Alternative to bedroom door

nancitaJuly 10, 2006


Our bedroom doesn't have a wall to have a door rest against when open. It would just be sticking out in the room or take up more space by going back 180 degrees on the wall. We are trying to come up with something that would give us privacy sometimes (we live alone and get guest maybe a total of two weeks out of the year). Someone mentioned, basically, a pocket door that isn't in a pocket. Not sure about that. Then we considered taking a four-panel door and cutting it down the middle. Way too much work. May be some kind of accordian wood door, if there is such a thing.

Thank you for any help.


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Will bi-fold doors work?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 9:07PM
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Would having the door swing out of the room solve your problem. I was putting alot of thought into how not to have the door bump one in the but, when at the bathroom sink. A plumber sugested having the door swing out of the bathroom rather than into it. Problem solved.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 9:48AM
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Two small door leaves is the best solution. This is common in Europe. Adding lockable hardware can be difficult because it requires rods (surface or concealed) up to the door head latch on both leaves. It can look great if the doors are detailed in a traditional manner and the hardware is old fashioned brass. Not cheap but the alternatives will drive you crazy.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 3:24PM
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We can't really have the door swing out. The bedroom is right off the kitchen area and dining area. I like the idea of leaves but I think we priced them at the local lumberyard and it was outrageously expensive and that's without hardware. When we bought the house a few years ago, it had a cheesey plastic accordian door. That's how I got the idea of a better quality one because it really worked well for privacy. The noise isn't an issue nor is the privacy meaning no lock would be necessary. Has anyone heard of the pocket door thing where there isn't a pocket and the door must juust slide on tracks?
Bifold doors would be great but you can only install them to operate in one direction either entering the bedroom or leaving it. Otherwise I'd be all over it.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 9:01PM
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Sliders without pockets are a fine alternative: no need to dismantle the wall, etc.

There are a lot of hardware options, cheapest would be to use a good quality closet door system. If your tasts are a litle funkier, you could use a system made for horse stalls. These are usually steel frames to witch you attach boards [you'll want to find a system where the bars are optional], the overhead rail and rollers. Very heavy duty!

Course if you are a little more conventional, there are 'regular' systems for home use...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 4:26AM
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If you take a quick peek at some recreational vechicles you can find some great door ideas that do not swing into the flow of the hall or room. Lots of my ideas for my small home has come from RV's as they have had years to perfect the "lots of living" in a small space concept.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 12:05PM
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The pocket door without a pocket is a great way to go. I had one client who used bookshelves as the sliding doors. Once closed, it looked like a wall with shelves. We used the heavy duty hardware normally found on barn doors, but it is hidden by trim boards so you only see brackets going up into a slot. He used bookshelves from Ikea, and the total cost was only about $400 for materials. That way, for the 50 weeks a year they will be open, you will have useful storage, as well as a way to get privacy the other two weeks.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 2:21PM
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Friends of mine had the same problem, and they used 'barn door hardware' for a sliding door. It actually came out really nice. They got theirs from the link below

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 6:53PM
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Isn't the pocket door without a pocket / barn door solution still going to result in a door taking up wall space when open? How would this be any different from a standard door simply left swung open 180 degrees?

Honestly, it sounds like the budget is tight and the best solution is to go with a standard door and reconfigure your furniture placement.

I once rented a house where the walk in closet had two small shutter-type doors (probably each about 18" wide and 32" high) with open space above and below. I loved it because you didn't have to use your hands to open and shut a door and they just swung back into position. If you REALLY don't care about noise and privacy you could do this.

What's there now?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 10:41AM
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There isn't any door anymore. We removed a cheapo plastic accordian thing when we bought the house. The door opening is about 38". I did look at the barn door link. It's very nice but it also looks like those doors are meant for larger openings with heavier doors.
I like the idea of "bat doors". Or, I also thought about the swinging door that are seen in restaurant kitchens. The door would have to be closed all the time and some kind of window on the top so you don't get knocked on your bottom.
The bedroom is only 11' x 10' so we need all the room we can get. Plus we don't have a lot of wall space because we've put in a pair of large pocket leading to the study, a fairly large window on another wall and a bathroom door next to a closet door on the other wall.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 11:00AM
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Couple bedrooms here have reed (or real skinny vertical bamboo, or long matchsticks), fold up doors in the closet. Simple overhead roller track. The bottoms swing freely. They open in the middle or the ends, squish down to almost nothing . Dont look bad and probably are the homes originals from the mid 50's.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 7:14PM
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As for the pocket door that is "not a pocket door", I just finished installing two in my house. The only requirement is that the same space is required along the wall as the door opening. Thus, a 38" door requires at least 38" of wall space to open it. Also will requires perhaps 3" at top for track & trim to cover track. Hardware is available at "Stanley" and costs less than $30. Just type in Pocket door Hdw. and that should take you to the directory.

One of my doors is a simple 24' slab that replaced a door that swung into the bathroom and back against the wall. The problem was nothing could be in that area as to interfear with the opening and closing. Now we can utilize that space with a small table. The new door simply slides along the wall taking up about two inches of wall space.

My other door just seems to go wherever we go. It has been in three states and always been used to replace inconvienient bathroom swinging doors. It is more of a decorative type door containing a piece of wire glass with a stincle on the glass. It slides along the wall and replaces the swinging door that hid the pot when open. Now the pot is accessable without having to step around the door.

Depending on how fancy you want the door, costs could be less than 75 bucks using a simple hollow core slab.

For a 24" door I simply cut a piece of pine about 2"1/2 wide, 48" long, painted and installed it using a pocket hole and screwed it into the wall studs. Attached the track, installed the rollers, nailed on a trim piece(also pre painted) about three inched wide to cover the track and installed the door. Entire installation took less than thirty minutes.

These doors can add a little additional design to a previous blah swinging door.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 2:51PM
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I think I am leaning toward the "pocket" non-pocket. How do you trim out the door opening?
Thanks for all the great ideas everyone! I still have one more trickier door opening to think about.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 7:32PM
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You can finish the outside of the opening [where the door isn't] however you please. Easiest [and therefore my choice ;-) ] would be to use moldings similar to the other doors in your house.

Or you could leave it untrimmed, textured and painted to match the rest of your drywall.

The inside where the door actually slides will depend on the hardware system you choose. You may or may not have space to accomodate regular molding on that side of the door. You could possibly use a thin veneered plywood cut down to molding width if you wanted the look without the thickness.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 3:49AM
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