Iron doors are surging in popularity, because they’re extremely durable, require very little maintenance, and look amazing on just about any home.
However, there is one problem that a lot of homeowners experience when they go to purchase an iron door for a residential setting. They don’t know what style to go with to make their home look as good as possible.
There are many styles available for iron doors, and today, we’re going to go over all of them to help you break down which option will suit your home best both functionally and aesthetically.
Let’s get started.
Choosing a Color
This is an easy one to figure out. So, we’ll start with it first. Iron doors are traditionally black. That’s what you’ll see most of the time. However, they don’t HAVE to be black. That just seems to be the most popular option.
The truth is, you can get iron doors in just about any color imaginable. Of course, the manufacturer has to offer it, or the retailer you’re purchasing from has to offer repaint services to change the color to the specific one you want, but most retailers have at least a handful of colors available that they’ll apply to almost every door they sell.
Take a moment to flip through the catalog, find a color you like, and determine whether or not it will match your home’s paint job.
Obviously, you need to use a bit of common sense with this. Pink iron doors probably won’t look great on the vast majority of homes, and other wild colors aren’t great options for everything, either.
You want a color that will look great with your home’s existing color scheme, but you also want to watch out for some of the colors that can make things difficult.
If you live in an area where dust is kicked up a lot, or you have kids that will get handprints all over the door, you probably don’t want to purchase a white iron door or anything else that’s very light in hue. A little common sense will go a long way with this one.
Frame Style is Important
The frame of your iron door is one of the three main aspects that will greatly impact how it looks and functions when it’s installed. If you choose the wrong one, your modern contemporary home might end up with a Victorian-looking doorway that is entirely out of place.
The frame of your iron door is the part that is actually made of iron. Most iron doors fill in the frame with one form of glass or another, and we’ll talk about that later.
First, there’s the more modern design that you’ve probably seen many times on storefronts and around store windows. These are iron doors that are extremely rectangular, don’t have many embellishments, and are minimalistic in nature. This frame type provides all the benefits that iron doors are known for, but they don’t have the visual elegance that you get with something a bit more ornate. This makes them perfect for more modern homes that would look out of place with elaborate door designs. However, you still want to focus on an option that looks more residential instead of blatantly copying the very basic door types you’d find in offices and storefronts.
Then, you have more elaborate door designs that can match a variety of home types without looking too outdated. These are typically separated into three groups.
First, you have the “rectangle”. This is just a rectangular doorway with glass inserts, but unlike business doors, these tend to have some spiraling designs that come in from the outer edges and sort of resemble flowers or stems. These break up the look of the glass inserts and add a sense of luxury to the door. These doors are best when they’re used as double doors; or two doors that work in the same entryway. It gives a luxurious visual appearance.
Then, you have the “archway”. This is a spin on the rectangle style, but it includes a half-oval that connects from about 1/3 of the way from the top of the door on either side. This is purely visual but adds a bit of complexity to the door that the vast majority of people are sure to appreciate. The added level of complexity also makes it more suitable for single-door applications that are more common in the average residential setting.
Finally, you have the “eyebrow”. This is a spin on the archway design. The “oval” curve connects to either end of the door much higher than with an “archway” design, and its peak touches the top of the door’s frame. This creates a sort of unibrow appearance. Whether you go with this or the archway design is entirely up to you, but it is a popular style, and since the extra iron is higher on the overall frame, there tends to be more glass. This can be a good or bad thing depending on what your purpose for the door is.
There are countless minor twists on these core designs, but this sums up the vast majority of options you’ll have. All of them, besides the modern option, typically include the iron “stems” that add elegance to iron doorways. It is worth noting that many rectangular frame styles have cross bars that add visual appeal and structural integrity, and you have a nearly unlimited variety of options to choose from when it comes to how those cross bars are placed and their general shape.
The iron is the only important part of an iron door. You also need to consider the glass inserts that will go into that iron frame. They change the overall appearance of the door, and they change how the door functions in a dramatic way.
You have a nearly infinite selection of glass options to choose from. Brands tend to add their own branding to things and complicate the terminology used, but in general, there are two things you need to consider. How are the panes made and are they fogged or decorated?
The number of panes is crucial. Single-pane glass inserts will break far easier, and they won’t have good insulation qualities. This causes two problems. First, your energy bill will be a lot higher in the long run, and second, you’ll feel it whenever you’re trying to control the temperature in your home
Then, there are double and triple pane inserts. These are thicker, and they solve all the problems of the first option we listed. They’ll retain hot and cold air better, they’re more durable, and you’ll experience lower energy bills assuming you’ve equipped your home with other energy-efficient options. If you want your iron door to last a long time without repairs, you should opt for the thickest, most durable glass possible.
However, that’s not all you should consider. Glass inserts come in both clear and fogged variants. Both have their purposes.
Clear glass is usually cheaper, and it’s not a problem if the entryway has a hallway to keep people from looking into your living area. However, major problems can occur if you have clear glass inserts in a home that doesn’t break up the view of your living room. Anyone who approaches your home can see right in, and even people walking down the street can watch what you’re doing. You can install curtains, but that’s an odd choice on an entryway.
Fogged glass solves that problem. It provides you with the elegance of glass, but it makes sure that people can’t see through. At least, they can’t see anything worthwhile, and everything will look as if they’re looking through fog glasses. The problem with this is that it limits how much sunlight can get through, and sometimes, it can work against you, too.
Fogged glass works both ways. No one can see anything useful inside, but you also can’t see out if you have fully fogged windows. There is a solution to every problem we’ve listed, though. Some windows combine clear and fogged glass for a distinct visual effect while also allowing for better sunlight and visibility. When you choose a “hybrid” style like this, you can usually enjoy a more private home while still having an area that allows you to see who’s at the door without fancy cameras or anything.
Some iron doors are also equipped with non-glass inserts that are far more resilient, but those are typically more expensive, and the affordable ones just don’t look as good as glass inserts.
Finally, there are also decorative inserts available. These typically have stained or otherwise decorated glass that is either clear or fogged to add an insane level of elegance to the overall presentation of the entryway.
The Opening Style of the Door
Finally, you’ll want to consider the opening style of the door. Different doors are designed to open differently, and if you choose the wrong one, you can expect to have a fairly awkward entryway for both you and your guests.
Typically, a right-handed opening inward door is standard. This feels natural, and it’s convenient when you’re carrying things in. However, that’s not the only style of door available.
You can purchase a door with a knob and lock system on either side of the door to correspond to either hand, and it can open inward or outward. All those factors can be combined in a multitude of ways, too.
It’s usually best to make a judgment call on this one.
However, consider functionality problems such as the one we mentioned earlier. Do you want a door that opens outward when you might be hauling a lot of groceries in at once? Do you want double doors that are a pain to deal with when you’re just trying to get inside? Are you left or right-handed, or do you want to cater to the majority of your guests? It’s up to you, but there are points to consider that are completely optional.
On top of that, consider your door frame. Some frames are designed solely to work with inward or outward doors, and the lock systems are likely drilled on one side. Unless you want to drill new holes, you might need to go with a standard option.
Secondary Considerations for Iron Door Styles
These are minor details that we won’t spend much time on, but you should consider them at some point.
These are the iron “stems” and other aesthetical pieces that many residential iron doors have. They usually won’t clash with any sort of home design, but if you have a very unique home, you might want a door that doesn’t have them.
There are various paint types used to protect and add color to iron doors. While either option can come in a large variety of colors, you should research each type of coating in detail to determine which type of paint job will suit your needs best.
If you buy a residential door, it’s highly likely that you’ll just need a door that is the standard size in your country. However, if you have an abnormal or extremely old doorway, you might need to take that into account and buy a special size door. This can limit the number of design decisions you can make.
Iron isn’t just one material. There are several types of iron available. We recommend wrought iron doors for 99% of homeowners, but you might want to research the various differences between the types of iron to see if something else might suit you better.
Where to Buy an Iron Door
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when buying an iron door, and there are a lot of possible combinations you might not have thought about.
Well, you want to buy your iron door from a manufacturer that offers a wide variety of products that are all high quality. This is an investment that will last a lifetime, and you want it to be durable and match your needs exactly.
We recommend Wholesale Iron Doors. They offer a remarkable selection, and everything is at the top of its class in quality.