Using Saloon Doors for Outdoor Spaces
Are you looking for a stylish way to connect your indoor and outdoor spaces? Saloon doors might be the perfect solution for you. These swinging doors are all the rage right now for creating an open-air feel between rooms. You've probably seen them in restaurants, bars, and cafes, but did you know they also work great for homes?
Can saloon doors be used in outdoor areas like patios or porches?
Yes, saloon doors can absolutely be used for outdoor areas.
These swinging doors are durable and weather-resistant, designed specifically for exterior use. You can find saloon doors in materials like aluminum, steel, and composite wood that stand up well to sun, rain, and temperature changes.
For a patio or porch, saloon doors allow easy access while still providing an entryway. The doors swing in both directions, so you and your guests can come and go freely. You get the open feeling of no door at all, along with the functionality of an actual door when you want privacy or protection from the elements.
Exterior saloon doors also add a fun, rustic touch to an outdoor space. The classic western style instantly gives your patio or porch more character and visual appeal. You can choose from a variety of styles, from simple and sleek to ornate, to complement your home's architecture. For high-traffic areas, look for heavy-duty commercial doors. For residential use, standard weight doors should work great and cost less.
When shopping for exterior saloon doors, check the specifications to ensure they can withstand exposure to the weather. Look for doors treated for UV protection and water resistance. Stainless steel or aluminum hardware is best for outdoor use. For high-humidity climates, choose doors that won't warp, rot or corrode over time.
Types of Exterior Saloon Doors
When it comes to saloon doors for outdoor areas, you have a few options to choose from. The most common are shower doors, single doors, and double doors.
Outdoor Saloon Shower Doors
Shower doors, as the name suggests, are ideal for separating showers or tubs from the rest of an outdoor space. These doors typically come in sizes for standard showers and tubs, allowing easy access while still providing privacy. Shower doors are very durable and weather-resistant, perfect for harsher climates.
Single Outdoor Saloon Doors
A single saloon door is a great choice if you just need to section off a small area or want an entrance to a shed or garage. Single doors come in a range of widths, so you can find one suited to your needs. These doors provide easy access with their double-action hardware but still act as an effective barrier. Single saloon doors hold up well to weather and frequent use.
Double Outdoor Saloon Doors
For larger openings or higher traffic areas, double saloon doors are a stylish solution. Double doors give you flexibility in sizing while maintaining durability. The double doors can either both swing in the same direction or swing in opposite directions, depending on your needs. While double doors do provide a wider opening, their weight means they may require additional hardware for smooth operation and to prevent sagging over time.
With the variety of options, you can find exterior saloon doors suited to any outdoor space. Add in choices of materials, finishes and hardware, and saloon doors offer a customizable entrance solution blending form and function. Your outdoor area will be enhanced by these doors that evoke a touch of the Old West.
Outdoor Saloon Door Materials: Polywood vs. Real Wood
When choosing saloon doors for an outdoor space, you'll need to consider the material. The two most popular options are polywood and real wood. Both have their pros and cons, so think about your needs and preferences to determine the best fit.
Polywood, or recycled plastic lumber, is a great eco-friendly choice. It's made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic that's been recycled from materials like milk jugs, detergent bottles, and plastic packaging.
Polywood doors are durable, weather-resistant, and low-maintenance. They won't rot, crack, or splinter and never need to be stained or painted. Polywood doors come in a variety of styles to suit any outdoor decor. However, polywood can fade over time and may not match the look of a wood deck or patio. It also tends to be more expensive than real wood.
For a traditional look, real wood doors are hard to beat. Cedar, redwood, cypress, and pressure-treated pine are all excellent for outdoor use. Wood doors require more maintenance like staining and sealing to protect from weathering, but many people love the natural wood grain patterns and warmth.
Wood doors tend to be more budget-friendly but are not as durable as polywood. They can warp, rot, and develop cracks over time, especially if not properly treated and maintained. Wood also requires more frequent replacement, typically every 5 to 15 years depending on the type of wood and climate.
Hardware Options for Outdoor Saloon Doors
When choosing hardware for your outdoor saloon doors, you have several options to consider based on your needs and budget. The most important factors are durability and weather-resistance.
Metal door hardware, like brass, stainless steel, and galvanized steel, holds up well to harsh weather and resists corrosion. Stainless steel and galvanized steel are very affordable and low-maintenance. Brass will develop a patina over time but can be polished to restore its shine. These metals are a great choice if your doors will be exposed to a lot of moisture or in coastal areas.
Wooden door hardware, such as oak, teak, and redwood, provides a rustic look but requires more maintenance to prevent warping, cracking, and rot. These woods need to be treated with a weather- resistant sealant and re-sealed periodically. Wooden hardware is best for doors that are covered or in low-humidity climates.
Double-Action or Self-Closing Hinges
For doors that open in both directions or close on their own, use double-action or spring hinges. Double-action hinges allow the doors to swing freely in either direction. Spring hinges have a mechanism that automatically closes the doors behind you. Either of these options provide convenience and hands-free operation.
If your saloon doors exit to a public space, consider installing panic hardware like push bars or crash bars. This hardware allows the doors to open outwards easily in an emergency situation. Panic hardware is required for commercial applications to meet fire safety codes.
The options for door hardware are plentiful. Choose what suits your needs, complements the style of your outdoor space, and fits your budget. With the right hardware, your saloon doors can operate smoothly and stand up well to outdoor conditions for years to come.
Installing and Caring for Your Outdoor Saloon Doors
Once you've installed your saloon doors, taking good care of them will ensure they last for years. These doors are built to withstand the elements, but some basic maintenance will keep them in tip-top shape.
Apply a sealant or weatherproofing product to your doors at least once a year, especially if they're exposed to harsh weather. Products like polyurethane or linseed oil will protect the wood from water damage and prevent warping or cracking. Re-apply as directed to maintain protection.
The hinges, latches, and other hardware on your doors also need care. Lubricate hinges and latches with oil periodically so they continue to move smoothly. Tighten any loose screws or bolts to prevent the hardware from coming loose or falling off. Replace any broken or damaged hardware to keep the doors secure and functioning properly.
Wipe down your saloon doors regularly with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris. For stuck-on messes, you can use a mild detergent but avoid harsh chemicals which may damage the finish. Rinse well with water and dry completely to prevent water spots. For doors with a clear topcoat like polyurethane, re-apply a fresh coat when the existing one starts to look dull to maintain protection.
It's a good idea to inspect your saloon doors at least twice a year for any signs of damage or needed repairs. Check that hinges and latches are secure and functioning properly. Look for cracks, holes, or other damage in the wood or weatherproofing and seal or repair as needed. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage or injury.
With regular maintenance and care, your stylish saloon doors will continue to make a stunning entranceway feature for many years to come. Keeping them in working order and protecting them from the elements is key to their longevity and performance. A few minutes of TLC each season will ensure your doors stay as perfect as the day you installed them.
So there you have it, a stylish and practical solution for your outdoor space that provides both functionality and curb appeal. Swinging saloon doors are a timeless classic that can transform a regular entrance into something special. Whether you're looking to connect a patio to a garden room or want to define an outdoor seating area, saloon doors are a perfect choice.