Pivot door: features, types, pros, and cons

Pivot door: features, types, pros, and cons

Interior doors have long ceased to perform a purely practical function in the interior. Today, the doors can act as a bright stylistic accent. Such a stylish element can be the pivot doors. This type is distinguished by their fastening method, as well as by the fact that these doors do not open like standard doors but rotate 180°, literally entering the opening without turning the sidewall into a dead zone. This option is perfect not only for compact halls, cramped corridors, or storage rooms but also for living rooms where every millimeter has to be measured when installing furniture near the opening. The pivot mechanism is especially relevant in the case of a narrow distance between two doors.

Besides, pivot doors are an original solution in interior design. The doors can be made in any style and look similar to traditional ones. Still, the fact that the door moves delicately and stands perpendicularly inside the opening gives the structure a certain zest.

Principle of operation

If you install the door leaf in the opening not on standard hinges but on a swing-sliding mechanism, then absolutely every wooden door can rightfully be called a pivot door. The swinging system is simple: the door slides and immediately pivots around its axis into the opening.

The structure consists of a swivel hinge with a roller and a guide with a groove at the door frame’s top. At the bottom, a lever fixes the door leaf in an open vertical position, making the mechanism safe. The pivot system is different because it does not allow the door leaf to sag under its own weight, as is usually the case with classic hinges.

Interior pivot door design options provide a wide field for the manifestation of different ideas in interior design. This system does not impose any restrictions on the material of products or design. The only caveat is that it is not intended for side doors, the weight of which exceeds the maximum load of 130 kg. The gaps between the frame and the leaf are almost invisible, and together with the seals, they contribute to an increase in heat, light, and sound insulation. The complete set assumes a magnetic lock’s mandatory presence, which reliably fixes the door in the closed position.

For an attractive and symmetrical design of the opening, the pivot doors’ manufacturers make edging with a trapezoidal profile. The pivot mechanism allows installation in the opening and with a shift to the wall, and with centering. Moreover, the axis of rotation of the door can be displaced so that when opening, it will be divided into two unequal parts.

The product is delivered to the site already completely ready for installation. The design is complicated, expensive, so only qualified specialists should be trusted with the installation. Moreover, it is essential not only to hang the door leaf correctly but also to adjust it precisely.

Pivot door types

Pivot mechanisms are:

  • Mechanical;
  • Automatic.

The former is significantly inferior in price to the latter. To open the door, you must press the handle. The automatic structure opens as soon as a person approaches the opening.

Due to their design, the doors can open in any direction, left or right, and using the pendulum mechanism, if desired, you can move the sash. In the process of turning, the door will stop perpendicular to its frame and will not go beyond its limits. If the product is of high quality, the opening will be very smooth. The magnetic lock provides a tight fit, which significantly increases the portal’s sound insulation and safety.

Hardware and materials

Both artificial and natural materials are used in the production of rotary doors. The most common are natural wood, MDF, PVC, tempered glass. Plastic door panels are often found.

When installing a door with a pivot mechanism in a particular type of room, it is essential to consider the material type. So, in rooms with high humidity (bathroom or kitchen), installing PVC, plastic, or glass structures will be advisable.

The door leaf with natural veneer looks noble and aesthetically pleasing, glass – visually increasing the space. Only light wood should be used for wooden doors. Each type of door has its advantages for a particular room.

Pivot-fittings are among designers’ favorites because of a stylish appearance, giving the interior more individuality and expressiveness. Its main components are:

  • Magnetic lock;
  • Sealing tape for sound and heat insulation;
  • Swing-and-slide mechanism.


Interior pivot doors come in a variety of sizes. Manufacturers offer both single-leaf and double-leaf models, as well as a wide dimensional grid, taking into account the different layouts of modern apartments. Besides, companies often provide the opportunity to order products according to your measurements.

The door leaf’s width is in the range of 16-30” (40-90 cm), while the height is always the same – 6.9 ft (2.1 mt). Obviously, a wide door leaf with a rather large weight plus the fittings requires a mechanism with a reinforced structure.

Color selection for interior pivot doors

When choosing a shade for pivot-type doors, remember an important rule: the doors should be selected for the interior style and not vice versa. Decide in advance on the color of the walls, floor, pieces of furniture, and only then select the door leaf’ color.

The door traditionally separates two rooms, so the door color should ideally fit into the concept of each or be a bright accent here and there. Most manufacturers offer the possibility to order the desired color from different sides. For example, there will be a light color of the door in the living room and a dark color in the hallway. For a traditional approach to door design, choose an option that matches your furniture, walls, floor, or curtains.

Pivot door pros

The following positions can be attributed to the positive characteristics of pivot doors:

  • Original and stylish look. This door model will look great in a wide variety of rooms, be it small apartments or luxury apartments. Moreover, in addition to being installed in the living room, hall, or bedroom, interior pivot doors can also be placed in the kitchen or bathroom;
  • Heat and sound insulation. Thanks to the brush seals, the pivot doors entirely isolate unnecessary noise and retain heat, thereby creating a comfortable, calm atmosphere in the room;
  • Simple installation. Usually, the door system is delivered ready-made. After unpacking, the door elements only need to be secured. And if you have the appropriate tools and experience, you can do the work yourself;
  • Saving space. Thanks to the special opening mechanism, pivot doors save additional space in the room, which is very important for small apartments. Some manufacturers make to order models of enlarged sizes that can become an element of an interior partition. Such systems are not so convenient because they provide only rotation of the leaf, without lateral movement;
  • Maintaining cleanliness. Tight docking of such doors will prevent dust and dirt from entering the room;
  • The mechanism is ideal for people with disabilities;
  • The swivel design works very smoothly and completely silent.

Pivot door cons

Of the minuses, the following should be noted:

  • Price. An innovative, high-quality system requires a significant investment. Interior pivot doors are produced automatically on special installations. Therefore, their cost is an order of magnitude higher than standard models. In addition to the leaf itself, the price includes numerous fittings and the mechanism itself, which distinguishes the pivot doors from other products. The final cost of the product is also influenced by many other factors: store markup, brand awareness, as well as the assembly of the structure at the manufacturing plant.
  • Low weight. Manufacturers use lightweight materials for almost all products with a pivot mechanism. This is often MDF. For the pivot mechanism to serve for a long time, it is worth abandoning a bulky leaf. Also, you can’t hang heavy objects on the door handles. Observing these simple rules, pivot doors will delight with their excellent functionality and beautiful appearance for many years to come.

Premises for which pivot doors are suitable

Doors with a pivot system are suitable for any premises inside the building. This is not the best option for entrance structures since it does not have a sufficient degree of protection. However, when entering office buildings, shopping centers, you can often see such doors with an automatic mechanism. As a rule, these are four-leaf rotating glass structures.

The interior models are optimal for small rooms, narrow corridors, and other small rooms. After all, their main advantage is the saving of valuable space. A pivot door takes up half the area than a conventional swing door. But this does not mean at all that this option is not for large rooms. Indeed, it is in no way inferior to other types of door structures in terms of functionality.

For a wide opening, the optimal solution would be to install two pivot doors: two leaves with two mechanisms. The door leaves are mounted on both sides of the opening, after which the doors open in different directions, providing free passage.


Door leaves with a pivot system are very convenient in everyday use and do not require any operating rules. But the care methods will depend on the material:

  • PVC, MDF doors can be easily cleaned from dirt with a soft cloth and soapy water. Cannot be washed with detergents with alcohol, acetone, and other solvents;
  • For glass leaf, special solutions are used, which include ammonia;
  • Wooden doors are cleaned using a prepared solution of water and alcohol in the appropriate proportions of 9:1.

It is strictly forbidden to use abrasive products for any type of door due to the risk of scratches. But if such did appear, a particular furniture marker or wax to match the leaf will mask them.

To emphasize a specific design aesthetics or home status – a properly selected pivot door can do everything! The door will always look good in the interior and delight everyone with an original design.

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