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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Types of Doors

Doors are a very important feature of our homes. The way a door is operated and the material used for making the door are determined based on the spatial configuration of the rooms and the security and budgetary aspects.

Passage doors swing open and close on two or more leaf hinges, and are the most commonly used doors in Kerala homes. Traditionally, they are made on site and installed by local carpenters.

Louver doors are essentially standard passage doors in which all or some of the panels have been replaced by angled wood slats. Louver doors are typically used for cupboards, toilets, laundry rooms etc because they provide ventilation and privacy. A full-louver panel format offers the most ventilation, but a louver-over-panel format offers the most style because it looks very similar to solid panel doors.

Sliding doors or bypass doors are typically used on areas that have wide openings like a cupboard or master bathroom and slide from left to right. Since they don't swing open you don't have to worry about placing furniture, but only half the opening is accessible at one time.

Bifold doors are generally used to enclose a cupboard, store room, or laundry area. The doors typically have four panels. Bifold doors pivot on pins inserted at the top and bottom edges, which allow you a greater opening space than a sliding door.

French doors offer a dramatic focal point in your home. They hang on hinges located at each side of a wide door opening and swing toward each other, meeting at the center. When both sides of the door are open, you have an unobstructed view.

Pocket doors are interesting architectural elements, and saves on floor space. Basically, a pocket door is a door that is not set on hinges to swing open, but that slides in and out of a space hidden within the wall. Pocket doors come either as singles, which slide open and shut from either the left or the right, or double pocket doors, which slide together and meet in the middle from both the right and left sides.

Type of Construction
Once you decided the type of doors you want to use, then you need to decide how you want your doors constructed: hollow-core, solid-core and wood.

Hollow-core doors are made from thin veneer plywood or hardboard faces with a cardboard core to help keep the door rigid. These doors are lightweight, inexpensive, easily punctured and ineffective as sound barriers. However, the benefits of hardboard is it resists shrinking and swelling, offers a wood-like appearance, is easy to paint and highly affordable.

Solid-core doors look and feel like solid wood doors, but they feature a wood fiber core. They offer greater sound proofing than hollow core doors and are much more durable. Most solid-core doors are designed with the same style and properties of a wood door, but without the high price tag.

Solid wood panel doors can be stained or painted for a rich finish and provide a natural sound barrier. These are the usual exterior doors that offer security.

It is easy to mix and match the types of doors you use throughout your home to complement your home's d├ęcor and to economize. You can specify the type of door you want used for each room and space in your new home based on the utility.
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