What is an iron door?

An iron door is a hinged decorative barrier generally made out of metal and glass used to block and allow access to an entrance or within an enclosed space. Most iron doors are handmade by a blacksmith hence the term “wrought iron door”. An iron door can have many design configurations such as a single door, double door, door with sidelights, door with window above known as a transom, or a combination of these options. They are sold in standard sizes or can be custom made to fit any size entryway.

There are many designs for iron doors, but generally speaking, the door consists of a frame, which can be square, arched, or custom shaped. Attached to the frame using hinges there are 1 or 2 panels which are the swinging part of the door allowing or blocking access to the space. Unlike wooden doors, iron door hinges are factory-welded and cannot be moved, or adjusted. An iron door usually has a scrollwork design which varies from lines to circles, to organic, to figures, or even letters.


The design can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical, meaning it can be equal on both sides in the case of double doors or different in each door. Iron door manufacturers can use different materials to build the design, such as square bar, flat bar, round bar, or twisted bar. Furthermore, they can choose from different bar thicknesses such as ¼, ½”, 1” etc. In some cases, sheet metal and pre-made cast iron pieces are used in order to meet the desired design concept.

wine door Morris

In addition to using the scrollwork to achieve the desired design concept, the glass can also be specified in different colors, textures, and shapes. The glass is installed inside a metal frame which is hinged to the frame of the door panels, and sash locks are used to keep the glass panes closed. Operable windows on iron doors provide a safe way to greet an unexpected visitor, as well as easy access for a quick clean-up before welcoming guests. On the other hand, they also work great for ventilating a space while still keeping a locked entrance for safety. Iron doors can be designed to match any style and can bring cohesiveness between interior and exterior spaces.

Closed vs Open glass iron door

Iron doors that are efficiently insulated are built with several elements that work together. Insulated iron doors have dual pane tempered glass. Tempered glass is about 4 times stronger than “ordinary” or annealed glass. When tempered glass is broken, it fractures into little pebbles without any dangerous sharp edges. Now to talk about the dual pane quality of the glass, a double pane also known as insulated glass consists of two glass window panes separated by a vacuum or gas filled space to reduce heat transfer across a part of the building envelope.

Insulated Iron doors should be built using sprayed-in polyurethane foam inside its frame as well as in the edge of the door panels. Furthermore, good weather seals and weather-stripping should be applied to wrought iron doors to prevent air infiltration and to allow for movement with no loss of sealing performance. Finally, there must be a door bottom installed on the lower part of the door which seals the door and the threshold properly to prevent water, air, and or bugs from entering the space. All these elements discussed work together to make an iron door efficiently insulated.


Finally, iron doors can have many types of hardware. They can have a deadbolt together with factory welded iron pulls. Electronic keypads and any hardware model could be installed on an iron door, however always check with your door manufacturer so you can order the correct hardware that works with your door specifications.

The front door to a house or building is important, and it is usually overlooked. If you are considering installing an iron door or having questions about an iron door, feel free to contact us.


About the author:

virydiana vrde pictureVirydiana Rivera is an Interior Designer at VRDE Studio who specializes in custom products such as iron doors, lighting, furniture, among others. She knows how to conceptualize your idea, specify it on construction documents, knows the pros who can build it and the logistics to ship it to you.

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