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What Are the Different Types of Laundry Room Doors?

Rebecca Mecomber
Rebecca Mecomber

For thousands of years, laundresses scrubbed dirty clothing in nearby bodies of water and lined tree branches with the laundry to dry. The inception of modern automatic laundry appliances brought with it the laundry room, a devoted room or closet set aside specifically for the laundering of clothes. The laundry room is a utility room, separated from the more formal living rooms of the house, and such a room therefore needs a suitable laundry room door. Laundry rooms doors come in all shapes and sizes: bifold laundry room doors, folding doors, pocket sliding doors and simple utility room doors. No matter the type, laundry room doors serve as a screen from the other rooms in the house and as a muzzle to quiet the noise from the laundry machines.

The most basic of all laundry room doors are the interior laundry room doors with swinging hinges and a doorknob. Purchased as a stock item or custom made, these laundry room doors mimic the architectural design of the other doors in the home. Some interior laundry room doors called colonial-style doors sport four or six raised panels, and they are suitable for a traditional style home. For contemporary or rustic homes, hollow slab doors constructed of luan paneling make appropriate closet laundry room doors. The more ornate utility room doors might feature a wooden frame with frosted glass or several panes of glass in a French door style.

Laundry detergent.
Laundry detergent.

Bifold laundry room doors are extremely popular because of their versatility and variety of styles. These doors, usually installed in pairs for wide closets, are narrow door panels situated on tracks and connected with hinges. When the doors are pressed in the center, the hinges cause the doors to fold open. These laundry room doors are perfect for narrow laundry room closets or for wide door openings. Bifold laundry room doors come in a dizzying array of sizes and styles, including raised panel, flat panel, louvered, glass and wood.

Laundry room doors may have shelves to store soaps and bleach.
Laundry room doors may have shelves to store soaps and bleach.

Folding laundry rooms doors are prized for their extreme space-saving properties. Similar to the bifold door design, the folding door folds in on itself when opened. The folding door, however, has numerous folds, so that when it opens the door collapses into a neat, narrow curtain, like a drapery that forms pleats when shifted to one side of the window. Folding doors sit in a track and have a handle at one end for opening and closing. Most folding doors are constructed of plastic, although more expensive models are made of wood.

Sliding laundry rooms doors are very similar to basic interior room doors in size and style. These doors slide, however, and do not open via hinges and doorknobs as basic interior doors do. They sit in a track and slide back and forth within the door opening. Sliding doors are best suited for laundry rooms that lack the space to accommodate a swinging interior door. The caveat with sliding doors is that the doors overlap each other, making only half of the closet accessible at a time.

Discussion Comments


@heavanet- If you don't need doors that shut tightly, I think that swinging doors are your best option, because they are very easy to open and close even if your hands are full.

Swinging doors attach to both sides of a doorway with hinges that allow them to move back and forth easily when someone nudges them to open them. Though they don't latch tight, they close enough to keep the room shut off from other areas of the house. Yet when you need to get into the room without hassling with a doorknob, swinging doors are ideal.

When it comes to a room like a laundry area where several people are not going in and out at one time, swinging doors are a great option. Though they wouldn't work on a family room or a kitchen, they are quite handy for a room where only one person is working and needs the convenience of easy-to-open doors. If keeping them latched is a problem, you can always install a hook lock on them so you can shut them tightly when the room is not in use.


My laundry room is very difficult to get in and out of, so I need to find a better option for replacement laundry room doors.

First of all, I'm usually juggling a large basket of laundry while trying to open a heavy wooden door that has the tendency to swing shut before I'm all the way through it. This makes it difficult to get into the room without spilling the laundry on the floor.

My other problem is that once I have washed and folded my laundry, I have a hard time holding the basket while trying to open the door. What is my best option for doors that won't be so difficult to open and close when my hands are full with laundry?

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    • Laundry detergent.
      By: elena korn
      Laundry detergent.
    • Laundry room doors may have shelves to store soaps and bleach.
      By: WimL
      Laundry room doors may have shelves to store soaps and bleach.