In our country, a wardrobe is not so much a tribute to fashion as a new weapon in the historical struggle for square meters.
You have low ceilings, the column is “navel” in the middle of the corridor, the room is disfigured by a stupid niche into which no ready-made furniture will fit, and the wardrobe with a sideboard is littered with dusty suitcases? No problem, order a wardrobe.
Sliding doors require no additional opening space. And since such a cabinet is made and modeled individually, it can be installed anywhere: in the labyrinth of the corridor, and in the cramped office, and in a niche. There is a “compartment” for offices, bedrooms, living rooms, libraries, even for children.
To order exactly the wardrobe that is needed, the buyer must speak with the seller “in the same language”, that is, know his professional terminology.
Here are some special words and phrases
– A false panel is a decorative plate that is used to increase the height of the cabinet, to hide voids. In texture and color, it is usually the same as the finish of the doors..
– Plinth – support strips on which the cabinet is installed. It may not be a load-bearing, but a decorative element.
– Profile – vertical frame of doors (in some variants of cabinets it is also a handle).
Track – maximum length of the guide (rail).
– Melamine is a decorative coating that is resistant to water and mechanical damage. Thicker, more flexible, and stronger than laminate flooring
– MDF – a board made of vacuum-pressed wooden dust (without the use of epoxy resin and phenol, which are harmful to human health).
– Layout – overhead decoration.
– Panel – finishing plate with a convex pattern.
– Faceted mirror is an element of door decor. Has a special, semicircular shape on top, glued to a chipboard plate.
Let’s start with the configuration
Firstly, it is not at all necessary to make the built-in wardrobe solid. Instead of a back wall, side panels, bottom or roof, you can use the walls, floor and ceiling of the room. It is significantly cheaper. The same option is the only solution if you are installing the coupe in a narrow niche (less than 1 m wide). By adding false walls, you reduce the track (“mileage” of sliding doors) and risk getting an inconvenient wardrobe.
Secondly, doors in sliding wardrobes are made not only from a smooth finishing plate, but also from “panels”, glass, mirrors, solid and combined (for example, top – glass or mirror, bottom – chipboard). If funds allow, it is worth using.
Thirdly, which doors are needed (and whether they are needed at all) depends on where the cabinet is installed and what is supposed to be stored in it. For example, in a narrow dark room, mirror panels will be appropriate, visually they will make it wider. Glass is more suitable for a library. The living room will most likely require open shelves for video and audio equipment or a computer..
Fourth, a complex interior solution based on furniture with sliding doors is also possible. For example, a wardrobe can smoothly transition into a bed, then into a desk, and then into a bookcase, one of the sliding doors of which acts as an interior partition. This approach takes into account all the nuances of the location of walls, ceilings, doors, windows and the heating system..
So, the walls of sliding-door wardrobes do not differ in any way from the walls of ordinary ready-made wardrobes (just the difference is that the “compartment” may not have them at all). All the “salt” in the door.
Upon closer examination, there are only two fundamentally different sliding door systems..
The most common – the door along the perimeter is placed in a steel or aluminum frame and rolls on rollers in a groove. The rollers in these systems are usually made of plastic or steel. This installation principle has certain drawbacks: high doors, in case of an accidental impact, for example, from a child, can slide off the guides (however, they are easily put in place), dust, pet hair and small objects that clog into the groove can interfere with movement. Therefore, the grooves and rollers should be vacuumed periodically..
In another way of installing the door, the rollers move along the rail. For increased reliability, the support roller is equipped with a device to prevent slipping off the rail. At the time of installation, this hook snaps onto the lower rail. Such systems have increased protection against dust and sand grains..
It should be noted that noiselessness, ease of sliding doors and the service life of the wardrobe depend on the quality of the guides. The sliding door system comes with a long warranty (sometimes up to 10 years).
The internal arrangement of wardrobes does not differ in variety
All companies offer traditional chipboard shelves and drawers (regular or pull-out). They, as a rule, have standard sizes, so you will hardly be able to order something extraordinary – this is a constructor with given elements that you can “play” with at your discretion. Most likely, you will not be able to order small drawers in narrow sliding wardrobes (standard drawers simply do not open – doors interfere), otherwise there is room for imagination.
Honeycomb elements are interesting: all kinds of baskets and shelves made of vinyl-coated steel. They provide end-to-end air circulation in the cabinet, and thanks to their “transparency” you can see what is stored where. The convenience of such elements also lies in the fact that, if necessary, they can be removed and put into the “compartment” any large-sized object. However, it all depends on how you planned the wardrobe, but it is worth considering such an option.
There is no need to give up the combination of chipboard elements and steel honeycomb. This option can be optimal if you are planning a “compartment” not only as a linen closet. By installing the chipboard drawers, you can store hand tools in them, and in the honeycomb baskets above them, you can fold the laundry for washing. In another part of the closet, you can plan a clothes hanger, and below, under it, a niche for a vacuum cleaner, and on top – a mezzanine (quite possibly with separate doors), where to put boxes and old things…
Sliding wardrobes have their own table of ranks. They are ranked like human society. There is a middle class, there is an “elite”…
All cabinets with a steel profile can be referred to as “simpler” furniture. An example is the actively advertised and therefore the most famous brands Mr.Doors and Stanley. Systems with an aluminum profile are more expensive and more prestigious. Wardrobes with aluminum profiles and natural veneer panels are even more prestigious..
It should be noted that in high-end furniture, glass is usually used to ensure safety, not just covered on the inside with an impact-resistant film, but triplex (as in cars). The mirror is glued to the panel, allowing it to withstand more impacts..
There are cabinets in the assembly of which “euroscrews” are used. Unlike conventional corners, they are almost invisible and avoid gaps between panels. Open shelves, thanks to this, look neater.
Systems of the “Lux” class are equipped with dust-proof brushes and noise-absorbing inserts to ensure perfect smoothness of movement, and their guides are additionally polished. The lack of protection of the door from impacts on the side panel is considered bad form (in most wardrobes, special bumpers are installed).
The color palette of wardrobes is wide enough
As a rule, “basic” colors are offered – white, black, mahogany, oak, walnut, pear, pine, ash, etc. For an additional fee, in some companies you can order panels of exotic shades.
The color of the laminate with which the panels are finished may vary from batch to batch. So, for example, a dark oak can be noticeably different to the eye in shade and pattern. When ordering a cabinet, the seller is obliged to warn the buyer if it is planned to change the demo sample and show a new one: it is considered bad form if the company manufactures the cabinet from a material different from the declared one. In this case, you can demand satisfaction (provided that, when ordering, you looked at the sample of the required formulation “live”, and not from the catalog, and stipulated this in the contract).
All brochures are full of statements that the dimensions of wardrobes are not limited. Is it true? Not really. Manufacturers have a concept – “maximum door height” (respectively, of the opening). If desired, you can build a higher cabinet by installing a mezzanine or a false panel. Thus, on the basis of an aluminum profile, an almost unlimited height is achieved (5 meters will suit any client). As for the length, the maximum track is 480 – 600 cm. If you need more, you have to dock two tracks and divide the cabinet with a structural partition. The depth of the cabinet can really be almost any, as well as the width of the door. Within reasonable limits, of course. Ordering a retractable panel over 90-100 cm is not worth it – it is difficult to “look” behind this.
In order for your new purchase to fit into the dimensions of your home, most firms employ designers who go to the client’s home (payment for his visit is usually included in the total amount of the order and is not negotiated separately). He takes measurements, listens to wishes, gives advice, and then draws up a project.
Payment, as a rule, is made in the company, where you draw up and sign the contract-order. It is performed within a specified time in advance, ranging from three days to a week. If the project is non-standard or is not executed in Russia, then the order is delayed up to one or two months.
Assembly is also carried out by the company’s specialists.
For professional assemblers, the whole process usually takes from one and a half to six hours (depending on the size and complexity of the design).
By the way, it is possible to block the opening from wall to wall with sliding doors of any system on your own, without having special skills – you can save money. But it is better not to mess with the assembly of a complete cabinet, with the ceiling, back and side panels. The ease of movement of doors and the general appearance are often highly dependent not only on the brand, but also on the skill of the assemblers.