While often forgotten, the bathroom door is a significant part to any bathroom design. It signals the symbolic boundary between the bathroom and the rest of the house and contributes to the overall bathroom design. Many underestimate the effect a door has on the look and feel of the bathroom and it is worth the time to consider options.
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For older homes or those with rustic details, a solid wooden door might be the perfect complement to the bathroom. A solid wooden door is more dramatic, calling attention to itself as a feature, and should only be used when it will complement wooden features of the bathroom. A wooden door usually feels heavier and may not work well with dark or small bathrooms. Instead of giving the room a sense of gravity and stateliness, it might instead actually make the room feel claustrophobic. Wooden doors tend to have interesting details, however, and are amenable to hanging hooks for towels or art to brighten the room. Also consider the finish to determine how that will affect cleaning and show wear.
Often bathrooms are designed to be compact and a door swinging inward can make an already small space more awkward and frustrating. For spatially challenged bathrooms, one alternative is the sliding door. This style slides the door into the wall as you enter and exit. It has the benefit of using the space most efficiently and alleviating the squeeze between the door and sink or toilet. Because the door must physically fit inside the wall between the bathroom and the outer hall, however, it tends to be built from thinner materials. The door may be made from composite materials so that it is light enough to slide easily. This in turn may not be as aesthetically pleasing and not possess as much presence as other doors; hanging towels, obviously, is not an option. These are, however, usually easier to clean.
For homeowners who have bathrooms with a lot of natural light or who want to give the feeling of openness while still maintaining privacy, a door with frosted glass is a perfect solution. Using a bathroom door either partially or almost completely made of frosted glass allows light streaming from either the bathroom windows or from inside the house to pass. It brightens any room and has the effect of connecting the bathroom to the rest of the house. Because the glass is frosted, it allows users to maintain privacy; the glass, however, may not feel as sturdy as a wooden door, which in turn may make some users uncomfortable. But a glass door will enhance any bright bathroom and highlight reflective surfaces. Cleaning is relatively easy. For owners with small children, this may not be the best choice.
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