Swinging doors are a style of doors that do not require the use of a doorknob or other device to open and close the device. Instead, swinging doors are mounted with spring loaded hinges that hold the door securely in place but allow persons to pass through the doorway by simply pushing the door open. After the individual passes through the doorway, the swinging door or doors returns to a closed position automatically.
Swinging doors are designed as both full sized doors that completely fill the doorway or as smaller doors that cover only a middle portion of the passage. Saloon doors are an example of swinging doors that generally are not full sized. The saloon door helps to separate two specific areas while still allowing some degree of visibility between the connected areas. Doors of this type tend to be more decorative than functional, as they do nothing to block sound and very little to limit visibility.
Full-sized swinging doors are often employed in restaurants as a way to separate the dining room from the kitchen. At the same time, the swinging doors make it very easy for servers and kitchen personnel to pass quickly and easily between the two spaces. Using doors of this type help to block the kitchen sounds from entering the dining room, and also eliminates the need for servers to stop and close the kitchen door when entering the dining room.
Hospitals often make use of sets of swinging doors at the point of entry for operating rooms and wards where access is limited to authorized personnel. The idea is to create a buffer so that noise from surrounding areas does not filter into the space. At the same time, the use of swinging doors makes it possible to move gurneys from one section of the hospital to another. As with the restaurant application, swinging doors in a hospital help to eliminate the use of time to open and close doors. Those few extra seconds are often critical to effectively treating a patient.
Swinging doors are also popular around the home. A swinging door may be used to separate the kitchen from the dining room. A kitchen pantry may be outfitted with a swinging door, making access to the contents of the pantry quick and easy. French style swinging doors may be employed to enhance the decorating design for a room. Even walk-in closets are sometimes outfitted with doors that allow easy access to clothing stored in the space.
While swinging doors sometimes cost a little more than standard doors, they are often a better option in terms of function. The doors can also provide a degree of visual interest that may be harder to achieve with standard doors.