Leaded Glass Doors

Leaded glass doors are a great way to spice up an ordinary looking entryway. They provide a classic yet stylish touch to the traditional door, as well as add a unique personalized effect to the overall decor. The front door is the first point of entry for household guests, thus it is always the best place to start renovating or redecorating. The entryway provides visitors and passerbys a glimpse into the personality of a home, and should not be overlooked.

Because first impressions last, many homeowners opt for the elegance and beauty of decorative glass paneled doors. There are many styles of decorative glass, leaded glass doors being one of them, giving homeowners plenty of opportunity to find the panel that best complements the entrance to their home.

What are leaded glass doors?

Leaded glass doors are decorative in nature. They consist of stained glass bevels installed into an insulated or non-insulated leading. Usually the stained glass bevels are the centerpiece of the door, however it is not entirely necessary to install bevels if you wish to have your door leaded in this manner. Leaded glass doors make use of the play of light as it is refracted through the glass. This effect is magnified if you choose to use stained glass.

How are leaded glass doors installed?

Although there are several online instructions as to installing leaded glass doors yourself, it is best to leave the job to a professional, as the task involves meticulous measurements that must be done to a tee. Materials that are needed include: a drill, a jigsaw, a tape measure or square ruler, pencil and screw driver.

First, the size of the glass insert is measured, and the subsequent trace line is cut. The glass frame is used to draw the cut on the door. As there are two sides to a frame, it's important that the outside of the frame is facing up and outward so you end up tracing the smaller side. The measurement is essential to a perfect fit, so it helps to measure more than once to ensure accuracy.

Next, holes are drilled into the corners of the trace line. The holes should be big enough for a juugsaw blade to fit into. Protect the door from the jigsaw by taping the outside of the cut line. As much as possible avoid making any scratches or marks on surfaces that should stay smooth. Ideally, painter's tape is used to avoid any residual buildup on the door.

Once the outline is cut out, one side of the frame is inserted into the hole; usually the exterior frame is installed first. Caulk the frame onto the door; liberal amounts of caulk should be applied, such that it oozes onto the door. This prevents moisture retention in between the frame and the doors. Be careful when handling the leaded glass panels.

What is the metal weld common in a leaded glass panel?

Lead is a relatively soft material, and this is reinforced by a steel bar that is wielded to the leaded glass door panels within the door itself. This bar is the most important feature of a leaded glass door, though probably not on an aesthetic level, it is installed for purposes of structure and solidity. It prevents the lead from popping out, quite literally keeping the whole design in place.

In the event that the weld breaks and no repair is done immediately, be prepared for rattling every time the door is opened and closed, or even slightly moved. Later, the steel rebar will eventually fall off, taking the leaded panels with it.

To fix a weld, paint flux over the current weld and heat with iron. If the door holds, this may be the only thing you might need to do to fix the panel. However, if the weld does not reattach, use iron to strip off as much of the original weld as you can. After applying flux to the clean weld, new lead is soldered to the weld area, and you're good to go.

However, it's best to consult a professional on any problems with leaded glass doors, as attempting to fix it yourself is risky, and may ultimately damage the weld and panels in the long run.

How much do leaded glass doors cost?

The price of leaded glass doors depends on the size of your door, as the panels are sold based on the total surface area. They are available in local hardware stores, though there is also much variety available online. The price averages $205 to $245 per square foot, though it varies by design. Usually installation of the leaded glass doors comes with the price; clarify this with your supplier before making your purchase.