Space-Saving Doors, Short Guide to Choice

Here's a brief guide to space-saving doors, an alternative that's making its way over traditional doors.

Sliding barn door

That feeling of stable precariousness that you had using the first models of folding doors is now long gone.

The first folding doors were practical, but they were also too light and made of poor quality materials, so that prolonged use caused problems with the opening and closing mechanism in a short time.

With questionable aesthetics, these early models have now been replaced by solutions that combine great strength with an aesthetic appearance that can adapt to any style and environment.

When you plan to install a space-saving door is because you have, of course, a problem of space.

The smaller the room is, the more the classic hinged opening of the door leaf can be an obstacle; but there are also cases in which space-saving doors are chosen precisely because of their aesthetic characteristics which make them, in some cases, much less visible than traditional doors.

Modern interiors are the most suitable places to use these new doors. There are, for example, spaces designed to be always communicating even if they are not open spaces.

Think of the kitchen and dining room, for example: very often the door is left constantly open and closed only in special circumstances. Having a traditional door, in these cases, is an unnecessary obstacle.

No need to worry, then: whether our problem is a lack of space or a choice determined by aesthetic reasons, there are now doors that can satisfy all our particular needs.

Sliding Doors

The most effective solution that can offer a certain feeling of order is the sliding door.

Sliding doors are those that, once opened, "magically" disappear inside the wall.

In order to install this type of doors, it is necessary to intervene in the construction phase of the wall itself, which must be thick enough to allow the insertion of the door frame with the tracks that will allow it to open and close.

If you wish to install a sliding door on an existing wall, it is necessary to create a counterframe with a plasterboard or cellular concrete structure.

If you do not want to use a frame inside the wall, which is still the most recommended solution, you can use an external track to be placed above the opening and from which to "hang" the door, as can be seen in the opening image.

This solution has both advantages and disadvantages: the advantage is that of having a track that is easily accessible in case of need for maintenance, the disadvantage is instead that of having a door that, if not sufficiently heavy, runs the risk of being a bit wavy if a track is not placed on the floor.

If the thickness of the wall does not allow the installation of a sliding door, it is necessary to solve the issue in another way.

Just to avoid cases like these there are models that are able to halve the space occupied by the counterframe.

The door is divided into two vertical panels: one of these disappears inside the frame of reduced dimensions while the other one opens hinged.

If the counterframe, for reasons of space, can not be inserted, you must opt for other space-saving solutions.

Folding doors

There are, for example, folding doors that are composed of two leaves that can have the same or different sizes.

The two panels, joined together by hinges, are folded by sliding on a rail located in the upper part of the frame.

Doors like these are comfortable but, when closed, they have an unsightly vertical line at the hinge that joins the two doors.

This aspect may not please everyone and to meet the needs of those with "difficult" tastes, the rototranslating door has been created.

The rototranslating door

Aesthetically it looks like a traditional door, what changes is the opening mechanism that allows the door, when closing and opening, to translate and rotate simultaneously.

It is not hinged on the side like traditional doors but rotates on a central pivot that slides sideways.

The mechanism will be clearer to you by watching this video.

In short, this particular type of door pushes open like any swinging door but takes up half the space on both rooms once opened.

The interesting thing is that this particular mechanism allows you to open the door in both sides and thus concepts such as opening outward or inward automatically become obsolete.

Accordion Doors

Let's go back, with accordion doors, to what was the beginning of this short guide to space-saving doors.

The accordion doors are still the most economical solution among the space-saving doors.

The cheapness of this solution is given by the material of the doors (almost always PVC) and by the fact that, as far as sturdiness is concerned, it remains the most precarious solution among those presented.

Of course, compared to the first folding doors introduced on the market, there have been positive evolutions but, in the long run, these doors risk incurring some opening/closing defects.

It is a type of door that serves mainly to have a minimum of visual privacy, but not very effective from the point of view of thermal-acoustic insulation.

Certainly it is the easiest solution for DIY.

Doors of the future

It's hard to say what the future holds for us regarding space-saving doors for interiors. In another article, we have already talked about a door with a truly innovative opening mechanism.

door of the futureThe world of door and window frames is constantly evolving, both in terms of materials and opening and closing mechanisms.

There is one consideration that must be made regarding the standard that will eventually become established: the functionality of an object is deeply rooted in us so much so that when we see the same object change its destination of use, this automatically leads us into error.

Let's think about the case of the lanyard that hangs above the toilet or in the immediate vicinity, especially in hospitals, and that acts as an alarm for those who feel ill.

This cord has always been used to flush the toilet, so much so that older people are often misled, much to the annoyance of nurses who come thinking of an emergency and have to explain that the toilet is now flushed by pressing a button.

A similar assessment can be made regarding the mechanism of objects.

We have always been accustomed to hinged doors and even today this type of door is by far the most commonly used model. When we find ourselves in front of a door, it is natural for us to push it, to open it, and when the mechanism is that of lateral dragging, it is natural for us to feel uneasy for a moment.

The standard is affirmed when the mechanism, in addition to being innovative, brings at the same time a clear benefit with respect to the convenience of use.