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How to Pick a Bathroom Door

by Bambi Turner

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Open bathroom door

If your current home improvement project involves replacing doors and windows, you may be looking for some help with choosing a new bathroom door. Homeowners face a few special challenges when choosing a bathroom door. Because most bathrooms are relatively small, it can sometimes be difficult to choose the right size and installation for your door. There is also the added concern of moisture and humidity changes in a bathroom that can damage some types of doors. When selecting a door for your bathroom, consider function, aesthetics and cost to help find the door that best meets your situation.

Picking a Bathroom Door:

  1. Choose a material for your door. While wood doors are popular for interior use, they may swell or warp due to moisture and humidity changes in the bathroom. Choose a metal or fiberglass door to avoid these issues, especially if your bathroom is not adequately ventilated.

  2. Consider the swing of the door. Because of the tight configuration of most bathrooms, it's important to evaluate whether the door should swing to the right or left. You want the door to be able to open completely without interfering with cabinet drawers or door handles. The door should not swing into mirrors or windows and should not interfere with entry or egress. Choose a left-hand door if you want the door to swing to the left or a right-hand door if it should swing to the right. Keep this handing in mind when choosing hardware or installing the door.

  3. Determine whether you need a pre-hung unit. These units include a door already hung on a frame. They allow for easy installation and are a good choice when you want to replace the existing frame along with the door. If you plan to keep the existing frame, choose a regular door instead.

  4. Measure the size of the opening. The door or pre-hung unit you purchase should be 1/8 inch smaller than the opening both in length and width. If you are buying a pre-hung door, the width of each jamb should be the same size as the wall thickness in your bathroom.

  5. Compare design options. No matter what material you choose, you'll find smooth or paneled doors. While a six-panel unit is common, there are dozens of other design options available to choose from. If you've chosen steel or fiberglass, you can even find doors embossed to mimic the look of wood grain.

  6. Select a finish. Wood or steel bathroom doors are sold finished or unfinished. You'll often receive a longer warranty and a better finish by choosing pre-painted or pre-stained doors. Fiberglass may be painted or sold with integral pigments that are chosen from a manufacturer's color chart.

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