Doors With Built In Blinds – Interior Uses

By Todd Fratzel on Doors

Door Glass with Built In Blinds

door with built in blindsI’ve written several articles about doors with built in blinds and how wonderful they are for exterior doors like paired French Doors. Today I want to discuss how these same doors can also be used for interior applications.

At work we’re currently in the process of building a large addition for a private school. The principal of the school asked us if there were any door options that would allow for privacy in the classrooms in an emergency situation where the school might be in a “lock-down” mode. I mentioned that we’ve successfully used exterior doors with built in blinds which might make a great option.

Door with Built In Blinds Installed as an Interior Door

In the photos you can see a Therma-Tru fiberglass exterior door with built in blinds. This door has been installed as an entry door to a classroom inside the building.  It may seem a bit strange to install an exterior door in an interior application but there are some benefits by doing this.

  • Interior doors do not typically have an option for glass with built in blinds.
  • An exterior door has the added benefit of sound proofing because of the insulated glass and insulated door slab.
  • Privacy blinds that never need cleaning.
  • Blinds are protected from small children and pets.

Ordering Doors with Built In Blinds for Interior Use

If you’re going to order an exterior door with built in blinds for an interior application you need to be aware of some key issues.

  • Be sure to order the door without a threshold. Most doors can be ordered this way but check with your local building supply company.
  • Be sure to check the wall thickness and jamb size so that it fits properly. In most interior applications you will likely be dealing with a 2×4 framed wall.
  • Select a door finish that will allow you to paint or stain to match the surrounding finishes.
  • Be sure the door is not bored for a deadbolt.

Most manufactures are now offering doors with built in blinds. When inquiring about them you’ll most likely be looking at their French Door collections. These doors also work great for offices and conference rooms.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. El says:

    You did not mention two important considerations that are required by many codes- fire rating for the door and width. Especially in schools and hospitals there are codes requiring a certain width (for access and egress) and fire rating (how long a door can “hold back” a fire). For rennovations, an older door may require enlarging the frame to meet new codes.

    One other concern is the amount and type of volatile chemicals used on exterior doors – does anyone know if this could be problem using them in interior spaces?

    • Todd says:

      El – You bring up important design considerations. For the application mentioned above the doors are being used through walls that have no specific fire rating assembly. These would not meet a fire rating if the wall was a rated assembly. The door make up really isn’t a problem unless it had a high fire spread rating which they do not.

  2. Emma says:

    How easy are the blinds to repair on these? Would love to put some in at my place but worried about damage, would i have to replace to whole door?


    • Todd says:

      Emma – If they get damaged the glass unit that contains them must be replaced not the whole door. I can tell you that I’ve never had trouble with the ones we’ve used from Therma-Tru and Jeld-Wen.

  3. Jin says:


    Do we have a standard thickness of exterior and interior door in States?


  4. Dulce says:

    Are 96in x 96in sliding doors w/ built in blinds available?

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