Creating a near-seamless transition from indoors to out requires a couple of things. First you’ll need a huge wall of glass doors that makes a visual transparency between the 2 sides of this wall. Secondly you’re going to want to have those glass doors open wide and high so, when weather allows, you receive as large an opening as possible.
And then there are the details. Finding this sense of openness and oneness between inside and outside depends a lot on the four borders of the big wall of glass doors — both sides, top and bottom. Here we will look at just the bottom advantage: how to make a floor transition that makes for as seamless an inside-outside relationship as possible.
The very first consideration is where to position the inside and outside floor heights in relationship to one another. To make as smooth and seamless a transition as possible, they should be exactly the same. This is not as easy at it appears.
There’s the matter of maintaining water, ice, snow etc. exterior so the inside stays dry. When it is a seamless transition you are after, you won’t want to step down if going from inside to outside, and you won’t want to have a raised threshold. Either a step or a threshold will make a sense of separation that’s quite pronounced while you are walking from indoors to out.
An extremely good way to make sure water in all its forms is kept outside is to get a deep and full blown overhang. This approach works extremely well when the exterior floor is raised above the floor, such as with a deck.
When the outside area is at floor level, along with the architectural design doesn’t allow for a full-length overhang, a narrow transition strip between indoors and out will likely do just fine. A gravel bed using a drainage channel below can be an efficient method to keep water out of building up and running into the home.
And if you are at it, be sure the terrace has a slight pitch, even though it is just ⅛ inch per foot, away from the home and away from the big wall of glass doors.
Other than aligning floor heights, the style and type of threshold in the door bottom is a critical factor in making a seamless transition. To see to the whole area, indoors and out, as one constant room, make sure that there isn’t any threshold and, when possible, the flooring material used indoors is transported to the exterior.
A superb method of performing these types of transitions is using a lift-slide glass doorway. Using a slot at the floor for the door bottom hardware, these types of doors ensure a minimal quantity of disturbance from inside to out.
Griffin Enright Architects
There will be occasions once the door threshold will be quite large, both in height and width, to comply with building codes or for other factors. For instance, a telescoping glass door that has been engineered to comply with impact resistance evaluations could certainly have a threshold (sill) that is more than 3 inches.
Providing a recess in the floor edge to receive this sill can make all of the difference in how cheaply the transition is created.
John Maniscalco Architecture
There are instances when a threshold is inevitable, whether it’s because of present conditions, the style and engineering of the doorway or a different reason. Keeping that brink low and discreet is key in such instances. You will need something minimal to step over, and something that tends to visually recede into the background. In reality, you’ll want to complete this threshold as you have completed the adjacent floor to make sure it almost disappears.
Are you working on a terrace job? Please tell us how you are handling the brink and share a photograph of your work in advance!
More: Find the Ideal Glass Door For Your Teen