Interior doors in a home, or workplace, have mainly the function of separating two rooms. However, we often forget about the other equally important role that doors play, namely as a furnishing component of the environment in which they are placed.
Below we will see the main types of doors that exist on the market and what may be the best solution, depending also on the characteristics of the spaces they will have to separate. In addition, we will provide you with some tips to follow as well as mistakes to avoid when choosing interior doors.
Functionality of interior doors
As we have said, the main function of interior doors is to delimit the spaces of a property. But not only that, separation can in fact have additional functions.
- Visual. With a door we protect our privacy and what guards an environment, away from prying eyes.
- Acoustics. Isolate a room from the rest of the house to preserve it from outside noise or, conversely, from noise coming from inside the room you want to isolate.
- Decorative. A door besides fulfilling its main function can embellish the context in which it is placed.
Types of interior doors
A first subdivision of interior doors can be made according to the locking system.
- Hinged. With inward-opening system of a room or outward-opening system. It can consist of several doors, with fixed opening or opening both ways (ideal for catering when both hands are occupied).
- Bellows. They consist of vertical panels (two or more) that fold in on themselves like a fan.
- Sliding. It can consist of one or more leaves, with a manual or electronic opening system (via a sensor that detects the presence of a person). There are two types of sliding doors:
- Concealed: the open sash is incorporated into the frame positioned inside the wall (masonry work is required);
- open: the sash slides parallel to the wall, on tracks attached to the outside of the wall or floor (no masonry work required).
The “folding” and “sliding” types are ideal solutions in settings where there is not much space available.
Materials for interior doors
The market offers different varieties of compositions, which can also be mixed (wood glass, metal plexiglass, metal glass, etc.). Let’s look below at the materials commonly used for making interior doors.
It is a material that has ancient origins and to this day is used on a very large scale. Based on the quality of the wood, we can subdivide doors as follows.
- Solid wood. Mostly used for fine doors, they have high strength and durability. Very often the wood is presented in its natural state, with a layer of clear protective varnish that allows a glimpse of the grain.
- Made of composite material. Other products (glues, resins, etc.) are combined with the natural wood, and therefore it is a popular solution because the exploitation of trees is reduced. Plywood, blockboard, parallam, etc. are composite woods.
- With drummed panels. They consist of a frame, to which two thin panels are attached. The materials used can be chipboard, MDF and plywood. These doors are particularly valued for their lightness.
It is a very modern material, which can solve the problem of brightness in a room, or give a touch of personality to the room.
Glass can be included as a decorative or functional element in a door composed primarily of other material, or compose entirely or almost entirely of a window frame.
In any case, keep in mind that with a glass door, privacy is rather limited (think bathroom door). Also, if you have opted for a glass door to give more brightness to the room, keep in mind that for a bedroom it can be counterproductive.
How to choose interior doors: common mistakes
We have seen what the main functions are that interior doors perform, what types are found on the market, and the materials they can be made of.
Let’s see now, what are the most common mistakes we make when we go to choose interior doors for our home or office.
- Choose interior doors without carefully assessing the functionality for which they will be installed (room separation, sound and visual insulation, etc.).
- Not knowing the various offerings of types, materials and solutions on the market.
- Doors are not a picture, which can be hung and moved at any time, so the choice (particularly of type) should be made at the design stage (whether building or renovating the property). For example, if after completing the masonry work I decide to install retractable doors I will have to get the contractor to intervene again, resulting in a delay in delivery time and an increase in expenses.
- Doors are a complement to furniture, so they should be chosen in harmony with the rest of the furniture and style of the property. A historic room of some merit deserves solid wood fixtures, perhaps with some workmanship consonant with the personality of the room.
- The color should also be chosen at the design stage, as it will greatly impact the overall result. For example, if we have already decided that the walls will be white, it would be best to avoid white or ivory lacquered doors (unless it is a medical office).
- Do not rely on professionals. In any case, an opinion or advice from interior designers is never a waste of time.