Many modern homes are being built with walk-in closets which are a wonderful addition to any home. Regardless of whether the closets in your home are walk-in or not, they certainly need closet doors. In the wonderful world of doors, there are really only two that are suitable for use of a wardrobe; sliding or hinged. Both of these doors have advantages and disadvantages; let’s try to identify the strong points and weak points of both.
A hinged door is usually only manufactured from wood. This is fine it is for a small opening, but that doesn’t normally provided consumers with full access to their clothes. A hinged door must be set into a sturdy frame; it cannot be mounted to a plain plastered wall. When a hinged door is closed, the weight of the door is taken by the hinges on one side and the latch on the other, however, when the door is open all the weight is taken by the hinges, there is a cantilevered load imposed on the frame, this is undesirable.
A hinged door also requires space to swing open meaning that there has to be considerable room between the face of the closet and any other furniture or object in the room.
When you look at the disadvantages it’s hard to see why hinged doors are used as much as they are, perhaps it’s because of its one real advantage; access. When there are two hinged closet doors, they both can be swung wide open giving unfettered access to the entire wardrobe. Another advantage, albeit not all that important for a well organized closet, is the fact that things can be hung on the back of the door, however, often these accessory items crush against the clothing defeating the purpose of hanging clothes independently of other clothes or items.
Sliding closet doors have hardware which allows them to be mounted in various ways. A common way is for the doors to be set in an opening. The tracks to support the door can be at the top only, so the door is hanging, or can be at the top and bottom where the door panels runs more securely on the upper and bottom tracks. A third method of suspension allows sliding doors to have the same benefit as hinged doors, full access. It is not necessary to install the doors inside a defined opening. The tracks can be mounted outside the opening as a Wall Slide. In this scenario, the track width is approximately twice the door width, allowing the doors to slide off to the side, providing full access to the closet.
Sliding doors are also ideal candidates for glass and with the myriad of glass that is available; smoked, opaque, mirrored, etc. the installation of sliding glass closet doors can be extremely elegant.