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What are the differences between Interior Doors and Closet Doors?

We often receive emails and phone calls asking us which doors can be used as closet doors and which can be used for interior doors between rooms.  Many people are concerned that there may be some reason why the same door should not be used in both places.

Hinged doors with wider stiles to hold knobs

Hinged doors with wider stiles to hold knobs

Door Designs

The truth is that all Kestrel designs of closet doors and interior doors are interchangeable.   This means that you can have your interior doors match your closet doors throughout your home.    Something to keep in mind, however, is that some designs may be more practical for certain types of rooms or closets.   Operable and Fixed Louvered Doors for ventilation.  False Louver,  Tongue & Groove and Panel Doors for sound insulation.  Glass and Mirrored doors to help brighten dark rooms.  There are also doors that combine designs to offer a bit of each.

Door Thickness and Stile Width

The stiles of a door (not “style”) are the vertical frame parts of the door.    On interior doors between rooms it is not uncommon to see wider and thicker stiles.  This is because most  locks and door knobs require a hole drilled right through the door.  The thicker door and wider stiles allow this while keeping the door itself structurally sound.  On closet doors the overall thickness and stiles can be narrower since locks and handles are not usually required.

Door Hardware

There are 4 basic types of hardware for doors.  Hinged doors, pocket doors, bifold doors and sliding doors.  With closet doors all 4 types of hardware are used consistently depending really only on how you plan to use the closet.  While with interior doors we normally see hinges it is still common to use bifold, sliding and even pocket door hardware used.  Below are two good examples.

Traditional bifold door hardware is used to separate two rooms within a church.

Traditional bifold door hardware is used to separate two rooms within a church.

sliding louvered doors to lanai

Operable Louvered Doors use sliding door hardware to close off a lanai.

If you are not sure which door designs and options will work best for you please ask us. Give us a call, send us an email or start an online chat. We are happy to help.

Sliding Closet Doors made from Spanish Cedar

Sliding Closet Doors made from Spanish Cedar

Bifold Doors or Sliding Closet Doors; Which Cost Less?
When buying new closet doors most people look for a way to save money without compromising on quality. One way to do this is to consider the cost differences between sliding closet doors and bifold doors.

How Many Doors for Your Closet?
We custom make all of our doors to the custom sizes that you need. The time involved to make an 18″ wide door is about the same as that needed for a 36″ wide door. This means that the fewer individual doors that you have covering your closet, the lower the cost. So if your closet is 72″ wide, using 2 doors, each 36″ wide, will cost less than using 4 doors, each 18″ wide. Since wider doors are typically hung as sliders this does make sliding closet doors less expensive.

bifold closet doors with 3.1/2" louvers

Bifold Closet Doors with 3.1/2" Louvers

What if Bifold Doors Are My Only Option?
If your application requires bifold doors you can still keep costs down. We also offer the 200FD line of bifold door hardware by Johnson that can handle individual doors up to 48″ wide.

In the end it is not so much that sliding closet doors cost less than bifold doors. Instead it is keeping the number of individual doors to a minimum for your closet that keeps the price down.

If you are not sure how you want to hang your closet doors you can read one of older posts: Should I go with bifold or sliding closet doors?. You can also give us a call, send us an email or start an online chat. We are happy to help.

 

arched tongue & groove doors

Arched Tongue & Groove Door

 

Tongue & Groove vs Beadboard for Shutters and Doors
While we are all familiar with flat and raised panel shutters and doors there are other choices when you are looking for something solid. Two popular alternatives are Beadboard and Tongue & Groove.

beadboard -profile

Profile of Beadboard

tongue & groove profile

Profile of Tongue & Groove

Tongue & Groove
The name Tongue & Groove actually refers to the way the boards join together. If you look at the images above you will see how one end has a slot milled in to the wood (the “groove”) while the other end is milled so that part sticks out (the “tongue”). To join the the boards the “tongue” on one piece slides in to the “groove” on the next piece. The design we mill has chamfered edges that give it the look of a “V” where two boards meet up. The nice thing about Tongue & Groove is that it can be milled on to most any thickness of wood so that doors (like the one to the left) or board & batten shutters can be made without any frame.

Closet doors with herringbone pattern

Door style 6162H with partial herringbone pattern

We also offer doors and shutters where the tongue & groove fits within a frame like our 6162H shown to the right.  In this design instead of the tongue & groove running vertically we have it cut at an angle. This way when 2 shutters or doors are side by side they take on a Herrignbone pattern.

 

 

closet doors with beadboard

Style 6570 doors with Beadboard

Beadboard
Our Beadboard is really just a variation on Tongue & Groove. It uses the same joinery method, but instead of  a “V” channel there is a 1/4″ diameter bead running vertically on each face of the wood.  We tend to see more of  the Beadboard design with cottage style homes where it is matched up to Beadboard paneling and wainscoting.

Boards vs Sheets
Something to point out is that our Beadboard and Tongue & Groove panels are double sides unlike most of what is available on the market today. Where the industry standard is to just mill a “V” channel or bead down the face of plywood we still prefer the more traditional method where each board is milled individually to give a more authentic look and feel.

If you are considering designs of exterior or  interior doors and shutters that have Beadboard or Tongue & Groove, but are not sure which will work best for you please ask us. Give us a call, send us an email or start an online chat. We are happy to help.

Tongue & Groove Doors

Tongue & Groove Shutters

Door Photo Gallery

Shutter Photo Gallery

Spanish Cedar Shutters for a Bathroom

Spanish Cedar Shutters are ideal for a Bathroom

Using Wood Shutters and Doors in a Bathroom
When it comes to using wood shutters and doors in a bathroom there are a few things that you need to consider; privacy, ventilation and humidity.

Privacy
Privacy in a bathroom is obviously important to many people. Most styles of doors or shutters will offer some degree of privacy. Louvered Doors offer line of sight privacy while solid interior doors with raised or flat panels, tongue & groove or even frosted glass have the added benefit of sound insulation. For bathroom windows operable louvered shutters have always been a favorite. They can be adjusted to allow as much light in as you want or closed for privacy. How much and what type of privacy you want is up to you but can also depend on whether you need ventilation.

Ventilation
In some cases ventilation is required. If your bathroom has an air return for central air conditioning then you need to to have a bathroom door with ventilation so that when the door is closed the air condition functions properly. Check with your a/c service company to see how much air flow you will need. If you want a door that has privacy with a bit of ventilation you may want to consider some of our combination doors of tongue & grove with louvers.

Louvered Bathroom Doors

Louvered Doors for a Bathroom and Linen Closet

 

Humidity
If it is a full bathroom then you may need to contend with a build up of moisture from a shower as well as water spray landing on the shutters and doors. Having interior shutters and doors that are properly painted and maintained will help prevent any water damage. A better choice is to use wood shutters and doors that are made from Spanish Cedar which is what we use for our exterior shutters and doors. Yet another option is to go with our Faux Plantation Shutters which will not be affected at all by the moisture and also resists bacteria which could form in the bathroom.

operable Louvered Doors for an outdoor bathroom

Operable Louvered Doors for an outdoor bathroom

 

 

 

 

 

If you are not sure which designs of interior doors or shutters will work best for you please ask us. Give us a call, send us an email or start an online chat. We are happy to help.

exterior louvered doors

Spanish Cedar Louvered Doors covering an outdoor laundry for a home in Hawaii

Choosing Utility Closet Doors
When you are looking to buy new doors for a utility closet you need to consider both the requirements that any equipment in the closet might have as well as any other features you would like to see in the doors. Typically this means choosing styles of closet doors that allows the proper amount of airflow while keeping the sound down.

laundry utility closet doorslaundry utility closet doors

style 6162 - 12" of fixed Plantation louvers at the top allow for some ventilation while the rest of the door holds Tongue & Groove for sound reduction.

Utility Closet Doors with Airflow
Many pieces of equipment require a certain amount of airflow to make sure that they do not overheat. This Minimum Airflow will usually be listed in square inches (in²) on the equipment itself or in the owner’s manual. To provide airflow you have three options. The first option is to use one of our fixed louvered doors. As a rule the smaller the louver the more airflow. The next is to go with operable louvered doors. With operable louvered doors the larger the louver the greater the maximum airflow. These allow you to open the louvers fully for maximum airflow or to close them up to provide some sound insulation. The third option is to go with one of our closet door designs with removable trim but instead of using glass or mirror use a decorative wire mesh.

Utility Closet Doors with Sound Reduction
In some cases you are looking to minimize the sound as much as possible. This is easily achieved by going with panel doors, tongue & groove doors or some other type of solid design. You can also use faux louvered doors to match any other louvered doors and shutters in your home. Depending on the equipment you have in the utility closet you may want a combination of sound proofing and airflow. For situations like this we offer a line of doors that have 12″ of louvers at the top for ventilation while the rest of the door is tongue & groove to provide sound reduction.

If you are not sure which designs of closet doors will work best for you please ask us. Give us a call, send us an email or start an online chat. We are happy to help.

 

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