Which doors to install?

June K.March 1, 2013

I know this isn't a kitchen question, but I've noticed that the Kitchen forum posters are opinionated (in a good way) and I need a second opinion! My bedroom closet has a swing-out door and I'm looking to replace it with either a bifold door (hinged on right) or two "cafe" style doors (so hinged on both sides) to reduce the door clearance as my bedroom is narrow and the existing door swings into a side table. The opening is 28"W x 95"H. Given the narrow width, the bifold makes more sense to me as you only have to open one door, versus two 14" narrow cafe doors. The opening is also taller than normal at 95", which may make the 14" width even more ridiculous? Cost is not so much an issue, cafe doors are $80 more, but the contractor is covering the materials cost. Contractor says he can install either in the existing metal door frame. One plus of the cafe doors is that the existing latch hole will not look perfect after it's filled in, but it will be mostly hidden by the left-hinged cafe door (the bifold will be right-hinged). Any thoughts on practicality or design? Thanks!

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I have nothing against bifolds that are properly installed, but I like the idea of paired narrow doors. In either case the panels will be 14" x 95 so they will be esthetically equivalent, really.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:09AM
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I"m just thinking about function. I would rather have bi fold doors

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:11AM
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What about just 2 outswing french type doors that are 14" wide each (not double swinging like cafe doors) ? We have that in two places on our first floor and it helps a lot with swing clearance. Our doors are 15" wide each and they look fine.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:29AM
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June K.

Scrappy25 - I wasn't familiar with this distinction of single/double-swinging between French and cafe doors, thanks! My contractor said cafe, but the doors would definitely only be able to swing out, so he must have had French doors in mind.

Palimpset, remodelfla & scrappy25 - thanks for the responses! As much as I like the idea & look of French doors, I'm going to be practical and go with the bifold. The space where the closet door is will always be cramped and I think the 2nd French door will end up being more an obstruction. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 1:42PM
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robo (z6a)

I had narrow French doors on a closet and replaced with a single swing, I did find the second door annoying, but that said I'd rather have narrow than bifold. Too many off track bifold nightmares in my youth!

Another classy option if you have the wallspace - barn doors.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Too bad you can't put in a pocket door.

I don't like bifold doors either - one of my favorite things about our house is that all the bedrooms have walk-in closets with a single door each.

I like to put things on the backs of my doors - a hanging shoe rack, a full-length mirror, a folding ironing board. I'm not sure any of those things would fit on a 14" door, but with bifold it's not an option at all.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:38PM
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