What Is the Difference between Interior and Exterior Doors?

Published: October 28, 2021



A door is an important mechanism designed for specific uses in certain situations. That is why choosing the proper door types for your home is an important decision. What makes an interior door different from an exterior door? We’ll give you a hint; it’s more than where they are located in your home. There are many differences between the two doors that even the most seasoned contractor can sometimes overlook. One door provides a barrier between rooms within your home and the other protects your home from the exterior elements.

Door differences

Interior and exterior doors can be similar in appearance to exterior doors but can also differ in some aspects.

Exterior doors

  • Functions as the main entrance to your home
  • Insulates your home from exterior elements and sound
  • Typically thicker and heavier than interior doors
  • Have more security features than their interior counterparts

Interior doors

  • Separates rooms inside your home
  • Usually thinner and lighter than exterior doors
  • Provides a sound barrier and has thermal properties to keep heat or cool air within a room

Material differences

While both interior and exterior doors can use the same wood types, some types may be better for different applications.

Interior doors

  • Can be a combo of wood and glass or just wood
  • Pretty much all hardwood species are suitable for interior applications
  • Can be stained or painted

Exterior doors

  • Thermal insulator between your home and the outside
  • Can be a combination of glass and wood or all wood.
  • Some hardwoods are better than others for exterior use where the doors exposed to the exterior elements

Thickness Differences

When it comes to interior and exterior doors; exterior doors are typically thicker than interior doors. Exterior doors are thicker to protect your home from exterior elements such as unwanted visitors and weather, the thicker exterior door provides better thermal and sound insulation over their thinner interior counterparts.



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