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What is a Recessed Door?

G.K. Bayne

Pocket doors, recessed doors or bi-fold walls all have the same operation in common; they are movable partitions that can be hidden from view when rolled into a wall opening. These hidden doors, when closed, can define a small room or hide laundry areas and closets.


Sliding doors, recessed doors or the roll away type have come back into popularity. Used for the space they save, a recessed door does not swing open into a room. When installed, the door fits into a common 3 1/2-inch framed wall. A track is used for the door assembly to ride upon for opening and closing.


In the definition of space or to block views from clothes closets, the recessed door can be employed. Mounted on a rolling track, this 1 3/8-inch thick, hollow core door is lightweight. Many manufacturers of these types of doors supply complete mounting hardware for a fast and easy installation. Requirements for the recessed door are generally only the width of the door itself within the open cavity wall framing. This allows the pocket door to fit most anywhere.


Folding or Bi-fold doors can also be used for concealing laundry areas or in bisecting large rooms. The doors are mounted to an overhead track that guides the assembly to the opened and closed position. Open cavities or recesses in the adjoining wall conceal the bi-fold assembly, when in the full open position. A small door is used that blends into the rooms surrounding architecture to hide the bi-fold assembly in the cavity.


Recessed doors can be constructed of many types of materials.Composite wood allows the door to be painted to match wall colors. Solid natural wood is used for rooms with wood paneling, this hides the doors appearance when in the closed position, creating an almost secret opening in the wall, as hinges are not seen on the track operated door.


Entire movable walls can be constructed into a recessed door. The only requirement is that there is enough room for the door to be slid into the open cavity. Heavy duty, well-balanced track assemblies allow almost any size or type of door to be recessed, as long as the support framing for the track is strong enough. Even large, solid wood dividers can be moved with the ease of a finger touch.