Installation of compartment doors is recognized as one of the most ergonomic and rational ways of zoning living space. Thanks to their simple and reliable mechanism, they are a functional and practical piece of furniture. Interior compartment doors have fallen in love not only with apartment and house owners, but also with manufacturers, thanks to which their lineup is distinguished by a variety of products with various designs and movement mechanisms, each of which has certain characteristics and differences..
Features and Benefits
Sliding doors are an excellent solution for both small apartments and spacious private houses. These products are capable of serving as a full-fledged interior door, but they can also be an additional partition for zoning. The peculiarity of these structures lies in the arrangement of the mechanism of their movement.. The products have a number of advantages:
- Allows you to organize doorways without thresholds;
- Easy to use
- Make it possible to use space ergonomically;
- Safe to operate;
- Ensure the absence of damage and scratches from the doors on the floor and walls;
- They have a long service life;
- Easy to repair and replace parts of the leaf movement mechanism.
In general, the features of sliding doors simultaneously contain their advantages, but they also have a minus – poor sound insulation. Also, the cost of a coupe is slightly higher than that of classic doors, however, functionality, originality of design, practicality and ergonomics significantly outweigh in favor of sliding models. The basic components of sliding doors are as follows:
- Leaf movement mechanism.
Additionally, there may be hardware elements and sash clamps, otherwise they are called movement limiters. The latches are necessary so that the door does not go out of the grooves and does not move beyond the guide rails. Fittings for sliding doors may be absent, but it is worth noting that it differs significantly from the usual door handles..
Not all types of compartment doors can be fitted with protruding handles, most often they are hidden, that is, they are built into the canvas so as not to interfere with the movement of the leaves. Handles can be of any shape and size.
The opinion that suspended sliding doors do not provide for the presence of locks is fundamentally mistaken. Of course, not all models are supplied with this piece of fittings., but they do exist and are even presented in several variations:
- independent, when a button or latch blocks the movement of the flaps;
- full-fledged lock, similar to those installed for conventional swing doors.
All sliding doors can be divided into two groups, classified according to the type of construction. This classification underlies the design and execution of products. The first design is parallel-sliding, and the second is sliding-folding. Between themselves, these groups, as follows from their names, differ in the way the door leaves move. In addition, they can be equipped with various motion mechanisms, differ in mounting technology and type of construction.. Consider each of the systems separately:
- The parallel sliding system can consist of one or more door leaves. The principle of their opening and closing consists in movement parallel to the surface of the walls, that is, they move apart along vertical planes.
- A sliding-folding system in a similar way can include in its design from one to several leaves, the principle of movement of which resembles an accordion.
Returning to the mechanisms of leaf movement, we can say that their type is influenced by the dimensions, weight and design features of the product. The system of movement of compartment doors consists in the fact that special rollers move along the guide rails, thereby ensuring a smooth movement of the leaves. Mechanisms may differ in the material used for their manufacture, the method of fastening and the number of rollers or sleds..
The guide rails of the compartment mechanism can be located above or below, or immediately above and below, and their location in a certain plane is of great importance. For example, hinged structures with two guides are the most robust and durable. It is more likely that two guides can be found in massive structures..
The most common mechanism is guides from below, it is available to owners of residential premises only with unreliable ceilings (plasterboard, tension) and walls, but it is important to take into account that their hammering ability leads to the fact that they easily get dirty inside, but difficult to clean. Top-only rail mechanisms provide for the location of the rails on the ceiling or doorway. In the sliding-folding system of the movement of the leaves, it is exclusively provided for the installation of guide rails for the carriages (not to be confused with rollers) on top of the door leaf.
By the number of guides and their shape, the following are distinguished:
- Curved (for curved doors).
Please note that for doors weighing less than 60 kg, one roller mechanism with top suspension is sufficient.
In order to ensure long and safe operation with an increase in the weight of the system, it is recommended to install additional rollers, the same will be required for wide door leaves (more than 1 m).
In addition to the above types, doors can have a manual or automatic movement mechanism. Manual mechanisms require direct physical impact on the door leaves, that is, the user needs to grasp the handle and move it in the direction that is needed to open or close the leaves. Automatic door mechanisms by the principle of operation are quite complex, their sensors react to movement or approach. They activate the sashes in such a way that special sliding elements move the sashes..
It is convenient and practical, but very expensive and not always necessary in residential premises..
In turn, doors with a parallel-sliding system can be classified according to the number of leaves in the structure.. They are of the following types:
- Single leaf;
- Constructions with a large number of leaves.
Another classification criterion is “Parking space”. This factor depends on how many sections of the wall the sashes occupy when unfolded. There are single-parking and double-parking systems. According to the method of movement of the flaps, the structures are divided into the following:
- Standard compartment doors. The classic type of mechanism, where the door leaves move along the guide rails along the wall, while the number of panels is not important.
- Cassette doors. Guides for cassette doors built into the wall allow the door leaves to hide in additional drywall niches (pencil cases) when opening, otherwise the principle of operation is similar to conventional sliding doors.
- Radial doors. This type of construction has an unusual rounded shape, otherwise, the principle of their movement can be similar to both compartment doors and cassette doors..
- Cascading doors. They always consist of at least two leaves, one of which can be motionless, and can move in accordance with other parts. This type of construction has a characteristic feature: each door has its own guide rail, and when open, the sash must be assembled on one side of the opening..
- Opening doors. The movement mechanism of this type has two guides, like cascading doors, but its peculiarity is that it is located inside the doorway, and when opened, it leaves only one half free for passage.
Structures with a sliding-folding system are divided into two types:
- Folding doors.
- Folding doors.
The principle of movement of these types of compartment doors is intuitive from the name. Due to the peculiarities of folding, these doors are the most compact and unpretentious to use and maintain, they take up the minimum amount of space, even if they cover most of the doorway. The only drawback of these products is problems with noise and odor insulation, which is relevant when it comes to the kitchen area. But as a decorative element or zoning element, they are irreplaceable..
Sliding doors are characterized by the highest level of functionality and versatility, so that they can be used regardless of the purpose of the room.. There are several situations when it is simply impossible to do without a compartment door:
- The presence of a non-standard doorway, where it is absolutely impossible to install a classic door;
- Small areas of premises or lack of free space;
- The need to zone the space without losing the working area, damaging the interior design, thereby dividing the room into two zones;
- Features of the layout and arrangement of furniture require its location along the walls, then a sliding door is an ideal solution, especially a cassette one, since it does not take up the space of rooms at all;
- If you want to decorate the interior of the room in an original way, you should choose radial, corner or glass sliding structures. They perfectly diversify the interior;
- The need to hide a niche with an additional area or storage systems;
- Owner doubts regarding the choice between a partition and a full door.
In any room, compartment doors will be an excellent addition to the interior, whether it is a narrow hallway in which only one compartment door can be installed, a partition to the kitchen separating it from the hall, a secret door to the pantry, dressing room or work area, interior to the bedroom, living room or on the balcony.
There are no installation restrictions, the main thing is the presence of a doorway, the correct filling of the mechanism and the desire of the owner of the living quarters to complement the space with an ultramodern, comfortable to use and unusual product.
Before deciding on the estimated size of the sliding door structure, it is necessary to completely measure the room, while drawing up an approximate plan taking into account the arrangement of furniture and additional elements in the form of sockets and switches, wiring diagrams and the like. It is these details that are most often located at doorways and can interfere with the movement of the leaves or prevent the installation of the product at all.
Only then can the dimensions of the doorway be calculated. It is advisable to do this at several points in order to check the result and, in the case of incorrect geometry, make corrections and align the opening. After these steps, you can start calculating the length of the guides; if there are several of them, then for the top and for the bottom, the calculations should be made separately, but in the end it is still the same. Coupe doors do not tolerate slanting doorways.
The next is the calculation of the dimensions of the door leaves. There is a simple formula for calculating the height: you need to subtract 4 cm from the height of the doorway.To calculate the width, you need to determine exactly the type of movement mechanism and the number of leaves, but here there is also a formula: the width of the doorway plus 2.6 cm, multiplied by the number flaps. The resulting number must be divided by the number of leaves. 2.6 cm is the error for crossing the door leaves.
As usual, any piece of furniture has its own design dimensions. They are usually divided into European and domestic ones. The generally accepted dimensions of Russian manufacturers: 2 m – the maximum height, the width is up to 0.9 m, taking into account the wall thickness of no more than 7 cm.
There is a high probability of having a non-standard doorway in a residential area, so each owner has the opportunity to order the design and manufacture of custom-made doors according to individual parameters. This will increase the cost of the product, but make it an ideal addition to the interior.. Products made according to individual projects are considered non-standard.
The non-standard nature of such models may lie not only in their design, but also in the width or height of the structure. They can be no more than 0.5 m wide and consist of one sash. Such interior doors are very narrow and not entirely convenient for regular use, but as a decorative piece of furniture or a secret door to a dressing room or pantry, they are quite capable of getting off..
A more interesting design option is doors more than 2 m wide.They consist of a large number of canvases, each of which can be completely independent of the others.
Wide sliding doors have a rather heavy structure, therefore, they may require not only the installation of additional rollers or carriages, but also the strengthening of the load-bearing wall or ceiling structure.
The material from which sliding doors are made can be varied. Variants boggle the imagination with their performance and combinatorialism. It is the material that is one of the most important factors affecting the quality and reliability of the structure, in the second place is the assembly. We must not forget that the cost of a product directly depends on what it was made of.. Several of the most common materials for compartment doors should be considered:
- Natural wood. The most expensive products are made from natural solid wood of various species. Wood can become both the main material for the facade and act as decorative inserts in combination with other materials..
- MDF or plywood. Panels made of this material are considered the most demanded in the furniture market due to their “flexibility” MDF panels are easy to process both in terms of painting and milling.
- Chipboard or chipboard. The cheapest of all available materials, low-environmental, but at the same time durable and reliable in operation. It is presented in a large number of designs for imitation of wood species.
- Plexiglass. Despite the unusual use of glass, it is quite often used not only for the design of the facade, but also for the manufacture of the doors themselves. An important aspect is the use in the production of only impact-resistant glass with additional protection against splinters. In its performance can be colored and matte plexiglass, with decorative dusting, glossy coating and so on..
- Plastic. Plastic door leaves are slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past, but this material is used to make rollers and carriages for motion mechanisms.
- Metal (steel, aluminum, copper). These materials are used for the design of the facade and profile, as well as, mainly for the manufacture of guide rails. Accessories, decorative inserts and so on can be made of them..
- Rattan and bamboo. Very rarely, sashes made of these materials are found in houses or apartments, much more often they are used as decorative inserts..
When choosing the color of door elements, future owners have many questions, which are quite difficult to answer. That is why the designers have developed a few simple concepts for colors, shades for doors and the effect they will give to the room:
- Light-colored products. White doors and products in pastel colors, ideal for classic interiors, and in some cases for antique ones. Due to their light range, they are able to visually expand the space, especially if their color is monochrome in relation to the walls, that is, they coincide.
- Doors in dark colors. Black and wood shades give the interior a fullness of colors and depth, they can be combined with the finish of the floor, baseboards or furniture, both in color and texture, while contrasting with the walls or, conversely, merging with them.
- Natural tones. Exceptionally woody shades from the lightest birch or bleached oak to rich wenge, they add luxury to the interior and best harmonize with the furniture facades.
- Glass texture. Doors made of glass are not simply included in a separate group. It is difficult to combine them with the decoration of the floor or walls, but at the same time they ideally resonate with the decor of the room and its texture and range of colors..
Thus, there are three main ways of choosing a color concept:
- The principle of combination with the floor;
- Matching the color of interior items;
- Combination with wall decoration;
- Combination of several methods.
Sliding doors are diverse not only in their design features, but also in style and design. Various techniques and materials are used to decorate them:
- Combined fabric and leather inserts;
- Frosted glass instructing;
- Mirrored surfaces with stained-glass windows or facet;
- Painted or ornamented glass;
- Sandblast printing;
- Photo printing;
- Vinyl stickers;
- Painting on wood;
- Facades with milling;
- Fittings of various shapes and sizes, such as carved wooden handles;
- Combination of inserts from different materials and so on.
It is important that the design of the doors blends harmoniously with the interior and does not look alien. To do this, you need to take into account not only the color scheme, but also decoration in conjunction with textured solutions. It is necessary to decide on the belonging of the compartment door: either it will be an interior item in a particular room, or an element of decoration. Depending on this, the design is chosen..
The main thing is not to be afraid to experiment, relying on your own taste and advice from designers..
The choice of style, design and color scheme depends on the interior and taste preferences of the owner. In general, for a harmonious design, it is worth adhering to the basic canons of one or another direction in interior design.. Several examples should be considered:
- Styles that are characterized by a pronounced asceticism, such as high-tech, modern, minimalism and techno, will be perfectly complemented by laconic structures made of metal and glass, possibly plastic. The simpler the geometric design, the better.
It is preferable to use smooth textures, matte or glossy coatings of canvases and almost complete absence of decoration.
- Loft and retro styles require natural materials with an aging effect, preferably without additional elements and inserts, complemented by ornaments or hand-painted.
- Romantic styles such as Provence and Country. For the first direction, doors are selected in light colors from natural or wood-imitating materials with an antique effect and exquisite patterns. Country also prefers wood, but without painting and artificial treatments. Looking for a clean and pristine wood look with a distinct pattern in warm colors.
- It is better to equip rooms decorated in eco-style with natural wood products inlaid with fabrics or leather.
- Classics and traditional styles will also be delighted with products made from natural materials with painting, original and unusual fittings, for example, forged handles.
- Asian and ethnic styles will best accept wood or MDF in bright colors in their ensemble, inlaid with textiles, glass, bamboo or rattan (east direction).
How to choose the right one?
Buying any piece of furniture or an element of interior decor is always a responsible occupation. Nobody wants to buy a product that will not fit into the design composition or will be short-lived or dangerous to use. In order to competently approach the choice of sliding doors, it is worth considering in detail required characteristics for each of its elements:
- Canvas. The principle is simple, it is the largest door element in terms of dimensions, therefore it is worth starting with it. Firstly, it is important to choose a sash material suitable for the interior of the room, as well as cost-effective for the planned budget..
- Box. It is important to take into account the quality and strength, as well as compliance with the design of the canvases..
- Sash movement mechanism. This is one of the most important parameters when choosing, because each type of these mechanisms has its own characteristics. It is imperative to take into account the availability of free space for the movement of the leaves, the preferred movement system, the width and height of the doorway.
Please note that when purchasing, you need to check the quality of manufacture of rollers, carriages and guides.
The casters should be made of durable plastic with a rubber coating, and the guides should be either aluminum or steel. The first metal is more aesthetic, while the second is more durable. The weight of the canvases, their number are taken into account. In a furniture showroom or other specialized store, it is important to check the operation of the door movement mechanism several times, take into account the presence of noise, squeaks.
The door should move smoothly, without dangling or coming off the guides. The canvases themselves need to be examined for deformations, chips and other damage..
Only after all these actions have been carried out, the future owner liked the design and style, and the door design ideally matched the existing measurements, you can make a purchase. The next stage is delivery, installation and assembly. Of course, the design of compartment doors is simple, but still it is better to entrust its installation to professionals who guarantee quality.
After installing the door and securing the finishing touches in the form of fittings, it is necessary to carefully check the operation of the mechanism, the state of the box and the doors, using a level to make sure that the door is level, like its guides.
If everything is in order and the design works without errors, it is safe to say that the choice was made correctly.
Beautiful options in the interior
Transparent plexiglass sliding doors in the corridor add a touch of modernity and lightness to the classic interior thanks to lighting and dividers.
Coplanar black and white sliding doors fit perfectly into the ideological composition of a modern minimalist interior.
Frameless door designs with polycarbonate inserts and light wood dividers, matched to match the furniture facade and floor structure.
Overhead sliding doors with top-hinged mechanism in an unusual combination with classic interior details in an ultra modern style.
The living room in the Art Nouveau style is complemented by triple interior sliding doors with wood edging, additional glass inserts.
Double folding cassette sliding doors, built into the wall, act as interior doors and are an excellent barrier to smells and sounds.
Cassette sliding doors look like a part of the cabinet design thanks to the perfectly matched texture, color and design of the facades.
See below for more details.