For such a simple device, the standard door that you find guarding the front of your house has quite a complex structure. The reason for it having so many different component parts was to cater for the expanding and contracting nature of wood over the seasons. The basic design remained, however, as we moved to different materials such as fibreglass and uPVC.
Standard Door Parts
- Panels: Many doors will have four square or oblong panels that form the inner section and are usually grooved for a more artistic appearance. These panels can be made of a solid material or, for some front doors, incorporate double glazed glass.
- Lock and Hinge Rails: These are the long vertical strips either side of the panels and are solid constructions that hem in the central part of the door.
- Mullions: These are vertical strips that fit in between the panels to separate them and are divided by the central, horizontal lock rail.
- Top and Bottom Rails: These are the strips at the top and bottom of the door.
- Casing: This is the frame on the wall opening that the door fits into and consists of the jamb, the stop and the hinge site.
Interior and Exterior Door Materials
Both interior and exterior doors can be made from a variety of components, including wood and metal. While wood is still a favourite for many home owners, it is not generally used for exterior doors because of the need for something that is easier to maintain and less subject to the ravages of the seasons. For this reasons, uPVC, often made to look like wood, is a popular and cost effective choice.
Of course, much depends on what the door is being used for. In domestic properties there needs to be an aesthetic value as well as a functional one. That means these doors often follow the standard panel look above but can also be produced to bespoke designs if you have the money to spend. Front and back doors will also have high grade specialist locks in place as well as insulation that makes them more energy efficient.
For commercial premises, the range of doors is obviously more diverse with metal, glass and fibreglass options available as well as uPVC. There are sliding glass doors and revolving ones as well as the standard fire doors that are used inside.
Insulation and Doors
Much of the development work for doors in recent years has been in making them more energy efficient, exterior ones as well as interior. There are a variety of insulation techniques such as doors with a honeycomb core, or ones that have extra thickness at the panels. The way doors fit into the casing is also important, providing less room for draughts to sneak through and therefore making home and office more energy efficient.
Of course there are plenty of materials when it comes to doors whether they are being used for the home or the office. Some of the most popular are:
- Timber Doors: Made completely from wood these are traditionally pleasing and also provide great insulation though at a premium cost. They are ideal for front doors or for where a certain amount of soundproofing is required but generally need greater maintenance and last less well than newer door materials.
- Aluminium Doors: Lightweight and durable these are often used for areas such as garages and for security doors. They are not ideal for front of house simply because aluminium is a good conductor of heat so they are less energy efficient.
- Steel Doors: If you want a greater level of security then steel is a much stronger material than aluminium but again is poor on the insulation side.
- Fibreglass Doors: These are fairly new but are becoming more popular and provide a lightweight door that is strong and offers a good level of insulation.
- uPVC Doors: The most popular choice for many homeowners at the moment, vinyl is cost effective and quite strong. It is popularly mixed with frosted double glazing for front and back doors and easily incorporates new multi-lock mechanisms.
- Glass Doors: Better for the office than the home, glass doors look great but a lot depends on the quality and construction if you want to stay warm in winter.
- Stained Glass Doors: If you have more money to spend then leadlight or stained glass doors can add a lot of style to your front of house. This is still a popular choice for those who want a door with more personality.
- Hollow Core Doors: More suitable for the interior, hollow core doors are a cheap and durable option.
Picking the right door for your home will depend on a lot of factors, including the amount you want to spend and the level of security you need. The good news is that there is plenty to choose from and solutions to suit most budgets, whether you are looking for the home or the office.
Find your nearest door installer here.