that there was constant black powder all over the painted trim/door. I had to be religious about keeping them lubed.

Current house has the cheap masonite hollow doors and agree they do not do much to cut down on noise.

They do make foam filled doors, basically a hollow door filled with foam, that will certainly be something I will look into when we build the next house.

Gunguy45's Avatar
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01-01-17, 11:32 PM   #5  
Deren (and Marq1), definitely check out the filled hollow core doors. Masonite makes the Safe n Sound, and the other manufacturers have similar. It's often not so much a foam as it is uncompressed hardboard (like they make pegboard out of?). They do work and are not that much more expensive. They will probably be special order though and in HI that makes everything more expensive. One other thing they can't really advertise is that they are much more resistant to burn though than a hollow core. I saw a video that they made with identical rooms and identical fires, the standard HC door went in something like 5 min(?), while the SnS went something like 13. Not enough for a fire rating, though they do get rated in the 1 3/4" doors.

Yes, they are heavier, but nothing like the weight of a solid wood door.

If necessary, you could use ball bearing hinges to help with squeaks and wear.

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marksr's Avatar
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01-02-17, 03:24 AM   #6  
I would add that the masonite panel doors paint a lot better than the wood doors. Since the panels in a wood door need to be 'loose' so they can move with temp/humidity changes there is a 'crack' that can't be caulked and doesn't look great when painted with light colors. Obviously no such issue if the doors are stained/natural.

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