Hollow core doors

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I want to replace my deteriorated side door, which is an odd size - 24". I looked in Home Despot at a 30" example. I would have to special order my door.
On-line, I found this description of "hollow core":
================= Hollow Core Doors
Today hollow core doors are are installed in a majority of low to moderatel y priced new homes. Hollow core doors have made great strides in quality co mpared to the early years when they were extremely flimsy and cheap. Hollow core doors have a wood frame around the perimeter of the door panel, usual ly one to two inches in depth. The surface is either hardboard or plywood w ith corrugated structural cardboard stiffeners throughout the center of the door for stiffness.
Hollow Door Pros - Hollow core doors are cheaper, lighter, and less likely to warp, shrink and swell. Hollow core doors also take paint much better th an solid wood doors. Hollow Door Cons - Hollow core doors are prone to damage from unruly kids, slamming doors into stops and other impact loads. Hollow core doors are als o much harder to modify and repair due to the hollow nature.
===================== The "1-2" around the perimeter sounds awfully narrow. Would a special-order 24" door have the same perimeter? Can I ask for more? Is that ever done? Any point to requesting it?
More questions:
I want the window in the existing door taken out and installed in the new o ne by my handyman. But what's INSIDE the door that he can work with? Are those "cardboard stiffeners" capable of taking a window?
I think the old door is also hollow core; I couldn't have afforded solid, s o how did they get the window in? Did they create a wood frame to hold the window? Did they use stiffeners" decades ago; the old door goes wayyy bac k.
Also, how did they get the cat door in?
I know this sounds dumb, but how do I ascertain whether old door IS hollow or solid without destroying it?
Any help appreciated.
HB
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Who's there?
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Higgs Boson wrote:

So let me get this straight.
In the early years, hollow-core doors were "extremely flimsy and cheap".
But then they got better - by using hardboard with corrugated structural cardboard stiffeners. And that's somehow NOT flimsy and cheap? How were they made back when they were "extremely flimsy and cheap" ?

No.
24" doors are common size for bathrooms.

No.

No.

No.

Window?
Is this an interior door or an exterior door?

You cut the opening for the plastic frame on both sides of the door, and you will see the stiffeners or interior framing (which will be wood, not cardboard for an exterior door). Then you install the plastic frame.

Weigh it.
Seems that pine and spruce have a density of about 30 lbs per cubic foot.
If your door is 1.5" thick, 2 feet wide, and 82 inches high, then it has a volume of 1.7 cubic feet. If it was completely solid - no air - made of pine or spruce, it would weigh about 51 lbs.
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On Tuesday, April 8, 2014 8:20:36 PM UTC-7, H ome G uy wrote:

??? The door has been in there since forever, so who knows...? I ruined it by watering adjacent plants with a spray attachment, never thinking -- dumb-ass!!!! that it would rot the lower portion of the door.

Exterior. Has a window. MUST HAVE. Isaid I wanted to reuse existing window, but this time I may try to get louvered instead of fixed-- for ventilation w/o leaving door open.
[...cat door...]

Oh, that should take just a minute (snort).
OTOH, why bother since I'm replacing it anyway and I have to buy what's available.

As a hardcore <g> information sponge, I have filed that info away upstairs.
Really, you've been helpful, so Tx
HB
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replying to Higgs Boson , Spork wrote:

ventilation w/o leaving door open.

Are you sure you want an exterior door a 10 year old kid could kick through? Your need for a cat door and a window dictate the use of a solid core door. You'll be in trouble sooner rather than later. Hollow core doors are not, to my knowledge generally used for exterior purposes.
Spork
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On Tue, 8 Apr 2014 18:51:55 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

You can ask for and get anything you're willing to pay for. For those kind of requests you are well into the price of a solid core door.

No. Without modification there is nothing but thin veneer to secure the window to.

If this is an exterior door it is probably NOT a hollow core door. I don't know for sure but I believe all building codes require a solid core door for all exterior doors.

If, and that's a big if, this is a hollow core door, yes.

They would have had to modify it IF it was a hollow core door.

Oren's suggestion is the easiest way. Or you could remove some of the trim for the window do you could see inside.

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On Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:35:05 -0500, Gordon Shumway

wood, steel, fiberglass, or hardboard (Masonite) panels. Windows are put into them all the time - both interior and exterior (interior in offices, for instance) Only fire rated doors are generally solid core today. At least around here. A solid core oak entry door weighs half a ton!!! (not quite, but you get the drift)
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Dave
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On Tue, 8 Apr 2014 18:51:55 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

Check with a real building supply company. 24" is not that rare. In Florida, Raymond Lumber will have them.
You can tell pretty quickly if it is hollow core, just by the weight. Swing it and catch it. See how hard it is to stop,
They also sound hollow if you bang on it.
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I installed a cat door in an interior hollow core door. The doors old enough to be fairly sturdy.
I installed a hollow core interior plastic door. Sounds go right through. Not sturdy.
I installed a exterior windowless steel door with foam insulation. Good sound control, seems sturdy enough.
My front door is an old hollow construction, with windows. It's still fairly sturdy. I drilled many holes and filled with foam. I had to find all the internal supports. I also added plexiglass window panes on the other side of th glass.
Cardboard is not for support.
Greg
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On Tue, 8 Apr 2014 18:51:55 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

It does? How thick were the doors in the castle you grew up in?

Sure. **

Sure.

Probably.

No.

The door isn't.

Are we talking about a front door, or any other door between the house and the outside? I'm sure it's not hollow. I think you could afford solid if that is the only choice you were given. If you needed a new water heater, you'd buy that, right, and they're more money than a solid door, iirc, even one with a window.

Did you buy the door separate after you bought the house?

With a saw.

Tap on it. Also a hollow door will have the same thickness everywhere. A solid door may well have panels, maybe 4 of them, or 2 if there is a window, that are inset, and mean the door is thinner where there are panels.

**And why do you refer to the perimeter, and not the thickness?
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On Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:35:05 -0500, Gordon Shumway

I think veneer is the wrong word.
1. a thin layer of wood or other material for facing or inlaying wood. 2. any of the thin layers of wood glued together to form plywood. 3. Building Trades. a facing of a certain material applied to a different one or to a type of construction not ordinarily associated with it, as a facing of brick applied to a frame house.
Thin veneer might be even thinner.
IOW veneer is thinner than the large pieces of a hollow wood door, or the door would be fragile.
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On Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:26:46 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:
Clare seems to know something the rest of us don't.

I have had a lot of experience moving solid core doors around, the ones with the panels, and they sure are heavy, and their width makes them even harder to handle. People I know have used them as temporary walls (because one can, or used to be able to, find them in the trash and maybe they are sold very cheaply too.) but I've never had my front door off its hinges, and never had to move one at the store. My front door has no panels, so maybe that should be a clue that it's hollow.
As a side topic, I know someone who was, I think, robbed, so he bought a steel clad door with a guarantee, the words of which I forget, installed by the vendor and quite expensive. Well soeone broke into his house again, through the steel clad door, and the vendor paid off on the guarantee -- they gave him another door, installed -- but nothing for what was stolen. AFAIK, it's much harder to break the door with a battering ram or to put ones fist through the door, but that's not how burglars break in anyhow, so it was a waste of money. I think steel will slow down fire, but with an outside door, is one trying to keep fire from getting into the house, or out of it?
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Tap on it. A hollow core door SOUNDS hollow.
The building code may not allow hollow core exterior doors. Even if it does I wouldn't suggest using one for that purpose for a variety of reasons including lack of weather stripping, general flimsiness and lack of security, strong potential for delamination of the skins, etc.
You can get steel entry doors in numrous styles - including ones with windows - for $100-200. They are steel inasmuch as there are steel skins over wood frames, the interior is filed with foam. Your handyman could put in a cat door in the same way he would with a wood door, either hollow or solid...he would cut a hole and put in the cat door.
The problem you would have with steel (and probably fiberglass) would be finding one in the narrow size you need...mosy exterior doors are either 32" or 36". Your best bet might be to have your handyman just build you a frame and panel door. Is he that handy?
--

dadiOH
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| Exterior. Has a window. MUST HAVE. Isaid I wanted to reuse existing window, but this time I may try to get louvered instead of fixed-- for ventilation w/o leaving door open. | | [...cat door...]
If you want an exterior door with a window and cat door you need to buy an exterior wood door, preferably with a window already in it.
What you're looking at is interior doors. The glue in them is not suitable for use as exterior doors. The pressboard/Masonite hollow core doors currently popular are even more vulnerable to water than the lauan plywood hollow core doors. There are also solid core doors for interior, but they're just filled with low grade particle board. They also can't tolerate moisture.
Most wood panel doors are also being made junky now. I don't think one can still get a 6-panel interior door made of solid stock without having it built. They're now made of glued-up stock with wood veneer on the surface. If you use such a door as an exterior door the veneers will delaminate from the core.
You don't want fiberglass or steel if you need to cut a cat door. You could get a standard wood panel door -- but only exterior, and only if you can get it in 24" size. You could also get a staved wood solid flush door and cut the holes for the window and cat door. The advantage of that is that it can be cut down to any size you need because it's just a wood slab.
Note that an interior door is 1 3/8" thick. An exterior door is 1 3/4" thick. If you've been using an interior door you may need to modify the frame a bit, by adding exterior moldings or some such, in order to fit an exterior door.
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It is called a torsion box. Much stronger and lighter than solid wood if done correctly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torsion_box
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wrote:

If you have a table saw or some other way to rip down a strip somewhat precisely you can cut your hole for the cat door and put blocking in around the hole to maintain the edge of the torsion box. You just need to match the inside dimension of the hollow core.
I ended up having to do this when I cut down a hollow core door for a strange size rough opening.
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wrote:

Dave's not here, man.
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On 4/8/2014 9:51 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

either the 26 or 28 that's hard to find ... don't remember which. I've bought several from Menard's.
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I've had to do the same thing. My son lived in the basement of a friend's house for a while. The stairs ended at a landing and then you turned left or right and went down 2 more steps into the basement rooms. The wall along the stairs ended at the landing, so the door had to be hung in that opening, which was 2 steps above the floor of his room. In other words, it ended up being a really short door. We cut some off of the top and bottom of the door to even it out, but it was still pretty weird. However, it did give him the privacy he wanted since the room we hung to door for was his bedroom and the room on the other side of the landing was where the washing machine was.
The bad thing was that we sized the door for the opening, inserted the filler strips, hung it, and then tried to open it. We didn't realize that the dropped ceiling sloped downward towards the wall that the door opened against. The door only opened about 3/4's of the way before getting jammed into the ceiling. We had to take the door off, cut off another inch off the top and then do some very strange trim work to make it look halfway decent.
He moved out about a month later. Damn kids!
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