12 steps to choosing the perfect interior door

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Buying a door often raises no less questions than the choice of finishing materials, the selection of wallpaper, ordering a kitchen unit or buying a floor covering. And it is not surprising, because interior and exterior doors become an important part of the interior, they are purchased for more than one year, and they are not at all cheap..

In such a situation, many buyers are afraid to make the wrong choice, moreover, it is not easy even for a professional to understand the mass of modern offers and technical innovations. Of course, you can go to a hypermarket and contact a consultant, trying to find out on the spot how this or that door model differs from its “colleagues”. And yet, it is better to find out many questions at home in order to go shopping already “fully armed”.

In this article, we decided to collect popular questions that are often asked by potential buyers who are going to install new interior doors. And, of course, we tried to answer them in as much detail as possible..

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior door

A high-quality, correctly chosen door will last for many years, survive several cosmetic repairs in the apartment, and after a little decor, renovation of the handle and painting, it will look no worse than new

1. How do paneled doors differ from panel doors?

The main difference between paneled and panel doors is in the design and technology of their manufacture. So, paneled doors consist of a supporting frame and one or more inserts, which are usually called panels. Previously, such doors were made only of natural wood, and wide boards were used as panels. The panel is inserted into the door leaf using conventional glazing beads, that is, like glass in a traditional window, or using a tongue-and-groove connection. Currently, glass, MDF or chipboard are usually used as panels..

Panel doors also consist of an obligatory element – a frame, but they also have double-sided cladding, which today most often serve as MDF sheets, as well as filling and cladding. Cardboard honeycombs are often used for filling, due to which panel doors are relatively lightweight. But a monolithic filler in the form of a single sheet will make such a door very heavy. The panel door can also be glazed.

In general, both options are not bad, however, the production process of a panel door is considered simpler, and the sound insulation of paneled doors is somewhat lower. The price of both options depends on the materials used.

Choosing doors from the manufacturer, buyers today usually prefer panel models – cheaper, lighter, with better sound insulation.

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorIn appearance, it is rather difficult for a layman to determine which particular method of door production was used to create this model. Moreover, if the top layer is a wood veneer, reliably hiding all design features

2. What types of artificial coating of interior doors exist

Today, some of the most popular artificial door leaf coatings are:

  1. Finish film. This is a coating of a layer of special paper, which is pre-impregnated with a polymer – acrylic or melamine – resin. Due to its low cost, this option is often used in the production of economy class doors. The finish film is strong enough to resist scratches and abrasion. And also successfully imitates a variety of surfaces – from stone to exotic wood. An additional protective layer is sometimes applied over the finish film for reliability..
  2. CPL (Continuously Pressed Laminate), which in our country is most often called laminate, is a more modern and perfect material. To create it under high pressure, several layers of paper are connected, which is pre-impregnated with resins and has a protective coating. The durability of laminate is higher than that of a finish film.
  3. Eco-veneer. Created on the basis of wood fibers and polymer resin. It looks almost indistinguishable from natural wood, much stronger than ordinary veneer. The only drawback of eco-veneer is its price. Doors with such a coating cost 1.5 times more than those faced with ordinary wood veneer.

The choice of coverage in each case depends primarily on the financial capabilities of the buyer, since the difference in price between a door with a finish film and an eco-veneer is very noticeable.

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorThe higher the cost, the longer the door cover will last – this principle justifies itself in most cases

3. What is high varnish and high paint and why doors with such a coating are more expensive than usual

High varnish is a special glossy coating with increased wear resistance and a long service life. Most often, MDF or veneer is covered with such varnish. To achieve a glossy surface, manufacturers use a complex technological process that involves applying several layers of polyester varnish to the surface. Since you have to wait until each layer is completely dry, the coating process takes several days or even weeks, requires sanding each layer of varnish. Such a door simply cannot be cheap, but the surface is perfectly smooth, almost mirror-like and very durable..

Regular coatings have 5–15% gloss and high varnish about 80%. By the way, high enamel is an opaque coating of various shades, but in general it is the same high varnish. Such enamel is often used to cover not only the door leaf, but also furniture facades, for example, a kitchen set, which, as a result, will not be afraid of moisture or scratches..

It is because of the peculiarities of the process of applying high varnish and its special chemical composition that doors with such a coating are much more expensive than conventional ones..

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorHigh varnish significantly extends the service life of the door leaf, looks very attractive and original, but the cost of a product with such a coating increases significantly

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doors with glass inserts

Glass inserts in the interior door look incredibly beautiful, allow natural light to enter a dark room, and thanks to the use of bright multi-colored stained glass windows, painting or fusing, such a door will turn into a real work of art.

However, if ordinary glass is inserted into inexpensive doors, then there is a high probability of breaking it and injuring yourself by fragments – it is enough to slam the door hard or hit the glass insert with a children’s ball. Much stronger and safer is tempered glass, which, even if broken under a particularly strong impact, will not crumble into sharp fragments.

The all-glass canvas looks especially stylish, visually expanding the space of the room and without interfering with the penetration of light. It is better to purchase models of two or three sheets of tempered glass, which are glued together with a film, since even with a strong impact, such glass will not scatter into small sharp fragments.

Remember that the all-glass door must already have ready-made holes for the lock and handle, so it will not be possible to make changes during installation.

For a glass door, frames made of aluminum or steel are great, but such doors look too cold, often not fitting into the home interior.

Whether to choose a glass door or prefer a traditional option is a matter of taste for the owners themselves. In general, the operational properties of a triplex door are no worse than those of wood models, and the external parameters are very attractive.

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorThe glass insert in the door looks wonderful, only you should choose tempered glass, for example, triplex, which is particularly durable

5. What types of door hinges exist. Which choice is considered the best

It is the hinges that bear the brunt of the operation of a conventional swing door. It is customary to select the number and type of hinges taking into account the weight and size of the canvas, its type – with a rebate or not, as well as the direction of opening the door.

Most often, card loops are used, that is, the usual “butterflies”, so named because of the external similarity with the open wings of this insect. Cylindrical screw hinges are also used.

Butterfly loops are usually divided into detachable – right and left, as well as universal. Detachable hinges are considered the most convenient, they are easy to install and allow you to quickly remove the door. At the same time, when choosing universal hinges, it is impossible to make a mistake with the opening method.

For rebated doors, screw-in hinges are suitable, in which wide “wings” are replaced by integrated threaded pins. However, the screw hinges are miniature and in order to withstand a weight of about 100 kilograms (this is how much doors made of solid oak or exotic woods can weigh) they need to be installed at least three.

The so-called “heel” loops are also used, which are attached at the top and bottom of the canvas, they are practically invisible and can withstand heavy loads well.

Most often, all hinges are made of brass and stainless steel, they can be coated with a decorative and protective compound.

It can be concluded that the traditional and most common choice is detachable card loops, which are quite reliable and easy to use. Other options are used only with special design features of the door.

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorThe most common type of loops is “butterflies”. If you choose detachable, decide in advance on the type of door opening and buy exactly right or left

6. What are “invisible doors”

Sometimes the owners decide that there is no need to advertise the presence of a door, for example, from the living room to the bedroom. Or they simply cannot find the right option for the style of the interior that they like. In this case, “invisible doors” will come to the rescue, which are perfectly camouflaged, merging with the wall plane when closed..

When installing such an almost invisible door, you should use a special box, without platbands, which is almost completely hidden in the wall.

As a rule, in this case, an aluminum box is used. The minimum thickness of the wall in which the “invisible door” is hidden should be 80 millimeters. Install the “invisible” door before finishing the wall, in order to then plaster, paint and wallpaper the entire surface at the same time. In addition, it is better to use hidden-type hinges to even more reliably “hide” the interior door..

Correctly installed and reliably disguised “invisible door” is a kind of secret entrance that the owners would like to hide from prying eyes.

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorTo create the impression that there is no other way out of the room, “invisible doors” will help, which, when closed, literally merge with the wall due to painting in one color or pasting with the same wallpaper

7. What are the pros and cons of sliding doors

Sliding doors or compartment doors look original, and most importantly – they allow you to save the useful area of ​​the room, without blocking the passage and without taking up space next to the doorway. If the opening is wide enough and it is impossible to block it with a conventional swing door, sliding structures become completely irreplaceable..

A sliding door can consist not of one, but of two or even three wings, which allows you to experiment with space and turn two separate rooms into a common spacious hall.

But sliding doors also have two significant disadvantages – firstly, they are much worse than swing doors isolate a separate room from odors and noise, since they do not fit tightly to the frame of the opening. Therefore, in the kitchen, and even more so in the bathroom or toilet, it is worth installing only swing doors with good insulation indicators. And secondly, the installation of sliding doors is more difficult than installing a conventional swing model, which can lead to additional costs..

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorIn such wide openings, sliding doors are indispensable. Quite often they are made of glass and become an excellent decorative element.

8. How to choose the optimal door opening scheme

Going to the store behind a new interior door, you should think in advance – in which direction it will open. It is easier to do this if you have already decided how and where the pieces of furniture will be located in this and the next room..

If the door opens into a wide corridor and a spacious hall, which are usually not cluttered with furniture, you should choose a door that will open from the room, that is, free up useful living space and occupy the still empty corridor area.

For clarity, it is better to draw a diagram of the proposed location of furniture and outline the radius that will describe the door leaf when opening – the door should not even be partially blocked by pieces of furniture or interfere with free movement around the room.

Sliding doors are usually installed along the wall or in-wall. The first option is much less expensive, and if you would like to remove the door from the living room – well, let it slide along the wall of the next room, especially if there is an auxiliary room there – a hall or dressing room.

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorHow the doors will open – to the corridor or to the room – must be decided at home in order to order or choose the appropriate model. Think about how it will be more convenient for you and draw a proposed opening scheme

9. What doors will provide good sound insulation

The best soundproofing, as recognized by experts, is solid wood doors, heavy, solid and, of course, expensive. Also, good sound insulation at the doors made of an engineering coniferous mass, which are sheathed with MDF, as well as solid chipboard.

The vestibule doors, which include cardboard honeycombs, which perfectly dampen sound waves, also have a good soundproofing effect..

The thicker the door leaf, the better its sound insulation. Inserts in the form of glass or a thin panel significantly reduce the sound insulation properties of the door. Although, if the glass is 6-8 millimeters thick, such an undesirable effect can be avoided.

To improve sound insulation, you should also ensure the minimum gaps in the rebate of the canvas to the box. In addition, you can attach a special brush to the bottom end of the canvas, since this is where the largest gap often remains. The seal installed along the perimeter of the box does an excellent job of increasing the sound insulation properties – in addition, it will provide silent door closing.

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorSoundproof properties of a door are an important indicator of its quality – the door is installed in order to hide behind it from the noise in the next room and to retire

10. At what stage of repair is it worth purchasing an interior door

If the house is undergoing major repairs, then you should purchase interior doors only when the dirtiest and “wet” processes have already been completed. Until this moment, it is impossible to accurately determine the dimensions of the doorways, since work is still being carried out to correct the geometry of the walls, leveling, laying the floor covering or floor screed. The size of the doorway can also be changed by installing a warm floor or laying an additional layer of sound insulation.

But when the time for finishing is approaching, then it’s time to go to the store behind the door, since only after installing it will it be possible to start painting, applying fine plaster or pasting wallpaper.

If the doors were bought in advance, but in the end it turned out that they no longer fit into the changed doorway – remember that you cannot cut a box or canvas, as this will ruin their appearance and will certainly affect the strength.

Be sure to keep the receipt when buying a door and discuss the possibility of exchanging the product.

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorIt is better to go to the hypermarket outside the door after the completion of the rough finishing work, but before the beginning of the finishing work

11. What to look for when choosing a handle and latch lock

It is the door handle that has the greatest load – it is constantly pulled, twisted, pressed … It is not surprising that the door itself may look perfect, but the handle has to be changed. Today, door handles are made from cheap plastic, aluminum and other metals, as well as precious woods, ornamental stones, or even crystal. Elite models can be finished in leather or precious metals.

And yet the best option, not too expensive, but at the same time reliable, is considered to be stainless steel and brass handles. They can be coated with a protective and decorative coating that gives the product a matte or glossy shine, imitating gold, copper, chrome, silver or bronze. Spraying a special composition on the surface of the handle will significantly extend the life of the product.

Handles should be matched to the style of room decoration – manufacturers offer a variety of options – from high-tech to baroque, as well as the color of the fittings that are present on the furniture in the room.

As for the latches, they are designed to prevent the door from accidentally opening as a result of a gust of wind or a slight push. It is important that this mechanism works quietly and easily. Experts advise to choose mechanisms with polyamide tongues or magnetic locks, in which impact on the frame is completely excluded..

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorA beautiful and reliable handle will become the main decoration of the door and its most functional element.

12. Which door is better to install in the bathroom

According to experts, if the bathroom is large enough and has good ventilation, then you should not worry about choosing a door at all – any modern option will do..

However, for a small cramped bathroom, where hot steam and humidity accumulate, it is worth choosing doors covered with PVC film or eco-veneer, the excellent performance of which we described above..

If the canvas is covered with ordinary veneer, then the doors for the bathroom and toilet should be additionally protected with several layers of varnish. Such doors will serve for a long time, but you should still take special care of forced ventilation in the bathroom..

12 steps to choosing the perfect interior doorIn a large bathroom with excellent ventilation, and even more so with a window, any doors can be installed, but for a tiny room it is better to choose a canvas covered with an eco-veneer or PVC film

We hope that our answers will help you make the right choice and buy a door that will become a harmonious part of the interior of the house and will serve faithfully for many, many years..

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