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Architraves for Doors: Why Add Them?

November 16, 2018

Not everyone is well-versed in architectural terms. Even the most knowledgeable and well-rounded individuals may find it difficult to tell the parts of a doorway and what their origins are, unless they have a degree in architecture or classical art. For example, ‘architrave’ is not a common name or word that people hears in day-to-day conversations.

For those who aren’t in the know, ‘architrave’ (sometimes mistaken for a ‘skirting board’), or a ‘lintel’ – is the topmost part of the framework wherein a doorway is set. In some cases, it can even encompass the whole framework, and sometimes it can be nothing more than an arch flanked by columns where a doorway or passageway is found.

Sometimes called an epistyle (from the Greek epistylon), it is a very common element of both modern and Classical architecture. But what is it for?

The Purpose of Architraves

People think that architraves exist for no other reason other than mere aesthetics, and while this is mostly true, these actually do serve a practical purpose. In the old days, the façade of a building required a lot of support, especially since buildings and structures were predominantly made from heavy materials like brick and stone.

The architrave was intended to take on the bulk of the weight of the topmost parts of buildings and structures, to effectively even out the weight distribution to both sides of an entryway, which ensured that freestanding buildings could become sturdy and safe.

Today, such structures are rare, but architraves are still put to good use and are added to buildings for the following reasons:

  • • Structural integrity – architraves still fulfil the purpose of providing structural integrity to a doorway. Not only do they ensure that a doorway is essentially stronger, but they also help to buttress the shock that comes from occasional sudden door slams.
  • Practical fixes – door jambs can sometimes be unsightly, and keeping them bare will often result in a much ‘unfinished’ look that can easily be compromised. Installing architraves solves this issue by hiding the door jamb while simultaneously adding a layer of protection to the overall door framework.
  • Aesthetics – architraves generally gives an overall finished appearance to doorways, and can be customised and modified to suit whatever overall design theme or décor a room or building have.

For more information about architraves and custom made doors for your home, please feel free to contact us hear at Shandfield Doors.

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