French doors are a beautiful addition to any home. They merge indoor and outdoor living, allowing natural light to brighten indoor spaces and welcome cool breezes when open. Double doors also create visual interest, can completely redefine a space, and add equity to a home.
Several components, including locking mechanisms, are required to ensure that your french doors stay safe and in working order. Today, we will be exploring astragals and common questions that you may have in regard to your double doors’ locking components.
What is an astragal? Where is it located?
Astragals, commonly referred to as “T” astragals, may be the most important part of a french door system. An astragal is the vertical strip that is placed in between your two french doors. The astragal is attached to the inactive door pane, or the panel that is not typically used for entry and exit, in your french door system.
What does an astragal do?
The right astragal will properly seal and secure your french doors. Astragals close the clearance gap that is found between congruent door panels. These strips keep outside elements, such as moisture, pest, and light, from entering your home and will prevent your conditioned air from leaking out. Astragals also ensure your french doors are secure, with multiple locking points for your piece of mind.
What does an astragal system consist of?
Most astragals have four key components that are essential to basic astragal performance. The components include the astragal body, astragal bolts, astragal boots, and metal strike plates.
Astragal bodies run the full length of the door panel and houses the internal mechanisms, protecting them from damage. The astragal body is typically the most visible piece in an astragal system. Because of this, astragal bodies may be offered in a variety of finishes to best match your style. Astragal bodies can be constructed out of wood, aluminum, or a hybrid of the two.
Astragal bolts, or french door locks, are used to lock the inactive door panel, or the panel that is not typically used for entry and exit in your french door system. Astragal bolts are used to protect your home from outside intruders, unwanted air flow, pests, and moisture. Astragal systems are equipped with space for upper and lower bolts that can vary in length depending on the level of security desired. The bolts also come in various configurations for operation, including slide, flip, and push button.
Astragal boots are connected to the astragal bolts and are used to keep drafts and moisture from entering your home. The astragal boots come in one of two configurations, fixed or floating.
Fixed boots rely solely on drill-hole depth to seal your french door system, while floating boots use built-in springs to automatically provide a tight seal.
Metal strike plates indicate the area where the deadbolt locks your french door panels together.
Strike plates are available in a variety of metal finishes to suit your style and aid in proper french door operation and security.
In all, the benefits of your astragal system won’t stop with beauty and style. Each component works together to provide quality sealing and security for your double doors.