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Buying Guide: Door Types & Styles

Sometimes we forget about doors when it comes to renovating or updating the look of our homes. Doors serve a vital and important function, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look pretty too. The right door can make or break a space.

A perfectly picked and well-designed door is a simple yet effective way to add a touch of your personal style to your home. With this guide, we will walk you through the variety of options and styles for both interior and exterior doors.

Interior Doors

A hinged, single door is the most common type of interior door. The design of the room must allow for the hinged doors to swing. Interior doors are lightweight and typically have two hinges; whereas exterior doors tend to be heavier and often require three hinges.

A panel door is a classic style. Typically, they have three of four horizontal rails and three vertical stiles. Each panel is surrounded by decorative molding often called “sticking.” The final product is a textured look that blends well in both traditional and modern spaces.

Flush doors are simply a flat slab and are normally the least expensive option when it comes to interior doors. If the surface of the door has been covered with a hardwood veneer (typically birch or oak), the door can be stained, but other material looks best when painted. Flush doors fit well in contemporary spaces but may look out of place in a traditional home. Interior flush doors often have a hollowed core, while exterior doors have a solid core and may even have a metal or fiberglass finish as opposed to the wood veneer.

A set of French doors can add a warm and charming touch to your living space. These doors offer an extra-wide door opening. Typically used as exterior patio doors, French doors can also make a stunning passageway between interior rooms and large living spaces.

Bifold doors are commonly used for closets that are 6 feet and wider. Each door panel takes up about half the swinging space of a hinged door. Bifold doors can be customized and bought in flush, paneled or louvered styles.

Bypass doors are not as common as they were a few decades ago. Sometimes referred to “hide-away doors,” these doors offer a great solution to constricted spaces. They operate much like a sliding patio door but are lighter in weight and are generally flush-styled doors.

Exterior Doors

Entry or exterior doors can be made from a variety of materials: wood, metal or fiberglass. They often come in a variety of styles from straight panel doors to windowed doors with a decorative muntin (a supporting strip between adjacent panes of glass) or removable grills. There are also plenty of creative opportunities when it comes to decorative-carved-wood doors. They are heavy and expensive but are sure to make a memorable impression on you and anyone who visits your home.

Storm doors are usually fabricated out of metal or vinyl, but there are wood options available. Storm doors can provide a sense of security and can be locked to keep intruders out. They are typically a little heavier than a standard exterior door. Self-storing storm doors come with a window and a screen as an extra layer of functionality. Inexpensive doors are often very plain in colors and texture and can actually draw attention away from your entryway. You can opt for a storm door with a decorative appearance that is a bit more expensive, but you never want to compromise on sacrificing safety for design or function.

We’ve all seen patio sliding doors before. Typically, they are large planes of glass set in a metal, wood or vinyl frame that is manufactured to withstand heavy use and weathering elements. They are an ideal choice if you want to showcase the view of your backyard and or have a quick entry point to go in and out from.

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