The Ultimate Guide to Updating Interior Doors

By Emma Diehl · June 30, 2023 · 6 minute read

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The Ultimate Guide to Updating Interior Doors

Doors can be a portal to another world, or maybe just a great first impression when you walk through a home. But when they don’t look their best, a dated or damaged door can make an entire space feel off.

The doors inside your home come in a wide variety of styles, and can be updated in just as many ways. Some updates can be done on the cheap, while replacing doors entirely will likely come at a higher cost. What follows are key things to know about updating your interior doors, including options and costs.

What Are the Different Types of Interior Doors?

Interior doors come in many styles and price points. Here’s a look at some of the most popular options, plus estimated costs (including materials, labor, and equipment).

•   Traditional Standard doors, such as a bedroom door, swing in or out to open and close. This type of door can be either hollow core, solid composite, or solid wood.
Cost to replace: $50 to $600.

•   Pocket These space-saving doors slide “into” the wall when they’re open. Pocket doors hang from the top and slide along a track mounted in a space inside the wall and across the top of the door opening.
Cost to replace: $140 to $1,000

•   French The door with a certain je ne sais quoi, French doors can be either single or paired, and can have either a full (single) glass pane or a number of divided panes. French doors are often used as exterior doors to porches or patios, but they can also be a great way to let light diffuse inside a home.
Cost to replace: $200 to $4,000

•   Sliding A cousin to the pocket door, sliding doors save space by sliding in tracks at the top and bottom of the door frame. Unlike a pocket door, however, they don’t disappear into the wall. Glass sliding doors are typically used as exterior doors to a patio or deck, but can be used indoors to separate rooms while maintaining visibility between them.
Cost to replace: $400 to $4,500

•   Bifold Also called folding doors or concertina doors, bifolds are made of panels that fold next to each other when opened, sliding on tracks both on top of and below the door. Single bifold doors are sometimes used as doors to smaller closets, and a pair of bifold doors might divide a large room.
Cost to replace: $35 to $70

•   Barn A sliding barn door in the home takes rustic farmhouse trends to the next level. These doors slide on a track mounted on the wall above the door. Barn doors have a low profile, as they do not swing out.
Cost to replace: $150 to $4,000

•   Saloon Head straight to the wild west with these doors. Sometimes called cafe doors, saloon doors hang on a pivot hinge, meaning they can easily swing in and out with a nudge. Because they swing in both directions, they’re commonly used as kitchen doors or in cafes where traffic goes both in and out.
Cost to replace: $100 to $500

•   Murphy You may have encountered a murphy door before without even knowing it. Often custom made, murphy doors are typically bookcases that swing out, turning a door into storage space.
Cost to replace: $700 to $2,500

Recommended: How Do Home Improvement Loans Work?

Signs You May Need New Interior Doors

Interior doors in a home can take quite a beating. They’re slammed, kicked, scuffed, and may have been pounded on a few times. Depending on their quality and age, there’s a chance your doors may simply have seen better days.

If these signs sound familiar, it may be time to buy some new doors for your home:

1.    The door is stuck and has trouble staying open or closed. The more someone struggles to open and close a door that doesn’t budge, the more damage they’ll do. If a door’s always sticking or never manages to stay closed, it may be time to replace it.

2.    The door is warped or cracked. Age will affect the quality of any door, and if the frame or hinges are visibly cracked or peeling, it’s time to think about replacing them.

3.    The door’s style is dated. If your kitchen’s classic saloon-style doors feel decidedly old school — not in a good way — it might be time to consider replacing them. Even if they still work, dated styles can negatively impact a home’s value at the time of sale.

Depending on the style of door and the complexity of the installation, swapping out an interior door can cost anywhere between $150 to $2,000, with an average of $750. A good portion of the cost is professional labor.

While hanging a door might sound simple, doing it wrong can lead to improper closure or a door that just won’t close at all, which leaves you back at the drawing board. It could be worth asking for estimates from a few professional contractors if you decide to replace several interior doors at once.

A door can make an impression — good or bad — when someone enters a room. That first impression might become very important when considering home value. This kind of home improvement project could pay off when you eventually sell your home.

Recommended: Tips for Maintaining the Value of Your Home

DIY Ways to Update Your Interior Doors

Replacing interior doors altogether can be expensive, and is not always necessary. If your door is in good shape, an inexpensive DIY can update your interior doors to look more modern or trendy.

Here are some interior door upgrades you might consider before ditching a door altogether.

•   Swapping out door knobs and hardware Sometimes dated brass or an ornate finish might make a standard swing door feel out of place. For between $75 and $150, you can update a door’s knobs and hinges.

•   Trying a new hue A fresh coat of paint might transform a door’s entire vibe. Instead of a standard white, you might opt for a neutral shade, make a statement with a black door, or choose a rich, deep tone that complements other colors in your home. You can even switch things up by painting the frame and the door different colors. Although you have to remove the door from its frame, this project is DIYable, and can typically be done within a day or two.

•   Updating hollow core doors Hollow core doors are the standard type of door installed in many homes when they’re built. It’s a swing door with a flat surface. These are basic doors that can be a blank slate for your personal taste. For example, you might use molding and beadboard panels to create a paneled look on standard doors. This can make a builder-grade, hollow-core door look custom-made. This DIY project is a small investment for a big payoff.

Recommended: What Are the Most Common Home Repair Costs?

The Takeaway

Doors inside your home don’t just provide privacy, they’re a feature of the property. If your interior doors are in poor shape, replacing and updating them could help increase the value of your home, making the upgrade well worth the upfront outlay of money.

If you don’t have enough cash on hand to cover the cost of upgrading your doors (or any other part of your home), you might consider using a personal loan for financing. This is an unsecured loan that can be used for virtually any purpose, including a home renovation or upgrade. Once approved, you get a lump sum of cash up front you then pay back (plus interest) in monthly installments over time. Rates are typically fixed and lower than credit cards.

Think twice before turning to high-interest credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.

SoFi’s Personal Loan was named NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Personal Loan overall.

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