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Wardrobe Doors: Sliding or Hinged?

Of the many factors to be considered regarding the configuration of your wardrobe, you perhaps never imagined that you’d need to decide on how you want your wardrobe doors to open. As most people do, you undoubtedly thought that hinged doors were the tradition, and that no other options were available. That’s not so. Hinged doors, while admittedly not traditional have been an option for quite some time. It’s important to consider all of the pros and cons of each type before you make a decision.

The traditional hinged door presents you with a number of design options. Wood choice, flat panel, raised panel, and mirrored surfaces to mention a few. Finishes can be customized to personalize your hinged doors as well. There is no reason that your hinged doors must appear ordinary unless you wish them to be.

Sliding doors, due to their design limitations, usually come in a more contemporary style, but they can be modified to give a more traditional look. Just like hinged doors, wood choices, flat panels, raised panels, and mirrors can be used to customize the design. They can even be framed to capture the traditional style.

Now then, what are the significant differences in design and function? Traditional hinged doors are pretty much standard sizes. One door design can often be replaced with another to update your style. Repair replacements are easy to acquire. With standard hinged doors, it easier to guarantee that double wardrobe doors are properly balanced and aligned.

Wardrobe sliding doors, are also easy to replace, but do not offer as many standard variations as the hinged doors. Of course, if money is no object special doors can be made. It’s important that hinged doors be aligned properly and seated properly on the slides to ensure that they travel back and forth without resistance.

Hinged doors have only one major disadvantage, and that is evident only when the wardrobe is situated in a tight space. You need room to be able to fully open the doors to get convenient access to your clothing. Sliding doors, on the other hand, take up no additional space whether opened or closed.

One disadvantage of sliding doors, admittedly a minor one, is that you can only view one-half of your clothing selection at a time, because one door slides behind the other and only one-half of the access opening is available. Pocket type sliding doors can eliminate this problem, but the wardrobe must be wide enough to accommodate the area into which the door is stored.

Wardrobe sliding doors are also known to occasionally fall of the tracks. When they are properly installed and operated with reasonable care, this seldom happens. Nonetheless it is necessary to give the doors an occasional inspection and maintain the adjustments when necessary. Some might argue that hinged door may also have alignment problems by sagging. This may happen over generations, but a well designed and mounted wardrobe hinged door should last a lifetime without adjustment, other than lubricating a squeaky hinge pin.

The most important consideration regarding the choice between hinged or sliding wardrobe doors is the space available for convenient access to the stored clothing. If you have adequate room for comfortably using hinged doors, that type would be the recommend choice for long term trouble free operation. If space is at a premium, the sliding door option will certainly make you life easier when storing and removing your clothing selections.