What Are Slab Doors?

In the midst of renovating your home and updating its features, you may be faced with upgrading your doors.  This will bring you to some terminology you might be unfamiliar with: slab doors.  What are they and how do they compare with what manufacturers refer to as pre-hung doors?

what are door slabs

A slab door is a rectangular slab of wood, fiberglass, or steel. The door material cut and shaped but it’s without the frame, hinges, and hardware that so often accompanies its cousin, the pre-hung door.

Slab doors don’t have to be a boring, old piece of wood, either.  They can include glass, ornate moldings, be comprised of metal, or maybe they are just simple rectangles of wood or plywood sans hardware, made for interior passageways, closets, or other unseen parts of the house.  A pre-hung door, alternatively, is ready to go, fully equipped with everything needed for the installation process like the frame and hinges.

Pre-Hung Versus Slab Doors

A pre-hung door is much heavier than a slab because of all of the accessories it comes with.  With a pre-hung door, you’re dealing with the attached frame and counterparts, adding heft and weight, requiring the aid of more than one person to move and install it.  On top of the sheer heaviness to the pre-hung door assembly, it’s also more expensive than a slab door because of the accessories.  A slab door is a cheaper option, as you aren’t paying for the frame and hardware to go along with it—just the door itself.

So now you know that one is the raw door material and one is a door with all of the bells and whistles ready for hanging, In spite of this, knowing the difference between these two doesn’t help much because now the question arises: do you now purchase a slab door or a pre-hung door?  The answer will rely on whether or not you’re installing the exact same size and set up as the door you are replacing.

If the two doors match in shape and size to the exact measurements, a door frame is in place, and the screw locations are spot-on, then a slab door can be purchased.  But if you’re constructing a new doorway, frame, or new room, then select a pre-hung door instead.

You’ll find that the selection of slab doors won’t be limited to just a few options.  For slab doors, you’ll soon discover that they’ll differ in their weight, hollowness, paneling, and comprised material.

Some slab doors for closets or other interior passages will have 1.5”-thick hollow cores, but others, constructed for the purposes of bathrooms and bedrooms, will be heavier-duty, having 1.75”-thick solid cores for extra insulation and durability.

The makeup of hollow-cored slab doors typically consist of a middle being cardboard honeycomb compressed by two outer layers of vinyl, plywood, or metal material sheets called skins, this is in contrast to solid-cored doors whose entire body is of one flush material like wood, fiberglass, or steel.

What to Know About the Slab Door Installation Process

Regardless of whether you opt for a slab door or pre-hung door for your project, both styles require patience and time to ensure that door is hung properly, however, for slab doors, the entire process may be more difficult as you’re working with what is essentially a blank slate, but with pre-hung doors, you’re faced with the weight and the need for shims to adjust it.

installing door slab

Slab doors present a real do-it-yourself challenge.  Yes, you paid less for the slab door than you would with its pre-hung counterpart, but now you’re tasked with installing the hinges in an exact and precise manner, cutting the hole for the doorknob, and whatever else this blank slate of a door may demand of you for its installation.

Paneled slab doors will be divided into sections—horizontal rails and vertical stiles—usually composed of wood for the most basic of slab doors, but for a fancier twist, these rails and stiles can be glass or other materials.

Flush doors are slab doors that are unfinished without paneling, meaning you’ll have to stain and paint them yourself.  Again, it’s really the ultimate DIY project, a completely blank design waiting for you to literally fill it all in, punch in the holes, and install the door from start to finish.  You can get slab doors that swing or doors that will be installed on a track-and-runner system, like for a pantry or closet.  In reality, it’s up to you on how you decide to hang and install your slab door.

Save Money and Spend Time Installing Slab Doors

Although you avoid spending the big bucks by purchasing a slab door, a door that down to its bones, is just the rectangular door material, you’re going to end up spending what you saved in the time spent in the meticulous process of installing the hardware yourself, hanging it, and if necessary, finishing the slab by staining or painting.

For some, this isn’t necessarily a disadvantage, but an opportunity.  Slab doors, for the skilled of hand, can offer a realm of do-it-yourself possibilities and even allow homeowners to fit untraditional sizes and spaces.  Ultimately, it’s up to not just what your skill set demands, but your project as well.

Feldco Has Entry Doors Ready-to-Go

Need an alternative to slab doors? Feldco has steel or fiberglass entry doors ready for installation. Find a beautiful door that matches your home’s aesthetic by getting a free quote today.

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