Doors embody the perfect synthesis of aesthetics and security today
Manufacturers are going the extra mile in fusing fine aesthetics with conventional features to create cutting-edge door solutions
The first impression is the lasting impression – and when it comes to homes making a style statement, the onus of making the right impression is on the entrance door. The entrance door lends a charm and character to a home and set the tone for its décor and design. Even as Indian architects and designers are scouting for doors that make a lasting impression, the country’s leading manufacturers are going the extra mile in fusing fine aesthetics with conventional features to create cutting-edge door solutions for the discerning buyers. The result is a refreshing new range of doors — from the vintage wooden and high-end French doors, to new-age metal and composite versions.
When it comes to doors, the styles and designs may change from time to time, but the preferred material for doors continues to be wood. Be it frames, panels or flush doors, wood is the most popular because of its elegant look, durability and strength. Having said that, thanks to the application of composites and metals, doors are now available in a variety of materials, including fibreglass, aluminium, steel, UPVC, glass, wood-panels and laminations.
For a minimalist design, flush doors are the best option for homes. With simple finishes that are smooth, one can have a core material to project the feeling of solid wood doors at a cost that is significantly lower than the conventional wooden doors. Moreover, with space being a constraint in many homes, rooms with sliding textured wooden doors with plain-painted wall in whites, creams or beiges are an emerging trend. Not only are the sliding doors ideal for saving space, they also draw attention to the wall they are installed on and the light colours make the room appear more spacious.
All-weather doors, that can be used even in places where they are exposed to moisture or harsh weather conditions, are also becoming increasingly popular. “At Greenlam, our Mikasa range is a complete package for customised door solutions. The doors, frames and accessories are shipped from the factory as a fully-furnished single door-set,” says Parul Mittal, director, Greelam Industries, adding that customisation is the big pull factor when it comes to doors, be it size, thickness or colour of the doors. These modern door-sets are as durable as they are aesthetically appealing. The smooth laminate surface of the door-set also makes it easy to clean and maintain. Besides, the doors are available in veneer and paint surfaces which require minimal effort to clean and are practically maintenance-free.
A new generation of metal doors with superior finish and aesthetic features are finding increased traction. For instance, the sliding-folding door is one of the most versatile and popular types of door, perfect for every appeal, be it contemporary or traditional. The application of these doors can be both exterior and interior. As the name suggests, the sliding-folding doors that fold outside as well as inside come with large glass panes which are perfect for views of gardens, landscapes and panoramas. “They have wide openings that allow maximum natural light and air into the home,” says Atin Thacker, marketing director, Geeta Aluminium, a company that specialises in marketing, distribution and fabrication of aluminium windows and doors. Bringing his 20 years of experience in the fenestration industry and technical expertise in architectural aluminium and imported fabrication machines, Thacker is driving the innovation and sourcing at Geeta Aluminium to develop unique applications in aluminium. “The aluminium frame for sliding-folding doors is a convenient option since it is slim, durable and low maintenance. It is ideal for both residential and commercial (applications), with benefits that can be divided into strength, aesthetics and longevity,” says Thacker, adding that aluminium not only lends a contemporary, modern look and feel, but is also an environment-friendly material since it is recyclable. Geeta Aluminium customises doors that reflect the colour and finish of one’s choice.
The Geeta Series range has launched a new product in the doors segment known as ‘Slim Doors with Concealed Shutters’, exclusively crafted for bungalows and premium apartments. With features such as two-track and three-track frames, maximum shutter dimensions of 1500mm x 3000mm, maximum glass thickness of 18mm, multiple locking system, maximum load carrying capacity of 300kg and wind load consideration up to 2KPa, these doors are the perfect choice for outdoor as well as indoor usage.
When it comes to installation of a door, it is crucial to ensure that the frames match the door, and this is a point that is often neglected. It is also important to note that the size of the frame and door is accurately measured and cut to fit the room. “One should also be mindful of the fact that the doors and frames should not compromise on the aesthetics, fit and finish,” advises Greenlam’s Mittal, adding that opting for factory-finished doors is an efficient way to address these concerns. Thanks to the UV lacquer and polishing line used in the process that is at par with the latest European processes, the fit, finish and feel of Greenlam’s Mikasa doors is super-premium. They are easy to maintain since the cast for these doors and frames is known upfront unlike traditional methods where it is disaggregated. Being factory finished, these modern doors neither require polishing nor any regular maintenance routine.
Door frames are the members which take the load of the door shutter and bear all the wear and tear. Therefore, while selecting the frame, strength of the frame plays an important role. “When it comes to choosing the frame, the wood used should be a hard wood with good strength to bear the load of the door. One should ensure that the wood used for manufacturing frames is properly seasoned and free from any defects,” says Nikita Bansal, executive director – Doors, Nikita Bansal, adding that the frame should be straight and in plumb, with no bending or warping in the frame. Care should be taken to ensure that there are no dead knots in the wood species used and that the wood is properly treated to prevent borers and termites. CenturyPly has launched WPC (wood polymer composite) door frames, that are strong and 100% borer and termite-free, besides being completely water resistant.
The ready-made era
Over the past few years, the demand for ready-made doors has significantly increased. Given the fact that ready-made doors are easy to install and come with all the accessories including the frame and the door as well, the demand for them has surged. The complete door-set is a natural progression over the outdated carpentry methods where the door and frame were provided separately. The final product is ready-to-install, unlike the conventional method in which the door is installed earlier and is susceptible to damages during the later stages of construction. “Even when it comes to ready-made doors, customers are going beyond the simple doors and are demanding trendy and durable doors,” says Mittal, adding that since the finish decorative veneer and laminate are made in-house, Mikasa door frames and panels have a matching look and feel as well.
With the advent of RERA norms, developers are under increased pressure to complete the projects in good time. “This calls for ready-made and fast solution for each element, and the same goes for doors. We have registered an increase in the demand for finished doors i.e. laminated doors or moulded doors, which are not only ready to install but are also aesthetically superior,” says CenturyPly’s Bansal.
Keeping the noise out
When it comes to premium doors, one feature that is highly rated is the sound-proofing ability of the door. While sound-proof doors are much in demand for recording studios, conference rooms and hotels, the discerning buyers are increasingly opting for sound-proof doors even for homes and offices. These doors with a minimum thickness of 44mm are designed to achieve optimum levels of sound reduction of up to 45RwdB. “There is a niche audience which uses sound-proof doors in India. Perhaps in another five years, we may see an increase in this number,” says Greenlam’s Mittal.
Sound-proof doors are specialised doors and are majorly used in healthcare, educational and commercial buildings like multiplexes, where there is a requirement for sound-proofing. “As compared to normal doors, the requirement is less - but as more and more investment is being done, both by government and private players in these sectors, the demand for sound-proof doors is on the rise,” says CenturyPly’s Bansal.
Safety & Security
While design, style and durability are important factors when it comes to choosing a door, the single-most key factor is the safety and security that a door offers. Doors should be sturdy and be made of high-quality materials, with the finest ironmongery work, to ensure that the door protects the premises. “While doors with in-built safety features are yet to catch on in India, external latches and door handles are provided with door-sets to make it more secure,” says Mittal, adding that their doors come equipped with superior quality locks, latches and door handles. Mikasa also produces fire-rated door-sets that provide a safe exit in case of an emergency, by preventing the spread of fire and smoke and limiting it to a certain level. These pre-hung, fully-certified fire door-sets offer high levels of protection to occupants. Mikasa fire-rated door-sets are available in the options of FD30, FD60, FD90 and FD120 with resistance of 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes, respectively.
The thickness of the doors plays a key role in fire resistance. The normal thickness range for main doors is 1.75in and internal doors is 1.5in. The Mikasa non-fire rated doors are available as single and double door units, in equal as well as unequal sizes, besides the single or double swing or pivot-style doors, in thickness options of 32, 35, 38 and 44mm. The cost varies depending on the thickness of the door.
Meanwhile, speciality door-sets are constructed for areas exposed to high levels of radiation such as hospitals and laboratories and are available with or without vision panels as well. With regards to the thickness of the doors, the height and the width of the door need to be in proportion for the door to function properly. If the height is disproportionately more than the width, the door might have bending issues. Where high-rise buildings are concerned, the guidelines of load bearing are followed. Therefore, for high-rise buildings, builders do not prefer very thick doors.
While a thicker door feels more substantial and secure, it is also better at resisting the impulse to bow or twist or flop around in the jambs. Thickness of the door also determines the size and type of hardware to be used. As far as the security of the premises is concerned, the locks on the main doors play an important role. From traditional locks to present-day digital locks, locks have also evolved along with the doors. Doors can be fitted with traditional locks that can be opened with a key, or even with locks that can be operated through smart devices or voice control.
Doors perform two important tasks: making the right impression and being the first line of security. Therefore, the fact that today’s doors pay equal attention to both and represent the perfect synthesis of form and function, seems to be the natural order of things.