Door dilemma: a lot of work for a little extra space

Door dilemma: a lot of work for a little extra space

Rob and I (OK, actually Rob and his dad) finished tiling the shower surround in our bathroom last month.

(The project took a long time, so long that I decided to skip blogging about it altogether. I am infinitely grateful for his dad stepping in and fixing our little bathroom boondoggle.)

As they did, we started discussing the bathroom door. It opens in, taking up a significant amount of space and whacking the toilet every time.

A pocket door would be perfect there, but no one involved is interested in opening a wall to install one.

We discussed moving it to open out into the hallway. I'm not a fan of the idea, though, because I'm afraid it will break up the visual space you get when you sit in the dining room and look through the hallway door into the bathroom.

I know it's not much of a view, but I'm afraid seeing a door instead of into a pretty, newly-tiled shower will make my house seem all the smaller.

Rob and his dad, who love thinking about this kind of thing, started wondering if they could saw the bathroom door in half, hinging it on both sides and giving it French-door hardware. They'd create a stop and seal the gap using a piece of trim down the middle.

(Other people have done this with actual mini French doors, although I couldn't seem to find anyone online who cut an existing door in half.)

Rob's dad even scoped out a door the correct size at PACA that he seemed to think might stand up to being cut in half. Rob works with some professional carpenters we might be able to pay to take on our little side job and do it right.

We haven't totally decided whether we're going to do it yet, but Rob and I are both intrigued. What do you think – would you go to this amount of effort to save a little space in your bathroom?

Photo is from Apartment Therapy.

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DenaS wrote on January 06, 2011 at 2:01 pm

If it wasn't for the humidity of a bathroom I'd be tempted to suggest using 2 panels of a folding Japanese paper screen hung like a bifold closet door - so it'd slide/fold "back" rather than in, but wouldn't involve any digging into the wall frame itself like a pocket door would. (Something like this? They come in a wide range of sizes, colors, and patterns. I've got one in my basement I'm eventually planning to dissect to use to cover the front of that bookcase that's my improvised kitchen pantry.)

You can also find bifold closet doors that look structurally similar to a wide range of "regular" doors that could probably pull off the same trick: Some examples

Meg Dickinson wrote on January 07, 2011 at 4:01 pm
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That's a good idea, but they'd really need to be sturdy and substantial. The previous owner had hung a curtain (made of heavy material and with nice hardware) in lieu of a door. Having lived there for two years, I don't know how she ever hosted parties. Maybe her guests weren't shy, because that would've afforded next to no privacy.