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What are Louvered Closet Doors?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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Louvered closet doors cover the front of closets. They are usually made of wood and have rows of slats. The slats are angled to have open vents to let air into the closet without allowing the stored clothing or other items to be visible while the doors are closed. Commonly, louvered doors are bi-fold, which means each door is made up of two hinged panels.

Hinged, bi-fold louvered closet doors may be used individually on a small space, but are usually installed in one or more pairs. Each bi-fold door can then be opened separately to access part of the closet or together to open up the whole space. Since louvered doors feature a smooth frame around or in the middle of the slats of wood, they are nicely detailed and can look much more attractive than their standard, plain counterparts. In the home building industry, the smooth frame sections are called rails, while the rows of slats are known as stiles.

The stiles are either fixed or operable. Operable means that, similar to window blinds, the stiles or slats can be adjusted by hand to stay open or closed. Fixed stile louvered closet doors are much more common; they're non-adjustable and designed to remain open. While some louvered doors feature an allover stile pattern along with the rails, others have stiles only on either the upper or lower half of each closet door.

The more open the stiles or slats are, the more air passes through from the closeted area into the rest of the interior space. Fully slatted, louvered closet doors are popular for laundry and furnace areas, as they allow maximum ventilation while still closing off the space. In some homes, many bi-fold louvered doors are used on a large closet that takes up the better part of a wall, such as in a master bedroom or front hall.

As an alternative to ready-made, bi-fold louvered doors, Hollywood sliders are a popular option for homeowners who wish to hire home building contractors to fit and install them. Hollywood sliders are sliding louvered closet doors that may be white or natural wood finish. Bi-fold louvered door styles are also available in white and wood finishes. Hollywood sliders don't take up as much space as bi-fold styles because there are no hinged panels to create an outward V-shape when a closet door is opened. Rather, they stay flat and slide completely within a metal track in the door frame.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Mykol — On Aug 29, 2011

In my spare bedroom I have a large closet area that has louvered bifold closet doors. This is where I keep my off season clothes and all of my winter coats.

I love having the slats on the doors because this closet doesn't get opened up very often. This way the clothes stay smelling fresh. If they were stored in a closet that was closed up, I would feel like I needed to wash everything again before wearing it.

The only trouble I have with the bifold doors, is sometimes both sides don't stay together. Sometimes when I go in the room, one of the doors will be slightly open. This doesn't hurt anything, but I find myself always checking to make sure they are tight.

By andee — On Aug 28, 2011

We have louvered sliding closet doors in our master bedroom. There are several things I like about these doors. I especially like that it lets air circulate in the closet so it doesn't feel or smell stuffy.

I also find that the sliding door is very convenient. My only complaint with these doors, is they are hard to clean. There is no way to keep dust from accumulating and with the way the slats are slanted, there is no quick and easy way to dust them.

Not that the dusting gets done very often, but it bugs me to see the layer of dust that collects after so long.

By Sara007 — On Aug 28, 2011

It is a really bad idea to put louvered closet doors in your child's room. Our kids have a bad habit of sticking their fingers in places they shouldn't and the slats on louvered doors can just be too inviting for little hands.

While louvered closet doors do keep their clothes smelling fresh, nothing is worse than having your kid start screaming because they hurt themselves on a slat. Not to mention the trauma over losing a doll's head in one.

For my kids I just removed the closet doors completely and created a nice safe shelving area. It looks great and it just one less thing my kids can break or get hurt on.

By Mae82 — On Aug 27, 2011

Louvered closet doors are a great choice if you want to keep your closet smelling fresh. We originally had flat panel doors on our closets but found that during the winter our clothes would start to smell a little off.

Our friend recommended we do a mini renovation and swap our closet doors for louvered ones. The effect was noticeable right away. Our clothes came out of the closet smelling like the rest of the room. This was even true when I started using an air freshener I liked. Nothing like the scent of fresh flowers to make a room more inviting.

By Perdido — On Aug 27, 2011

My sister’s laundry room has a louvered door. This is good, because between her husband, who works outside and has lots of sweaty clothes, and her kids, who swim a lot and have wet bathing suits and towels nearly every day, she has a lot of moist clothes that need air while they wait to be washed.

If damp clothes sit at the bottom of a basket for days, they smell so awful. If you put them in a basket in an enclosed room, they smell even worse. She encourages her family to hang their wet garments across a rail inside the laundry room so that air circulating through the louvered door can reach them.

By OeKc05 — On Aug 26, 2011

I love my louvered sliding closet door, because the design keeps my clothes from smelling musty. The slats run all the way down the length of the door, so air can circulate really well.

The only disadvantage to the design is that it does offer several entrances for insects. I place cedar blocks and chips in my closet because they are supposed to keep moths away. Cedar is my favorite scent, so I don’t mind doing this at all.

The louvered door lets the scent permeate my bedroom, and I think it helps me sleep at night. I know it puts me in a calm state while I’m sitting in the room reading at night.

By shell4life — On Aug 25, 2011

I have a louvered bifold closet door on the one near the front door where we store our coats. We can hang raincoats in there, and the open slats let air inside so that they can dry out. We also let our guests hang their coats in there.

I have another louvered door on my laundry room, and it is close to the side door of our house. My friend had only been over once before, and she had hung her coat in the closet by the front door. When she came over the second time, I let her in the side door, and without even looking inside the closet, she opened it while talking to me and tried to hook her coat on a hanger that wasn’t there.

We had a good laugh when she finally looked and saw a washer and dryer instead of a coat closet. The louvered doors look the same all throughout the house, no matter what lies beyond them.

By wavy58 — On Aug 25, 2011

I have louvered closet doors on my big walk-in closet. I liked to hide out in there as a child, and the slats allowed plenty of air in, so I didn’t get claustrophobic.

Since the slats were pointed downward on the outside of the door, it would be really hard for anyone to see inside the closet. So, I often got dressed in there. If someone were in the outer room, they would have to maneuver themselves into a really awkward position to see through the slats, so I felt secure.

I also liked to talk on the phone inside the closet. I had to be careful what I said, though, because even though the three walls trapped it in, sound would travel through the slats.

By truman12 — On Aug 24, 2011

I can remember some friends of mines parents having one of the strangest louvered closet doors when I was a kid.

It was kind of a combination between a louvered door and a mirror closet door. Each one of the slats was a strip of mirror. When they were all shut the mirrors lined up pretty well and you could see a full body reflection. But when they were tilted upwards they would distort and refract your reflection so you looked like you had been broken into a dozen strips. It was a really weird effect and one that my friend and I never go tired of messing around with.

By Ivan83 — On Aug 24, 2011

Most readers will be familiar with louvered closet doors from the movies. In almost any scene from comedies to horror movies where a character goes to hide in the closet and they are able to spy through the cracks to see what is going on they are looking through a louvered door.

I guess it kind of makes sense, if there was no space in the door how could they ever see out of it. The plot would be ruined. But it has always tickled me how often this exact scene shows up in movies. It would make you think that at some point in out lives we would all end up hiding in closets.

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