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:
Most front doors have a moulded design and can also feature glazed panels to make a half or part-glazed 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 a sleek styling.
Flush doors are most often installed as interior doors but sometimes used as exterior front doors.
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 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.
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 to 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 outside garden space.
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.
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 mid-century onwards and contemporary modern builds.
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 living space.
Bi-fold doors can suit both modern and traditional properties.
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 35mm standard) and a minimum of FD30 rated. This means the door would take 30 minutes for 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.