Are glass bedroom doors a bad idea?

msventouxMay 21, 2012

Does anyone have glass bedroom doors that lead to more public areas of the house? Are they a bad idea if you rarely have overnight guests?

I have two new kittens and an older puppy who seem to be competing with each other as to who can pee on my bed the most often (and nowhere else). The two kittens are locked in their own room when I can't supervise them, and the puppy I'm transitioning from kenneling when I'm not at home to having full run of the house. I know they'll all eventually grow up, but for now I'm keeping the bedroom doors closed.

The problem is that the hallway is really dark as there's no other natural light. I live alone and very rarely have guests who would be using the spare bedroom/office overnight. Plain glass doors seem like they wouldn't really lend themselves to feeling cozy in a bedroom, and I don't particularly like frosted glass, but there's some textured glass doors I've seen that would let in light and obscure the view well enough.

If privacy isn't a huge concern, is there any downside to having glass bedroom doors? Besides doggy & kitty noseprints! There's two bedrooms and a bathroom on this hallway that leads to the living area. I have a very modest ranch house, so maintaining the integrity of the design isn't a huge concern since it's all basic, uninspired builder grade. I also don't plan to move, so resale value isn't an issue. I guess I really haven't seen many examples of this, so I'm not sure if it's a really stupid idea, or just not feasible for most people who have a family or frequent guests.

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I'd wonder about noise traveling through the doors--glass might not insulate against noise as well as a wood door.

They do make doggie gates, similar to baby gates, that would keep the puppy confined and still let you open the door. I don't know if they make gates that would keep kittens confined, though.

Friends of mine built a screen door for one of their bedrooms, to keep the cats out of the baby's room. Just a wooden frame with screening tacked on, and some hinges, and a hook and eye closure.

It just seems to me that changing the doors is an expensive solution for something that you say is a temporary situation. I'd explore other options first.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 6:55AM
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We installed a wood framed screen door made for us when DD came home from the hospital as an infant. Worked like magic. However, it was a necessity, not an option. It was a normal prehung indoor door, but cut out in the top and bottom and screen installed in those places. It looked fine since a woodworking friend works wonders. Definitely kept all animals out of the nursery.

I can't imagine that glass doors would afford you enough privacy if you were entertaining houseguests.

I am not sure what you are trying to do. Are you wanting to add more light, or keep the animals out of your bedroom?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:22AM
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I never have my doors closed, same as your environment. Glass doors would keep an open area feel for you. I'd look at some reuse stores and keep the price low. Doors can always be changed back. These will be heavy though, you would need another person helping.

For privacy when needed, just use some glass panel curtains on spring loaded rods. Easy to put up and take down.

Sounds like your "kids" are playing the Alpha game...who will be in charge? My oldest cat became the Alpha, he loves to walk across the dog when he is napping just to irritate. Dog is a trained companion guy, perhaps too easy to get along with, was surprised the cat came first.

Cat is a sweetheart, has to introduce himself to anyone or anything new that shows up. Sweetheart is my being nice, his thing is to let all know his place in the pack by getting pet first and wanting to sit on laps. Also walking on the keyboard or nudging my mouse hand in the morning to let me know he is "here". I know it is his way of taking ownership, is easy to just brush him away though.

Have never had the problem you are experiencing and introduced many a new animal into the house. My dog was fully trained and a bit over one year old when coming home. So my skills regarding this behavior doesn't give you an answer. Our pets always have different personalities and do whatever leads them.

I would get a big vinyl table cloth and throw it over your bed. Clean well or get rid of anything they have done this to. You are probably going to need a new mattress. Or perhaps do this now as they have marked territory and very difficult to eliminate after the fact.

There are animal people here that may chime in for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: A little info about marking territory

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:36AM
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My neighbors installed glass double French doors in their master bedroom that led out to a hallway right next to the living room.

They were double-glazed exterior doors, which cut down sound transfer. They hung standard door curtains on the inside for privacy. It looked good.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:16AM
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I have relatives with glass french doors between their master bedroom and the living room. They were covered by either curtains or sheers, and you wouldn't know it was a bedroom until the doors were opened. I can't imagine having that many babies all at once! Good luck. :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:27AM
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I like the idea. The light they'd let in would be so nice.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Fori is not pleased

I stayed in a home with French doors on the guest room which was an addition (curtains would have helped...) that looked gorgeous, letting light into a dark hall from a sunny room.

That house also had glass on the upper half of the original bathroom and bedroom door, frosted, along with transoms over all the doors. This was an early 1900s shotgun so it looked right--in a newer home it runs the risk of looking like a doctor's office.

I would do French doors for a builder-style ranch, or a modern solid textures glass style. I think it would be an upgrade, if you do it right.

And I totally understand your dark hall problem as I'm sitting here wondering if glass doors work for a family of four (answer: NO! but I'm still thinking). :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:34AM
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If the main problem is the dark hallway what about using a nightlight in one of the outlets. That's assuming there is one in the hallway.

I also know someone who has a screen door on one of the bedrooms. She has two cats and one has FIV, so she has to keep them separate.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:37AM
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We did french doors on all the bedrooms and the large bath of a project and they hung sheers on the doors. Their kids seemed to need a bit of visual contact and while they would never leave the solid doors closed in their old house, the (limited) view, or knowing that their parent was on the other side of a door that was not solid seemed to work for them, and no more banging on closed doors. (The master bed and the toilet were not visible from the doors). It give you flexibility of how much view you want to allow, you could go with opaque blinds if necessary at some point.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 11:06AM
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In this house I have one guest bedroom/den which has a French door with beveled leaded clear panes. At times I've hung a curtain on it when used as a bedroom. Twice when we've adopted new cats it's become their room for a few days until they get used to other animals in the house.

When we lived in Europe the bedrooms had ribbed glass you couldn't see thru well but allowed light into the hallway.

IMO using doors with glass would work well in your situation altho I think you may need more advice on the pet training issue. Have you joined a pet forum to see what else you might do?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 12:01PM
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Fori is not pleased

I like this idea more and more.

I'm not sure I'd do it just for pets, but I think it could look good.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 12:07PM
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I think it's a great idea...we installed double
glazed 'exterior' french doors in our kitchen.

One door closes off the family room from the
kitchen and the other door closes off the foyer
from the kitchen.

We originally installed these doors to keep our
puppy in the kitchen when we would go out.
It now keeps the grandpuppies in the kitchen
when we babysit them and want to go out.

Exterior double glazed glass doors --do keep the sound out
as well, it blocks out the tv sound from the
family room when I'm in the kitchen watching
something else.

If you do this you will accomplish what you want
to accomplish -- having the light and keeping the pets out.

Because, it's a bedroom I would have a roman shade
on the inside, that can be lowered if you need privacy.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 12:44PM
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Yes. I have an antique, wooden door with a glass window, that was originally an exterior door for the same reason you mentioned. My bedroom is at the end of a small, but dark hallway. I used to have a thin curtain rod at the top where the glass begins and would drape a vintage round doilie (sp?) or short table runner with tatting on the edges over the rod (not curtains or a blind) and it would hang halfway down so you could still see glass and light. Usually a solid fabric, not lace. Altho lace looks nice too. Since remodeling the bedroom a couple years ago, I leave the window undressed because I love the way the room looks now!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 6:50PM
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Thank you so much for the feedback (and picture) everyone! I really do appreciate it.

Replacing the bedroom doors have been on "The List" of things I'd like to do some day. They were pretty low on the list so I hadn't considered changing them out this soon until I saw some glass doors that I liked.

I'm pretty sure it was the girl kitten who was marking on the bed. After trial & error I think it was because she didn't like having to share a kitty box with her brother, even though there were two boxes. There's now kitty boxes in every room and I'd been spraying my bed with Feliway, which all seemed to be working for a few weeks.

Then the puppy seemed to notice for the first time that kittens were allowed on the bed and that looked like a lot of fun, so she jumped on the bed as well. She's not allowed on the bed, so I suspect her marking was either to spite me or to warn the kitten that the bed was hers. The girl kitten and girl puppy don't really like each other all that well, so I think they're in a power struggle to see who gets to be the Queen B. I'm impressing on them now that I am, but I don't want to wash my bedding every day until they get that completely through their thick little skulls.

The "puppy" is actually about 1 1/2 years old. She's been a complete wild child, but she's matured a lot the last few months. She's right on the cusp of becoming a really good dog, but she has her knucklehead teenage moments where she loses her mind.

The mattress is less than two years old and has a really good waterproof mattress cover that seems to be working. I've been washing and spraying everything with enzyme cleaners so I don't think it needs replaced at this point. I'm thinking if the girls can figure out their hierarchy, the bed won't be a problem anymore.

Thanks for the suggestions about screen doors, that's an option I hadn't considered. The vinyl tablecloth is a good idea also. The only outlet in the hallway is where the old big dog lays so he can see the entire house. It's kinda silly, but the outlets have covers on them since he lays right up against it, and the poor old guy has been through enough with the adoption of the others. That's his special spot, and I don't really want to make that area uncomfortable for him by putting a light there.

Plus I like the natural light and as much as I miss cuddling the kittens at night and giving the final evening ear scratches to the dogs, it's been really nice to have a fur and kitty toy free bed. So I'm thinking of seeing if I can find some relatively inexpensive glass doors to give it a try, and if my living situation changes where privacy or noise transfer becomes more of an issue, I can always swap out the old doors.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:38PM
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