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girl_wonder

reach-in closet: 2 pair of doors or 3 bypass doors?

girl_wonder
2 years ago

We're adding a new master bedroom onto our 1940s bungalow, so this room is new construction, but we are constrained by the house/lot. What this means is, no walk-in closet (wah!) but a long reach-in closet along on the wall. The total interior width is 10' and the current sketch shows a ~7' opening with 3 bypass doors. If I get a 3-track system, the door tracking hardware take >6". Plus who loves bypass doors? (at least they are better than bi-fold. yikes). Any thoughts or recommendations or experiences to share?


here's the 3 bypass (I'd get doors to match the house, probably single panel)




here's a pair of doors. My windows/doors have that wide 4" trim.



I'm having a hard time finding pics of the interior, but I assume it's one big space.


Here's an older thread. At this previous person said, I have limited room to swing out the door, about 3' before it hits a king-sized bed. I'd prefer the breathing room of mini doors and plus opening two doors feels nicer, right?) Thanks for your help!


https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2314386/two-pairs-of-swing-doors-for-closets

Comments (28)

  • Josie23: Zone 5: WI
    2 years ago

    Bifold doors have come a long way since the old days, you may want to check them out again. Is your closet kept neat enough to hang a pretty curtain or divider and skip the doors altogether?

    girl_wonder thanked Josie23: Zone 5: WI
  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    2 years ago

    Two sets of bi hinge doors without question.

    girl_wonder thanked HALLETT & Co.
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  • Mrs. S
    2 years ago

    Well, we have a long closet like that and I had to install a new 3-track (it came with a 2-track). It made all the difference in the world. Now, all 3 doors open, exposing 2/3 of the opening. that's really good. It allows you to have drawers installed inside, so you can actually access them, whereas with 2 tracks, you see less of the inside of the closet than if you only had 2 wider doors, and drawers were really out of the question.

    Anyway, I researched bifold doors also, but I read all kinds of terrible things about them in these forums: they never stay on the track; they take up 4-6" of space on each side of the opening, making the closet return area even less accessible, etc.

    Yes, it's possible there are some made better now. You can look into that. But I will say, who cares about the 6" the track takes up... just do some nice molding on the outside of the closet door and you'll never notice it.

    girl_wonder thanked Mrs. S
  • btydrvn
    2 years ago

    One thought on this....10’ feet of closet seems insufficient for two people...if that is the case I would look for ways to add another...perhaps with more info.... other suggestions can be offered?...

    girl_wonder thanked btydrvn
  • Lyndee Lee
    2 years ago

    I am not a fan of sliders at all, but 3 door system is definitely better than a two track setup. I would personally choose hinged doors rather than sliders or bifolds as the inside of the doors is great space for hanging small accessories or mounting a shoe rack

    girl_wonder thanked Lyndee Lee
  • Angel 18432
    2 years ago

    Totally agree with Lyndee. Do hinged doors.

    girl_wonder thanked Angel 18432
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I’m glad bi-folds are getting better but I have too much emotional baggage with the old ones (including my current laudry room). Also, I want solid doors (not hollow) to match the rest of the house, so I think the narrow “French doors” style is probably best for supporting that weight. Good to know the 3 track sliders are better. I was imagining using the 3 doors on a 2 track system—I think I’d last about a week before I began to feel like Houdini doing some magic show, flipping those doors back and forth trying to find things in the closet. FWIW, when I’ve been googling looking at different ideas and sizes, I’ve found articles on how to convert bi-fold doors to french doors and how to convert sliders to french doors, but I haven’t run across anyone (yet?) who wanted to switch it the other way. I also think the hinged doors probably fit the era of my house better.


    And yes, @ritasj 10’ wide is less than ideal. FWIW, this olde bungalow has two small bedrooms in front, one with the original 4’ wide closet and the second with an expanded 7’ wide closet (due to a 1980s remodel). I will have extra storage space in the study/den, so I can use that for out-of-season clothes/storage. Old houses are charming but they are not overflowing with storage.

  • btydrvn
    2 years ago

    Still not much info provided...but if you have two small bedrooms..maybe one could be converted into a dressing room/walk-in closet..know this is a long shot but just can’t imagine spreading your things all thru the house could be a convenient alternative

    girl_wonder thanked btydrvn
  • Mrs. S
    2 years ago

    No, 3 doors on a 2 track system is the worse of all the possibilities. That means that maximum open-age is only 1/3 of the opening! It's terrible! We lived with that for too long, and had someone come in and change it for the 3 track, which means 2/3 of the closet can be open. That made a huge difference, as you can then access the middle portion of the closet.

    girl_wonder thanked Mrs. S
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks Mrs. S. Do you know, are the doors solid wood? I’m curious whether a sliding track system can support the weight. Some friends moved into a new house and found that even a single pocket doors was harder to use when it was a solid wood door.

  • Josie23: Zone 5: WI
    2 years ago

    I just built a new custom home last year. I used bi-fold on the coat closet by the door and the hall closet. They are solid wood, no slats, match the other doors in the house and are good quality. No they are not cheap. In fact a bifold door costs TWICE as much as a single door because they are essencially 2 doors each. But they are nice, solid wood and open easily. It's worth looking into depending on your budget. You probably won't get solid wood at a home depot/menards type store but solid, high-quality bifolds are available.


    I also have 2 solid pocket doors (master closet & laundry room) and they slide easily and the track supports the weight just fine. There may be different quality tracks available, again you get what you pay for.


    Waudena Millwork

    girl_wonder thanked Josie23: Zone 5: WI
  • Mrs. S
    2 years ago

    Our doors are not solid wood, they came with our tract house.

  • jeannetteburgess
    2 years ago

    Are pocket doors a possibility?

  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I love the look of the swing doors but this morning I realized they would hit the nightstands, since I won't have space for a very long return. So...looks like sliders after all.


    Mrs S, did you buy a brand of super-duper hardware for your new 3-track system?

    I assume the track is thicker --so does it just go into the closet a little bit more? thanks

  • btydrvn
    2 years ago

    The sliders in your pic appear to able to open only one third of the space at a time...two would open half the space at one time..no matter the challenge ...that would be my choice...I still feel like everyone’s Hans are tied with only a picture of the doors...a floor plan may offer some alternative to make this work better...

  • btydrvn
    2 years ago

    Missed the concept suggested that allows all three doors to stack up and leave a two thirds opening..that does sound best..Though it sounds like a lot of sliding if you are not very strategic with how you locate the contents in your closet...is this the only possible location of the closet?

    girl_wonder thanked btydrvn
  • Relsa
    2 years ago

    Maybe barn-style doors?

    girl_wonder thanked Relsa
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks for the additional comments. Barn door won't work (no place for the doors to go).

    Here are some better pics, 3 doors stacking. I agree, ritasj, this closet will benefit from good planning on the storage.




    I'll probably get single panel or maybe 2 panel, here they are closed




    Here's the plan with the two pairs of swing doors. The bed will go against the wall on the top, and there are large windows on the other walls (I'm trying to maximize the view of my backyard).



    The interior of the closet is 10.5' wide. From the top (right) we have a 24" return, 18" pair of doors (36" total), 12" wall/posts, 18" pair of doors (36" total), and then 18" return to the left. It may be possible to shrink that left return (my GC says he only needs a 4" post to support the header) and make the doors slightly larger, like 20", so two 40" openings. I think the narrow doors might look closer to this. What do you think?




    Thanks for your help and comments!

  • Kate
    2 years ago

    We currently have 3 doors on two tracks, not ideal since you have to keep moving doors every time you want to figure out what to wear. If you are sharing the closet space, I love the pic of the 4 swing doors.
    We thought about removing the entire closet door wall and doing custom from floor to ceiling and end to end, with all kinds of features and no dead space. I love that idea best, but pricey.

    girl_wonder thanked Kate
  • Kate
    2 years ago

    Something like this would give you the most usable storage.

  • Lyndee Lee
    2 years ago

    I love the look of the two pairs of swingout doors. I think your drawing version will look even better as they are two separately trimmed openings, not a single opening with wide trim in the center. Plus this allows you to use the back sides of those doors for more storage

    girl_wonder thanked Lyndee Lee
  • btydrvn
    2 years ago

    Sounds like the back side of doors could have small hooks for bathrobes..pajamas.....night gowns?...those sliding doors look like a pain to me...maybe put hubby on that side with no no side table?...or a smaller one?...a nice little chest with a top for him to park his stuff on under the window at the end of the bed or elsewhere?

    girl_wonder thanked btydrvn
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Kate, thanks for your info and encouragement. Good point about the $ of the redo--more reason to get this right the first time around. Those cabinets look super efficient and ...pricey. ;) But good to consider.


    LyndeeLee--thanks for the encouragement and for pointing out that my configuration will look better. You're probably right. Even with 20" wide doors, the gap between the doors will be wider and each pair will be trimmed out separately. Plus my wall will have longer returns, so it won't look like such a tight fit.


    ritasj, ah, good point. We do have 2 nightstands now but there's no law saying they have to match.


    Thanks again for all the encouragement. Man, all these details. I had no idea how much I didn't know when I started this project! ;)

  • hapahaole
    last year

    Our wall of closets is about 11’6”. The closet is a deep reach in... 3’ deep. My husband had the left half and I have the right half. It feels separate enough for me. There’s a little crossover in the middle where we have some hooks for hats, but otherwise we keep to our own sides. I like having the doors instead of sliders. We put wood/mirrored sliders in my kids’ rooms and they are really heavy and harder to move. My closet door does hit the door into the bedroom, so w have to be careful about that.

    girl_wonder thanked hapahaole
  • smihol
    3 months ago

    girl_wonder

    What did you decide to do?! We are in a very similar situation (almost the same space) and we

    are either going to do the 3 door / 3 track slider OR bifolds (Magiglide?!). Would love to know what you decided and how it's going.

    Our project is more complicated because I use a wheelchair, so the ease of opening the doors is a major factor...

  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    I choose 2 pairs of double doors and it worked out great. I hired a closet organizing company to optimize the space. At first that person said the deep “returns” on each end would be hard to access but it worked out fine.

  • poorgirl
    3 months ago

    Girl wonder , could you show some pictures and also show what you decided to do with organizers? We are currently building the master closet and I’m stuck as to what to do in the inside.