Sliding doors continue to stay at the forefront of door fashion trends. New styles and functions promise to keep them a top choice for architects and contractors for the foreseeable future.
As population density grows, living spaces are necessarily shrinking, which opens the market wider. Accessibility issues – and practicality – require that a standard swinging door has at least 32″ of clear width and a few feet surrounding the space for the door to swing into and out of the way. Sliding doors only require the wall space for the hardware to be installed or simply space left within a wall for a pocket door.
In the past, sliding door hardware was utilitarian, and if aesthetics is any indication, it was meant to be concealed. Now, sliding door hardware can add visual appeal to any room.
From track and hanger styles to face or top mounts, there are many choices to be made beyond the door type. Standing out or blending in, these choices will affect the final look of the door and the room as a whole.
Sliding doors are often referred to as “barn doors” due to their resemblance to a barn door. Popular styles can include rustic, contemporary, or industrial.
A pocket door is a sliding door that disappears into a frame built into a wall when fully open.
The choice of a sliding door can elevate the look of any room, but we all know that looks aren’t everything. Advances in sliding door technology means that a sliding door can look great and add exceptional function to a room, as well.
Previous styles of sliding doors came with certain drawbacks, but manufacturers met this challenge head-on. With new technology sliding, doors function easier and last longer.
Privacy has always been an issue with a sliding door as it is difficult to secure versus a swinging door. New privacy locks are now available that will avoid any surprise visitors.
Opening control and momentum have also been issues for sliding doors. It is easier to protect a swinging door with door stops, overhead stops, and mechanical closers. Sliding door possesses unique installation issues while still being equally susceptible to slamming. There are now sliding door soft-close hardware that can be installed that slow and stop a hastily shut slider.
Choosing the Right Door
Modern design challenges are opening new markets for sliding doors that may not have been considered in the past. Open concept offices where a large, open conference room can quickly be converted into smaller workspaces or blocking off meetings from a break room, for instance.
Utilizing sliding doors, both pocket and barn door styles in healthcare facilities provide significant floor space savings allowing the design to be more functional and efficient.
Most hotel brands are currently integrating sliding doors into their facilities. “In guest rooms where every square foot counts, it makes sense,” states Keith Belcourt, Vice President, and Contract Sales, American Door & Hardware.
Besides saving floor space, sliding doors also meet ADA requirements and are easy for people with disabilities to use. It is much easier to operate a sliding door for a person in a wheelchair or using a walker than it is to navigate around a swing door.
We expect the architectural and design community to continue to find new and interesting ways to integrate sliding doors into their projects.
For more information on our sliding door hardware, or any of our product lines, please contact your local sales representative or our customer service department at 800-255-3590.