Overview of Styles and Materials for Contemporary Doors
At one time doors were made from oak and little else. In this overview of contemporary doors, we get to see how materials such as softwoods, hardwoods, plywoods, metal and glass all competing for popularity and making doors look more varied.
Doors in Wood
One of the most popular door materials are in wood, especially in softwood or solid or veneered hardwood. They may have clear or translucent glass panels to allow light to spill from room to room. Others are made from plywood in a hollow box construction or from a composite-board material, which provides a perfectly smooth base for painted finish and can be cut into unconventional shapes.
Metal frames have been a feature of external doors since the 1930s, and a few pioneering manufacturers are still in existence today, producing metal door and window frames in similar patterns to the originals, for those renovating Moderne houses or adopting a look from that era.
Large metal-framed exterior doors containing a single pane of glass often form part of contemporary door styles and interiors, allowing daylight to pour in and enhancing the feeling of space by visually merging the interior and exterior. Internal glass doors usually have a wood or metal frame and solid glazing bars to indicate their presence.
Most doors are still hung on hinges and open in, but this arrangement can be reversed to give more usable space inside the room, provided there is enough space outside for the door to open safely. Doors that divide rooms are traditionally hinged in pairs, but again, if space is limited, bi-fold or sliding doors may be a more practical option.
Sliding doors come into their own as room dividers; when they are closed, they offer privacy and bring the intimacy of individual rooms; opened up, they create expandable, sociable spaces for larger gatherings.
Your glass door should be in tempered glass. Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that has been subjected to a special heat treatment during the manufacturing process so that it crumbles into rounded particles instead of shattering into sharp shards when broken. This reduces the likelihood of injury.
Most contemporary doors in glass are either frameless or come with different types of frames such as timber or aluminium. Main doors are seldom full-glass due to privacy and security reasons, but it is not uncommon to find main doors in timber with a composition of inset glass panels to create interesting designs.
Internal glass doors can be swing or sliding and the most popular by far, is the use of frosted slding glass doors, usually in the walk-in wardrobe, bathroom, study and sometimes the kitchen.
For glass doors with a frame, the iron mongery required is similar to that for a normal timber or aluminum door. Frameless glass doors will require the use of patch fittings and floor springs, instead of the usual hinges and door closers. Handles and locks will also need to be those compatible with glass doors.
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