Exterior doors, whether they're on the exterior of a building or whether they are the main door to a business inside a building, often have glass panes. You might think that the glass has to be clear, but in many situations, it can be frosted instead. However, you don't want to use just any type of glass in that door because the location and the immediate surroundings often dictate whether to use clear or frosted panes.
Using Larger Panes With Film
If your exterior door is a large one made mainly of glass, especially one that's on the side of the building that gets hot afternoon sunlight, clear glass is a better bet because it will be easier to install heat-blocking film on the glass. Frosted glass is usually rougher and more uneven, making it nearly impossible to add film.
Combining Privacy With Visibility
Frosted glass does not let people see all the way through into the office; it lets people see movement and figures, but no real detail. This allows people in the office to have at least partial privacy and not be on display to everyone passing by the door. It also lets those walking up to the door see if anyone is right on the other side -- it can be startling to open the door and find yourself face to face with someone unexpectedly. If your exterior door is still inside the building -- in other words, it's the main door to your office from a hallway -- frosted glass is an excellent choice. Clear glass would be too distracting for exterior business doors because people inside could see everyone walking down the hallway past the door.
Finding the Right Door
That privacy can backfire, though, if the door is on the exterior of the building and not just the office. The frosted glass can make the door look like it's an emergency exit, employee-only entrance, or a blocked-off old door, even if there's a sign. For a door that's on the exterior of the building, use clear glass. You can add darker film if you want a little more privacy without making the door itself look like it's not the main entrance.
Adding Decorative Accents
Frosted glass also allows you to add some decorative accents to a door, and this can work no matter where the door is in the building. If you're truly not sure whether you want clear or frosted, have a door company custom-make a door for you that incorporates both. Remember, the glass in the door doesn't have to be all one pane -- it can be divided up to create a design. Start looking at galleries of doors to see the styles available. Talk to the staff at the company about custom designs and see what will really give your business a professional look.