How to work out the number of sliding wardrobe doors required for an aperture / opening width

In this article we discuss how to work out the number of sliding wardrobe doors that will work best across the width of an opening. There are a variety of factors to take into account when choosing the number of doors required. For example, you may already have internal fixtures (eg. pull-out drawers or pull-down hanging rails) within your wardrobe space and so you will want to match access to these with the positioning of the doors. Or, you may want to use the door widths themselves to form an overall look eg. use more tall, thin doors to emphasise the height of the room or fewer wide doors to create a real statement within the room.

The size of your room

In general, we recommend that if your room is very small aim to use fewer doors of a wider width rather than more doors of a narrower width. Conversely, if you have a large area to work with, calculating the number of doors based on a wider measure will make for a more visually pleasing effect. Also, as a good rule of thumb, we recommend your sliding wardrobe doors be a minimum of 600mm width, unless your available space is very narrow, in which case we recommend you read our narrow sliding wardrobe doors article.

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In most cases the fewer doors that are involved in a design, the less costly the system will be. So, if limiting the cost is your main consideration, aim to design an installation that uses fewer doors.

Measuring the width of your aperture

It is important to take accurate width measurements of your opening or aperture – please read our measuring guide to understand how to do this.

These are our recommended door combinations for the following aperture widths.

Aperture width Number of doors required
600mm - 2400mm 2 doors / 3 doors
1800mm - 3580mm 3 doors / 4 doors
2400mm - 4760mm 4 doors / 5 doors
4760mm - 5000mm 5 doors
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Please bear in mind that if you want to include soft-closers with our sliding wardrobe doors then each door needs to be a minimum width of 450mm to allow a single soft-closer mechanism to be fitted; and 850mm width for double soft-closer mechanisms to be fitted, ie. to enable the door to soft-close in both directions.

We do offer extra-wide sliding wardrobe doors and room dividers, with individual doors being available in widths up to 1500mm – please read our extra wide sliding wardrobe doors guide.

What number of doors will best work with my aperture/opening width?

• Two-door sliding wardrobe
A two-door arrangement will run on a double track and allows for access to approximately half the wardrobe interior at any one time (as one door slides behind, or in front of, the other – see Fig 1a.

• Three-door sliding wardrobe
By default, a three-door arrangement comes with a double track system. This means that you will only be able to access a third of the wardrobe at any one time – see Fig 2a. This may be adequate if the doors are reasonably wide but it is worth bearing in mind the amount of practical access achievable with narrower doors.

A three-door arrangement could run on a triple track system and this arrangement enables up to two-thirds of the wardrobe’s interior space to be accessed at any one time – see Fig 2b.

A three-door on a triple track arrangement works well if your available aperture is relatively narrow and you have, for example, three corresponding interior storage spaces, eg. shelf units or drawers.

A triple track is achieved by using a double track with a single track set behind it. For more information about this please refer to our article Triple track sliding wardrobe doors.

Please contact the Design Team on 0800 035 1730 if you would like to specify a triple track system for your door set-up.

• Four-door sliding wardrobe
A four-door arrangement will offer you the most flexibility and will enable maximum accessibility to your interior wardrobe space – see Fig 3a.

With the four-door on double track option the doors can be set on the tracks in two different configurations:

Alternate: the second configuration is as an alternating door set-up, i.e. with the first door on the rear track; the second door on the front track; the third door on the rear track; and the fourth door on the front track – see Fig 3b. With this configuration there are three door overlaps.

Meet-in-the-middle: the first configuration is the one described above where the two centre doors meet in the middle, ie. the first door is on the rear track; the second and third doors are on the front track and the fourth door is on the rear track – see Fig 3c. With this configuration there are two door overlaps.

Either of these door configuration options work well and won’t limit usability or accessibility, but the former option involves fewer door overlaps and, in our opinion, with the two centre doors hung on the front track, looks slightly neater as the doors are visually symmetrical. We will always ask you which door set-up you prefer once you have placed your order.

Four doors installed on a double track will allow the two doors on the rear track to be moved behind the two doors on the front track, enabling approximately half of the wardrobe space to be accessed at any one time. This option is also particularly suited for a wardrobe that runs across the full width of a room or, where the wardrobe doors cover a chimney breast, as it allows a flat screen TV to be attached to the chimney breast and when the two middle doors are slid to the left and right the TV can be viewed – see Fig 3d.

• Five-door sliding wardrobe
A five-door arrangement is recommended if your overall opening width is wider than 4760mm. A five-door arrangement would be installed on a double track system and this could give you access of up to two-fifths of the interior wardrobe space at any one time – see Fig 4a.

What if my overall width is greater than 5000mm?

The maximum length of the top and bottom tracks we supply is 5000mm. If your opening is wider than this it is still possible to create a full width installation by dividing the overall width into different sections. For example, if your overall width is 5200mm then you could incorporate a dividing panel in the centre and create two sets of three-door wardrobes on either side of the central division, each at 2600mm width.

We don’t recommend attempting to join two sections of track to ‘bridge’ an opening of more than five metres. However neatly the top and bottom tracks are butted up to one another the wheels will prematurely wear the rubber top guides and over time these will fail.

Accommodating existing wardrobe interiors

If you are installing sliding wardrobe doors across the front of an existing wardrobe fixture where the sections are not moveable consider carefully where the new doors will need to be positioned in order to allow items such as drawers to be opened or slide-out clothing rails to be extended. If you already have a number of carcasses installed and these are all of equal width then it is likely that if you match the number of doors to the number of carcasses, the accessibility to these should not be compromised. Alternatively, you may be able to use a system that uses two or three wider sliding doors to cover four or six narrower carcass fixtures.

The internal spaces on most existing wardrobes are a not equal – for example, an off-set chimney breast with unequal width alcoves either side could present accessibility issues, in which case we would suggest using the optimum number of doors to suit the space, probably a three door or four door system.

If you are in any doubt about the best number of doors to order to work with an existing wardrobe interior please contact us for advice before ordering. If you can provide photographs and accurate measurements we will be able to advise you of the best solution which will take into account the overlaps of the sliding doors in various widths or arrangements. We know many of our customers like to use IKEA wardrobe interior storage units behind our sliding doors and these come in a range of widths: usually 500mm, 750mm and 1000mm width cabinets / drawers. If you are intending to use our sliding doors in front of IKEA wardrobe interior storage units (particularly pull-out drawers) please let us know and we can check your design to make sure the doors will work with the interior units.

Accessibility within your home

Although it seems an obvious point, please make sure that you will be able to manoeuvre your wardrobe doors to the point in your home where they will finally be installed. Tight doorways or turns on stairwells could pose problems of manoeuvrability. Such features within your home may have a bearing on the maximum width of doors that you will be able to handle.

If you are concerned about any such issues we suggest you make a simple mock-up of a door so you can test whether they will be able to be carried to their final destination for installation. This could be made from cardboard packing boxes or with lengths of slim timber. If you contact us on 0800 035 1730 we can let you know what the final dimensions of your doors will be.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your sliding wardrobe system please call the Design Team on 0800 035 1730.

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