There are 4 main types of opening mechanisms for internal doors:
hinged: the standard, most popular and most affordable type. Easy to use and practical, it is suitable for all rooms without any particular space issues;
folding: the leaf is divided up into two parts (identical or asymmetrical) and it folds open, reducing the amount of space inside the room;
sliding (inside or outside the wall): the panel shifts parallel with the wall, disappearing into a counter wall or sliding along an external track on the wall. They are ranked first in the “space-saving door” classification;
flush-fitting: the latest versions to have joined the range, but the most popular from a design perspective. They show the leaf flush with the wall, generating a clean-cut and understated look that does not require any mouldings and edge covers.
Differences between a hinged door and a sliding door
When should you choose one type rather than the other? Let’s discover the characteristics of both models:
hinged: as the leaf opens, it performs an “imaginary” arch the same width as the panel, occupying space inside the room. It features hinges (concealed or exposed) allowing rotation and handles to be picked according to the desired styling. It is available in standard dimensions (70/80 cm wide and 210 cm high) but also in two-leaf or oversized models, as high as the ceiling. The choice of finishes and materials is also entirely customisable. The direction of opening can be left or right, push or pull. There are also reversible models, where the direction of opening can be chosen at the time of installation. These doors are ideal when the room has a regular geometry and there are no particular constraints;
sliding: Let’s begin with the pocket models. They require counterframes to be bricked into the wall (in masonry or plasterboard) inside which the panel (wood or glass) slides, disappearing from sight. The room can thus be furnished with complete freedom without the constraint of the door protruding into the room. Those that slide outside the wall are easier to install because they only need a track (concealed or exposed) to be secured to the wall, along which the panel slides. They often have a distinctive design. They can also be double-leaf, with the track fitted to the ceiling even, and most of the time they are also used to access walk-in wardrobes and wardrobes.
The “space-saving” opening mechanisms of folding doors and pocket sliding doors are useful and strategic in various situations. Let’s see which ones:
service rooms: storage rooms, bathrooms, storage under stairs, and cloakrooms are the ideal settings in which this type of opening mechanism can be use used, as they facilitate the organisation of smaller spaces, which can be furnished with the utmost freedom. Doors that slide inside the wall require masonry work and the absence of any structural constraints to be installed. When architectural impediments are present, folding doors are easier to fit. Be aware, however, that the passage way in folding doors is reduced due to the presence of the leaf. So you therefore need to calculate the overall dimensions well;
large rooms such as open-plan living rooms, which however require large-size shielding. In this context, double-leaf sliding doors, either inside or outside the wall, are definitely suitable because they both divide and join together without taking up space, making it easier to fit the furniture inside a single large room. Focusing on the design of these features is a must, as they offer multiple creative solutions with a strong scenic impact, especially glass doors and glazed partitions.
Flush-fitting doors are the most popular interior design solutions among designers because they are extremely versatile: they can blend in with their surroundings or instead be striking and eye-catching. Let’s look at their characteristics:
these doors are special because they don’t have any cornices or door jambs, they don’t show any visible hinges, therefore they lack the typical external finish of a classic door, thus appearing like a simple “cut” in the wall;
they can be painted and finished just like the wall, disappearing completely from view, or constituting a contrasting element. They can be covered with wallpaper, wood and other finishes, thus becoming not only a functional element, but an item of design;
they come in standard sizes and are easy to install. They can also be made oversize and customised with handles, which can be picked in keeping with the style of the home or even “disappear”, to be replaced by push&pull opening mechanisms.