Important Considerations For Your Bathroom Door

Written by bprescottFebruary 7, 2012
A bathroom door with sink in background

Getting Creative with Doors and Windows

If you haven't given much thought to the doors and windows of your new bathroom, think again. A door is more than a way to get in and out of the bathroom; it just may be a design solution if your floor plan is tight on space. For example, special hardware allows standard bifold doors to open and fold flat against the wall instead of taking up precious space in the door jamb. Attractive new pocket doors don't need to swing out into the room and take up valuable space.

Many innovative styles and new materials can make a window the focal point of your new bathroom. Sure, a window is a necessary part of a bathroom, letting in daylight and opening up the room to fresh air. But a window can be much more. A decorative window can become a dramatic focal point, and skylights- distant cousins to the window- can visually open up a small bathroom with daylight. Doors and windows are necessary parts of a room, but they can be a solution that makes a bathroom more functional, more accessible, and, yes, more beautiful.

You'll find a wide selection of specialty doors, the related hardware, and windows sold at home centers and lumberyards; many are in stock, but others require a special order. As you're working on your floor plan, consider all your options for doors and windows- they can be more than just an ordinary element of the room.

Using Specialty Doors and Hardware

As you’re designing your new bathroom, consider how much space the swing of the door into the room requires. If you relocate the door on a different wall, will that open up the space in the room? Or if you use the existing door but rehang it on the opposite side of the jamb, will that make for a more pleasing floor plan?

If you have a good solid bathroom door that just needs a fresh coat of paint to make it fit in the new decor, definitely reuse it, but consider changing the doorknob, lock, and hinges to give it a new and fresh look to match the finish on the accessories.

If you're replacing the door with a new one, invest in a solid core door that shuts out sound and offers privacy to those inside (making the noise) so those outside the bathroom can enjoy peace and quiet.

Know-when-to-fold-’em doors

Bifold doors are frequently used in bathroom storage closets or as a way to conceal a clothes washer and dryer when the bathroom does double duty as the laundry room. The trouble with the track hardware of most traditional bifold doors is that it folds the four panels of the doors into the jamb, taking up valuable space. The two door panels on each side take up almost 12 inches, limiting the access and usability of the closet. Full-access folding door hardware, which is installed as a hinging mechanism so the door panels can lay flat against each other, is a better choice. The panels fold outside of the jamb against the wall, giving you easier access to the closet or laundry equipment.

Here are the directions for installing the hardware kit for a full-access folding door made by Johnson Hardware, which is the type we've installed. If you’re using another brand, follow the manufacturer's directions. The steps that follow give you an idea of the work involved:

Handy-as-a-pocket doors

A pocket door slides into a metal and wood cage that is installed as the walls are framed (see Figure 15-2). In some older homes, a sliding pocket door was used to create privacy and separate a living room from a parlor or dining room. The door disappeared into the wall when it wasn't being used but was convenient to pull out when needed. The clever design of a pocket door continues to be a space-saving solution in today's homes, especially in a small bathroom where a hinged door swing takes up too much floor place. The framing hardware within the cavity of the wall allows the door to slide in and out of the wall, a solution in a room where floor or wall space is at a premium.

 

Figure 15-2: A pocket door stores itself inside the wall cavity.

A pocket door is also a good choice for a bathroom for someone who uses a wheelchair or walker because it’s easy to open and close.

Although the hardware can work on any type of door- solid or hollow core or flat or paneled- it’s a good idea to buy a pocket door hardware system that includes the door. For a bathroom, consider a door with a mirror on one or both sides, which is a convenient and useful choice.

 

From ‘Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies’
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

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