Choosing the right inside doors for your home is a critical part of your interior design scheme and there are a number of elements to take into account.
We’ll come to materials, hardware and decoration shortly, but first, you need to know what different types of actual doors there are to choose from. The most frequently seen designs are:
Passage doors: These are, by far, the most common style of interior doors and operate via a simple swing open and close mechanism. You’ll normally find that these are wooden doors, made from softer varieties of organic material.
Louver doors: Slim, slatted and more decorative than they are practical in terms of increasing privacy, these doors tend to resemble shutters and are most commonly found in bedrooms and laundry rooms, to hide away closets. This style doesn’t need structural door frames, which makes them extremely popular.
Sliding doors: When space is tight, sliding doors, which open via one panel slipping behind another, are perfect. Open-plan homes often employ sliding doors as simple space dividers.
Bi-folding doors: Usually made from aluminium or wood, these beautiful doors concertina, to offer access to different spaces. These are very popular at the back of a house, to connect to the garden
French doors: Similarly to bi-folding, French doors are often used to connect a house and garden, but more and more people are choosing to install them as room divides as well. French glass doors, with inset-glazed panels, offer a beautiful way to divide large rooms into different functionalities.
Pocket doors: To look at, pocket doors are very similar to sliding varieties, but they slot into wall cavities when opened, making them ideal for houses with little space to spare. These are popular in family homes.
Budget will always play a role when you’re deciding on the style of interior doors you want to install and something that will directly impact on costings is the material composition of different door styles. Typically, you’ll find that there are three varieties:
Hollow-core: These are exceptionally popular when a small budget is available, as they look like wood, but in actual fact, are similar to a thick cardboard in construction. They are light, hollow and easy to hang, but offer little to no insulation or noise barrier.
Solid-core: Similarly to hollow core doors, these ones are relatively cost-effective and look like real wood, but have been filled, usually with recycled material, to give good insulation and a level of noise blocking as well. They have a sturdier feel and can last a long time, if looked after.
Solid wood: The dream for many homeowners is to have solid wood doors everywhere, as they look great, offer maximum heat and sound retention and will last a lifetime. They have a definite sense of class about them too.
As with any DIY project, the rule of measuring twice and cutting once really does apply here, but regardless of how thorough you are, you will normally have to do a little fettling, or expect your carpenter to. If you buy off the shelf doors, you will simply need to buy the closest standard size and adapt the dimensions. You need to conscientiously measure:
The top of the door
The far left hand edge
The far right hand edge
The base of the door
The thickness of your door
While you won’t need locks on every interior door in your home, you will need handles, which should be in-keeping with your wider décor style. Think about the following:
Ergonomic doorknobs: Choose a style of handle or knob and be sure to stick with it throughout your home, for a truly cohesive feel and finish.
Lockable doors: Some spaces will require locks, for privacy. This will include your bathrooms, so decide how many locking doors you need before deciding on a lock style.
Lock styles: If your home is a master class in contemporary aesthetics, you might like to install electronic locking doors, but far more common in the UK are manual locks with keys or simple bolts on specific doors.
For a perfect finish, you are best to hire a professional to install and finish your wooden interior doors, but if you want to tackle some of the process yourself, you can follow these steps, for a beautiful end result:
Star by dusting and washing your doors, to remove any debris.
Wipe over doors with acetone as well, for a perfectly clean starting point.
Sand doors gently, working your way through the grades of sandpaper, to get a smooth and imperfection-free finish.
Condition your doors using a wood-specific oil, stain or paint.