All about door leaves

Clearly: door leaves are the central element of every door - along with door frames and door handles.

But: what types are there? What is it made of and how do you work them? Our guide gives you the answers.

Keeping out sound, protecting against glances, sealing, letting light into the room, dividing rooms or protecting against burglars: Doors can have many functions. The purpose of the door is determined by the nature of the door leaf - the main body of any door. 

Door leaf types: From honeycomb to solid chipboard - from wood to glass

Wooden doors and their door leaves

Door leaves made of wood materials are about 40 mm wide and have either a door rebate or a straight edge. With rebated doors, the edge of the door leaf rests on the door frame, which again rests on the wall. Thanks to a seal in the door rebate, less light, air or sound gets through. Blunt doors have a straight door edge. Whether rebated or butted, the basic structure of the door leaf is always the same. They consist of a center ply, top ply and top layer. There are four different superstructures for the center layer of a door leaf - which determine the many properties of the door:


Door leaf insert: honeycomb insert

The beehive as a model: narrow-cell, hexagonal honeycomb structures are made from special cardboard. However, doors with honeycomb inserts are not very stable, they almost do not insulate and let sound through well - so they are suitable only if the purpose of the door is purely privacy.


Tubular chipboard as door leaf inlays

Tubular chipboard webs or strips are somewhat more stable than honeycomb inserts: Here, the center layer of the door leaf is assembled on individual strips of tubular chipboard. A small distance between the webs provides somewhat better compressive stability than cardboard or paper honeycombs. Nevertheless, these door leaf inserts are only suitable for doors subject to low stress.


Tubular chipboard middle layer

A continuous panel of chipboard with horizontally drilled holes provides high surface stability and surface smoothness. They are the first choice for high-quality interior doors in apartments or houses. Doors with tubular chipboard as door leaf inserts can withstand heavier loads.


Solid chipboard doors

If the middle layer of the door leaf consists of a complete chipboard, the door becomes heavier, but also stronger and more resilient. This in turn means good insulating performance against sound, odors and cold - ideal for functional doors such as entrance doors.


CPL and HPL door leaves

Doors made of laminate? There are: They consist of several layers of paper soaked in resin and pressed together. Doors made of high-pressure laminate (HPL) are up to 40 millimeters thick, while CPL door leaves have a maximum thickness of 15 millimeters. HPL stands for "high-pressure laminate" and CPL for "continuous-pressure laminate" - different ways of manufacturing laminate doors. Both surfaces are easy to clean and, unlike some plastic doors, are lightfast.


Plastic door leaves

Doors made of plastic are durable, stable and easy to clean. The door leaves are cast. The material does not warp. Likewise, plastic has good insulating properties - no wonder many front doors are made of plastic.


How to measure a door leaf?

When measuring, pay attention to whether the door is a blunt or rebated. For blunt doors without a rebate in the edge of the door leaf, measure the height, width and thickness of the door leaf with a folding rule.

For a rebated door, the outer door leaf dimension is the height and width of the door leaf including the edge.

How to shorten a door leaf?

In general, only experienced do-it-yourselfers should shorten doors - all others are well advised to use craftsmen. Glass doors made of safety glass should not be shortened even by a professional. Because of the stress ratio of the glass, the glass door would shatter when shortened.

Basic rules when shortening the door leaf:

  • Shorten swing doors at the bottom, sliding doors at the top.
  • When shortening doors, it is best to use a precision saw with a guide rail.
  • With a standard length of 1985 millimeters, different types of door leaf should be shortened by different amounts:
    • Honeycomb core insert: maximum 15 mm
    • Tubular strip insert: maximum 30 mm
    • Tubular chipboard insert: maximum 30 mm

Solid chipboard insert: maximum 30 mm

What door panels for the sliding door?

Glass, wood, CPL, HPL and plastic are suitable as sliding door leaves. Particularly popular in the interior: glass, because it brings daylight into any room, connects rooms and that in different looks: clear and transparent, translucent satin or with decor such as engravings. Open sliding glass doors exude a touch of loft character without being obtrusive - on the contrary: they are inconspicuous design elements with a great effect.


Door leaves: are there standard sizes?

The most common dimensions door leaves are 198.5 cm or 211.0 cm in height. The wall opening determines the width. The most common here are 61.0 cm to 98.5 cm for the door leaf width.