A wine cellar needs temperature and humidity control. Good insulation, a vapor barrier and a climate control system are all major components, but a big part of climate control comes in selecting the right wine room door. The wrong choice can force your wine cellar refrigeration system to work more and allow undesirable warm air inside your wine room, nullifying the rest of your cautious wine room construction and design.

The correct wine cellar door maintains a seal on the entryway when the door is closed, allowing the wine cellar cooling unit to circulate temperature and humidity-controlled air through the total wine room without battling with air leaking into the room from outside the door. Whether you buy a pre-made standard door, or have one built to your desired specifications, all good wine doors have specific qualities that make them perfect for the climate control demands of your wine storage room.

Wine Cellar Door Construction

Custom wine cellar contractors recommend using exterior grade wine doors, which are powerful enough to withstand temperature fluctuations and keep outside air from trickling in. An excellent exterior grade wine cellar door should be weatherproofed and acclimatized to the level of temperature and humidity in the environment where it will be used; the humidity factor should not be ignored when picking a door. The recommended humidity for a wine room falls roughly between 50% and 80%, with 70% being the target level. If a wine room door can't survive 70% humidity without warping or additional issues, it isn't worth the money you paid for it.

Wooden wine doors should have rock-hard construction; by no means use a cavernous door as the entrance for your custom wine cellar. If you use a glass wine cellar door, it should be double-paned to help keep exterior air out. The recommended thickness for wine room doors varies according to who you ask, but the bare minimum you should install for your wine cellar is one and three-quarter inches. If your wine cellar door is accessible to children or if you just want some extra security for your wines consider adding a lock to your door specs.

Wine Room Door Materials

Wine cellar doors are available in a variety of materials; wood, glass, even wrought iron. Options consist of standard doors, carved wood doors or carved wood and glass. You can also get beveled glass doors or wine cellar iron doors.

When purchasing a wine cellar door, the condition of your wine cellar may dictate your purchase to a certain point. Is the wine room already built? Do you need to buy a door to fit your existing entryway? Or do you need a complete set with the door, doorjamb, weather stripping included in a package? Wine cellar doors may come in "door-only" versions or as pre-hung doors. A pre-hung wine room door comes to you installed into a frame which you set up into the entryway. Pre-hung doors speed up the installation process if you are doing the work yourself, but you may need an extra set of hands to help get the door in position and correctly attached.

Some wine cellar doors contain optional wrought-iron attachments which are set up on top of your door once it has been installed in the opening, but these don't have anything to do with climate control issues in your cellar; the wrought iron add-ons are purely decorative. If you add these ornamental designs, it is vital to fasten them securely to the door to eliminate the potential for damage to the lacquer finish of the wood.

Wine Cellar Doors vs. Entryways

Many wine cellar door manufacturers offer custom-designed and built entryways. What's the difference between an entryway and a wine room door? With a custom entryway you are having the entire section of door, doorjamb and related construction included in the package. This can allow for the construction of a more stylish look for your cellar and offer some additional custom options for the area. If you order the door only, you can set it up in your existing entryway, which is helpful for situations where you are already happy with the surrounding wine cellar construction.

Miscellaneous Concerns

Wine cellar doors should come with a threshold, door sweep and perimeter seal. These seals permit the door to be weather-stripped on all three sides to keep out drafts when the door is shut. Weather stripping is a necessity for the entrance to your wine room, or else your wine cooling system works less efficiently and your climate controlled air will move into the area outside the wine cellar.

Are you buying a custom wine room door? You will need measurements of your door jamb or entryway and you must decide whether you want handles or locks. Some vendors will not supply locks or pre-drilling. If you want to install a lock in these cases you will have to do the job yourself based on the design specifications of an exact lock.

Sometimes the direction your doors open might be an issue. When deciding which way your wine room doors should hinge, think about the placement of your wine racking or accessories around the doors, and how wide you need to open the doors should you need to add in a crate or case of wine bottles. If you need more clearance than the inside of your wine room can provide, make sure your doors can swing open to the outside, and don't forget a doorstop or additional add-on to prevent the doors from striking the wall.

A wine cellar door is a significant part to your wine room. Selected wisely the doors can help your wine cellar work properly and create a great first impression to your visitors.

By: Ben Adams

About the Author:

Ben Adams is the marketing director for Vigilant, Inc. a luxury goods manufacturer in Dover, NH. Vigilant is a premier manufacturer of wine cellars, wine racks and wine cellar doors as well as cigar storage equipment. Vigilant partners with homeowners and businesses to create wine storage spaces to fulfill the need for complete and precise protection for collections of fine wine. Please visit them at www.vigilantinc.com for additional information or to learn about any of their wine storage or cigar storage products.

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