As a woodworker and DIYer, I’m often asked how small a closet door can be while still being functional. There’s a perception that closet doors need a certain standard width to open appropriately or provide access. But in reality, closet doors can be much smaller than you might think!
In this post, I’ll draw on my 15+ years of woodworking experience to give you the complete lowdown on small closet doors. We’ll look at the factors determining the minimum size, the various types of doors, and creative solutions to make even the tiniest closet usable. Learn how a space-saving closet door can open up your room’s potential!
- 1 Why Closet Door Size Matters
- 2 Standard Sizing vs. Custom Doors
- 3 Special Considerations for Small Spaces
- 4 Tips for Measuring Small Closets
- 5 Installing Small Closet Doors
- 6 Creative Small Closet Storage Solutions
Why Closet Door Size Matters
Let’s start by looking at why closet door dimensions are essential in the first place. There are a few key factors at play:
- Accessibility: The door must be broad enough to allow comfortable access to the closet. It is too small, and it becomes a struggle to get inside.
- Clearance: The door requires a certain amount of support to open without hitting walls or obstacles. Smaller doors need less consent.
- Usage: A walk-in closet needs a broader door than a reach-in closet for clothing storage. Consider how you’ll use the space.
- Aesthetics: Door size impacts the look and feel of a room. A tiny door can create a cozier vibe.
- Lighting: Smaller doors allow more natural light into the closet from the room.
Getting the size right means balancing these practical and aesthetic factors.
Standard Sizing vs. Custom Doors
Most residential closet doors fall within a range of standard widths and heights:
- 30-36 inches wide x 72-80 inches high
But custom doors outside these dimensions are also widespread. Having an accurately measured custom door made ensures your closet access is optimized.
As a woodworker, I love the challenge of creating custom doors for awkward closet layouts. The key is taking careful measurements and factoring in the swing clearance required.
For accessibility purposes, the ADA recommends 32 inches wide x 80 inches high as a comfortable minimum.
Special Considerations for Small Spaces
When dealing with a small, awkward closet, you must get creative with the door size and type. Here are some solutions I’ve used in tiny spaces:
Sliding doors are great for small closets because they don’t swing out into the room. A sliding door just needs enough wall space for the track. I’ve installed functional sliding doors in openings as narrow as 12 inches.
Bifold doors are another option for tiny closets. The bifold panels accordion fold snugly against each other when closed. For a 12-inch wide closet, a narrow 2-panel bifold door would work well.
Pocket doors slide directly into the wall, completely disappearing! Look for pocket door hardware for a small closet explicitly designed for tight spaces.
Accordion doors are made of jointed panels that fold up like an accordion. They can compress into a tiny space when open. I once created an accordion door for a 9-inch wide laundry nook!
Curtains or Portieres
For a flexible solution, curtains or fabric portieres allow easy access while adding a decorative flair. Drapes also insulate the closet space. Install curtain rods at least 12 inches wider than the opening.
Tips for Measuring Small Closets
When taking measurements for a custom small closet door, here are a few tips:
- Use a steel tape measure for accuracy. Measure to the nearest 1/16th inch.
- Measure from the inside edges of the door framing.
- Measure the height on both sides and width on top and bottom. Check for plumb and level.
- Note any obstructions that will impact door clearance.
- Account for baseboard thickness in the height measurement.
Always measure carefully! Even 1/4 inch can make a difference in such a tight space.
Installing Small Closet Doors
When installing a door for a tiny closet, having the right tools is vital:
- A slim pry bar helps maneuver the door into place.
- A magnetic level ensures the door hangs plumb.
- A drill/driver helps with a secure installation.
- Shims fine-tune the fit and alignment.
Patience is also essential! Take it slow and double-check as you go. Rushing leads to mistakes.
Creative Small Closet Storage Solutions
Once you have the perfect small closet door installed, a bit of DIY creativity will maximize your new storage space:
- Use vertical hanging rods and stackable shelves to optimize vertical storage.
- Install closet organizing systems to multiply usable space.
- Try pull-out drawers on the bottom for accessories.
- Use door-mounted storage for things like belts and ties.
- Add stylish baskets for folded clothes.
- Install adjustable shelving to fit odd-shaped areas.
With clever woodworking and storage solutions, even the tiniest closet can become a functionally stylish space!
This gives you inspiration and ideas for your tiny closet project. Remember that there are always possibilities with a bit of creative thinking. Don’t be afraid to dream up a custom solution!