Know Your Own House: Styles and Interior Door Parts

A pet peeve of mine would be to drift into a contemporary or modern or Arts and Crafts or Mediterranean or any other style of home just to find the ubiquitous six-panel door everywhere. It is as if the entire world changed from the 1950s flat-slab door into the colonial six-panel door and forgot what else. Perhaps it’s because the big-box retailers inventory just restricted fashions, or perhaps it’s because we forgot to care, but there’s so much more to a door than just the plain flat-slab or highly stylized six-panel style.

Let us look at the sections of a door and then at some door styles which actually fit the house style.

Bud Dietrich

Following is a six-panel door like you’d find just about anywhere. The door is generally 80 inches tall, though it is usually stocked in 7-foot and 8-foot heights as well, and is usually available in widths of 28, 30, 32 or 34 inches.

The elevation you utilize will probably be put by the ceiling height (80-inch-tall doors don’t actually fit in taller chambers) along with the window height. Even though it’s often overlooked, aligning the surface of the door with the surface of a window will be a great thing to do.

As for the width, while 30 inches has become the standard for decades, wider will allow for walkers, wheelchairs etc.. And even in the event that you don’t require a larger door for a wheelchair, the additional width will be nice once you’re shifting that king-size mattress and monster headboard to the bedroom.

Bud Dietrich

Now let’s look at the sections of a door.

A door consists of three primary pieces: stiles, rails and panels. The right and left vertical components are called stiles. The stile with all the hinges is called the hinge stile, while the stile with the doorknob is called the lock stile. The horizontal components are called rails. These rails butt into and connect into the stiles. At the top and bottom are, naturally enough, the top rail and bottom rail. On six-panel doorways, unlike on, state, one-panel doorways, there are also the cross rail as well as the lock rail. Some doorways also have additional vertical pieces that connect the rails. All these are the mullions. Every one these basic elements produce a grid that produces the general construction of a door.

Filling the voids between the grid of stiles and rails and at times mullions are the panels. These panels are generally flat or raised, but can also have scooped or additional profiles. Probably the most usual panel is raised. More or less every big-box retailer has raised panel-doors in inventory, as these are the most popular.

Finally, there’s the sticking. This is a little bit of trim that surrounds the panel along the edge of the stile and rail framework. Available in several distinct profiles, from quarter round to square to ogee to beveled and much more, sticking supplies a degree of detail and visual attention to a door as well as locks the panel in place.

Seva Rybkine

Six-panel doorways can be made in a variety of ways. By way of example, in lieu of elevated panels, you can pick horizontal panels along with an ogee-type sticking. What’s nice about this style is the door maintains its colonial, or very traditional, aesthetic while being only a little fresher and more contemporary.

Gunkelmans Interior Design

I find two – and three-panel doors especially attractive, as they aren’t all provincial and fussy but tend to have more contemporary and clean cosmetic. These doors can be made quite plain with only a single horizontal panel or dressed up a little with two panels plus some interesting sticking. While maybe not quite as contemporary as the flat-slab door, a two- or – three-panel door adds visual interest without getting the focus.

Lasley Brahaney Architecture + Construction

The number of panels the door has is variable and determined by the overall visual aesthetic you’re looking to achieve. While flat-slab and six-panel doors mark the two extremes, two-, three-, four- and five-panel doorways are possible. The more panels, the more traditional the layout.

A three-panel door like the ones shown here is suitable for a more formal and classic space.

Lawrence and Gomez Architects

A variant of the three-panel door would be to get a high panel and two vertically oriented bottom panels. This style of door is proper for Craftsman as well as Arts and Crafts interiors.

Also, while we have focused on painted doorways, there are many wood species which can be used unfinished for a door. Pine, alder, cherry, walnut etc. in many different cuts such as rift, quarter sawn etc. and also many different personalities such as sap, heart, apparent etc. are all possibilities.

Brennan + Company Architects

The panel does not even need to be made of wood. Glass, if clear or obscure, or fabric or a chalkboard substance are possibilities. Everything you use will be completely determined by the overall design of your home and the visual effect you’re looking for.

Finally, doors such as the ones shown here don’t need to be custom made. There are various manufacturers that can produce doorways to your specifications, easily ordered from almost any timber store.

Give your doorways some consideration. You’ll be glad you did.

More: How to Upgrade Your Home With New Interior Doors

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