Internal Doors: Which Type Should I Choose?
Back in the day, buying internal doors was as simple as turning up at your local hardware shop, picking up five matching doors, and then head home to hang them. However, as homes get more modern, demand for different styles, sizes, colours, designs, and types of interior door is increasing.
Now you can choose from internal panel doors, glazed doors, pre-finished doors, flush doors… the list really does go on. And it doesn’t stop there… there are even internal French doors and internal bifolding doors to choose from, too.
With so many options available, it’s no wonder that we often feel overwhelmed. Today, we’re here to help you decide which internal doors are most suitable for your home. Forget the baffling specialist jargon and technical specifications, we’re here to guide you through the different types of internal doors including their pros, cons, and everything in between.
There are three key considerations when shopping for internal doors; price, type, and material.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Why Choose Internal Sliding Doors?
So, you might have heard talk about internal bifold doors or folding sliding doors, as they’re sometimes called. If you’re not familiar with what a bifold door is, or how it works, don’t worry; it’s actually pretty straightforward.
A bifold door is made up of two or more single doors which are joined together in a row using hinges. This allows you the ability to put doors in spaces that are too wide for a conventional single panel door. One side of the set of doors will be attached to the wall using hinges, and on the other side, you’ll have your handle and latch.
When you open the doors, the hinges allow each panel to fold back on one another, like a concertina. When fully opened, internal bifold doors stack neatly against one side of the wall and protrude in to your room no more than a traditional single panel door would.
Internal folding sliding doors are a popular choice for homeowners who are looking to enjoy open-plan living, but perhaps aren’t quite ready to commit fully to that style of living.
If you’re short on floor space in your home, then internal room dividers, are the perfect choice for maximising your available space. The way that they open and close means that you need much less space for the door to swing open and close than a traditional single panel door. As well as separating your living spaces, they can also be used as built-in wardrobe doors, pantries, and storage cupboards.
When to Select Internal Folding Doors?
Due to the span of internal folding doors (they are available as standard in widths of up to 15ft), they are a great choice for homeowners who want to make larger, open spaces, in to smaller, more intimate spaces without having to build a wall.
They are an attractive way to creation separation between rooms such as your kitchen and dining room, or between your living space and office. You can fold the doors back and enjoy the open space, or you can close them and enjoy a little extra privacy.
Most interior bifolding doors are fitted with glazed panes of glass to allow light to filter through from room to room. Clear glazing is perfect for separating rooms such as your kitchen and dining room where privacy is less important. Frosted glass, on the other hand, is ideal for rooms where you’d like to feel a little secluded every now and then. Frosted glass allows a gentle diffusion of light to filter through, whilst obscuring the view slightly; ideal for separating living and dining or office spaces.
Internal folding doors are available in a wide range of materials, colours, and finishes, allowing you to make them as much of a statement in your home, or blend in, as much as you like.
Why Choose Internal French Doors?
If bifolding doors don’t appeal to you, then perhaps internal French doors will be more to your taste. Due to their more traditional design, they work particularly well in period homes, but can also add a design edge to new build properties, too.
Internal French doors are made from a pair of outward, or inward, opening doors. They are fixed to the wall on opposite sides, and latch together in the middle allowing you to open one door at a time, or both doors at the same time. French doors are almost always heavily glazed. These can take the form of either a large, single, pane of glass, or multiple smaller panes, which are more traditionally associated with French doors.
For larger openings, French doors with sidelights are the perfect solution. Sidelights are glazed panels that sit on either side of your doors. They match your chosen French doors, but are fixed in position, so don’t move when you open and close your doors.
Finally, Frenchfold doors offer the perfect balance between French doors and bifold doors. They open in the middle, as traditional French doors do, and have additional panels on either side, as French doors with sidelight do, but the sidelights are additional door panels.
You can open your Frenchfold doors up just like traditional French doors. But, should you want to open your room, you can simply unfasten the side panels and fold the two doors back on themselves as you open them out.
So, why choose internal French doors for your home? They’re a great option if you have a little bit more space for your doors to swing open.
Interior French doors are perfect for filling archways in your home. Whilst open-plan living is becoming increasingly popular, there are still occasions where you might want to separate your living spaces.
French doors also add a sense of grandeur to hallways, living spaces, kitchens, and dining rooms. In addition to this, the extensive glazing associated with interior French doors make them perfect for filtering light through from one room to another.
Do I Need Internal Fire Doors?
When deciding which internal doors to choose, you might be wondering if you need to fit fire doors in your home.
Fire doors are specially designed to slow the progress of fire throughout your home. They come in a variety of ratings, starting at FD30 which can withstand heat and flames for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to FD60 which can withstand fire for up to 60 minutes.
Internal fire doors might conjure up images of clunky doors with automatic closing mechanisms, but those are commercial fire doors. Fire doors for your home are often indistinguishable from their non-fire door counterparts. Find out more in our detailed article, ‘what are fire doors’?
In most homes, fire doors aren’t needed. There are, however, a few situations where you may need to install them. These are:
- In a two-storey house where there is a door which leads from a garage directly in to the property
- In a new-build or renovated property which has three or more storeys (including loft conversions) each of the habitable rooms off the stairwell must be fitted with a fire door
If you are replacing your internal doors, and they’re not already fire doors, then you don’t need to replace them with fire doors. However, if you want a little extra safety measure, then you can do so.
It’s worth noting that if you want to fit fire doors in your home that you should check that a fire door will fit before purchasing your doors. FD30 fire doors are thicker than standard interior doors, often measuring 44mm in depth. In addition to this, fire doors need to be fitted by a professional joiner who know how to fit a fire door. The correct ironmongery and hardware needs to be used otherwise a fire door will be useless.
Can I Choose Glazed Internal Doors?
We’ve spoken briefly about glazed doors already in the article, so if you were wondering if you could choose glazed internal doors for your home, the answer is yes!
Glazed doors have always been popular with homeowners as they allow natural light to filter through them. This illuminates rooms which, otherwise, may be dark and, dare we say it, dingy. If the idea of a pane of glass as door doesn’t appeal to you, fret not; there are plenty of styles of glazed internal door to choose from.
Glazed Internal Doors
Are exactly what they say on the tin; an internal door with glazed panes. The glazes panes may take the form of a single vertical pane, or perhaps even multiple smaller panes. They can be clear glazed, or frosted, and come in all sorts of designs from the ultra-contemporary to the more traditional and decorative.
Glazed French Doors
French doors are a beautiful way to introduce glazed doors in to your home. As with standard glazed internal doors, French doors can feature full length panes, or multiple smaller panes. Half-glazed French and double doors are a fantastic alternative for homeowners who want a balance between privacy, style, and light.
Glazed Fire Doors
Yes, you can even choose glazed fire doors for you home. They offer the same 30 or 60-minute protection as standard fire doors, so you don’t have to worry about compromising on safety for aesthetics.
Can I Get Bespoke Internal Doors?
Internal single panel doors typically come in the following standard sizes:
- 457mm x 1981mm
- 533mm x 1981mm
- 610mm x 1981mm
- 686mm x 1981mm
- 762mm x 1981mm
- 864mm x 1981mm
- 838mm x 1981mm
- 813mm x 2032mm
- 525mm x 2040mm
- 626mm x 2040mm
- 726mm x 2080mm
- 826mm x 2040mm
- 926mm x 2040mm
If you live in a period property, or perhaps a new build where the architect hasn’t followed these standard dimensions, then you may need to have bespoke internal doors made just for your home.
If your opening is just shy of any of the above standard sizes, then it’s entirely possible that you could simply trim your doors to fit. Most internal doors can be trimmed by a few millimetres on each side to fit. Always double check just how much your doors can be trimmed by before going ahead and trying to cut them down.
If you still can’t find a door that will fit, then bespoke internal doors are the way forward. It’s not just single panel doors that can be made to measure; bifolding, French, and sliding doors can all be made to measure to fit your home perfectly.
When choosing internal doors for you home, consider the styles of your home and the décor, as well as your available space and your budget.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match different types of doors throughout your home; glazed doors between your living space and dining area, bifold doors between your kitchen and dining space, or perhaps French doors instead?
Consider your budget, style, and available space, and then go for it! The choice is yours!
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