Published Nov 13, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Why the Doorglass Frame Matters in Modern Front Door Design

As building industry professionals, it’s vital to understand how much the elements of a home matter to today’s market of homeowners. Much of this market is made up of young professionals who grew up in the age of the Internet. They’re design-savvy, always connected and detail-oriented. They may not know the full architectural history of the home styles they want (or maybe they do), but there is at least one thing they do know: what appeals to them visually.

There’s no way around it — the rise of Pinterest, Houzz, innumerable blogs and other design-focused sites has transformed the way today’s homeowners understand and research home design and has left little room for cutting corners. Details or finishes that may not have been given a second thought a few decades ago can now be the subject of scrutiny by social media users and bloggers, both novice and professional. In a modern world that’s fixated on visual appeal and aesthetics, the smallest details can sometimes have the biggest platform.

We could be here all day getting into the nitty-gritty of residential architecture and design elements large and small, but today we’ll focus on one: the front door.

The Front Door

From a curb appeal standpoint, the front door is a big deal. As the entryway to the home, it’s often the first thing the eye goes to as you look at a home’s façade. Your customers need to be able to offer doors and door components that meet the modern homeowner’s vision. That includes the doorglass frame.

Nearly all modern entry doors feature door glass – be it a small craftsman window in the upper quadrant of the door, or a full-light that covers the majority of the door. The door glass can take on a variety of appearances. Offerings from ODL include clear and low-E glass, decorative glass, enclosed blinds, grilles between glass and simulated divided lights. There’s an option to appeal to any design taste, but to be able to enjoy their door glass of choice, homeowners must also consider the doorglass frame.

The Function of the Frame

The doorglass frame houses the glass. Seems straightforward enough, right? But frames can be manufactured in a couple of different ways. Traditionally, they’ve sat flush to the door and are adhered using a wet glaze and screws. Recent innovations include dry-foam sealants that eliminate the messes and squeeze-out associated with wet glaze. Even more recently, we’ve seen screwless frames that lock into place in alternative ways.

The frame’s job is to hold the door glass securely into place. But it also becomes a prominent element of the door and its appearance. Frames need to fit the homeowner’s aesthetic vision. Part of your responsibility as dealers and distributors is to offer frame styles that meet homeowner demands and preferences, so the builders who purchase from you will have satisfied customers. This means understanding what the modern front door looks like.

Modern Frames for Modern Doors

Like most building elements, the “ideal” front door is subject to trends that change over time. Homeowners today tend to favor clean lines and simplicity over ornate design detail in both their doors and door glass. Recognizing this, door manufacturers started to produce flat-profile frames that would sit flush to the door while continuing to hold the door glass securely in place.

But these flat-profile frames posed a new aesthetic issue: screw holes and screw-hole covers that interrupted the smooth, consistent look that homeowners desired. In beveled frames, screw holes could be hidden in the frame’s topography, but conventional flat frames don’t offer that option.

An innovative clipping system— such as the one designed for our new ZEEL™ frame — can solve this challenge by eliminating the need for screws and screw-hole covers. With ZEEL, the frame can be precisely adjusted to sit flush to the door, streamlining installation and creating a superior seal. Doors often have slight imperfections that prevent other snap-together frames with only preset-adjustment capabilities from sitting flush once installed.

The doorglass frame is there to do a job, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look good while doing it. The clean, minimalistic look achieved by flat-profile frames has made them popular among homeowners because they add security and durability to the door without disrupting the surrounding décor, patterns or textures.

More Than Just A Pretty Face

The look of a frame is important, we’ve established that. But the modern doorglass frame needs to appeal to another demand shared by both modern homeowners and builders: convenience.

Your customers want quick, uncomplicated installation and uninstallation processes. Even better, they want a frame that can be uninstalled without destroying the entire door if the glass inside is damaged or broken. With flush-glazed doors, the whole door is scrapped if the door glass or frame needs replacing. With ZEEL’s innovative clipping system, uninstalling the frame is quick, clean and hassle-free. The ability to replace the frame saves time for your customers and labor and material costs for the homeowners they serve.

In addition to its complementary design and efficient replacement, ZEEL offers additional benefits that can save homeowners time and money in the long term, and meet even more design preferences, including:

  • The clip system improves installation time and effort by 25 percent.
  • The option to paint or stain the frame helps ZEEL either make a statement or blend seamlessly into the entry door, allowing door glass to take center stage.
  • Made with a durable FiberMate Plus™ material that resists scalloping and warping, even in direct sunlight and extreme conditions or when painted dark colors. This means less need for replacement due to environmental wear and tear.

As industry professionals, we should always look for new opportunities to offer solutions for today’s homeowners, who crave convenience as much as they do curb-appeal. Offering products that are both design-considerate and user-friendly to your customers is a great place to start. 

For more information on ZEEL, visit

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