Until recently, interior doors were almost invisible in the interior – faceless canvases separating the premises. Today they have become the most important detail, and in addition, they “learned” to connect rooms. Glass doors are a great alternative to conventional interior doors made from traditional materials. They deprive the space of oppressive isolation, visually “push apart” the space and connect the rooms, and also fill them with light and create the impression of a larger room volume. In addition, glass doors give the room its own look, its uniqueness. The interior takes on an original modern sound and becomes more stylish.
Elegance, originality and inimitable ability of glass doors to fit into any modern interior are increasingly attracting the attention of sophisticated buyers. In Europe, glass interior doors are not a new fashion trend, but a commonplace. In Russia, this is still just a new trend, supported by the fact that our fellow citizens have ceased to associate glass doors with the entrance to the metro or with the entrance to the research institute. Now the glass door is perceived as an organic and functional interior detail.
The history of all-glass doors goes back more than a decade, originating in the constructivism of the late 1920s – at that time, leading architects around the world were embraced by the search for new, unexpected areas of application for traditional materials, often not paying attention to the fact that the level of development industrial technologies did not keep up with the “flight of thought” and limited the “scope of imagination”. However, many of the ideas put forward then turned out to be very viable – year after year, science and industry, accumulating experience, brought closer the possibility of full-fledged implementation of bold concepts. One of them is to use glass more widely in interior design..
The “Hi-Tech” style, which received the widest distribution at the end of the 20th century, gave ideas and a new impetus to the use of glass doors and partitions not only in commercial and public buildings, but also in the interiors of residential premises. Frameless glass doors began to be widely used in the equipment of saunas, bathrooms and shower cabins.
A significant step forward was made possible by new technologies of thermal hardening or hardening, which made it possible to increase the mechanical strength and injury safety of sheet glass products. After tempering, the glass changes its crystal lattice, making it 4-5 times stronger than usual. If tempered glass does break, it will crumble into many small (about 1 cm in diameter) fragments with non-sharp edges, reducing the risk of injury to a minimum. That is why most of the all-glass doors and self-supporting frameless partitions produced in the world today are made of tempered glass..
There is also a triplex technology. Triplex is actually several glasses, between which polymer films are glued. Even if the triplex is broken, the film will not allow the fragments to scatter around and injure a person. In practice, it is rather difficult to break glass doors, the only thing they are “afraid” is hitting the butt end with sharp objects. The thickness of the canvas, as a rule, is 8-10 mm, although thicker glass is also found – 12 and 14 mm.
An inexperienced buyer is sometimes surprised and seems to be unreasonably high cost of hardware for all-glass doors, in comparison with products for ordinary doors – wooden, metal or plastic. Indeed, special fittings, especially from leading companies, are not cheap, but the reason for this is the need for the most careful approach to the design and manufacture of all parts and elements..
Glass is a peculiar and specific material, in combination with it, any detail seems to pass the test for quality and aesthetic value. In addition to the main task – to ensure ease and convenience of opening, all elements of the fittings should harmoniously complement and emphasize the natural beauty of glass, the shine of polished edges, which is possible only with impeccable attention to the quality of any, even the smallest detail.
Fittings for glass doors traditionally hold a special, honorable place among other “hardware”. With their small dimensions, the hardware parts must withstand a very large weight with a margin. In the design of fittings, designers widely use various types of textures of pure metal – matte or polished to a mirror shine stainless steel and aluminum. In cases where this is justified by the colors of the surrounding interior, anodized (gold), painted in colors or brass fittings are used.
Large manufacturers offer different elements (handles, hinges, brackets, fasteners), united by a single style. Using them in various combinations makes it possible to equip in a single key not only the door, as one of the elements of the glass wall, but also the entire self-supporting glass partition. It is convenient to use such constructions and sets of fittings also in cases where the dimensions of the opening are so large that even very wide and high door leaves will not completely close it, and there is no point in “stitching” the remaining space with an opaque material “blindly”.
All-glass doors can be equipped with increasingly widespread automatic opening systems, electronic combination locks and electric strikes with remote control – all leading manufacturers of such devices necessarily offer special models specifically for glass doors.
A high-quality glass sheet, with all its seeming simplicity and laconicism, is the result of the careful work of many specialists and can be fully manufactured only if the enterprise has a whole range of special equipment and technologies. Only with their help it is possible to cut and process a sheet of glass with a tolerance of tenths of a millimeter, obtain a flawless surface of a trapezoidal polished edge, drill holes and make complex curly cutouts for installing fittings elements.
Very high requirements for dimensional accuracy are imposed for a reason – after all, when installing a glass door, adjustments on site are no longer possible, as is permissible for other materials – tempered glass cannot be subjected to repeated or additional machining.
The concept of “glass doors” includes several types of frameless structures. By the way they are opened, they can be divided into groups:
Pendulum – glass doors that open both inward and outward. As a rule, a floor closer is used with such a door, which, after opening, returns the door to the closed position. The door itself is fixed to the floor and ceiling.
Swing – these doors open in one direction only and fit into the door frame. The door is attached to the wall or door frame with side hinges. Glass doors of this type are usually internal and are installed in apartments, offices (including office partitions made of various materials).
Recoil – when opening, they move to the side. The carriages to which the door leaf is attached move along the top rail (which is fixed to the ceiling or wall). This design is especially suitable in situations where a conventional door, when opening, takes up too much space and blocks the passage. Sliding doors are installed indoors.
Curved glass – thanks to the relatively young technology of tempering curved glass sheets, it became possible to produce both swing doors and sliding doors with curved door leaves. Such doors are a sign of individuality and originality..
Prices and manufacturers
Leading foreign companies specializing in the production of all-glass doors offer a large selection of ready-made models of standard sizes, decorated with drawings of various styles – in this variety, you can easily choose options that best match the overall design, color scheme and purpose of the room. Glass doors produced by European firms, of course, are of high quality and variety of models. But there are points to consider in the Russian market. Firstly, European doors, say Italian or German, are certified to Western standards, that is, to put such a door into a Russian opening, you need to work hard. Secondly, the delivery time for German or Italian doors in Russia is 2 to 4 months, you will have to wait.
Of course, doors made to order according to an individual author’s project are distinguished by a higher cost, but in some cases this is absolutely justified and even necessary if it is important to emphasize the style of a room, its special, high status and unique interior. Ultimately, any all-glass door or partition always remains a purely exclusive product – the final price is influenced by the chosen glass, decoration technologies, the nuances of the hardware configuration and the complexity of installation.
The cost of design, manufacture and installation can vary in a very wide range – from several hundred dollars for a “typical” version with the most uncomplicated set of fittings, up to 3000-15000 and even more, for an “exclusive” – a real work of art – large in size and complexity, with custom made, one-of-a-kind details.
The premises, in the design of which glass doors and partitions are used, are always distinguished by a special atmosphere of lightness, spaciousness, and, at the same time, respectability. The accentuated geometric purity of the lines, the play of light on the polished edges, every “trifle” and detail of high-quality fittings brought to perfection pleases the eye. Wherever a modern all-glass door is installed, it will always be the very door you want to enter.
Have you noticed, dear readers, that this time we did not touch upon the issues of decorating the door glass sheet? This is because the topic deserves a separate discussion, and it will take place here.