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Should the interior door open inward or outward?

Should the interior door open inward or outward?

When replacing doorways or constructing new ones, many householders often ask the question, “Which way should interior doors open?” In answering this question, it is always wise to first check with your local codes for any regulations that dictate the direction of the swing for certain doors. This “should doors open inwards or outwards” guide by United Porte is more of a logical guide to help you decide when the decision solely lies with the owner of the house.


Interior Door


Should bedroom doors open in or out?

No law determines bedroom doors opening inwards or outwards. With outswing bedroom doors, you get more space in the bedroom and door hinges can be removed from the outside in case of emergency. However, there are more advantages to doors that swing into the room. Firstly, most bedroom doors connect the bedroom to a hallway and inward-swinging doors do not disrupt the flow of traffic within the hallway. Secondly, inward-swinging doors allow for the doors to be barricaded only from the inside. This enhances the security of bedrooms in case of intrusions. You can barricade the door from the inside to protect yourself. In emergencies, having an interior prehung door that swings into the room gives you better control as you can clear its swing space of any blockages.


Should kitchen doors swing inward or outward?

Most kitchen doors connect the kitchen to a hallway or dining room, and most kitchens house both interior and exterior doors. For this reason, it is wise to have interior kitchen doors that swing into the room as this does not affect traffic in the corridors and adjacent rooms like the dining room. In case of an emergency like a fire hazard, there is always an outward-swinging exterior door. However, having kitchen doors that swing inward will either limit the swing path of the door or the space available for features like cupboards and appliances.


Opened Interior Door


Should the bathroom door open inward or outward?

Whether bathroom doors open inward or outward is usually dependent on the location of the bathroom and desired direction of airflow. Although outward-swinging doors could create more space in the bathrooms, bathrooms should have inward-swinging doors instead. First, most bathroom doors lead to a hallway. Outward-swinging doors pose a hazard to anyone walking in the hallway should the door be opened while they are walking past it. Furthermore, inward-swinging doors force air into the bathroom, thereby keeping smelly air from escaping into the hallway or other rooms.

Also, inward-swinging bathroom doors prevent the door from being blocked from outside, and the bathroom inhabitant from being trapped inside the room.  


What determines the choice of the side of the door opening?

The following factors should be considered when considering the side to which a door opens

  • Space efficiency within a room is higher for outswing doors
  • Exposure to common areas such as corridors usually dictates that doors swing inward to not interfere with traffic. As an example, consider French doors leading into a lounge. Do French doors open in or out? Outswinging French doors will block parts of the hallway into which they open, or even worse, could harm any passers-by while the door is being opened.
  • Airflow direction can be controlled by having an interior door swing inward or outward, with inward-swinging doors driving air into the rooms and keeping smells from escaping, as we have seen with toilets and bathrooms.

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