Pivot Doors 101: A Comprehensive Guide

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Pivot doors have created a revolt among designers and architects seeking wider access to their structures, and moving away from traditional door systems. For the ones who are wondering what exactly are pivot doors? They are modern-designed doors that open and close with a pivot accessory on the top and bottom space. 

The hinge placement makes them unique in their function and design. These doors are broadly popular due to the openness and flexibility of their design. Furthermore, they have impressed users with their seamless functionality and flamboyant appeal. 

Previously, the manufacturers of these doors were restricted to their design, but nowadays it is possible to make doors up to 1500mm wide and there are specially designed hinges for the same that carry all load. 

Read the guide below for in-depth detail on pivot doors and their advantages & disadvantages, before you choose to install one for your modern project.

Glass Pivot Door Design For A Commercial Space
Image Source: PortaPivot

What exactly is a pivot door?

Pivoted doors have hinges from the top and bottom of the door instead of side hinges. They rotate on a vertical axis instead of a horizontal one due to which they are widely known in the design industry. Away from the traditional take, these doors are now available in a broader range of various materials with personal customization.

Types of pivot doors

In broad terms, there are two types of pivot doors – Offset and central hung doors. As the name suggests, an offset door has a type of hinge that is placed offset to the face of the door, whereas a central hung is placed at the center of the door, making it accessible for users to rotate both ways. The further breakdown of these doors includes:

  1. Exterior Pivot Doors 
Metal Pivot Door Design For Exterior
Image Source: Home Edit

Exterior pivot doors are commonly used at commercial entrances such as malls, offices, restaurants, resorts, and even larger homes. They leave a long-lasting impression on their users. The doors can be customized according to the design needs such as their material, weight and even finishing. Since these doors would be exposed to harsh weather, the seal shall be moist repellent and dust repellent. These should be placed in an easy maintenance area to avoid commercial footfall chaos when a repair is needed. 

  1. Interior Pivot Doors
Glass Pivot Door With Metal Rim For Residential Interiors
Image Source: Iron Wrought Doors

Indoor spaces such as bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, partition areas, break rooms, etc can be finished with interior pivot doors. The finishes and materials can also be decided based on the available space. To complement these doors, they can even be paired with pivoted windows for an enhancing effect.

  1. Woden Pivot Doors
Glass Pivot Door With Wooden Rim Design For Home Interior
Image Source: Archiproducts

The main advantage of wooden pivot doors is that they provide better sound insulation than a glass finish. These noise chancellors add warmth to a space and can be made with teak, oak, mahogany etc. They can be used in both indoor and outdoor areas, provided they are coated with weather resistance for a timeless lifespan.

  1. Metal Finished Pivot Doors
Metal finished pivot door by Evolve India
Image Source: Evolve India

The most popular type of pivot doors; aluminium hinges with a glass inlay is mostly used in office partitions and commercial openings. They are also favorable in commercial hubs due to their transparency and inviting design. You can also opt for a plain, solid pivot door and give it an aesthetic uplift using designer door skins.

How are they different from hinged doors?

Technically, a pivot door usually has a few inches left from where its top and bottom hinges are placed, making it easier for its user to open the door. A traditional door, on the other hand, has a solid frame on both sides of the door frame leaving no space between them. This feature makes it appear a little bulky and creates a squeaking noise after a few uses. 

Villa pivot door design
Image Source: Pinterest

It is not just the hinges and door frame that differentiate a pivot from a hinged one, but they are also more expensive. Pivoted doors cannot be restricted to length and boundaries like hinge doors.

They are extensively used in areas requiring larger footfall access with awestruck front doors, leaving a lasting impression.

What is the purpose of a pivot door?

When it comes to pivot doors, the entire load of the door rotation is transferred to its vertical access, making it possible for users to access larger doors without hassle. Although both pivot doors and hinged doors both have their own unique purposes in the design industry, pivot doors serve a present-day door aura for luxury homes and commercial spaces.


1. Highly aesthetic

Aesthetically pivoted doors do not provide the bulky side door frame, which is seen in a regular hinge door. They also can be customizable as per metal, stone, wood, etc with a wide range of finishes such as transparent, semi-transparent, opaque, or not see-through. 

2. Less noise

Not only does this make an alluring statement, but the sound pollution also reduces as compared to the opening and closing of a regular hinged door.

3. Multiple usages

Due to their modern finish, they can even be used in bathrooms and shower cubicles all while maintaining the vibe of the space.

Office interior pivot door design
Image Source: Archiproducts
4. Easy flow 

For a high-footfall commercial space, one can even get creative by adding two sets of pivoted doors, for extra support and long-term use without worrying about wear and tear. This feature is not possible in hinge doors.

5. Provides a 90-degree angle

Pivot doors can open from both ways, giving it a nice 90-degree angle. These doors divulge an inviting ambiance from both ends.

6. Stability and security

Pivot doors also give designers the freedom to install extremely heavy and large doors without any worrying about their stability. Even in offices when you walk in with your hands full, pivot doors open with an easy push. This at times, might not be the case with the traditional doors.


1. Sealing properties

One of the biggest drawbacks of pivot doors is that they do not seal well as compared to hinged doors, sliding doors, or even sealed doors. They only provide basic sealing to keep the insects and mosquitoes out of your premises. Hence they are commonly used in warmer regions where they do not require heat insulation.

2. Cost

A steel pivot door costs more than a traditional or magnetic door or even a classic latch. The user surely has to pay a price for its technique, installation, and future maintenance. Furthermore, a lot goes behind the maintenance of a glass pivot door’s appeal, as they have to be kept squeaky clean to avoid fingerprints and dust.

3. Safety factor

Although pivot doors may seem alluring to users, the door mechanism takes time to close right after you open/close it, leaving some time for pets or kids to escape from the gap. In such situations when the user puts too much pressure to close the door, it may result in unnecessary pressure on the hinges, resulting in wear and tear on the door, leading to repair and maintenance.

4. The right installation

Pivot doors are always suggested to be installed by experts, a local craftsman who might be unaware of the installation instructions might lead to poorly placed doors and later cost money to replace the same.

5. The design fit

Pivot doors are usually considered to be the right fit for a freshly built space. Old homes with wooden finishes on the other hand have difficulties carrying these modern hinges.

Luxury villa entrance design using pivot door
Image Source: Alugate

Above all else, a pivot door is a great option for homes and commercial places which are seeking larger openings. They make the right fit for a decluttered space.

Therefore, with the latest technology engineering along with a wide variety of finishes and customization, pivot doors mark the top of the list as the most popular choice in contemporary designs.

Note: We at Evolve manufacture exquisite surfaces in the form of wall panels and door skins which can be supplied to projects globally. We are based out of Mumbai, India, and have catered to projects nationally as well as internationally including Dubai, Kuwait, Bahrain, Riyadh, Italy, Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia. Our specialty is working with new-age building materials like liquid metal, decorative textured concrete, and paintable corten steel

We work with architects, interior designers, fit-out contractors, furniture manufacturers, and new homeowners. And are always on the lookout to collaborate with potential stockists and retailers worldwide.

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