I need help with interior doors in a newish home - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-31-2009, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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We live in an eight year old apartment, but we've been really hard on it . OK, not really me but some other people. We have 5 interior doors and 6 bifold closet doors -- all hollow core.
  1. The interior and bifold doors seem to be made of cardboard and about half of them have holes in them now due to family vandalism.
  2. Soundproofing of bedrooms is inadequate due to hollow core doors. This is a major issue for my husband who is really struggling with sleep issues.
  3. The bifold door hardware is infuriating and never seems to work properly. The doors get off track all the time.

It doesn't help that I live with The Hulk .

I'm used to living in old homes with solid wood doors. I know someone who retrofit old doors into a new home, but it's not very functional in terms of soundproofing due to imperfect fit and I'm also trying to avoid the distraction of a mix of different styles/looks (all of the interior doors open onto a single hallway). In Germany, I appreciated the steel interior doors there -- they always worked perfectly.

Any suggestions for specific brands or types to replace these doors? Also, what kind of tradesperson would do the labour part? I was told that you have to do tons of precision measuring in order to retrofit a new door to an existing frame.

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
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#2 of 5 Old 12-31-2009, 04:56 PM
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I understand your delima completely...as for the closet doors, I always took them off, placed them in the same closet they were from and purchased some curtain rods that are spring loaded, and put them at the top of the closet door opening and then purchased some material to cover the closet. You don't even have to sew the material if you don't want to. There is an amazing product called stitch witchery, it is a tape like material that bonds two peices of material together when you iron it! You can even to tabs on the top of the curtains to make them slide easier or use decorative clips for faster access..

As far as the hollow core doors go..there really isn't any solution that I have found other than having a small fan going in the bedroom as background (white) noise. We usually did that combined with music playing..and that seemed to help! You might want to try painting the doors with some sound proofing paint...they have it, I just don't know how expensive, and if you can tint it. You could also try getting some corkboard and maybe applying it to the back of the doors it is what is used in flooring, but I don't see why you couldn't use it on the back of the door, and it is light weight!!

Hope this helps!
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#3 of 5 Old 12-31-2009, 05:00 PM
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If you're going for affordability, buy pre-hung doors from Home Depot or the like. Your apartment is new and unless they're custom-sized, places like Home Depot will carry most of the current sizes in stock. They're already fitted for their frames, so then you just need someone to take out your old frames and fit in the new ones. Any quality carpenter should be able to do that.

You don't mention whether you own or rent, but I replaced all the (hollow, ugly) doors in a flat I rented once and the landlord took the entire cost out of my rent (yay!). If you own, then definitely take the time to shop around and find just the doors you want. If price is an issue then look into replacing one door at a time.

And finally, if money is *not* an issue - then look into those steel doors you love!
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#4 of 5 Old 12-31-2009, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Just to clarify -- we own our home and I'm looking for long-term solutions that are simple looking and aesthetically pleasing.

I considered curtains for the closet doors but I know they would get ripped down, left open, etc. by family members.

SoulCakes -- oh I didn't realize that prehung doors would be cheaper to install. I guess that makes sense. I'm sure our doors are all builder special standard sizes. I know this is likely to cost $$, but someday we'll have to sell this place and I don't want it to be a dump.

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#5 of 5 Old 01-01-2010, 12:20 AM
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Prehung doors are much easier to install and will save you a lot on labor. Just as a comparison, we had doors replaced and the perhungs went in very quickly (maybe 2 hours tops) whereas refitting a door (rehanging to reverse swing) took like 6 hours or something and tons of fiddling. It can be hard to get a door to fit an existing frame correctly.

Home Depot offers door installation - its like $100 per door, I think. If you are planning to do several doors I'd say that it will be cheaper to hire a carpenter - we used one and it ran us around $250 per day based on his hourly rate, and he was able to get a lot done in a day.

When we replaced most of our interior doors we got these white panelled doors that we realtively inexpensive (seem to be fairly standard equiptment at Home Depot or Lowes these days) and they were decent at sound protection. Not great, but ok. What also helped was putting carpet in the hallway outside the bedrooms.

It may be possible to find bifold doors that also have a bottom track? At least, some used to be made that way. We have one new set in our current hosue and of course it has fallen off the track and is a piece of junk, where as the sliding doors original to the 1950s are solid wood and going strong still.
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