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Entry Door Glass That Is Pretty and Private

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

The front entry of a home is a focal point, so it’s no wonder enhancing it is one of the best ways to amp up curb appeal and property value. A beautiful door that matches the home's architecture is a must, of course, but have you given any thought to making a statement with some glass, too? Whether prominent or used as a subtle accent, glass gives an entry extra style seen from the street and naturally brightens the foyer—a double advantage you’re sure to appreciate. Here are some points to remember to ensure you get all this without sacrificing privacy.

Therma-Tru Doors Smooth Star with Granite Glass

A solid Smooth-Star® door is flanked by full Granite glass lites to dress up the entry while providing the max level of privacy. If you want a similar decorative option, check out Augustine® or Longford, both of which have a Granite glass base.

Specialty Privacy Glass

If privacy is the major concern, you might be tempted to simply choose a solid door and leave it at that. While this is a feasible option, the addition of some kind of glass can still be to your benefit and shouldn’t be automatically discounted. You can remedy a dark entry with a doorlite, sidelites, or transom window without sacrificing your privacy; it just takes some careful placement and glass specifically manufactured to obscure the view.

Shopping for privacy glass might seem like a simple undertaking, but you’ll be surprised by the variety of options that offer different looks. Whether coarse or fine in appearance, each one is fairly consistent—they don’t have any ornamental caming or patterns like decorative glass—so they are simple enough to match any home. If you want to take it a step further than the basics, look into types of glass that have been inspired by naturally occurring, obscuring phenomena. Chord and Rainglass appear to have waves and trickles of water washing down them, while Chinchilla has the kind of flowy opacity common in antique glass, before modern manufacturing techniques could produce clear panes. These would make beautiful complements to a rustic or historical exterior design scheme, proving just how fitting privacy glass can be in the aesthetic sense as well!

Therma-Tru Door Classic-Craft Canvas Collection with Bella Glass

Definitely an intricate choice, this Bella glass on a Classic-Craft® Canvas Collection® entry obscures the view between the inside and the outdoors to a moderate degree. The gently swirled texture of its clear baroque glass complements traditional architecture.

Stunning Decorative Glass

For many, glass in the entry is there for the express purpose of capturing attention. Bold geometric lines, graceful curves, and repeating motifs are created with different types of glass, bevels, and caming, and they produce designs stylistically suited to a great range of architectural categories. While decorative glass is often mentioned in contrast to privacy glass, that doesn’t mean that it is inherently less private. In fact, some varieties obscure the view of the interior just as much as their simpler counterparts, but they do it with additional personality that does wonders for curb appeal.

Check the privacy ratings of the decorative glasses you’re considering if this is an important variable for you. There’s no correlation between this rating and the complexity or beauty of the design; it has much more to do with the opacity of its components. In general, seeded and baroque types of glass are clearer, while hammered, glue chip, and double waterglass offer more privacy. There are many more kinds of glass than just these, of course, including colored varieties, so take the time to find the perfect design for your home. And don’t forget to consider the effects of the different caming options available to you—they can totally change the look of the entry.

Therma-Tru Doors Smooth Star with Satin Etch Glass

With a texture much more fine than that of Granite glass, Satin Etch glass offers the same high level of privacy but is especially suited to contemporary applications, and it helps create a gorgeous glow that highlights the foyer.

Choosing an Entry Glass Configuration

Once you know which characteristics are most important to you, consider the best glass position(s) to help achieve them. The most efficient place for glass that is both brightening and private is above the door, where sunlight can filter down to the floor and it’s unlikely anybody will peek in. Even a large, half-round transom window with a clear decorative glass design won’t leave you feeling exposed. If your home doesn’t have the space for an overhead component like this, the right glass in a sidelite or two, or a door style with a high lite, can also make an impact. The right balance between exposure and opacity will vary based on your requirements as much as your personality; where some people might prefer a partially obscured transom, others would choose to go with a full door lite with privacy glass that diffuses light while completely blurring anything seen on either side.

Luckily, there are resources to help you find the best solution for your home, and you can even consult with a professional if you need some design guidance. The experts at Therma-Tru® Doors have a multitude of entry door systems available, and even more types of glass that can help you build a custom solution for your home. Find a local dealer who can offer advice and guide you through the process to the perfect door design!

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