What is a Door and Why Should I Care?

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I have probably hit a new low in being pedantic and speaking down to you, but there is no depth to which I will not travel.  Almost all of you if asked what is a door will create the mental image of the entrance door of your home or the door leading to the bedroom or bathroom of your home.  When I Googled this question, I got lots of definitions, but Wikipedia’s caught my eye the most.

door is a moving structure used to block off, and allow access to, an entrance to or within an enclosed space, such as a building or vehicle. Doors normally consist of a panel that swings on hinges on the edge, but there are also doors that slide or spin inside of a space.

Doors are different from walls and windows in that they move which in turn allows access to and from one space to another.  This is all well and good, but doors can do more than that and they certainly can do it a lot of different ways.  What material the door is made of, how the locking mechanism works, who or what powers the movement of the door, and how the door leaf moves play a big part in how many useful purposes it can serve.

The material selection can range from wood of different species, metals like steel and aluminum and synthetic materials like vinyl or fiberglass.  The material chosen for any individual door would depend on budget, weather ability, design aesthetic, availability and a host of other considerations.  The size and function of the door can skew the choice in the direction of metals if the door is very large or if climatic conditions like high humidity make wood less appealing because of swelling and warping.  Be careful making the best decision for your opening.  Don’t get your better judgement get sidetracked by a beautiful website or brochure picture that doesn’t resemble your situation.

Function and hardware are very important considerations when you think about how the door will be used, by whom and at what frequency.  Swing doors on hinges with single lock handles are the easiest to access and operate manually.  Sliding doors are a more awkward form of movement.  If the travel is only occasional, then this is not much of a problem.  You would not expect to walk into a shop that had a manually operated sliding door at its entrance.  How strange would that be?  If it were sliding it had better have a motor and automated operation.  There is also the safety issue for commercial spaces.  Swing doors opening out away from the enclosed space are often required to keep people from being trapped during an emergency.

The amount of glass in the door is a tremendous differentiator between door types.  A solid panel door maintains mystery about what is inside (and outside).  Beautiful woods, carvings, and panel designs can make for a visual spectacle.  Similarly, stainless steel and patinated bronze skins are beautiful eye candy.  This all happens as the door serves its primary mission of blocking and allowing access.  The introduction of a small amount of glass into the panel’s design allows a peek into the world that lies beyond and might be less intimidating.  Full glass panels with minimal perimeter framing exposes the environments of both the inside and outside worlds to each other.  The emperor has no clothes, in the fable, but he had better have them on as he approaches an all glass entrance door.

A door can be more than just a simple access point and how it operates can either be a pleasure or a pain.  Help make doors be the best that they can be living up to their full potential.  I’m very proud of how 2Fold® contributes to the world of beautiful and functionally appealing doors.  Take a look for yourself. 

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