If you’re looking to inject a little brightness into your interior and provide it with more of an impression of spaciousness, then you’ll almost certainly want to consider French doors. This sort of double-door incorporates two of more glass panels – and thus they can effectively break down the barriers between the different rooms of your home. For this reason, they’ve remained popular since they were first popularised centuries ago, in Imperial France.
Of course, if you buy doors which are too large or too small for the aperture, then you’re going to run into problems – and this is as true for internal French doors as it is for any other design. For this reason, it’s important to measure correctly, and then shop accordingly.
Let’s examine how we might do this.
If interior doors are so big that they won’t fit within the doorway, then you’ll need to resort to trimming down the edges in order to make them fit. Doors (even composite ones) come with an outer edge of solid wood, which allows us to make minor adjustments while fitting. This outer edge is known as the lipping, and can be reduced by as much as several inches before the inner core is encountered, which will ruin the door.
Of course, different sorts of door will come with a more generous lipping, and so you’ll have greater room for manoeuvre once you’ve gotten them into place. The best solution, however, is to ensure that when measuring your door space that you do so carefully and thoroughly ensuring that the door fits properly in the first place.
If your doors are too small for the frame, then there’s relatively little that can be done to correct the problem – since while we can subtract a little bit of wood here and there, adding more is rarely feasible.
If your door is too small, there will be unsightly gaps around the edges – and cold air will be able to pass through relatively unimpeded, making the room draughty.
Provided that you’ve taken some careful measurements before making your purchase, doors are rarely too large or too small all the way around the frame. A far more common problem is for doors to be the wrong shape for the frames they inhabit: in some places they might be slightly too big, while in others they might be slightly too small.
This problem arises when the frame isn’t quite as square as it should be. This will result in the door catching on the top and bottom of the frame before long, especially if the door is made from solid wood. Over time, wooden doors will absorb and emit moisture, and change temperature. These changes will cause the wood to flex and warp, which over the course of months and years will alter the shape of the door. These changes are enhanced in solid-wood doors, but they’re still present in engineered ones, too. Warping can cause the door to expand or contract by several millimetres – which, if you’ve just got a few millimetres to spare on each side, can make the difference between a door sticking and a door swinging freely.
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