A sliding door say, a door of planks hanging from exposed hardware transforms a room. Its so eye-catching, so unexpected, that it invites closer looks. It brings smiles.
There are also practical reasons for choosing sliding doors. They can be larger taller, wider and heavier than hinged doors. They dont require open floor space like swinging doors. But mostly, architects and designers love them for their looks.
A sliding door softens a formal room, said designer Emily Bourgeois, who used sliding pantry doors in an award-winning kitchen she created. The doors were painted a vivid blue, and featured exposed hardware.
Any door delivers a message about the space, she said. So, whats it saying? Lets all sit up straight? Or, please feel free to put your feet on the table?
Architect Ken Pursley says a large sliding door doesnt just create an opening in a wall when opened, it removes the wall.
And, like Bourgeois, he appreciates the look: There is a charm to it. It de-suburbanizes the door.
For all those reasons, and more, interest in sliding doors is growing.
Youll find sliding doors at Lowes and Ikea, and the California-based Sliding Door Company hopes to expand along the east coast.
For interiors, architects and designers typically use custom sliding doors built by local craftsmen or, perhaps, vintage doors.
Familiar door makers such as Marvin and Jeld-Wen make quality exterior sliding doors, Pursley said. Theyre a good choice, because the barn door style can be hard to seal tightly.
Whatever the style, a sliding door needs to operate smoothly. Its going to invite attention and tempt people to give it a try. Its very important, if youre going to use one of these doors, that you use good hardware, Bourgeois said.
Stanley makes sliding door hardware thats widely available. At the upper end, the German company Hafele makes sliding door hardware thats both sculptural and sophisticated. Bourgeois and Pursley prefer hardware from Crown Industrial, a California company.
Crown Sales Manager Beverly Morgan said residential sales have been growing the past few years.
The familiar barn door look is especially popular. In that system, the door is hung by rollers from an exposed bar across the top of the door. The exposed hardware like the hardware on Bourgeois award-winning doors is an important part of the look.
There might be a visible track at the bottom of a sliding door, or there might be a pin on the floor that fits into a slot on the bottom of the door. Its important to keep heavy sliding doors from swinging and banging to the wall or door frame.
Black hardware for a 3-foot-wide door would be $312; in stainless steel, the cost would be $776.
Sliding doors can define spaces in an open, urban setting and create separations. Need another bedroom? Visit The Sliding Door Company online. Customers in New York are latching onto its designs.
They were using our product to create a nook or bedroom without all those permits and the construction dust, said Ron Jacobs, president of the east coast division.
These sliding doors dont hang, they roll in shallow tracks. Theres a special slow shut system that slows the door before it bangs into the frame. They can be installed with a screwdriver and glue gun.
Cost depends on style and size, but a door 48 inches wide and 80 inches tall would be about $800.
Lowes offers doors suitable for closets. They feature composite frames and tempered frosted glass. These hang, and the doors include matching fascia.
Prices start at about $300. A 72-inch-wide set with five glass panes is listed online for $399.