Whether you're tight on space, or you just want to give any room of your home a new look, consider investing in some sliding closet doors. Sliding doors don't open into the room they are installed in, which eliminates door swing concerns, and with the multitude of different style options available, you're sure to add a touch of detail to the room as well.
Types of Sliding Closet Doors
Sliding closet doors are one of the most functional styles of door for reach-in closets. A sliding door provides the biggest opening for reaching your clothes and doesn't often come off its tracks like bi-fold doors.
Sliding doors can be categorized by style, material and placement. There is often overlap between the various styles and materials; choosing one often means choosing another at the same time.
Pocket doors slide right into the wall they are installed on, making them one of the best options for homes that are tight on space. The door slides on tracks installed at the top and bottom of the stud wall, allowing them to disappear right from site. They can be made of wood or metal, with some styles having built-in glass panels as well.
The advantages to a pocket door include:
- Size: Pocket doors can be any size because they do not have to overlap one another or the wall itself to open and close.
- Subtlety: Pocket doors are discreet. They blend right into the decor of the room and don't call attention to the closet.
Disadvantages to pocket doors include:
- Maintenance: If your door slips off its track, you'll need to open the wall to get it back in correctly.
- Installation: Pocket door kits help make installation easier, but you will still need to open up the stud wall to get it in correctly.
Places to buy pocket doors include:
- Masonite is a company that produces doors out of high-quality MDF and makes a number of different styles of doors, many of which can be purchased as a pocket door. Masonite sells its products in specialty and hardware stores across the country; find a dealer near you on their Where To Buy page.
- TruStile has more than 60 different door styles and materials to choose from, including custom models. Nearly all their door styles can be purchased as a pocket door. Locate a TruStile dealer in your area to get started.
Sliding Glass Closet Doors
Frosted or decorative glass makes a sliding closet door that conceals your belongings while adding some style to the room they are installed in. Glass doors are typically constructed of a metal or wood frame surrounding each door or panel. The doors themselves may be made up of one or several panels per door, depending on the style selected.
Advantages of a glass closet door include:
- Space size: Glass -even frosted glass- helps to enhance the amount of light in a room by reflecting it. This can make smaller spaces appear larger than they are.
- Custom sizing: Glass doors are very often cut and fabricated to the size of your closet. This lets you select the glass, number of panels and overall style to suit your space.
Disadvantages of glass closet doors include:
- Durability: While many manufacturers use tempered glass, or coat their glass with anti-shatter membranes, glass doors may still fracture, crack or shatter upon impact, which may make them a safety issue.
Purchase glass sliding closet doors from:
- The Sliding Door Company makes all their doors to order, which means you'll get the door best suited to your needs.
Sliding Mirrored Closet Doors
If the room your closet is installed in is small or dark, consider investing in mirrored sliding closet doors. Mirrored doors visually enlarge any room they are installed in by doubling the amount of visual space. They also double the amount of available light, which further helps to open up the room.
Because mirrored doors are made of glass, they have the same advantages and disadvantages as standard glass doors, with the added benefit of style.
Look for mirrored sliding doors at:
- Closet Doors Depot makes both steel and aluminum-framed mirrored glass doors in a wide range of different sizes, including their luxury collection which features a wide range of styles. They ship anywhere in the United States.
Sliding Wood Closet Doors
Wooden sliding closet doors bring a subtle, traditional decor to the room in which they are installed. Wooden closet doors come in nearly as many varieties as wood doors for other areas of your home. Some options include:
- Solid wood or hollow construction
- Raised panel designs
- Inlaid glass or decorative panels
- Intricate carvings or decorative overlays
- Painted, stained or lacquered finishes
Wooden doors may be built to order, or purchased ready-to-install, depending on the wood species, size and style selected.
Advantages of sliding wood closet doors include:
- Durability: Solid wood doors in particular are extremely durable, lasting for years without maintenance.
- Lightweight: If you choose a hollow-door construction, your closet door will be very light and less likely to slide off the rails.
- Swelling: If you live in a humid area, or your closet is in a bathroom, be prepared for the wood of the door to swell, which could cause it to stick, or not open and close properly.
- Weight: If you choose a solid-wood door, the weight may cause it to sag or pull at the track. It is adjustable, but you will need to perform routine maintenance.
Manufacturers of sliding wood closet doors include:
Sliding Metal Closet Doors
Metal doors are difficult to find, but they offer some unique options. Metal doors may be used as a frame around a glass door, or they can be made of solid aluminum or stainless steel. The doors may be left with the metal finish showing, covered in a baked-on finish identical to paint or covered in materials that allow children to decorate their doors using dry erase markers and magnets.
Advantages of metal closet doors include:
- Durability: Metal doors do not chip or scratch, and rarely dent. They will often last for years.
- Style: Metal doors offer style options not always available with other materials.
- Weight: Metal doors may be more likely to come off their hinges and need adjusting than some other doors.
- Availability: There are fewer manufacturers and options to choose from for metal doors.
Dunbarton is currently the only mass manufacturer of metal doors, currently sold at Menards and through distributors nationwide. Both steel and Marker Doors that can be decorated for children's rooms are available.
Give Your Closet a Facelift
A new set of sliding closet doors can update not just your closet, but the entire room they are installed in. Update your closet with a new set of sliding doors and see what possibilities it opens up.