Interior doors separate rooms within our homes, while exterior doors divide the inside of our home from the outside world. But did you know that there are major differences between these two types of doors besides where they’re located?

From material to thickness to appearance and more, there are many differences between interior and exterior doors. We’re here to tell you everything you need to know.

Is There a Difference Between Interior and Exterior Doors?

Yes – there are significant differences between interior and exterior doors. They each have their own purpose and perform in different ways. Let’s break it down.


Exterior and interior doors share many of the same materials, but there are a handful of vital differences. Since exterior doors protect our home from the outside elements, they need to be constructed of multiple layers of material to provide insulation.

Interior Doors Material

  • Separate areas within your home, providing privacy and soundproofing
  • Feature a hollow core
  • Made from glass, metal, wood, fiber wood, or a combination of these materials
  • Offered in single-material construction varieties

Exterior Doors Material

  • Withstand weather elements and protect the inside of your home from damage
  • Feature a solid core
  • Made from a combination of glass, metal, wood, and steel
  • Paired with a reinforced metal frame


Since interior doors are typically subjected to minimal wear and tear compared to exterior doors, they’re usually thinner.

Interior Doors Thickness

  • Offer privacy from room to room within a home
  • Keep sounds separated
  • Standard thickness is 1 ⅜ inch

Exterior Doors Thickness

  • Provide a protective barrier for the building
  • Require an extra thick core (often made from wood)
  • Keep heat and air conditioning within the home
  • Include a thick layer of veneer for insulation
  • Standard thickness is 1 ¾ inch

Core Construction

To function as a proper barrier, exterior doors have a solid core construction. On the other hand, interior doors are lighter and thinner with a hollow core.

Interior Doors Core Construction

  • Usually have a hollow core, but some include a wood fiber core
  • Helps to muffle sound

Exterior Doors Core Construction

  • Consist of wood or woodgrain cores surrounded by layers of metal or steel
  • Offer maximum temperature control
  • Provide security


Exterior doors can be the focal point of your home. Upon arriving at your house, they’re one of the first things your guests will see. Therefore, homeowners typically value the appearance of their exterior doors more than their interior doors.

Interior Doors Appearance

  • Have design features on both sides (since one side faces a room and the other side faces a hallway or another room)
  • Usually around 30 inches wide

Exterior Doors Appearance

  • Majority of design elements will be on the outside of the door
  • Usually around 36 inches wide


Since exterior doors are secure and heavy-duty, they almost always come at a much higher cost than interior doors.

Interior Doors Cost

  • Average cost is $75 to $500, depending on the type
  • Pocket doors can cost up to $5,000

Exterior Doors Cost

  • Average cost varies greatly depending on the material and style of the door, expect to invest $1,000 minimum on a new exterior front door
  • Slab doors are more affordable than prehung doors

A Summary of the Differences Between Interior and Exterior Doors

As you can see, interior and exterior doors have their own vital elements that separate them from each other. They each have a specific job and place they belong. Here’s a quick summary of the significant differences between interior and exterior doors.

Features of Interior Doors

  • Used as entrances, exits, and barriers between rooms inside your house
  • Muffle sound between rooms
  • Lighter and thinner than exterior doors
  • Usually cost less than exterior doors
  • Usually come in single-door construction
  • Decorative panels on both sides of doors

Features of Exterior Doors

  • Used as main entrances and exits between your home and the outside world
  • Provide insulation and a temperature barrier from weather elements
  • Heavier and thicker than interior doors
  • Usually cost more than interior doors
  • Can come in single- or double-door construction
  • Decorative features on the front side of the door
  • Treated to withstand high moisture levels
  • Offer more security features than interior doors

Invest in High-Quality Doors for Your Home

Are you looking for new doors for your home? Whether you need interior doors, exterior doors, or both, Zeeland Lumber & Supply is your one-stop shop. We’re proud to offer our customers products from some of the best brands in the industry like Glenview, Therma-Tru and Jeld-Wen. To get started on your project, contact us today!​

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