Welcome to our guide of closet door types including popular styles such as bypass, pivot, pocket bi-fold, accordion, French, and mirror doors.
Designers know that everything in the home serves a purpose. Builders and architects just slap doors where they need them, their main focus is cost-cutting and ease of installation. But a linen closet doesn’t serve the same needs as a bedroom closet or a pantry.
The type of door that you choose for you closet space should serve to enhance the usage of that closet and maintain the flow of design in the room.
Getting to know the different types of doors available will help you on your way to having the beautifully designed home of your dreams.
Bypass Closet Doors
Bypass closet doors, also known as sliding closet doors are familiar to most of us. Bypass doors are installed within a frame that has a track that allows the doors to slide past one another. Today, they come in a wide variety of materials such as wood, aluminum, and glass. They can look clean and modern or be paneled to look more traditional.
Pros: Bypass doors are space savers, they don’t open out into the space so you don’t need to worry about clearance when opening the door.
The variety of materials means you can find a door that meets your design needs no matter your taste. They are lightweight and sturdy and the new models have track systems that keep the doors in their tracks no matter what.
Cons: Because these doors slide one over the other, you can only access half of your closet at a time. If you have older bypass doors or install new doors on old tracks, they may come of out of the tracks and cause frustration.
Bonus tip – If you have a large, shallow closet across from a window or wall of windows, you can mimic the design of the windows by framing your doors with wood that matches your window frames and using frosted glass for the panels.
It will really brighten up your space and lend a great modern but timeless look. This looks smashing in a bedroom.
Bifold Closet Doors
Bifold doors are paneled doors that are connected by a hinge. The panels are most commonly available in 2 pairs of panels for 4, 5, or 6 feet door openings but you can have bifold doors custom-made to fit an oddly sized closet. The most practical use for these types of doors is in a bedroom closet.
Wood bifold door
Pros: Bifold doors are budget-friendly and lightweight, they don’t take up much space when they open and they can easily cover a wide closet opening. They can be flush mounted, no need for a casing, if you really want to save on materials and labor.
Cons: Can you say fussy? These guys just love to come out of the track, especially if they have younger kids tugging on them a few dozen times a day.
They don’t allow for full use of the opening because they take up space when folded open, which making access to the far sides of the closet a little difficult.
Bonus tip! Get these doors professionally installed to save yourself some frustration. The tracks need to be level and flush, it pays to have someone who really knows what they are doing install these doors, they will be less likely to fall of the track and will last longer with professional installation.
Accordion Closet Doors
Vinyl accordion door
Modern accordion doors are made of lightweight pvc that can be made to look like a variety of materials, wood, and laminates, and lightweight fiberglass or aluminum. Some doors even have acrylic inserts that look like frosted or clear glass.
The panels of accordion doors are narrow, allowing the door to be stretched nearly flat when shut or accordion into a compact band when open. Accordion doors are great for closets that need nearly full access to the opening without using a standard swing out door.
Pros: Lightweight, a lot of options, much better looking than they were twenty years ago. Great for kitchen laundry spaces or small closets in tight hallways or bathrooms.
Cons: There is no lower track, so lightweight doors might feel unstable when opening and closing them.
Single Panel Hinged Doors
A traditional single panel door opens on hinges rather than sliding along tracks. This style offers ease of installation and is available in many diffeent styles and materials.
Some of the popular materials used are vinyl, laminated veneer lumber, wood fiber composite, PVC, glass, metal and wood. Styles offered include Shaker, flat panel, raised panel, painted, or louvered.
Since these are common types there are many different sizes available making them a versatile and popular choice for bedrooms.
Pros: Inexpensive option with many different kinds to choose from. Simple to install without a lot of moving pieces to break or replace.
Cons: Since these doors swing open they may not work for all room layouts. They way they swing open may interfere with furniture, walls and home decor.
Two Panel Hinged Doors
Two panel doors are also referred to as double, or sde by side closet doors. These have two panels that are hinged and open and close independently from the center.
With two panels instead of one they allow for easier access. Many types can be installed to open either in and out depending on ones needs and room design.
Pros: Two panel doors offer superior sound reduction compared to some sliding styles. You can open them up for better air circulation and light.
Cons: You have to purchase two doors instead of one. They typically have a very traditional appearance which may be a con to some.
Pocket Closet Doors
Pocket closet doors are doors that slide into a little pocket made in the wall when opened. Perfect for closets in spaces where you want to access the entire opening easily but don’t have room for a swing door. Pocket closet doors can be easily matched to the other interior doors of your house.
Pros: After installation, you can frame out these doors to match the other door frames in your home or you can leave the opening as is for a clean-lined look. Super space savers, lightweight, easy to use, can access the entire opening.
Cons: If your closet opening is large, as most bedroom closets are, you may need custom doors, which can be expensive.
Bonus tip – If using a pocket door on a linen closet in a small bathroom, make it do double duty and save wall space by using a mirrored panel. You’ll gain a full-sized mirror but still have room to hang up your towels!
Pivot Closet Doors
Pivot doors make a bold statement in a space. Instead of standard hinges installed along the frame, pivots are installed at the top and bottom of the door. This allows the door to open out fully, giving access to the entire closet opening.
You can easily go floor to ceiling drama with these modern beauties. The door blanks can be made to match existing doors, be flat with no paneling, have glass inserts, they are fully customizable. They are also frameless, which means no finish carpentry needed for the door frames.
Pros: Pivot doors are bold and beautiful, they can make an impact or blend in. They allow for full access of the closet opening.
Cons: Pivot doors and hardware can be expensive and need professional installation
French Closet Doors
French closet doors are just that. French doors are made narrow and lighter, to fit a closet opening. They are traditional hinged doors. The frames are lightweight fiberglass or wood and the glass frames can be given a variety of treatments, from frosted to stained glass.
Pros: These doors are great for walk-in closets and give an air of sophistication to a large walk-in closet in a master suite. They don’t need any special installation or treatment.
Cons: They will need enough clearance to be able to be fully opened, they aren’t for small rooms where the door will hit the bed or other furnishings when fully opened.
Bonus tip! What is a pantry if it isn’t just a fancy kitchen closet? If you have a pantry with a wide enough opening, you could opt for narrow French closet doors with milky glass. It adds an extra dimension of brightness and glamour and is great for transitional, eclectic, modern, or traditional design aesthetics.
Mirror Closet Doors
Most, but not all, closet doors can be made into a mirrored closet door. Some styles, like the Bypass closet door, are available in frameless mirror options, so you can have a full, door-sized mirror in your space.
By using mirrored closet doors, you save wall space and you bounce more light around your room, making it look larger and more inviting.
Pros: Versatile, available in several styles, framed or not. Your mirror is right on your closet so you don’t have to roam around the house looking for a full-sized mirror in which to check your outfit.
Cons: Can look dated and bring unwanted glare into a bedroom, which is expensive. Mirrors are easily breakable, if using in a child’s room, please use impact resistant mirrors and make sure they are coated in a safety film.
There is a lot to consider when designing a home, closet doors are an important part of your homes design. You want durability, ease of use, ease of access, and for your door to create cohesion with the rest of your design. Whether you are building, remodeling, or just freshening up one room at a time, take time to plan.
Ask yourself who will be using this closet, how often will the door be opened, what will be stored here, will the kids climb up the door like little lemurs, what is my budget?
Take your time, decide what is suitable for you, the family and your space, and you will be confident that you have made the right choice.
Closet Door Ideas
Below is an assortment of closet door ideas featuring a variety of styles and finishes.
Sliding Barn Door
This rustic bedroom closet with sliding barn doors on a metal frame looks attractive and matches the room’s country decor.
Mirrored Double Doors
This glamorous bedroom offers mirrored closet doors which helps to create the appearance of a larger space as well as provide a place to see how you look as you’re getting dressed.
Shaker Style Doors
This decorative master features shaker style double doors with overhead storage.
A louver door style features a louvered slat design that can help promote air circulation and allow light into the closet space. They offer many closet door options such as operating with a hinged opening, sliding on a track, or with a bi-fold functionality.
They are frequently used for spaces like a laundry room where you want to be able to close off the space but still allow adequate airflow and light to enter.
Sliding Glass Doors
Installing sliding glass closet offer a stylish contemporary look that can add some persoanlity to your room design. They can be equipped with frosted, smoked, mirror or opaque glass panels to obscure clothing, and accessories from view.
Frosted Panel Doors
The stylish frosted panel bedroom closet in this bedroom reaches from floor to ceiling and creates a discrete method for storing your shoes and clothing. See more types of sliding doors on this page.
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(1) Anastasia2011 from Wikimedia (Creative Commons License)