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The 5 Primary Types of Residential Doors

By Brian, March 9, 2016

If you’ve ever taken a mental inventory of the different types of doors in your home, you may have been surprised about the variety you found. Homeowners in search of a new door have more than a dozen different materials from which to choose. Wooden doors, metal doors, glass doors, and even several types of plastic doors are finding routine use in houses across the world. Rather than emphasizing materials, we’ve created a list of five types of doors with a focus on function.

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Interior

One of the two largest categories for door manufacturers, interior doors are available in an endless combination of materials, styles, and appearances. These thresholds can separate living space from private space or help divide rooms into distinct compartments. Some of the most common types of interior doors are wood, fiberglass, glass, or other materials such as bamboo. The designs can match the home’s overall look by appearing modern, traditional, rustic, or contemporary. The doors you choose from this category will be dictated by the desired function and style for the application.

Exterior

Doors that lead to outside spaces come in just as vast an array of options as interior doors. The main difference is that there usually is a security element to the choice you will make. Front doors and back doors likely will warrant some type of metal construction, though the strong interior structure might not be visible from the outside. Even doors with decorative glass panels generally are reinforced in some way. Exterior doors come in a huge range of style options so you can select one that is appropriate to the architecture of your home. Craftsman, modern, Spanish, and even French styles are widely available exterior door designs.

French

Usually mounted in pairs, French doors generally combine glass panels with a wooden frame. They can be used for interior spaces, such as the entry to a home office, or for exterior access, such as leading onto a backyard patio. French doors allow light to spread through your home, and they create an elegant and inviting feel no matter how they are used. As front doors, they spread wide to welcome guests. Often, French doors are used nearly as much for an interior design purpose as they are for functionality. The glass on French doors might be clear so you can enjoy a view or frosted for privacy.

Security

Again, exterior doors are the most common place you will find security features. But there are other situations for which a reinforced door could be warranted. The door between your home and your garage is one likely place, or you might buy one if you have an emergency shelter in your basement. Security doors that offer fire protection are also available in this category. They can help prevent smoke and fire from spreading throughout your residence or office. And don’t think that just because they are functional that they are not attractive. The same types of styles available in other categories can be found in security doors as well.

Decorative

Many of the doors mentioned above are also meant to be decorative, but there are certain selections that are intended for a truly decorative purpose. This category is where you would find entry doors to wine cellars, louvered doors, or even Dutch doors, which split in half horizontally. Of course these types of doors are meant to divide spaces, but they do it with a design that is more whimsical than other options.

Clearly there are thousands of combinations of door uses, designs, and materials that today’s homeowners can choose from. This simple list should help you narrow down your options in the world of doors.

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