A blind door is a door that visually blends in with the surrounding wall surface. These doors have no knobs or operating devices that identify them as doors, and may or may not be operational. The terms hidden, disguised, or blank may also be used to describe a blind door.
To help conceal its presence, the blind door must have the same finish as the wall where it is located. This may include paint, wallpaper, paneling, or drapes. The door itself can be made from many different materials, including wood, steel, or plastic. If the door is hung on traditional butt hinges, the frame is typically concealed. Some units may be hung using hidden hinges or pivots, in which case no frame is needed.
Part of the difficulty in designing a blind door is due to the strict safety requirements set forth in many local building codes. To allow for safe egress during an emergency, these openings must generally be equipped with an exit sign. They must also be unlocked in most instances depending on the application.
Hidden doors have many different uses. They can be used to conceal a room from general view, which may be done for privacy or security reasons. The blind door design can also be used to make a doorway less obtrusive, and to keep the door from detracting too much from the room's design or décor. These doors are sometimes used for symmetry purposes as well. If a single, operating door is installed at one side of the room, a disguised door may be used at the other side to keep the room looking symmetrical.
Some blind doors are used for more practical purposes. They can be used to keep dementia patients from escaping a secure space, as they will be less likely to notice the doorway. They may also keep young children from wandering away from a room unsupervised.
One of the primary purposes of these doors is to act as a placeholder for future renovations. If the builder or homeowner plans to add a door or window at a later date, the door can help to conceal wall framing or preparations that will be needed for this new opening. Some blind doors also serve a role in historical preservation, and are kept in place to avoid major changes to buildings with historical significance. In some cases, a blind door is merely a depression that resembles a door in size and shape. It can be left as is or used to conceal framing for future renovation projects.