Whether you are choosing doors for a new house, an extension or a renovation, one of the first decisions you will have to make is to choose the type of door. Most suppliers will only talk about the doors that they offer. This guide provides an impartial and comprehensive summary of all the options that are available.
Side-hung doors may be used as a front door, that open inwards (usually locks when shut), a back door, that usually open outwards (that can be shut without it locking) and double doors or French doors that have been a very popular way to open up the living room to the back garden, particularly in more traditional properties. Typically, the maximum width of a door leaf is about 1.3m.
Also known as folding-sliding doors, bifold doors have become very popular in the UK in recent years. The doors open and close concertina style and when open the door leafs can be stacked all to the same side or split so they stack some on one side and some on the other. Either way, the appeal is that they open up around 90% of the aperture.
Sliding patio doors usually comprise two, three or four panels, of which some will slide and some will normally be fixed. This style of door can incorporate very large panes of glass, to give the most uninterrupted views.
There are a number of different variations when it comes to the way these doors operate; the most popular three types are as follows:
- Slide – standard operation where the doors slide on tracks
- Lift and slide – turning the handle through 180° lifts the door by a few millimetres to reduce friction and make it slide more easily
- Tilt/slide – the door can be tilted inwards for ventilation or slid across for access.
An unusual and stylish option that makes it possible to have wider single door leafs than a standard side hung door. The door opens by turning on a pivot that is usually around one third of the way across the door leaf.
The way the door operates means that the threshold is flush with the floor. This means the pivot door has low weather resistance and is more suitable for interior use (as a divide between a lounge and conservatory for example) than for use as an external door.