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The Difference Between A Pre-Hung Door and A Slab Door

Deciding on the perfect door can take some time, and it is important to be educated on the different types of doors available. If you are looking for a pre hung door here are some things you should know:

  • A pre-hung door hangs from it’s own frame and is already assembled, a fully contained unit.
  • A self-contained unit that opens and shuts before it’s even installed.
  • The door slab, frame, and hinges are the main parts of the pre-hung door.


Reasons people might choose a pre-hung door:

  • New construction or renovation makes a pre-hung door makes it much easier to install.
  • Pre-hung doors are weather tight which is a major plus, if you are installing an exterior door.
  • No existing door frame is a great reason to use a pre-hung door.
  • If the existing door frame is badly damaged or warped.


The down side of a pre-hung door is that it is very hard to manage and heavy. It will often take two people to be able to move and install the door. You will also have to do the finishing work around the door such as the casing and exterior molding. One thing to keep in mind about pre-hung doors is that almost all reputable companies send their pre-hung doors not assembled in the actual frame. The reason frames are not assembled before shipping is to decrease total freight/shipping cost to the customer and to reduce to potential for frame damage during shipping.

Here is what you should know about a slab door:

The basic door without hardware, frame, or hinges is a called a slab door. A slab is usually less expensive than a pre-hung door. Although it is less expensive to begin with, a slab door takes time and there is added expense when you factor in installation of the jambs and hardware.

Installing a slab door takes some experience and if you are replacing a door that has the exact configuration and the same size you might be okay. If there is any difference in the door you are placing with the new door then it is very difficult to make it work correctly, so it’s a good idea to use a pre-hung door. An advantage to a slab door is that there are usually more options.

If you already have a good door-frame and don’t want to tear it out than a slab door will probably be your best bet. Just make sure you measure correctly.

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