However, there are a few options that you need to consider when it comes to the hardware:
How do you plan to use your Sliding Closet Doors? Before we look at any of the options you want to take a moment and really think about how you will be using your sliding doors. Are they for a closet or utility room, a free-standing wardrobe or will the doors be separating two living spaces? Will you be opening them every day or just once in a blue moon? When you do open the doors will you need them to slide far enough apart to remove a heat pump or just wide enough to grab a clean pair of socks? Will it only be you using these doors or will it be your kids or will the doors be used in a public space? Knowing how you will use your sliding doors will help you in deciding which type of sliding door hardware will best suit your needs.
Tilt In OR Top Latch? This is referring to how the doors get installed on to the track. Lighter weight sliding door hardware is designed so that you can just tilt the door at an angle and have the rollers catch on to the track. Unfortunately the opposite is also true meaning that all you (or your children or large pets) have to do is knock the door up and at an angle a bit to have the door come off the track. For this reason we do not even offer this kind of hardware. Instead we use commercial grade Johnson hardware that has a latch system (shown at left). The wheels have a post hanging straight down that slips in to a bracket on the top edge of the door. This bracket has a white latch that closes and secures the door to the wheels. This not only makes for a much safer design but it also makes it easy to remove the doors if you should ever need to pull something very large out from behind the doors.
Do you want a Bottom Guide Track?
Most high end sliding track hardware is designed so that the full weight of the door is supported by the top track and hangers. This makes it easier for the doors to slide back and forth and reduces stress on the door. Because of this some sliding door hardware will only need the simple door guide shown to the right. This is installed on the floor where one door overlaps the next. This guide prevents the doors from swinging front to back. Optionally, you can replace this guide with a full guide track. These are little ” U ” channels that mount onto or into your floor. The full guide track is helpful if you are concerned about a lot of force pushing the doors back and forth like you might have with children, large pets or commercial applications. For sliding door hardware with more than 2 tracks and for very heavy doors the bottom guide track is a standard to remove the chance of doors swaying front to back.
Where would you like the Doors to Slide?
When it comes to sliding door hardware there are 3 places where the doors can slide.
Option 1. The doors can slide back inside the walls. These are called Pocket Doors. Pocket doors are nice in that they can slide completely out of the way to allow full access to the closet. They are also great where full swing doors do not have room such as in a kitchenette area. The down side is that if you are retro-fitting an opening you will need to rip out the walls so that you can install the hidden tracks but for new construction preplanning a pocket door is easy.
Option 2. The doors can slide along the face of the wall like barn doors. These use wall mounted sliding door hardware. Like the pocket doors these will offer you full access to your closet. However, keep in mind that anything mounted to your walls, like shelves or light fixtures, will need to be removed so that the doors can slide.
Option 3. The third way, which is the most common style of sliding door hardware, is where the doors can slide back and forth within the opening. Since the doors stay within the opening this means you will not have full access unless you remove the doors. This is the most popular style we see utitilized and what we quote as a standard.
If you will need full access on a daily basis then pocket doors or wall mounted sliding doors (options #1 and #2 above) will be your best options. If you will not need full access other than a once a year spring cleaning then the standard sldiing doors (options #3 above) will work fine.
How Many Sliding Door Tracks would you like?
In many closets you will see 2,3 or 4 sliding doors. Often the doors are mounted on 2 tracks, one in front of the other. When there are 2 doors in the opening this means that 1 of the doors can slide behind the other to give you access to either the left or right half of the closet. (see Figure A below) With 4 doors on tracks (as shown in option #3 above), you also have the option of sliding the doors to the edges so that you have access to the center of the closet. (see Figure B below) With 3 doors on 2 tracks there is the problem that access is only to a third of the closet at any one time. (see Figure C below) One way around this is to have each door be on its own track. This allows the doors to slide anywhere within the opening and be stacked together, one behind the others. (see Figure D below) For 3 or more tracks you will need enough depth on the header to allow you to mount the multiple tracks. If your opening does not have enough depth you can always mount a wide, solid piece of wood as a new header.
Regardless of how you will be using or installing your sliding closet doors there are things to consider when it comes to the type of sliding door hardware. If it does get a bit confusing please do not hesitate to contact us be it email, phone call or live chat.
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Kestrel Shutters & Doors, Inc. www.DIYShutters.com 1-800-494-4321 / email@example.com