Types of Door

The 12 Types of Doors to Consider for Your Home

Not sure about what type of door to choose for your home? Each door type has its own specific qualities and is best suited to different types of property. We explain them all below.

Types of doors

Do you know a flush from a panel door and a French from a Dutch door?

There are eight main types of entrance door styles and four types of door material. Within these 12 types are many variations that offer a lot of different door types to choose from.

If you are considering replacing your front door, read this guide about the different types of doors and what style of properties they are best suited to.

Firstly, there are eight types of doors in the UK:

Type of DoorDescriptionBest suited to
FlushA smooth finish slabModern homes
PanelMoulded panel finish, can be a 2, 3, 4, 6 or 8 panel configurationTraditional and period
GlazedPart-glazed for front doors, full-glazed for back doorsContemporary or period - Victorian & Edwardian
StableA door in two parts that can open independently at the top or bottomCountry houses and cottages
FrenchA pair of glazed doors that open outwardsTraditional
PatioFully glazed sliding doors in an aluminium frameMid-century or late
Bi-foldFully glazed doors that fold and slide openContemporary
FireIs fire-resistant and takes longer for a fire to burn throughAll where required

Door panel types

Door panel types

Choose the right door type for your home

Find a door style that's right for your home from our range of designs and materials.

Panel door

Panel doors are like the casement windows of doors. Versatile and the most popular and common type of door style in the UK for exterior and interior doors.

Panel doors offer a traditional styling, but can be contemporary in the right finish and colour and will suit all house types.

A panel door features moulded panels in different variations and configurations:

Types of Door

Types of door

Most front doors have a moulded design and can also feature glazed panels to make a half or part-glazed door.

Flush door

A flush door is the most simple design of door with a plain surface on both sides.

Flush doors are contemporary in their styling and can look stunning if finished in a quality wooden veneer such as Oak.

Best suited to modern homes that want sleek styling.

Flush doors are most often installed as interior doors but are sometimes used as exterior front doors.

Stable Door

Stable door (Dutch door)

A stable door, also known as a Dutch door in the US, or a half door is a door split into two parts. The full door can be opened, or the top or bottom half can be opened independently.

The stable door is a centuries-old style that is found in rural properties and especially cottages.

The door could be opened at the top to allow ventilation of the house whilst keeping animals out or children in. It would also stop dirt from blowing into the kitchen from a farmyard.

A popular style for country properties, especially as a kitchen door to allow a connection with the outside.

Glazed doors

The benefit of a glazed door is that it can allow natural light into a dark hallway or entrance area. Obscure frosted glass maintains privacy and toughened or laminated glass offers secure protection against accidental or intentional breaks.

A fully glazed door offers an ultra-modern feel and is usually only seen in a contemporary style property.

It’s more common to see part or half-glazed front doors and these styles are most suitable for traditional properties.

A two-panel glazed internal door was popular in Victorian houses with patterned glass often used for bathrooms.

Edwardian and Victorian houses also featured glazing in their front doors, usually a two-panel configuration with elaborate patterned stained glass.

A front door with a glazed portal is very common and allows visibility of who is at the door before opening. The portal allows some light into the entrance hall whilst maintaining some privacy.

A half-glazed door is more popular as a back door to allow a view of the outside garden space.

French Doors

French doors

French doors consist of a pair of glazed double doors that open from the centre outwards without a central mullion. Once the doors are open, this allows a large aperture opening with unobstructed views.

Technically, a French door is a single door of glazed panels. A pair of french doors are known as French windows. Although, they are commonly referred to as French doors.

French doors were designed in the seventeenth century in Renaissance France to allow light to flood into a room. Initially used as interior doors to make rooms feel more open and then as doors entering into a garden.

French doors add elegance and suit traditional or modern properties.

French doors do require space for them to open in an arc outwards. Most importantly, they need catches or door stops, to avoid any doors slamming in high winds.

Choosing French doors over patio or bi-fold is one of personal preference and for those that prefer the elegant styling and unobstructed views.

Patio Doors

Patio doors

Sliding patio doors began to grow in popularity in post-war UK, influenced by Modernist design. Although the sliding door design is taken from traditional Japanese design.

Whereas Japanese sliding doors feature a paper covering, sliding doors embraced glass to allow walls to have large expanses of glass to flood light into a space.

Patio doors are usually fitted to the rear of houses to allow a connection between the inside and outside spaces, from a living space into the garden.

Sliding doors can be used internally in a house to divide large spaces. Doors that slide into a hidden recess are known as pocket doors and are usually used for bathrooms where space is limited for a door to open.

Patio doors suit most properties but are mostly featured on houses built from the mid-century onwards and contemporary modern builds.

Bi-fold Doors

Bi-fold doors

A bi-fold door opens by panels folding and sliding along a track to sit flat against a wall.

The rise in popularity of glass bi-fold doors over the last twenty years might seem like a contemporary design but folding doors have been around for a long time.

Folding doors have been revealed in excavations in Pompeii which suggests the Romans brought the idea to the UK.

Wooden folding doors have historically been used for garages and stable doors.

Contemporary glazed bi-fold doors allow a large wall of glass to open and extend a living space from the inside to the outside.

Often used in kitchens and conservatories, bi-folds can really open up a space and allow you to enjoy your garden as an extension of your living space.

Bi-fold doors can suit both modern and traditional properties.

Fire door

A fire door is a specialist door of a certain thickness that takes longer for it to burn through in the event of a fire.

Fire doors can be glazed if the glass is borosilicate or ceramic glass.

Fire doors are required to be a minimum of 44mm (compared to the 35mm standard) and a minimum of FD30 rated. This means the door would take 30 minutes for a fire to burn through the door. The standard ratings are 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes.

The front door of a house does not usually require a fire door. However, an entrance door from a garage into a house or a basement door is required to be fire rated. For houses of three storeys, internal doors from the stairwell must be fireproof.

The full regulations for fire doors can be found here.

The 4 types of door material

LifespanLifetime30 years35 years45 years

Timber doors

Timber doors are the oldest type of door that all doors used to be made of (apart from metal).

A wooden door is sturdy and beautiful but does require maintenance to avoid warping or paint peeling.

Timber doors are suited to traditional properties and some listed buildings might have a restriction that only wood can be used for doors and windows.

Timber is versatile and even modern houses would look good with a timber front door, but often a composite or uPVC door is a more cost-effective choice.

A timber front door
A uPVC front door

uPVC doors

When they were introduced in the seventies, uPVC doors were the first maintenance-free choice for a front door.

uPVC quickly became the most popular choice for front doors and many new-build houses began to feature uPVC doors as standard.

The early uPVC doors then suffered from a security flaw as the euro locks could easily be ‘snapped’ to gain access to a property. Improved anti-snap locks solved the issue and modern quality uPVC doors now have locking systems that meet British Security Standards.

uPVC does vary and cheaper doors of inferior quality materials can warp and discolour over time. A quality uPVC door should last 30-35 years with little maintenance (apart from adjusting the hinges on a regular basis).

A uPVC door suits modern properties and new builds, we wouldn’t recommend it for traditional or period properties.

Composite doors

Composite doors offer the best features of all types of doors and have become a popular alternative to uPVC as a front door of choice.

Composite doors are made from a combination of materials that makes them incredibly strong and durable. They feature a reinforced steel frame, a hardwood frame, foam core filling and are covered with glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) outer skin.

The result is a door that is energy efficient, secure, weather-resistant and long-lasting.

GRP can deflect the most extreme weather and is used on fishing boat trawlers for its superior resistance to extreme elements.

Composite doors feature a moulded wood grain effect and the durable colour finish that is bonded with the surface offers a door that looks as good as timber but doesn’t need any maintenance.

Composite doors suit any type of property and are the most popular type of door we recommend.

A composite front door
An aluminium front door

Aluminium doors

Aluminium doors are stylish, strong and robust making them a premium choice for an entrance door.

The selling point of aluminium is how durable the material is and how little maintenance it needs. The material will not rust, peel or flake and is resistant to small knocks and scratches.

Once considered cold, aluminium doors have advanced their energy efficiency considerably and Everest uses a polyamide thermal insert to reduce thermal conductivity and reduce condensation.

Glazed aluminium doors can have a slim profile that allows for a maximum area of glass and solid aluminium doors are incredibly strong and secure.

Aluminium doors are the most expensive choice for a front door, but they do have an expected lifetime of 45 years with little maintenance.

Aluminium is best suited to contemporary properties that want a sleek and stylish finish in combination with exceptional robust qualities.

What type of door is best for my home?

If you are considering replacing your front door, all these choices might seem overwhelming, but a few simple questions will help you find the perfect front door for you.

How durable do you want your door to be?

Do you want a door that will have a considerable lifespan, or are you more interested in the style and look of the door?

  • uPVC – the least robust material with a lifespan of around 30 years
  • Composite - a GRP door should have a lifetime of 35 years
  • Timber - can last for a lifetime but needs constant maintenance every few years
  • Aluminium - the most robust material with a lifespan of at least 45 years

What type of property do you live in?

The most important factor when choosing an entrance door is the style of your house:

  • Period property - avoid uPVC as it might devalue your home. Opt for timber or composite panel doors
  • Contemporary - a sleek aluminium door would best suit a modern home
  • Victorian or Edwardian - a four-panel timber door with two glazed panels of obscure patterned glass
  • Country cottage - a stable door for the kitchen and possibly as an entrance door. Opt for timber or composite
  • Townhouse - a period townhouse looks best with a traditional timber panel door. A modern townhouse suits a composite panel door

Don’t forget to carefully consider the colour of the front door to complement the colour of the brick or stone and window frames.

Are you thinking about a new front door?

Timber Doors →

The classic beauty of timber makes a natural and elegant statement

Composite Doors →

Our premium composite doors boast a robust 70mm thickness for security

uPVC Doors →

With a uPVC door you get high quality, at a reasonable price.

Aluminium Doors →

With aluminium you get high-end styling and a practical, low maintenance door.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • +
    What is the best colour for a front door?

    The best colour for a front door is one that is suitable for the style and age of your property and complements the brick or exterior colour of the house.

    If you intend to sell your house, it’s wise to stick with classic 'safe' colours of black, red, dark blue and dark green.

  • +
    What type of door is cheapest?

    The cheapest type of door is a plain finish white uPVC door.

    The quality of uPVC does vary a great deal and cheap doors can discolour and warp, reducing their lifespan.

    If you are buying a door to last, the investment balanced with the lifespan would make a composite door a cheaper option.

We've made and fitted millions of front doors

At Everest we know about doors and have made to measure perfect fit door solutions with exceptional security and draught proofing