Sliding backsplash - has anyone used one?

williamsemAugust 5, 2012

So those pics of the sliding backsplash with storage behind really caught my attention. Has anyone here put one in or seen one in person?

My latest crazy idea is to use deep cabs on my short 69 inch wall and use the space in the wall between studs to make some storage areas for the mixer, blender, and maybe charging station. The "wall" of backsplash would still make a 24 inch deep countertop with the storage behind.

The reality of this is what's tripping me up. I can always just pull the cabs forward and use standard ones to reduce costs. And I know that wall is not load bearing. But I can't figure out the sliding door part. I'd prefer to keep it flush to look neat, but I can't seem to find a good solution.

I want to have some sort of plan to discuss with our GC before I bring it up. He's a great guy and I'm sure he'll be open to trying if I have a starting place. I need to have him come for a detailed estimate in the next few weeks, planning for a May remodel with inflexible dates so I need to get all my ducks lined up.

Any suggestions?

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Won't one half by necessity have to be in front of the other, if you want the whole distance to be accessible?

The only other thing I've seen is that marble wall slider and if memory serves, the center of the wall was the cubby and the one sliding panel could go back and forth in front of either set-back side. Seems like that way you could have a centered, about 20" cubby to have room on either side for sliding and framing, etc?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:00PM
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I don't necessarily need access to a lot of space at once, especially if I divide it up into sections.

I'm very stubborn sometimes. I want a flush backsplash when it's all closed up. I found some lateral door hinges that look promising, but they are $85 per door. Might be worth it if I get reasonable quotes for the rest of the project.

Maybe there is something that can slide up behind the upper cabinet? I have a hard time finding odd hardware pieces. I can find plenty of tile, but hardware is proving more difficult.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:28PM
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Like a tambour door kind of thing? Or are you thinking of something solid that could slide straight up behind the cabinet? That'd be kinda nifty if you could work it out...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:37PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Furniture pocket doors just like on a TV armoire that slide into the adjacent room would be your best bet if you want flush. To get any real width to the storage space though, you would need to install a header into the studs just like with a window opening. Otherwise, you'd be limited to around 13" by the time the door slid back. Plus, the studs would be unfinished and need some type of finishing to look good from the room on the other side. This would work best if the adjacent room was a pantry with a counter that the appliances could sit on, yet be pulled forward into the kitchen when the doors slid back.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:15PM
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I remember seeing a post with pictures. are you going to try it?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:26PM
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You could easily do one that slides behind the cabinets straight up. It would have to be set in tracks and then I'm thinking either a pulley system hooked to a switch or a gear system. This is my husband's forte and he's not at home to ask, but I think your only problem is going to be the weight of the stone if you go with marble. It might be hard to find something small that will lift that much weight, plus attaching it to the stone without sacrificing the integrity of the stone. We did something very similar with a chicken coop door but it weighs a lot less than marble.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:31PM
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Deedles, this is the top contender so far, but my search is slowed by my severe lack of technical knowledge in this area (hard to find the right search terms).

I had considered tambour doors, but I am not fond of that striped look they have. I was hoping there is some sort of solid door that might be able to slide up behind the cabinet above.

Hollysprings, those armoire type doors might be an avenue to investigate. Unfortunately there is a half bath on the other side of that wall. That pantry idea would be fantastic! In my hypothetical dream house the pantry has some of those shelves and some of the shallow shelves that have doors at the back that open to the kitchen.

I don't need terribly large spaces, but that Kitchenaid is no dainty flower. Might have to break out the measuring tape on that. Armoire doors also need a lot of space to open, might have to mock tht up to see if it is doable or if it might cause issues with items and space to move things into to open the door.

I may also have one section that has pipes in it. I need to drill some exploratory holes this coming weekend when DH is working. They will match the holes I put in the soffits :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Lateral door hinge

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:33PM
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What about out and back movements like this?

Contemporary Kitchen design by Newark Kitchen And Bath Tim Kriebel - KRIEBELDESIGN

Also, this site has a lot of interesting hinges and hardware

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:09PM
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What about Mrsmortermixers idea... a slide up 'coop' door that went behind the cabs? And yes, plumbing might be eating up your storage space anyway. Good idea to check out what's in there...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:12PM
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MrsMM, that's a good idea. Not sure what the backsplash will be, but it will not be stone. If I can find hardware, I will work the backsplash to be compatible. When MrMM comes back, can you ask him what that type of track is called? I would imagine a handle or finger groove would be used to raise the panel. Though a pulley may be useful to keep it open, could put a hook and loop on it.

Hmm, if they slid up, I could build up the door front to look flush with the anchored track parts. Might mean a different look for that area as I an considering a seamless BS part of the way up, but it's also not an area with any water access or cooking.

Other ideas? I'm gonna be crushed if this ends up costing eleventy bazillion dollars, but won't know for a bit.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:36PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Wall cabinets are screwed to the wall. There isn't any room "behind" them that you could slide any doors unless you create VERY sturdy boxes to attach to the wall and then attach the cabinets to. Even then, you would have limited space in the hollow box in which to have a door slide up. And the sides of the installation would look kinda peculiar.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:35AM
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Do you want instructions for a automatic (hooked to electric and a control) or just a pull the string type?

The electric type is run by a reversible motor, like automatic car windows. You'd need a wiring chart and the motor (usually $50-100+ depending on weight) as well as basic wiring parts.

For a manual lift, metal or wood rails on either side of the backsplash to hold it vertical. Attach your string/cable/chain to the backsplash and attach a pulley at the top. Run your cable over the pulley and back out some strategically placed hole. Our small coop has a manual door with a cable through a pulley and we just tie it around a nail and untie it leaving enough cable that it doesn't spring back to the coop. And suddenly this idea comes to mind. What about the cord locks on blinds? You could easily retrofit that into the side or underneath a cabinet. The underneath would be an easy place to hide the lock and then you could run your string through the upper cabinet so it would be hidden. The just have a nail or pin that could hold the excess string out of the way.

The only downside to either idea is that it would require you to build out your wall behind the wall cabinets. Depth would depend on your material.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 3:08AM
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Hollysprings is right for the slide up approach... the cabs would have to be built out... of course you could have the exposed side made to whatever depth so you would have a finished look.
Is there any way that you could have 30" deep base cabs and build the backsplash storage 'forward' of the wall?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 8:41AM
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To slide up, you either build out the cabinet or frame out an opening in the wall and install lots of blocking behind the cabs so the door can slide up into the wall. Might be easier to slide down behind the lower cabs--it's easy to pull cabs out.

You could also alternate your sliding panels with very shallow surface-mounted cubby/shelving units on the backsplash for spices and such. Then the doors could slide sideways behind the cubbies.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:01AM
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My friend has sliding granite for her stove area/spice storage. I will see if I can get some details and photos for you. Not sure if they are flush when closed. I just can't recall.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Kind of like what Marcolo is talking about:

(I know it's a headboard but the slide-y/cubby thing)

That's actually a really good idea.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 6:29PM
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Some great advice! My original intention was to capture the few inches in the wall and add to it the extra inches from deeper cabinets (or ones pulled forward with support for the counter). This would entail either building out the uppers, which now seems like a direction that may not be so good, or extra deep uppers, which may be $$$$. I had hoped to be able to slide a door behind built out uppers, but it seems that clashes with reality.

So that leaves slide-down doors, lateral hinge doors, alternating doors with cubbies (another great suggestion from Marcolo!), or tambour doors. And the mystery mechanism from claybabe's friend.

My gut feeling is that while slide down doors would be a good solution since I would need to use standard depth cabs pulled out, which is good for the wallet, they may be tricky. Do they make a mechanism like a screen door where the latch would hold it up until a button is pushed, then it allows the door to slide back up over it from the bottom before locking?

Still loving the idea of lateral hinges, but the only price I found so far was $85 per set, so a little pricey, but maybe doable since it is only a few doors. I have no idea from the technical diagrams if this type of installation is possible. Need to get a professional opinion on that one.

The doors/cubbies may be an easier answer, though a different look than I first envisioned. It would be a great solution should I find pipes in one section, as that would obviously be the shelving area between the part of the niches that extend out from the wall. Built in shelves? What a nice idea! But wait! Not just shelves, cubbies too!

I did see an interesting pic online somewhere of tambour doors side by side along a stretch of cabinets. It looked nicer than I anticipated. Might have to toss them back in the running.

Might get a better sense of what may work when I take a look in the wall. Additional discussion, ideas, and random thoughts still welcome!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:08PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Base cabinets have to be fastened to the wall too. So any slide down type of door would have the same issue as a slide up door. However, you could do sections of a larger cabinet in the middle where the sides were securely fastened. One of those rise up TV mechanisms could work for that to bring a mixer or blender up and down.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hardware Hut TV lift

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 10:50PM
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I think you really need to think a Lot about what this would really be used for. I know Mick DeGiulio incorporates these. (usually sliding stone slabs), but it seems kind of gimmicky to me, and one of those things that might be more trouble than it's worth in terms of expense and engineering.

If you want it for the gimmick appeal, thats fine, but I think of all those things like the in-the-wall paper towel holders that no longer hold standard rolls (too fat), the pop out of the wall toasters that can't be fixed, the Nutone Food Center, the giant built in radio-intercoms and all those things that seem really cool but end up not being used, are replaced by or different technology and are able to be adapted to other uses. The earlier version of that TV elevator was actually for a tube TV. What are people doing with Those TV lifts and specialized cabinets now, I wonder?

I wonder how many of Mick's heavy stone slabs get left in the open position most of the time?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:25PM
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...those specialized things that are Not able to be adapted to other uses.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:41PM
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I think capturing backsplash space is a great idea, because vertical space is too often ignored. Ever since women entered the workforce, the kitchen industry has lost a lot of interest in cooking efficiency; it now defines efficiency as snacking, drinking soda and loading the DW with maximum speed.

However, to pal's point, I'd be leery of things that disappear behind walls or cabinets. Once they break, they're very hard to fix.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 8:24AM
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Fori is not pleased

Why wouldn't you just do doors that are hinged on top and are flush against the base of the uppers when open?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 5:54PM
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I think it's a great idea. The best one I've seen in person had sliding doors made of a copper screen framed by about 1.5" copper band. But they weren't as deep as you seem to want. Here's a video someone posted last year of vintage storage ideas. The sliding doors are shown at 10:58. (Love many of the ideas in this kitchen!)

Here is a link that might be useful: vintage kitchen storage ideas

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:47PM
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"However, to pal's point, I'd be leery of things that disappear behind walls or cabinets. Once they break, they're very hard to fix." When I read this I thought of the window in the car when it breaks in the 'down' position. Big pain to tear the door apart and get to the works.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:18PM
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That video was neat. Definitely what I imagine a GW kitchen from the era being, if there was a GW back then. And a first aid center! That was recently discussed here. Did everyone have custom cabinets back then?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:35PM
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Well, I guess the doors sliding down might not be the answer. I know I would eventually break it, so fixability is helpful.

The main reason I haven't really considered doors the just fold up is the space lost on top. It would reduce the usable height of the space. Might be worth investigating though, see what is out there.

Do bifold doors come that size?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:46PM
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Folding up doors seem not as useful as sliders. What if you are cooking and have a counter full of food and prep stuff and you have to move things to allow for the door to swing open?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:28PM
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