Are you planning to get a new door for your home and are confused about which one would work best for your entrance? There is a lot to be considered before making a final decision. What door material is better? Which style should you opt for? Questions like these can come to your mind, but what affects the complexion of your project the most is whether to go with a pre-hung or slab door.
Making the right decision requires understanding the differences between these two door types. We have even contacted Ecoline exterior door specialists to ask them about the latest trends and insights in the door industry. Continue reading to compare pre-hung vs. slab doors and decide what to choose for your next renovation project.
What is a pre-hung door?
A pre-hung door is a unit your window company sells as a “ready-to-install” product, but you can customize the product as you like during the order stage.
These models already have hinges attached to the frame, and while pre-hung doors may need some extra features, they are usually sold as a complete package. As a general rule, this door type is not appropriate for you unless you strive for a complete door replacement, where you need a new casing, trim, locks, and other door features.
Since the hinges fasten it to the frame, there is no need to find additional hardware to hang a pre-hung door. Overall, this door option is a complete package if you want to get the most custom solution for your entrance. Whether you prefer fiberglass exterior doors or steel, dark or light shades, multi-point locks, or additional security features, your window company can offer anything to make it the best match for your house. Let's go through a few pros and cons of pre-hung doors.
- Pre-attached hinges and hardware: No need for additional hardware cutouts;
- Made to fit the frame: The frame fits the door perfectly
- Ideal for exterior doors: These doors are weather-tight, which makes them ideal for your front entrances
- Quick installation: since pre-hung doors come as an all-inclusive package, they take significantly less time to install
- Hard to manage: Pre-hung doors are heavy and difficult to move easily. Most pre-hung doors weigh more than 100 pounds and require at least two persons to move them.
- Requires extra work: Despite being easy to install, you may still need to finish the drywall, paint, and do some trim work around the frame, so it's definitely not a DIY project.
- Delivery time: Since a pre-hung door is a custom unit, you would need to wait at least 4-8 weeks for it to be manufactured;
What is a slab door?
A slab door is nothing more than just a door itself. There is no frame, hardware, or hinges on it. When installing a slab door, you can either use an existing door frame or create a frame from scratch.
A slab door, also referred to as a blank door, is less expensive than a similar pre-hung door. While a pre-hung door typically has a cutout for the door handle and handle preparation, slab doors may occasionally lack hinges and hanging hardware cutouts.
Therefore, the door must be cut out and hung using the appropriate hardware, which must be done by the homeowner or door installer.
Let's examine the pros and cons of a slab door.
- Affordable: A slab door is less expensive than a pre-hung door as it doesn’t come with an additional frame or hardware
- Offers design flexibility: Slab doors offer more variety than pre-hung doors allowing you to choose from more options
- Versatile: Slab doors can be used for both interior doors and exterior entry doors
- Does not include cutouts and hardware: Even the most experienced DIYer could find it difficult to create the ideal fit for this sort of door because it lacks hardware and cutouts.
- Can be difficult to install: Installation of this door is not as easy as a pre-hung door since it requires the entire frame to be replaced.
Slab Doors vs. Pre-hung Doors – What to Choose?
Whether to go for pre-hung or slab doors may depend on the circumstances; there is no clear-cut answer to this question. Let's examine a few of the most crucial factors affecting most homeowners' decisions.
When to choose a pre-hung door?
A pre-hung door can be an ideal choice when:
- You want to remodel your home with a custom glass exterior door solution;
- Your current door frame is damaged;
- You want to create a new look by replacing the casing or door molding;
- You want to install multiple doors;
- You need an easy and fast installation;
- You are ready to wait for your door to be manufactured (4-8 weeks).
When to choose a slab door?
A slab door is suitable when:
- You only want to change the door, not the frame;
- Your doorway is of a standard size;
- Your budget is limited;
- You don’t want to install the frame and casing;
- You consider a DIY installation.
New Entry Doors Installation: What to Know Before You Do?
Door installation is probably the most important stage; it is even more crucial than the door itself. Poor installation leads to low energy efficiency, difficult operation, lousy insulation, and overall discomfort.
- Pre-hung doors can't usually be DIY installed since window companies that sell this door type include installation in the price, and you can't negotiate this point.
- Slab doors can easily be bought at any online or offline stores. You don't need to wait until your units are manufactured and delivered. That is why DIY installation is possible here if you have the right skills and expertise.
But we still recommend hiring professional door installers to do the job. This ensures the installation is done correctly, efficiently, and quickly.
If you remodel your home for the first time, deciding what type of door to get can be a bit overwhelming. The most commonly used doors are pre-hung and slab doors. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Choosing which one to install depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. This article provides a complete comparison between the two types to help you make the right decision. Good luck!