While they’re often taken for granted, doors have a pretty important role to play in the home. As well as privacy, they provide protection from draughts and, when the right type is used, can add the perfect finishing touch to any carefully styled room.
When it comes to replacing existing doors, though, or even picking the right type for a new house or extension, the range on offer can be a little daunting. This is why it pays to take a closer look at your options. Here are just a few of the most popular…
Hinged doors tend to be what people think of when they hear the word ‘door’ – they’re about as basic as they come. A hinged door will typically comprise a solid or hollow panel which is attached to a surrounding frame with at least two metal hinges. More hinges can be used if the door is particularly tall or heavy.
These types of doors are extremely popular for a few reasons. Firstly, their aforementioned simplicity means they’re relatively cheap and extremely easy to fit, regardless of experience. There’s also plenty of choice available in terms of styles and materials, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a perfect match for your room’s décor.
Hinged doors are useful in most situations and are found on everything from wardrobes to front porches and conservatories. In some rooms, two can be used together – these are usually called French doors or double doors.
A bi-fold door comprises two panels joined together with hinges. The top corner of the outermost panel will usually be attached to a rail which, in turn, is fixed to the frame. This allows the door to slide across the width of the opening, either when it is pulled or pushed at the middle point.
While there’s a little more to them than the standard hinged door, bi-fold doors have a lot to offer for anyone looking to transform an internal space. They’re often used to act as an optional divider between two open rooms, simply because they can cover much wider openings than most other options.
Glass and metal can be used, but the panels in bi-fold doors are usually made from wood, which means they tend to work well in cosy, homely lounges. They’re perfect for opening up large spaces and allow you to change the dynamic of a living area as and when you see fit.
Sliding doors can be used both internally and externally. Like bi-fold doors, they rely on horizontal rollers which run the width of the frame, but instead tend to consist of just one panel.
In terms of materials, sliding doors are extremely flexible. Of course, wood is always a popular choice but glass is also common. Your decision is likely to depend on a number of factors – privacy could be a concern, for example, so glass may not be a suitable option for a bathroom or a front door, although frosted effects can be used.
With the right security measures in place, a sliding door can be a great choice for the exterior of a home. In a street full of conventional front doors, for example, it could give a property some extra character while also being perfectly subtle
Internally, sliding doors are particularly useful when there’s not much room. Of course, the panel itself needs somewhere to go when the door is open but they still tend to take up less space than
some of the more conventional options. For those who are after something even more discreet, pocket doors work with the same principles but the panel instead slides into a dedicated recess in the wall.
Stacker doors combine features of both bi-fold and sliding doors. They still use rollers but instead of having just one or two panels, they have many, with the exact number depending on the size of the opening they’re being used to fill. Essentially, they work in a folding motion, with the panels stacking at one end of the frame as the door is opened – all while using minimal space.
Stacker doors allow for the dynamic of a room to be changed significantly, simply because they can create such a wide opening. While doors with similar movements are commonly found in bathrooms and kitchen cupboards, some homeowners use them to replace entire walls, especially if there’s a fantastic view to be enjoyed.
With regular motion and a number of moving parts, stacker doors usually consist of glass panels with aluminium framing – this helps to ensure durability. They can help to improve natural light in a room but, again, privacy could be a concern so wooden panels may be more suitable in some situations.
Stable doors get their name for pretty obvious reasons – they’re commonly used in barns and farmhouses. The stable door is essentially a hinged door with a horizontal split through the centre. This means that the top and bottom parts can be opened and closed independently, which is particularly useful when animals need to be kept in and out of certain spaces.
This functionality can also be applied in the home, however, where parents often use stable doors to keep children and pets safe. As well as the practicality, though, they can help to create a real countryside appearance. As such, they work particularly well in older cottages and farmhouse-inspired properties.
Given their historical uses, it’s rare to see stable doors which aren’t made of wood. The aesthetic appeal relies on feelings of rusticity so they’re not usually found in modern properties, where metal and glass are more commonly used.
So there you have it – there’s a lot more to doors than you may have first thought. Next time you move from one room to another in your property, take a second to think about the type of doors you use and whether any of the alternatives would be more suitable.
Author: George Mitchell