Whether you are looking to replace your old door by ordering a new one, you have two main options to choose from: buy a single slab or a pre-mounted construction.
You have to decide which is best for the chosen doorway. Not understanding where these solutions can be helpful might result in ordering a door that causes problems. This article highlights the difference between both types.
At first glance at both goods, the only difference is the lack of a frame. However, there are some other peculiarities.
The prehung door comes with all the necessary elements — hinges, jambs, casings — which makes it a prime option for unskilled people who need to install it without much fuss. A slab is a perfect candidate for skilled house owners who know how to hang it.
Contractors (installers) and manufacturers prefer prehung constructions, while DIY enthusiasts choose the slab option. Read on to learn more about each type.
Single Slab Advantages
Slabs come with just a plain board coated with finish. You will have to purchase all the hardware separately, which comes in different forms and designs. Usually, this type comes with a hollow space for door knobs. Factors that affect their costs are design, core, and the kind of coating.
Below are some advantages of slabs.
You can order a separate slab for a swinging or sliding configuration. It is much more convenient and profitable than ordering a whole construction from scratch. This way you can replace the old barn or pocket system.
Easier to move and handle
Slab units are easier for logistical purposes because they weigh less. Since they are just big boards of wood, they can be piled on each other and moved at will. There is no concern for fitting damage.
It is cheaper than a pre-assembled door. This is a great option for those who want to save money, especially if there are a lot of doorways to renovate.
Single Slab Disadvantages
Despite all the advantages, this solution has several minuses.
It can be hard to install
In the general sense, doors are not easy to install, whether prehung or slab. However, installing the latter can be more challenging. Apart from attaching hardware such as knobs, handles, and hinges, you would also have to cut out the parts where these elements will be attached. Afterward, you would need to set the slab correctly in its frame to ensure it swings properly, which requires professional expertise and patience.
It may require some adjustments
Sometimes slabs are not exactly the perfect piece of board. While some are delivered without needing adjustments, many come with this need. Depending on how the door is delivered, it might have to be straightened, planned, or sanded to fit in properly. Vintage and antique models are usually guilty of this.
To avoid such problems, call the measurers from the company where you are going to place an order. A professional will take accurate measurements and take into account all the nuances.
The Prehung Door Advantages
The pre-assembled construction has several pluses.
Ease of Installation
They are the easiest and quickest to install. Since they come with frames and other hardware, there is no hanging or cutting. It’s basically “touch and go”. This reduces the time of installation by much.
Whole Door Unit
Prehung doors come as the complete set. From hinges to frames, they are completely fitted out. Buying a prehung construction means there is only a handle to purchase.
The Prehung Door Disadvantages
There are two main minuses.
Difficult to deliver
While prehung doors are easier to install, they are more difficult to carry and transport. Since they already have all the features attached, they are much heavier than single slabs and can be inconvenient to transport.
While prehung are the easier option for installation, they are more expensive. This is because they offer more finish qualities and have all hardware attached before delivery.
So, is it better to buy a slab or prehung door? There is no unequivocal answer. The choice depends on whether you want to change the entire construction or you can get by with a slab. If you have little experience in installation, it is better to choose a slab. This way you will have less risk of doing something wrong.