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There is a difference between Gates and Doors on a Home Elevator and we often find ourselves describing the differences between each option. In this post, I’ll go through what these options and, hopefully, help you decide what is right for you. The Basics

The best way to visualize this is that the elevator travels with a door or gate and one door stays at each landing. So, when the elevator stop, what you have is essentially two doors at each landing: the gate on the cab and the door to the elevator shaft. The landing door keeps people from falling into the shaft and the gate (the one that rides with the elevator) keeps you and your family safe on the inside.

We can provide elevators with openings front and side; front and rear; and even front, rear, and side.

Let’s start with the commercial doors:

Side Sliding Doors

Have you ever ridden an elevator in a hotel?  Sure you have. That’s what those doors are called: side sliding doors.

Here is a drawing I marked up showing the layout of these doors:

In this drawing, the Car Door rides with the elevator and the Landing Door Stays at each landing. So, if you have an elevator with 3 Stops and Inline openings (only one way in and out of the elevator), you’ll have 4 sets of doors.

Here is a photo of an installation we recent completed with Front and Rear Commercial openings in a home.

More specifically, these are called two speed doors. There are two panels that open and close and one is a slow door and one is a fast door.

If you want people to know that you have an elevator in the house, this is the way to go. These doors require a little more maintenance but really stand out. We’ve done them as you see above in painted steel but also in Stainless Steel, Bronze, or even Glass.

Woodfold Gate and Swing Landing Door

This is the traditional layout for a home elevator door system. Similar to the doors described above in layout but very different in application, a woodfold gate is an economical choice. Here is a set of drawings for those:

With this layout, you have a woodfold gate that rides with the cab and collapses to open. The landing door will be a swing door that is secured by an interlock.

The woodfold gate is made by a different company than the one that makes the cab, so the material on the woodfold gate won’t match the material on the cab walls. However, you can have it in a variety of options: laminate, wood, clear, and aluminum.

Tambour Gate

The Tambour Gate is really something special. Here is a drawing:

Here is a picture of a Tambour Gate that we recently completed.

The Tambour Gate slides around the outside of the cab. It gives you a great option if you do not like the look of the woodfold gate or the commercial doors.

Besides a superior design, the Tambour gate is also made with the exact same materials as your cab. Did you want mahogany?  Great!  The Tambour Gate with match your cab walls EXACTLY.

Lastly, the Tambour Gate is safer than the woodfold. Because of its flat shape when closed, we can get the elevator gate closer to the landing door which will far surpass code requirements.


So there you have it. Three different door systems, each with their own application. One might work out better than another but it comes down to your personal preference and how you want your elevator to look and feel.

The commercial doors with give you the full elevator experience.

The woodfold gate will give you a traditional, economical look.

The Tambour gate is something new and exciting that will give you a seamless design.

You can check out more photos and videos at our image gallery or if you’d like to call and talk to someone, here’s our number: 1-800-888-5267

Thanks for visiting our website and for reading!