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Door Information

Doors Overview

Domestic doors are typically timber or PVCu with some companies specialising in hardwood doors. The number of applications for commercial doors is vast but this section covers them all, from overhead, roller-shutter to shop doors. The database also has a huge number of door accessory and door gear companies. If the product you are looking for is not listed here use the 'SEARCH BOX' below....more

Doors

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Doors Explained

Searching for a door type can be approached in various ways and any door will fall into more than one category.

Doors can be divided into two main groups principally based on size which are industrial /commercial types and personnel doors which are for pedestrian use.

Personnel doors

Personnel doors which are the more extensive group can initially be classified as internal or external doors followed by domestic or non domestic, the latter being a more robust quality. Non domestic doors will be classified by their use ie entrance or exit - probably escape, fire doors, acoustic doors, thermally insulated doors to hot or cold rooms, security doors which may also need to be bullet proof or blast proof or hygiene doors. The above can be sub-classified further by the choice of material, not all of which may be applicable to some uses but may include wood – either hardwood or softwood, metal – the most common being aluminium or steel but could be stainless steel, brass or bronze, plastic or glass. Finally the door can be classified by the method of opening the most common being hinged but could also be pivot, swing, sliding, sliding/folding, sliding/stacking or revolving.

Selection of material and method of opening

Timber is the most traditional material for door construction and offers a wide choice of designs and finish for both mass and bespoke production. Over 60 years ago industrial construction of doors introduced standard patterns made to a series of standard sizes to comply with TRADA and British Standards. These imperial standard sizes of 1'-6", 1'-9", 2'-0", 2'-3", 2'-4", 2'-6" and 2'-9" widths x 6'-6" high now have metric equivalents of 457, 533, 610, 686, 711, 762 and 838 x 1981mm high with thicknesses 1 3/8" and 1 5/8" becoming 35 and 40mm which are still used today for the mass housing market. The door patterns include flush doors with hardwood veneer facings for a lacquered finish or plywood and hardboard for a paint finish or framed doors in a variety of patterns to have glass, plywood or solid timber panels. Hardboard facings can also be moulded to replicate traditional moulded panel doors for painting. Generally internal doors are made of softwood for painting and external doors are made of hardwood as it is more durable. Ledged and braced or framed ledged and braced doors faced one side with vertical tongued and grooved boarding are suited to cottage style developments. They are also available as a stable door design which is as a standard size door split horizontally into an upper and lower panel each of which can be opened independently.

Doors in the commercial market tend to use a metric width range of 626, 726, 826 and 926 x 2040mm high with a thickness of 44mm, or 54mm for doors which need a minimum 60 minute fire rating. There is a wider range of door designs and selection of hardwood veneers, the more popular ones being American white oak, ash, maple, mahogany, sapele beech and birch. Veneered doors are generally lipped on the edges with hardwood to match the veneer. Doors can be lipped to the two vertical edges or all four which can be fixed before the door panel is veneered or after. Laminate facings provide an alternative to hardwood veneer doors or paint finish and offer a more durable surface which is easier to clean and with a wide selection of colours and patterned finishes.

Frames and architraves for the UK market are mostly produced in softwood or hardwood for making up by the joiner, or are available as factory made doorsets with pre hung doors. Pressed steel frames for internal doors are also available but are more popular in mainland Europe.

The versatility of timber and the choice of natural colours and patterns of the wood grain make it a popular choice for the production of bespoke quality doors and the ease with which it can be shaped make it the natural choice for the construction of arched topped and moulded doors for use in ecclesiastic or historic building projects.

Aluminium is the second choice material for the construction of personnel doors, which are usually of framed construction with glazed panels. They are more commonly used in commercial developments for the external entrance doors as part of the window package or internal doors to an entrance hall or a shopping mall where their durability and clean lines are well suited to highly trafficked use. Aluminium doors are also growing in popularity for use in housing and the introduction of powder coating provides an attractive relatively maintenance free finish suited for external entrance doors. In addition the relative strength and stability of aluminium compared with timber enables the construction of patio and sliding folding doors with large areas of glass and relatively slender frames. Entrance doors are either hinged or pivot for a single swing operation or pivot for double swing.

Steel doors are usually selected for their strength and robustness where security is an issue and are generally made as a doorset complete with frame. The gauge of steel and method of construction is designed to suit the level of security

The cost of stainless steel, brass and bronze generally limit their selection to high profile commercial projects and the use for bespoke external entrance doors.

Plastic has been used in mainland Europe for over 50 years but its introduction to the UK was slow to be accepted and generally it is still only used in the housing sector although its low maintenance is making it a more popular choice. The sectional sizes of plastic frames are comparable with timber and for large frames the plastic is available with a steel core to reinforce it.

Frameless doors or glass panel doors need to be made from toughened glass. Frameless may also need to have manifestation markings to comply with Approved Document N of the Building Regulations.

A single leaf personnel door meets most standard arrangements but pairs of doors are more suited to deal with large numbers of people.

Hinges are the most common method of hanging a door but sliding may be appropriate where space is restricted or pivot where the door needs to swing in both directions. Multi-leaf doors in a sliding / folding or sliding / stacking arrangement are useful for sub-dividing rooms for flexibility or as a shopfront to a mall.

Revolving doors allow easy access and egress for steady flows of people, while maintaining a good level of weather-tightness.

Doors may be manually operated or fitted with electrical and remote means of operation.

The different materials can be finished in a variety of ways some of which are suited to a factory application and others by hand which can be carried out on site. Softwood timber can be coated with a wide selection of paints, lacquer or stain to provide both a decorative and weather protective treatment whereas hardwoods are usually coated with a lacquer to enhance the natural beauty of the timbers colour and grain figuring. Natural or coloured anodising was the traditional finish for aluminium but polyester powder coatings now offer a much wider range of colours which are equally as durable, all of which are factory applied. Steel may also be powder coated or alternatively galvanized or hand painted. Plastics are self coloured and finished with a limited selection of colours and textures. Stainless steel, brass and bronze can receive a variety of specialist treatments to provide colour, various grades of polish and texture.

Building regulations

Approved Document B - "Fire Safety", specifies the fire rating of doors, the locations for means of escape and the width of doors on escape routes to suit the building occupancy. It also specifies signage and ironmongery associated with escape doors.

Approved Document M - "Access to and Use of Buildings" specifies the planning and arrangement of doors for those with restricted mobility and the opening force for those with limited strength. It also gives guidance on the arrangement of vision panels and the type and layout of ironmongery. Particular attention should be made to DDA requirements when designing and specifying for buildings with access to the general public and places of employment.

Commercial & industrial doors

These are generally designed to suit a specific purpose and are made in a choice of constructions, material and finish.

Garage doors

Manufactured for the domestic garage market they are made in standard sizes to suit single, double and triple size garages.

Choices of materials for garage doors vary from timber, steel, aluminium, plastic and fibreglass.

Methods of opening include hinged, up and over, sectional up and over, roller shutter, sliding folding or wrap around sliding, most of which can be supplied with electronic and remote means of operation.

Roller shutters

Used both internally and externally, roller shutter doors offer an economic solution to closing and opening, but can be comparatively slow to operate. They generally comprise a roller curtain fixed between vertical guides and an overhead roller axle fixed at the door head, around which the curtain coils and which can be fitted with an optional curtain box for appearance.

The choices of materials some of which have size limitations include steel, aluminium, plastic and wood. The metal curtains can be supplied in a variety of finishes from galvanising, HPS200 Colourcoat or powder coat.

The curtain can be manually operated by chain or electric operated and small curtains can be manually operated with a pole reach. Curtain laths are also manufactured as double skin with a foam insulation core to meet the standards of Approved Document L of the Building Regulations.

Roller shutters can be manufactured to suit a variety of opening sizes for both pedestrian and vehicular use.

Variations include fire shutters with quick release to openings or escalators or perforated laths for security shutters where a view through is required.

Vertical sliding folding doors

Vertical sliding folding doors are a popular type of door to fit vehicle openings made from 500 - 600mm deep horizontal sandwich panels with inner and outer facing of colour-coated steel or aluminium and a foam insulation core.

The door panels are held in side guides and rise vertically or where height is restricted can turn horizontal or to follow the pitch of the roof. The doors can be manual or electric operated and fitted with vision panels. Glazed aluminium framed panels are an option.

Horizontal sliding folding doors

Horizontal sliding folding doors are suited to the largest of openings such as aircraft hangers and where space above and to the side of the opening is restricted. The shutter is formed from galvanised steel, leaves approximately 230mm wide with edge profiling to form a hinge lip and fixed to hinged galvanised steel lattice frame with top track and bottom guide. Some manufactures offer twin skin leaves with a foam insulation core to comply with Building Regulations. Smaller shutters can be manually operated but motorised is recommended.

Specialist doors

In addition to the above there are doors and shutters produced for specialist needs and situations that combine a variety of technologies:

For the food industries there are flexible plastic doors and rubber doors to withstand the passage of forklift trucks or rapid roll doors designed for the passage of vehicles to buildings with a controlled environment.

Buildings in the control of valuables or detention centres for people create a need for high security doors.

Medical and pharmaceutical centres require doors that will maintain a sterile environment or control radiation. Television, radio and music studios need acoustic doors. Rooms and spaces controlling the environment may need louvre doors with a basic or controlled specification.

Ironmongery

Ironmongery can be categorised in a similar manner to doors and is produced in a variety of qualities and materials for domestic and commercial use. There is a wide range of fittings designed to control the operation and security of doors for both internal and external uses. The general supply of ironmongery is for fitting to timber personnel doors as factory made doors usually have the ironmongery pre-fitted.

Door furniture (sometimes referred to as door hardware) is supplied in a selection of stiles and materials including aluminium, brass, stainless steel, chrome steel, bronze each of which are offered in a choice of finishes varying from polished to satin or brush or etched or a combination. Metal handles are also available with hardwood grips or with a polyester powder coat finish. Plastic door furniture offers the choice of bright colours and are a popular choice in public buildings to meet the DDA standards for fitting furniture that are easy to identify for the partially sighted and are warm to the touch. Ranges of black antique furniture and other period designs are also available for restoration works.