What’s the difference between a flush and panelled door?

doors for feature image

You might be saying: they’re both internal doors, how different could they really be? Well, you might be surprised! Though they obviously perform broadly the same function, there are big differences between flush doors and panelled doors. This week at Savoy Timber, we’ve outlined all the key ones for you below!

Mainly, we’ll be looking at three aspects:

  • Construction
  • Aesthetics
  • Function and performance

So… let’s get started, shall we?

1. Construction

Panelled doors

The more traditional of the pair, panelled doors like our Mexicano pre-finished oak door have a long history of being used in traditional joinery. They’re assembled using a number of components, including rails, stiles and infill panels. Stiles are the length of wood positioned vertically on either side of the door’s face, while rails are the lengths that run across it horizontally on the top and bottom. Because they’re naturally more complex to make, this often means that panelled doors come with a slightly higher price tag.

Flush doors

A more recent doors innovation, the face of a flush door is completely flat on both sides, not divided into any panels or mouldings. It’s composed of a wooden framework that often incorporates a solid engineered core of particleboard or laminated timber, which is then covered by plywood, MDF or (in the cases of our doors here at Savoy Timber) a solid oak veneer. This results in smooth surfaces on both sides, which can then be finished with paint, veneers or laminate in various colours or designs. Of course, our own pre-finished doors here save you all the hassle of doing that yourself!

2. Aesthetics

Panel doors

Of the two, panelled doors have by far a greater aesthetic appeal, and are a fantastic choice for revitalising the style of your home. Their more complex stiles-and-rails design allows for more sophisticated detailing when it comes to moulding and beading, which results in an attractive door that adds an instant visual interest to any room. This enduring aesthetic appeal is part of why panelled doors are such a popular option for heritage or listed buildings – and with a huge range of choices available, they’re also a firm favourite of many of our customers!

Flush doors

Due to their less complex makeup, flush doors are generally more modern and straightforward in appearance, with only a single flat surface. Don’t dismiss them offhand though! Their more modest in appearance means they’re perfect for creating clean lines and a sense of appealing simplicity in many interiors. As these things often do, it mostly comes down to a matter of individual taste.

3. Function and performance

Panel doors

As with all doors for domestic or commercial use, panel doors are built to very strict construction standards, which means that every one has at least an acceptable level of security, acoustic performance and fire resistance. The actual panels in a panel door can contract and expand according to changing humidity levels, which prolong their lifespan and appearance. Handy!

Flush doors

Performance is an aspect where flush doors really tend to shine, and why they’re often chosen for buildings with special functions, like schools, hospitals or offices. Their exceptional acoustics performance comes in useful at home though, as they’re great for studies, playrooms or living areas. Plus, their high level of fire resistance provides valued peace of mind in a family home, should the worst ever happen.

So which should I choose?

Well, that’s rather up to you! For aesthetics we’d always recommend panelled doors, and for performance flush doors are never a bad idea. We stock a huge range of internal oak doors here at Savoy Timber, so it’s likely you’ll find plenty of options that you think effectively balance both aspects! You can click here to browse our range of flush doors, while our range of Victorian style internal oak doors contains plenty of panel style doors for you to take your pick. Feel free to pop into any of our three DIY stores in Blackpool, Wigan or Preston to check them out in person!