What Is a Divided Light Door?

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Whether they lead into your home, another room, the garage, etc. the number of options you have where doors are involved is really only limited by your imagination. In terms of size, shape, color, materials, knobs and windows, there is no end to what you could do. Yet, many people favor a certain design that has been around for ages. Thanks to a combination of its timeless beauty and obvious pragmatism, a divided light door is always a good way to both fill and decorate any opening.

The General Design of a Divided Light Door

There is no one design that represents all divided light doors . However, there is a general look that typifies the aesthetic. Divided light doors, as the name suggests, are doors with a window pattern that makes a grid formation.

Divided light doors always have more than one window. In order to achieve the division, they usually have at least six windows of equal size on each door. Though this is certainly not always the case, most divided light doors are French doors, insofar as the doors are wide, wood and rest on a hinge. However, more modern incarnations can see divided light doors made out of all manner of materials and plenty swing open from the side or are actually sliding doors.

dld1 - What Is a Divided Light Door?

divided light door

Simulated Divided Light Door

One example of a more modern incarnation of the divided light door is the simulated version. This is actually in reference to the window, however, as the door is still very much authentic.

As you can imagine, it’s quite costly to outfit a door with a number of small windows, separated and framed all within the same material. As such, many manufacturers have found it much easier to simply install one window within the door. Then, they use the exact same material and color to build a framing pattern they place over it (this is known as a mullion). By doing so on both sides and then lining it up, the glass looks as though it’s in six pieces. In reality, however, it’s ever only been one.

The obvious benefit here is that it costs less to make and is thus more affordable to purchase. However, it’s also much easier to clean when you consider you can simply detach the framework, clean the entire window and then reinstall it.

As opposed to the simulated version, the aforementioned type is known as being a true divided light door. Though they cost quite a bit more, the real thing is still very popular these days.

dld1 - What Is a Divided Light Door?

divided light doors

Popular Choices

As I mentioned earlier, there are a whole host of ways divided light doors are manufactured these days. When it comes to simulated divided light doors, many actually have a third pane that sits between the outside mullion and the one inside. This is preferable on doors that lead outdoors in colder climates. This third mullion helps to conserve energy.

Another version of simulated divided light doors involves mullions that simply snap off at will in order to make for easy cleaning. Unlike more traditional versions of the simulated type that might need some cajoling in order to release, these are made to release quickly. This allows the homeowner to either clean the window quickly or simply change its look altogether.

So if you’re in the market for a new door, you certainly have a number of options to consider. However, most won’t be able to boast the type of popularity you’ll find with the divided light door. Whether you choose the traditional or simulated version, you’ll have a remarkable door that is as functional as it is fashionable.