A big house with room for everything has long been one of the attractions of the American dream – at least until the turn of the millennium. In recent years we have returned to the cities and to smaller areas. In that time, we’ve learned that small spaces aren’t necessarily cheaper or cramped: If planned intelligently, they will be easier to keep clean and warmer than the giant McMansions of the 1990s.

When interior designers discuss new space-saving improvements, sliding doors are always at the top of the list. When placed correctly, sliding doors can enhance the atmosphere, light sources and space of a room.

But are they right for your home? Which side would be the most pleasant in your bathroom?

What is a sliding door?

Sliding doors are a type of interior door that rolls up and down against the adjoining wall instead of turning on a hinge. So you don’t have to leave a space around you right away.

Sliding doors have another important feature: The walls around it have a hollow pocket that makes them invisible when opened. This distinguishes them from standard sliding doors, where the handrail and door wings remain open.

There are two main types of sliding doors.

Single-sided pocket doors

Single frame doors are much simpler and consist of a single panel that rolls up on one side. They are ideal for separating small sections of a larger space (for example, an office from the rest of the room). They are also commonly used in pantries, storage areas and double bathrooms.

Double pocket doors

This impressive alternative consists of two main leaves that usually open to the sides. Double pocket doors are often used in dining rooms: They are a great way to keep it as a separate room or combine it with the living room if there is a party.

The result is a very elegant visual effect. Well-designed double doors, especially when surrounded by a solid wall, tend to look sturdy and expensive.

Sliding door dimensions

Building custom sliding doors is always an option, albeit an expensive one. In most cases, contractors purchase prefabricated sliding door kits that consist of the sliding panels themselves, the railing, and the adjacent wall in which the door will be hidden.

They are available in different standardized sizes. When choosing a roll-up door, consider both the overall dimensions of the door (including the wall) and the dimensions of the opening, which will tell you the size of the opening. Remember that the space must be large enough for the dimensions, not just the aisle.

The standard sizes of single-leaf doors are as follows:

For small pocket doors: from a 51 ¾ x 86 ¼ footprint, with a 23 5/8 x 78 ¾ passage.

Center pocket doors range in size from 59 5/8 x 82 ¼ to 75 3/8 x 82 ¼. In these cases, sprocket sizes range from 27 x 7 ¾ 8 to 35 x 78 ¾.

Finally, the doors of large compartments may measure 81 5/6 by 82 ¼ or 83 ¼ by 82 ¼. They will have passage sizes of 37 3/8 x 78 ¾ and 38 3/8 x 78 ¾.

You will notice a slight difference in the height of these walls: Although the overall dimensions generally require 82 ¼ inches of space from floor to ceiling, the actual height of the aisle is only 78 ¾ inches. This is due to the fact that the top rail, wing flaps and wheel mechanism must be taken into account. For most of these sizes, there is also a high ceiling version that typically requires 86 inches of torus space and offers an 82 inch high aisle.

For double doors the dimensions may be more difficult. Double doors require cavity walls on both sides of the door. In addition, divide the aisle size by two to calculate the size of each sheet.

Dimensions for double doors include:

Size Total size Overall size of aisle Door panel Hollow door
(custom-made)
Extra small 58 15/16 x 82 ¼ 55 1/8 x 78 ¾ 28 1/8 29 ½
Small 66 1/3 x 82 ¼ 63 x 78 ¾ 32 1/6 33 7/6 in.
Medium 99 5/8 x 82 ¼ 47 ¼ x 78 ¾ 24 3/16 25 9/16
Large 146 7/8 x 82 ¼ 70 13/16 x 78 ¾ 36 inches 37 3/8
Very large 162 5/8 x 82 ¼ 78 ¾ x 78 ¾ 39 15/16 41 5/16

All the above dimensions, for single and double pocket doors, have a total thickness of 58 mm.

Would you like to install a sliding door? Follow these tips.

With so many sizes and options available, it can be difficult to choose the right size for your sliding doors. And there are a few things you can do to adapt them to the space around them:

If the width of the room you want to subdivide doesn’t match any of the measures, go to the next measure down. Try installing a prefabricated wall of wood or steel trusses and drywall.

A double door is only elegant if it is perfectly positioned in the middle of the room. This means that the meeting point of the two doors must be at the same distance from adjacent vertical walls.

Sliding doors are excellent for soundproofing: Consider a model that uses a stud instead of a brick wall. A sound absorbing layer can be applied to the inside of the pole.

After installing the sliding door, you need to mark the railing with something. This prevents people from tripping and prevents damage to the driveway system.

Final thoughts

Sliding doors are a great option if you want to save space or if you have a room that sometimes needs a private space. When determining the size of the fence, consider the total space you have available and the actual size of the fence.

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