What Should I Consider When Buying Folding Closet Doors?

Mary McMahon

There are several issues to consider when purchasing folding closet doors, ranging from the style of the doors to their ease of installation. As with many home improvement projects, it helps to be prepared ahead of time with things like measurements and requirements, so that the correct product can be purchased at a home improvement store.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Folding closet doors are ideal for closets in cramped quarters, because no clearance for a swinging door needs to be provided. Furthermore, they provide full access to all of the depths of a closet, and to the full width of the closet opening. Bifold doors consist of two panels with a single hinge which folds shut when the doors are opened, while multifold doors have several panels. Both can be designed to open at one side of the closet, or to meet a second folding door in the middle of the opening, depending on personal taste.

A critical issue is whether or not the doors will fit. It is important to take careful measurements of the width and height of the opening, and to take measurements at several points, in case the closet is not perfectly square. Sometimes, it is possible to cut folding closet doors down to size, while in other instances, this is not feasible, and it may be necessary to order a special size. While considering fit, people may want to think about ease of installation.

Renters who want to install folding closet doors should consult their landlords. Many landlords are amenable to modifications, as long as the house is restored to its original condition, in which case ease of installation and removal is critical. Other landlords may be willing to allow a tenant to replace an existing door with folding closet doors, in which case the landlord may pay for the new doors if the tenant installs them.

Construction materials and aesthetics are a consideration as well. Wood, plastic, metal, and paper on wooden frameworks can all be used for folding closet doors. Each of these materials has a distinct look and feel which can mesh or clash with a room. Slatted wooden doors, for example, might look elegant in some settings and garish in others. Some folding closet doors are also lockable, which may be desired in some cases.

There are some alternatives to folding closet doors which people may want to think about when they are deciding whether or not folding doors are right for them. A regular swinging door could be used, as can a bypass door, better known as a sliding door. In some cases, a curtain or set of blinds could be used to cover a closet opening while providing ventilation, which can be useful in humid climates.

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