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Flush Doors Vs Panel Doors: What’s The Difference?

As they enter the world of remodeling a home or simply replacing an existing door, many people come across a basic question that lays at the crux of their door-purchasing decision: What is the difference between a panel door and a flush door, and could the difference matter to my final choice when buying a door?

The Difference Between Panel And Flush Doors.

In the most basic sense, the difference between a panel door and a flush door has to do with how each is constructed.

In a panel door, construction consists of vertical lengths of wood called stiles, and horizontal lengths of wood called rails. The perpendicular junctions of the stiles and rails is where the panels of the doors come to exist, and the number of stiles and rails within the construction of the door will determine how many panels there can be.

In a flush door, is much simpler in its construction. Crafted from one, singular piece of wood, flush doors are typically entirely flat on both sides, which earns them the name “flush” within the construction industry. Now, this does not mean that flush doors cannot be carved, embellished, or otherwise decorated—it just means that unlike a panel door, a flush door will always be manufactured from one, solid piece—and that’s the most elementary difference between these two door types.

Why Might I Choose A Panel Over A Flush Door, Or Vice Versa?

The most common reason to choose a panel door over a flush door is price point. Whether interior or exterior doors, panel doors are almost always in a more affordable category than flush doors. On the other hand, flush doors have their disadvantages, too. For example, many times flush doors do not come with door frames, or when they do, these frames are often costlier than frames that typically come with panel doors as a single sale.

In addition, flush doors are somewhat more popularly sold as bare, meaning they are not finished, varnished, painted, or otherwise protected from the elements. In these cases, flush doors usually must be finished by contractors or other professionals to ensure they match the door frame and the exterior of the home. But for all of what some may see as fuss, many flush doors do come already finished, such as many, many of the models at ETO Doors, and many do come standard with door frames included. Shopping around to find the style and price you want is the best way for you to determine whether the right door for you is one that is panel or flush.

Differences Between Patio Doors, French Doors, And Double Doors

When most people think of patio doors, what comes to mind are the sliding glass doors on metal tracks that became popular during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. For others, a patio door might mean double exterior doors, like French doors with shutters or Roman shades. But, there are many different kinds of patio doors beyond sliding glass and French entryways. The type of patio door that will work best for you depends on your home style, interior and exterior decor, and the overall architecture of the structure where they will be installed. Here are some of the most popular patio door types—you may not have seen or heard of some of these fun, modern, rustic, and other attention-grabbing options!

French Doors For Rear Exterior Use

Many homes are built with French doors as the primary entrance to the back yard, patio, porch, land, or other rear enclosure. French doors are best described as two matching doors that mirror one another. When in use, French doors typically have one door with a handle, lock, and other moving hardware for everyday use. Conversely, the other door stays closed, has no moving hardware, and is kept in place by latch at the base of the door that links to the doorframe, keeping it securely in place. The latch on the non-moving door can be lifted, allowing both doors to open for the purposes of moving in appliances or furniture, or for letting in the breeze on a pleasant spring evening.

The hallmark of most French patio doors is their use of multiple glass panes, usually at least four to eight panes, called lites. Some French exterior doors may just have one, large lite, while others can have as many as 12 lites each. The glass used in quality French exterior entryways is hurricane-grade, impact-rated glass capable of withstanding anything nature—or a thief—can throw at it.

French exterior entryways come in a variety of sizes, but are not individually larger than one, single exterior door in most cases. For the door opening to be larger than the average single door, both doors within a French doorframe would need to be open. Available in a variety of wood types, including mahogany, cedar, pine, knotty alder, and both red and white oak, French exterior doors can enhance the visual appeal of almost any home style, from rustic to ultra-modern. French doors are also available in metal and fiberglass, which can be ideal for warding off burglars and keeping out external noise.

Double Exterior Doors

Double exterior doors go beyond what you might think of as French doors; while they are similarly designed, typically, both doors have moving hardware for daily use. Additionally, double exterior doors used for entry to the patio or back yard are more often made of solid wood, whereas French doors usually have one to eight (or more) panes of glass. Double doors are also known to be larger individually than French exterior doors and louvre doors for exteriors. Often crafted from oak, mahogany, knotty alder, or other wood types, many homeowners prefer larger, solidly crafted double doors over other types of dual-door entries for access to the patio, pool, or deck. Modernly styled double doors are sometimes made with a single, large lite, or pane of glass, which is usually sandblasted or otherwise made less transparent than plain, clear glass. Some glass double doors are made with textured glass, but the highest quality double door models will be fire and impact rated for emergencies and inclement weather, including hurricanes.

Folding Glass Door Systems

Available in double, triple, quadruple, and even larger sizes, folding glass door systems are made for those who truly want to enjoy the view of their exterior. Perfect for larger, modernly architected homes, folding glass door systems turn a rear-facing wall into a massive window. For homeowners with exceptional views of nature, mountains, or other aesthetically pleasing landscapes, large glass installations are a great choice; they can also make the interior of the home look and feel larger.

Some people steer clear of these exceedingly large multi-door systems for fear that they pose a safety risk, but this fear is based largely in rumor and myth. When properly installed, folding glass door systems are no more dangerous than any other type of exterior door. With that said, these large entryways must be installed by a licensed, insured, and bonded contractor. This ensures the safety of the people around it, as these door systems do require specific hardware and other building materials, like reinforced rebar and concrete posts for correct and secure installation.

The best quality folding door systems are made with at least double, if not triple-paned glass to conserve energy, since these systems are so large and allow in so much light. The glass is almost always hurricane-resistant, which means more than what it sounds like: hurricane-impact-rated glass is strong enough to take a direct blow from a chair, a ladder, or even a hammer. So, not only is it safer where weather is concerned, it’s also a great way to stop potential break-ins to the home.

Double And Single Arched Entryways For Exteriors

If your home is rustically styled, you may want to consider arched patio doors. Whether you’re replacing an old door to fit into an arched entryway, or you’re remodeling and prefer an arched door over a square top, there are many excellent options to choose from. The best arched patio doors are both fire and impact rated, and look beautiful with the right kind of architecture and decor.

Available as individual and in double door styles, an arched exterior door for the rear-facing entry of your home can really make both the interior and exterior design pop. Choose a solid wood arched door, or a double arched entryway made almost entirely of glass. Whatever style works for your home, there is an option in arched exterior doors for you.

Custom-Made And Hand-Crafted Patio Doors

Whether you prefer sliding doors, French doors, double doors, or you have your eye on a folding glass door system, any of these options can be custom-made to your specifications. If you have a peculiarly shaped or very large rough opening for your patio entrance, you may want to consider having a door custom-made for your home.

Additionally, when you opt for a custom-made door, you get to choose any embellishments and the type of hardware it will have. You’ll also choose which type of wood it will be made of, whether it will have any glass, and how many lites, if so. ETO Custom Doors are easily designed in four simple steps.

Get in touch with ETO Doors today for help choosing your patio door or any other exterior door, or to design a custom patio door by dialing 1-888-DOOR-ETO. We’ll help you choose a patio door style that matches your home and your budget!

Interior Door Buying Guide For Today’s Homeowner

If you have just purchased a new home, if you’re in the middle of a new build, or if you are remodeling your existing home, you are likely looking for interior doors that will work with your new space. Just as with exterior doors for the outside of your home, interior doors can be hard to figure out, difficult to match, or hard to find at a price that works for the overall budget you have in mind. At ETO Doors, we stock the most popular interior door types to give you a variety of options; but if you are unsure about what you want, let us help you narrow down the selections.

Interior White Primed Doors

If you want to have the freedom to paint or stain your interior entryways in the manner that best matches your decor style and tone, interior white primed doors can be the ideal option for your home. Available in a variety of widths and heights, the interior primed options you will find at ETO Doors represent a wide range in budget options to ensure that you can get exactly what you want for prices ranging from $109 to $409. Looking for a certain number of wood panels or lites (panes of glass) for your interior solid white door? Browse our selection of primed doors to find exactly what you want and find a match for your architecture and interior design style.

Interior Modern Contemporary Doors

If you’re looking more for a specific design and style than a type of wood for your interior entryways, ETO Doors brings you an assortment of modern choices made from a variety of different woods and other materials for you to select from. Choose a modern flush walnut door, a Roman style flush white primed door, a mahogany door comprised of four vertical panes on aluminum, or a totally solid flush door with no panels or lites, perfect for adding your own hardware and embellishments to. When it comes to modern interior doors and ultra-modern door designs, ETO brings you a great number of options to ensure you find exactly what works for the modern or mid-century modern appearance you’re after.

Interior Solid Mahogany Doors

If you’re looking for a door with high endurance for the interior of your home, there’s no better choice than mahogany. At ETO Doors, we bring you a variety of solid mahogany doors, including Brazilian mahogany, all at a variety of price points to help homeowners find just what they need for any budget type. If you want to match your interior doors with your exterior doors, mahogany makes it possible, and ETO Doors puts both within range regardless of how much you want to spend. You’ll find both exterior and interior mahogany doors in a variety of styles and sizes that work for all kinds of exterior and interior design and architecture types.

Interior Solid Walnut Doors

When it comes to interior or even exterior doors, walnut is a wood species with a great reputation for resilience. For the inside of your home, opting for walnut interior doors will give you the look you want at a price you’ll love. You will need to care for walnut doors, which means cleaning and oiling the wood about once a month to maintain the look you want year after year. Walnut is known to stave off warping and splitting better than many other wood types, so if you live in a humid area or deal with a lot of precipitation, walnut may be the perfect wood selection for your residential space.

Interior Knotty Alder Doors

For a warm tone and to match the décor of a rustically designed home, or even a cabin style interior, solid knotty alder doors are a great addition. This solid wood type is able to stand up to a lot of movement in and out of various rooms of the home while maintaining an attractive look for the entryway of your home office, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Because it offers such a singular look, knotty alder is generally the best match for homeowners who are replacing all the interior doors within the home, as knotty wood types typically won’t match other wood species very well. So, unless you want your interior to have a different feel throughout, when you choose knotty alder, choose it for every interior doorway within your home.

Interior Douglas Fir Doors

Douglas fir makes an excellent choice for homeowners looking for versatility in tone, as it allows you to stain or varnish doors in a manner that’s consistent with your existing doors. But that’s not where the advantages end—Douglas fir is a strong, dense wood type that can stand up to years of high traffic and still maintain its attractive look. If you’re looking for an interior entryway for bedrooms, bathrooms, and other areas of the home that get higher than average circulation, interior Douglas fir doors will stand up to the job without challenges.

Regardless of the type of wood you want for the interiors of your home, ETO Doors is proud to bring you a large selection to choose from for a variety of interior design and architecture types. If, for any reason, you are unable to locate an interior door that will work best for your home, simply get in touch with us by dialing 1-888-DOORS-ETO —we can help you browse different catalogs of doors, or get you started with custom designed interior doors that work with your space and style today.