Sliding Wardrobes not only beautifies your bedroom, also provides a very good storage facility to organize your clothes and accessories.
In the last few years, the storage requirement of an average home has gone up by almost 100%, but the floor space of new homes has reduced significantly.
This change has had a dramatic effect on the way we design our homes. Careful usages of previously overlooked spaces like the alcoves, under the stairs, sloped ceilings, etc have become a necessity.
Wardrobes with sliding doors are one such invention that has revolutionised the way we store items and have become a rage these days owing to their space saving benefits among others. Sliding wardrobes, just like traditional wardrobes can store just about anything from clothes, jewellery, shoes to bags.
There are small sliding wardrobes which can be customized to suit tiny spaces and large ones too, for rooms with big storage requirements.
What is a sliding wardrobe?
The primary purpose of using sliding wardrobes is to save space. It is a wardrobe system that opens horizontally with the help of sliding channels. In most common situations, such sliding wardrobes are installed in the bedroom. The doors of the sliding wardrobe can be either of solid materials such as wood or can also have mirrors installed on them. At times, there can also be glass sliding doors for the wardrobes as per the choice of the user.
How does a sliding wardrobe work?
As mentioned above, the door of these wardrobes slides to the side for either opening or closing the wardrobe. In order for the door to slide, there are roller wheels fixed in channels at the top and at the bottom of the door.
Sliding wardrobes – Making the right choice
If you are opting for a sliding door wardrobe, chances are that you have good reasons for doing so. The most obvious is to save space that a conventional wardrobe takes up when its doors open in the front. But there can be other reasons too for choosing a sliding wardrobe. For one, they give your room a very classy and sophisticated appearance.
Sliding wardrobe doors can be made from a wide variety of materials like frosted glass, mirrors, wood, metal and veneer just like this image below are the hot cakes in the trend.
It is possible to mix and match more than two materials mentioned above to get the exact look you are looking for.
But before you rush to buy the ready made imported sliding wardrobes available in the market, do check up on the following points to ensure ease of handling and longevity of your new wardrobe.
Hardware choice for Sliding wardrobes:
Always choose doors that run on wheels installed on top of the shutter rather than at the bottom of the shutter.
While this top running hardware(Top line slider) is more expensive than a bottom running one(bottom line slider), it will ensure that there is a very small chance of the doors getting bent as the entire weight of the door doesn’t fall on the bottom frame and wheels.
The door is in fact suspended from the top.
Bottom running wheels over time can get sluggish due to accumulated dirt in the wheel channels.
The bottom running system has a tiny guide at the top to keep the door in place. If the door bends over time, the entire door can fall off the channels as there is nothing else holding it in its place.
The material used to make the sliding door should be “Block Board”. Try not to use particle board, MDF or ply as these don’t offer maximum resistance against bending.
- Ensure that there is a brush running across the length of the wardrobe. It helps to keep dust at bay and protect your clothes.
- Put a small stopper at the end of the door so that it doesn’t recoil after banging on the other side.
- Refrain from using locks; these can damage the doors if they get stuck between the two doors.
Once you get these basics right, it is time to move onto the next step which is “where to use sliding doors in your home”
Space utilization tip:
Sliding wardrobes are not restricted to only your bedroom. These are extremely handy when customized to fit under the stairs, lofts or attic spaces. These dead spaces can be efficiently utilized by getting your own custom built sliding wardrobe.
Effective way to increase shelf space:
An effective way to increase shelf space is to install pull out trays, box shelves and pull down hanging rails where the height of the shelf is high.
You can use these in your bedroom where you have the entire floor to ceiling space to play with.
Want to get a sliding wardrobe on a budget?
You can change your conventional wardrobe to one with a sliding door by replacing only the doors. This way you will spend only on the new sliding doors and the hardware mechanism for the shutters. What you may have to do though, is to find someone who has had plenty of experience doing this kind of replacement.
Once you have figured out where you need your sliding doors wardrobes, the quest for the right type of sliding wardrobe begins!
There are mainly 4 types of hardware systems that these doors operate upon.
- Top running sliding door fitting
- Bottom running sliding door fitting
- Vertically running slider
- Collapsible doors
The electro mechanical opening system, popularly known as the soft-close mechanism. For operating large and heavy doors, it is advisable to use this particular soft-close mechanism.
It only takes a gentle push to open or close the doors, which are propelled by the electromagnetic system. These are more expensive than manual ones.
1.Top running sliding door fitting: (Also called top line slider)
As explained above, this mechanism allows the doors to slide freely without any weight falling upon the doors as they are suspended from the top.
When the technical things are implanted in a proper way while fixing we can get the perfect output just like this.
Advantage of using Top line slider wardrobes:
They help in increasing the longevity of the door but nothing comes cheap, you need to spill out some more money to enjoy the durability of your wardrobe as they are expensive..!!
2.Bottom running sliding door fitting:(Also referred as Bottom line slider)
Cheaper than the top running system, this mechanism is slightly underrated due to the wheels getting stuck in the channels. However, if you manage to get the channels cleaned regularly and have used a good quality door that wont bend even with the entire weight of the door falling on it, you may have a winner in this mechanism.
3.Vertically running slider:
Though this option comes only in the imported and pre-designed wardrobes, it is something that is truly innovative. A single movement of the hand closes two doors in opposite directions. Very expensive option since entirely imported.
Although these doors do open out in the front, the space taken up by them is less than half of a conventional wardrobe door. The doors fold in half its size and run only on sliders attached to the top of the mainframe.
Thus the doors never stray from the wardrobe mainframe and are always hugging the wardrobe.
That said, wardrobe designs vary in size, appearance and make. There a lot of things you can get customized to suit your needs. Customization takes time and a lot of course correction along the way.
Disadvantages of using Top line slider wardrobes:
Though the sliding wardrobes come with a number of advantages, it is also prone to a few disadvantages.
Blocked on One Side:
The door of the sliding wardrobe does not open completely and this means one side of the wardrobe will always remain blocked or closed. Hence, in the case of cleaning the wardrobe, you cannot clean the entire space in one go. You can clean one side of the wardrobe first and then the other side. Besides, accessing articles on the closed side of the wardrobe might be tough if not impossible.
Lesser Use of the Doors:
When you have hinged doors, you can make use of the backside of the doors too for hanging clothes, purses, or other accessories. But this is not in the case of the sliding wardrobe. As you are not able to reach out to the backside of the sliding door properly, you cannot think of installing a hook or something on it where you can hang your items. Hence, you cannot utilize the door of a sliding wardrobe the way you can utilize a hinged door.
The wheels of the channel may get jammed in the due course. And, it may pose challenges for you to move or access the stored away stuff inside. Also, sliding wardrobe doors require extra maintenance, such as regular lubricating so that they can work properly. You will not find such difficulty in the case of the hinged doors.
Latest/trending sliding wardrobe designs in the industry
Already made a decision to get sliding wardrobes for your home? Here are some of the latest and trending designs in the industry to go for.
While most people use a single material, combining two materials can offer a great look. Combining options such as wood and glass or similar other combinations can be a great option.
There can be different mirror patterns to go for. You can either have a full mirrored door or can have the mirror at some parts such as in the center or at one side of the sliding wardrobe.
Similar to mirrors, there can be several glass patterns available such as transparent glass, black glass, or even patterned glass. Choose the right one depending upon your room’s interior and your requirements.
Bright and Bold Patterns:
If the interior of your room demands, you can always make use of bright and bold coloured patterns over your sliding wardrobe door.
There are many homeowners who even prefer to customize designs on the sliding wardrobe doors such as floral designs sandwiched between glasses or wallpapers over the door and similar others.
But most importantly, it is time to move from the conventional wardrobes to sliding doors. For the old must give way to the new!