11 Types Of Closet Doors Based On Function And Style

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling an existing one, everything in the house serves a distinct purpose – and the closet doors are no exception! The type of closet door that you choose should complement the flow of the space and also enrich the usage of the closet. In most cases, the type of closet door is influenced by the type of closet. For example, a standard reach-in closet will have different options than a walk-in closet.

Closet doors can be categorized based on operation, style, and material, including everything from sliding, pivot, accordion, and pocket sliding doors to mirrored, barn, and even bookcase style closet doors.

With such a wide variety of doors available for closets, we understand how intimidating it can be to choose the perfect one. Although, getting to know the types of doors available can put you on your way to designing the home of your dreams.

We’ve broken down all of the types of closet doors you have to choose from so you can determine which will work best in your home.

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Types of Closet Doors Based on Operation

Here are the most common types of closet doors based on how they are operated.

1. Sliding/ Bypass Closet Doors

Sliding closet doors, also referred to as bypass doors, are lightweight metal or wooden doors that are installed on a sliding track that allows the two sections of the door to slide past each other when pushed open. This type of closet door was incredibly popular in mid-century construction, and particularly throughout the 1980’s. While they are still in use, these doors are not as popular as many other types.

Although sliding closet doors are effective space savers, they are often expensive since they must be personalized based on the available space. They also make accessing your closet difficult, as you can only get to one side at a time and cannot fully take advantage of the center of your closet space.

2. Pivot Closet Doors

Pivot closet doors can create a bold statement in your living space. Instead of using traditional hinges along the frame, these doors have pivots installed at the top and bottom of the door. These pivots allow the closet door to be opened completely, providing full access to the entire closet space.

Similar to sliding closet doors, pivot closet doors can be personalized to fit any space or style. Though, these doors are not ideal for homeowners on a budget because, aside from the pricey hardware, they must be customized and installed by a professional. Pivot closet doors also require plenty of clearance in order to be opened into the room.

3. Accordion Closet Doors

Accordion closet doors, as the name suggests, consist of several narrow panels that when opened fold together like an accordion. They operate along a single track that is installed at the top of the closet. The panels are typically made out of a lightweight PVC or vinyl material that is stretched flat when closed and compressed when open.

As such, accordion closet doors are one of the most affordable options, which makes them ideal for homeowners on a budget. They are also excellent space savers and will work well in bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom closets. The drawback to accordion closet doors is the lack of lower track makes them feel unbalanced when they’re being opened or closed.

4. Bifold Closet Doors

One of the most popular types of doors for closets, bifold doors are designed in either two-panel or four-panel configurations and fold along a hinge at the center. Each panel is linked to another via these hinges. With these doors, the user enjoys access to both side of the closet at once and allows you to utilize the center space.

Bifold closet doors are great for saving space in small rooms. Though, one of the drawbacks of these doors is that they have a tendency to fall off of the track. For this reason, bifold closet doors are not recommended for anyone who has children.

Another downside to these doors when used for a closet is that they do take up some closet space when open. This makes it cumbersome to reach items that you’ve stashed in the farthest corner of the closet.

5. Double/ French Closet Doors

Nothing quite exudes elegance like French doors. Also simply referred to as double doors, these closet doors are essentially a pair of hinged doors, one with a left-hand swing and the other with a right-hand swing. French closet doors are ideal for small closets and are one of the most popular choices among homeowners. They can also offer sophistication for a large walk-in closet in a master suite.

French closet doors are attached with a ball catch at the top and base of the closet, which holds the doors in place and allows you to open either door while the other stays closed. Or, if desired, both doors can be opened at once. Though, unlike sliding closet doors, double doors require sufficient floor space in front of the door to function properly.

6. Single Swinging Closet Door

These are the standard type of door, with either hinges or pivots that allow you to swing it open 90 degrees in one direction. It is ideal for small closets, especially bedroom walk-in closets. Though, like double closet doors, the drawback to single swinging closet doors is that you need the area in front of the door to be free of clutter. This makes these doors unsuitable for small or congested spaces.

7. Pocket Closet Doors

Pocket doors are a form of sliding door that, when opened, are designed to slide into the adjacent wall. When open, these closet doors are invisible and allow complete access to all of the contents of a closet at a given moment. They are excellent space savers and ideal for rooms that do not have enough clearance to accommodate a door swing.

Though, installing pocket doors can be rather expensive since they require special hardware and an opening to be made into the wall. In most cases, you’ll have to hire a professional for this type of installation.

Types of Closet Doors Based on Style

Aside from operation, another way that you can categorize closet doors is based on style. There are many options to choose from, but the following are some of the most popular.

1. Barn Closet Doors

A barn closet door is installed on a track above the door frame and uses small wheels in order to open and close smoothly. Technically a type of sliding door, this closet door can provide a stylish look for both rustic and traditional style homes but tends to look out of place in modern and contemporary spaces.

Barn closet doors work best for spacious rooms and closets that are positioned next to large walls with no obstructions. The door must be able to slide open without running into outlets, light switches, or other objects on the adjacent wall.

2. Mirrored Closet Doors

As the name indicates, mirrored closet doors feature doors panels outfitted with mirrors. They allow light to reflect in the space, making the room appear brighter and larger than it actually is. Mirror closet doors are an excellent choice for anyone looking to enhance the look and feel of their living spaces.

Not to mention, these doors also eliminate the need to purchase a full-length mirror. Though, of all the different types of closet doors out there, mirrored doors are the most fragile. They must feature impact-resistant mirrors coated with a safety-film. For this reason, mirrored closet doors are a poor choice for those on a tight budget.

3. Louvered Closet Doors

These closet doors feature wooden or glass louvers, installed at a specific angle to facilitate airflow without showing the contents of the closet. Louvers are essentially a type of shutter with horizontal slats that are angled in such a way to allow air and light to flow freely.

When used on a closet, these types of doors help keep your clothing fresh, via natural ventilation and lighting. Though, the drawback to louvered closet doors is that they can be challenging to clean, repair, and replace.

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4. Bookcase Closet Doors

A bookcase door, also called a hidden door or jib door, is a type of door that is flush-mounted into the wall – oftentimes without the use of hardware – making it virtually invisible. They are commonly used for concealing the entrance to secret rooms or vaults for storing jewelry, firearms, money, or other precious items.

Though, if you’re looking for something unique for your home, you can choose to install a bookcase door to hide the contents of your closet. When used for this purpose, they also play the role of a bookcase and feature several shelves that can be used for displaying various items. Bookcase closet doors are commonly made from solid wood, which is very pricey.

However, if you’re on a budget, you can opt for plywood with a hardwood veneer. This combination is cheaper than hardwood and also stronger than softwoods.

Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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