Pivot doors are a historic design that is gaining new popularity in modern homes. Pivot doors have a distinct appearance and operation that offers some advantages over hinged doors.
Portella, a maker of steel doors and windows and a member of the American Institute of Architects, comments on current home trends. In their view, pivot doors are one of the latest trends in architectural design. With dramatic style and better pivot hinge technology, these doors are poised to appeal to more people.
What are Pivot Doors?
Pivot doors are those that operate on a vertical axis rather than with side hinges. Manufacturers place the pivot hinges at the desired position on the door. This creates the vertical axis on which the door swings. These doors are mounted on a pivot hinge located on the top and bottom of the door. One side of the pivot door is operable. The other side is called the “tail” and is inoperable. When the operable side swings in one direction, the tail swings in the opposite direction.
Pivot Door Hardware
Unlike ancient pivot doors that operated with a continuous vertical axis, modern pivot doors have two hinges. There is a top pivot door hinge and a bottom pivot door hinge that manufacturers place in vertical alignment.
Both the top and bottom hinges are mortised into the door itself. This makes them invisible on the finished door. These are fitted in a floor plate and a ceiling plate. Companies like FitsJurgens are working to improve pivot door hinges that open with the touch of a finger.
The type and size of the pivot door hinges and the physics of the door design will support a much larger door than with traditional hinges. This design also negates the need for a large door frame and threshold. This has distinct design advantages in creating a seamless blending of the door with the surrounding walls.
Materials for Pivot Doors
Fabricators use multiple materials to craft pivot doors. Pivot hinges handle heavy materials well. Pivot doors range up to several tons in weight.
- Wooden Pivot Doors – Most wood pivot doors are made from solid materials. These doors have a warm and textured look as well as great sound insulation. These are used as both interior and exterior doors.
- Aluminum Pivot Doors – Aluminum pivot doors use an aluminum alloy frame with a glass insert. Designers use these for modern, minimal exterior doors and inside large commercial spaces to create distinct areas.
- Steel Pivot Doors – Steel doors are another option for pivot metal doors. Most of these have exterior steel skin with a hollow or insulated core. This is a good option if you are concerned about the weight of your pivot door.
- Glass Pivot Doors – Frameless glass pivot doors are a common choice for shower doors. Frameless glass pivot doors use tempered glass. This means that in the case of breakage, the glass will break into small pieces with blunt edges rather than shards.
- Other materials – Designers and architects have begun pushing the boundaries or pivot door style. Because they are not inhibited by weight, they are using unconventional materials such as marble to create stunning pivot doors.
Pivot Doors Pros and Cons
Pivot doors are becoming popular in both exterior and interior home spaces. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of pivot doors over hinged doors to see if they will work in your space.
- Design – Pivot doors are stunning in style. Architects and Designers use pivot doors to blend into the surrounding walls as there is no need for a door frame with pivot doors.
- Size – Because of the physics of their design, pivot doors can be larger than hinged doors.
- Operation – The weight distribution of pivot doors allows them to operate in a smooth, seamless, and quiet way.
- Customizable – Manufacturers who make pivot doors offer multiple customizable options.
- Simplicity – Pivoting doors have simple and minimal hardware.
- Space – Pivot doors take up much less space than hinged doors as the inswing or outswing is less than the size of the door.
- Sound Insulation – Because their physics and hinges allow pivot doors to be heavier, homeowners can use better materials to create a sound-proof door.
- Cost – Most pivot doors are large and more custom than hinged doors. Therefore, they are higher in price.
- Warping – Pivot doors are more prone to warp over time. This will cause the door to drag and become more difficult to operate.
- Distinct Style – The style of pivot doors does not lend itself to traditional style homes. They are most suited to modern and contemporary design.
- Insulation – Pivot doors are more difficult to weatherstrip than hinged doors. Therefore, these are not as energy efficient. This can be mitigated with doors that swing one way, but it is very difficult to insulate a door that swings in both directions.
Pivot Door Designs
Pivot doors have amazing design advantages over hinged doors. Consider these fabulous designs that we have gathered for your inspiration.
Pivot Front Door
This pivot entry door displays some of the qualities that people love most about pivot doors. It has a massive size to create a grand entrance. Yet, because of its seamless integration into the siding, it does not look out of place in this simple entryway.
Pivot Shower Door
Most pivot doors are used in modern and contemporary design, but pivot shower doors have wider applications. While this pivot shower door in this Michelle Guillbeau design has a contemporary flair, a frameless pivot shower door can also be used in more traditional design spaces. The advantage of pivot shower doors is that they take up much less space in the room than hinged shower doors.
Glass Pivot Door
If you want to create a modern, minimalist entry, pivoting glass doors are one of the best ways to achieve this. This glass pivot door is tall and wide. It opens with minimal force thanks to the pivot hinges attached to the header and floor.
Pivot Patio Doors
Using multiple pivot doors for patio enclosures creates a distinct style. Glass and wood make for a gorgeous combination on these pivot doors. Consider these as a modern replacement for sliding glass doors.
Exterior Pivot Doors
Some designers use pivot doors to separate exterior spaces. In this design, ZeroEnergy Design created this large pivot door to connect the exterior areas of this Boston home. A door this size would not be possible with a hinged closure.
Double Pivot Doors
Double-entry pivot doors will create an even more dramatic effect than a single door. For this Hollywood midcentury home, real door inc. used medium toned double wood pivot doors with a sleek and spare handle.
Interior Pivot Doors
Pivot doors used in interior spaces are out of the ordinary, so they create a distinct and custom look. This pivoting door has a steel frame. It complements this contemporary industrial-style home.
Pivot Closet Doors
Pivoting closet doors have many advantages over hinged closet doors. They operate in a smooth and seamless way with minimal effort. Also, there are no visible hinges which simplifies the design of the closet cabinets.
Pivot Cabinet Door
Pivot doors are an ideal way to create hidden spaces within homes. ArtCraft Home used a pivot door disguised as a bookcase to create this interior pivoting door. The mortise hinges and minimal floor and ceiling plates hide visible pivot door hardware. This creates a “door” with few visual distractions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Where can I pivot doors for sale near me?
You can find pivot shower doors and pivot door hinges available at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes. But these are not the best places to buy pivot doors. Consider specialized fabricators like Modern Steel Doors or Red Horse when beginning your search for a pivot door for your home.
Which is the best kind of door, pivot doors or hinged doors?
There is no best kind of door. Hinged doors have advantages over pivot doors in that they are much less expensive and there are more design options. They also work with a broader range of home designs. Pivot doors have a unique style that creates a dramatic and modern look. Pivot door hinges can support larger doors and they take up less space in the room when you open and close them.
If I have one pivot door in my home, where should it be?
The most effective place to have a pivot door is for an entry door.
How much does a pivot door cost?
According to our survey, the cost for exterior pivot doors begin around $4,500. Interior pivot doors costs range depending on material but the prices begin at around $1,500.
Pivot doors are becoming a popular door style for architects, designers, and homeowners. They have a unique and custom look that appeals to people who are looking for a more minimal door style. They are a more expensive option, so these will not work for everyone. Yet, they are such a gorgeous door style that they are worth considering.