Shedding the Light on French Doors

January 02, 2010

French interior doors have solved many a design dilemma. How can you close off a room while still allowing the light to shine through? French interior doors save the day. French doors are normally double doors that are hinged on the side. There are glass panes that are termed lites in each door, and the lites can take just up a portion of the door or become the main surface of the door.

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The little wood partitions that section off each pane of glass, or lite, is called a mullion. These terms make it just a little easier to choose a French interior door, as often a door could be described in terms of "a 10 lite French door with wood mullions".

While the number of lites in the door as well as the material is normally the first decision in choosing a French door, opening configurations are numerous and present a multitude of choices in the functionality.

French doors were common in the 19th Century as exterior openings onto balconies in larger homes. Normally, only one door opened and closed while the other was stationary. But times have changed and so have needs, so now French doors are offered that include dual hinged doors with various hardware configurations.

French interior doors are perfect for use in kitchens, and they make the most of the natural lighting from exterior rooms and letting it shine into interior hallways. The term for this in the trade is called borrowed light, in which one area 'borrows' the natural light of the other. It helps not only brighten the interior, but can help save on energy costs as well.


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