Richards Wilcox
Richards Wilcox

How to Expand Small Spaces with Sliding Doors

How to Expand Small Spaces with Sliding Doors

Small spaces share all kinds of functional and layout challenges, no matter what use they fulfill. A small bathroom, a tiny house, or a one room loft share similar characteristics in their need to maximize every bit of space.

Interior sliding doors offer a functional fix for issues like limited floor space, lack of room for a swinging door arc, and the need for ease of operation. As a bonus, they can add a pleasing aesthetic value to a room, with choices available in both doors and hardware.

A pocket door is a common space-saving solution in small spaces, but requires more costly demolition and professional installation.  If a pocket door should break, or the support mechanism detach from the track, they are extremely difficult to access and costly to fix.

A sliding door can be added by a confident do-it-yourselfer, but it is not a beginner’s project. Hiring a professional is advisable, and it is usually a simple job for a pro.

Advantages of a Sliding Door

Advantages of a Modern Sliding Door

Today’s sliding doors have come a long way from the old barn doors of the 19th century that relied on hardware using unstable open track systems.  New sliding flat track hardware features great functionality with floor guides and anti-jump blocks to keep sliding doors in position and well seated on the track.

Today’s decorative overhead sliding door hardware and track system adapts to all kinds of interiors, reinforcing other style and design elements through selective use of colors, materials, and styles.

Here are some ways sliding doors help maximize small space usage while enriching aesthetic appeal.

Advantages of a Sliding Door

1. Residential Settings

Sliding bathroom door – A small half-bath or powder room off an entry way or kitchen is a great location for a sliding door. Often there is just no way a door can swing open into such a space and have it remain functional or comfortable. A sliding door makes the perfect fix, and door size can be customized to any width of opening. The sliding door is an opportunity to add interest to room décor, by choosing among materials from smoked glass to metal or wood, which can be painted to blend in with the wall or to become a bold color accent. Choose sliding door hardware that picks up color from existing metal features in the room, or which add contrast.1

Loft or tiny home uses – More than ever before, space is at a premium in today’s urban environments. Small spaces can either seem cluttered and overcrowded, or become models of efficient design. Sliding doors are a boon to anyone living in minimal house or apartment settings. They help designers and home DIY enthusiasts transform rooms—or the one, single room of a studio unit, for example—into multi-function spaces.

Concealment – Need to hide cluttered, unsightly, built-in floor-to-ceiling shelves used for limited storage space? Conceal shelving behind an attractive sliding door that can be left open for easy access, or slide closed to conceal the contents. It also creates usable space in front of the slider to set up extra seating for guests. Here’s another option: straighten up those shelves and turn everyday storage items into neat, interesting displays, by grouping like colors or like items (glass jars, books, spice jars). Needed items remain handy and add some beauty to the room, with the sliding door open as an architectural point of interest.

Advantages of a Sliding Door









Multi-Functional Rooms

Many small homes combine kitchen, dining, and living areas (and sometimes the bedroom, too), in one open room. Even large homes are designed with this open plan for modern living. At times it feels better to sit down for dinner with guests without having a messy kitchen on display. Installing a sliding door as a room divider or baffle is a way to create two rooms from one. Even if it doesn’t extend fully across the room width, it will serve as a visual screen and become an attractive design feature.

Advantages of a Sliding Door

Oversized TV monitors in multi-function entertainment spaces are often the bane of interior decorators and wives as well.  Conceal those unsightly screens with sliding door track systems.

Install a sliding door to close off an underused closet space or awkward nook, and voila! It’s an easy, inexpensive way to add on an entire room, in a sense, with no intrusive construction or interference with existing walls and floor. Many a new office, guest room, or reading corner has been inspired by the need for expanded space.

Antique Sliding Barn Doors for home interiors – These are gaining in popularity as a great, adaptable feature that fills several needs at once. The oversized dimensions of antique barn doors make them a perfect fit as a kind of wall extension, and they can be cut down to custom sizes as needed. They are ideal for many of the uses described above, and lend an authentic vintage look, reinforced with vintage style barn door sliding hardware.2

Depending on the room style, they may add a nostalgic feel, referencing back to the days when many families had a barn, or they introduce a softer, natural contrast to the hard-edged materials in more modern interiors. As a bonus, sourcing authentic, reclaimed barn doors is a very green way to go, recycling what are often old, high quality hardwoods, with naturally weathered colors or faded paint.

Overhead Sliding Door

There are several varieties of sliding door hardware available.  Hangers that attached to doors on the front come in many types of designs, colors and finishes with standard wheel bearings and quiet wheel bearings.  There are also top mount hangers to attach to the top of the door itself to let the aesthetics of the door prevail.

Flat tracks can be for interior use, but can also be used in exteriors for deck and hot tub screens, sliding garage doors and gates. The steel hardware is offered in different powder coat finishes, from black to bronze or aluminum. Vintage style barn door hardware, often specified for historic building renovations, reinforces the nostalgic feel of a traditional barn door. Manufacturers like Richards-Wilcox Hardware offer contemporary styles and reproduce historically accurate styles of hardware.




There are many sliding door options to choose from!