8 Types of Room Dividers
- Sliding Barn Doors
- Pocket Doors
- French Doors
- Accordion Doors
- Privacy Screens
- Bookshelf Divider
What Are Room Dividers?A room divider can be anything from a sliding door or curtain to a screen or bookshelf. It divides a space without being a permanent, solid wall. Room dividers are great solutions for larger spaces like lofts or studios, or in areas that need a flexible form of privacy. Sometimes, renters will install portable screens or curtains to limit some of the visual clutter that an open floor plan might create.
Other times, parents choose room dividers like sliding barn doors and French doors to section off play areas or define rooms that are for adults only. Room partitions provide the solution for all of these spaces by creating division without permanently dividing areas, like in traditional floor plans that utilize solid walls with framing.
Sliding Barn DoorsAn innovative option for interior room dividers is a sliding barn door. Rustica’s selection of sliding barn doors includes many options of space-saving panels that move along a track, wall, or ceiling mount. A sliding door is perfect for any interior space that requires a fixed door that acts as a wall divider but allows for movement between rooms. Installing a sliding barn door in open-concept spaces innovatively creates faux division within the floor plan, and hanging sliding barn doors over open storage areas creatively and effectively hides disorganization or clutter from the remainder of the house.
Rustica offers a variety of sliding barn door types. On their website, these doors come in four different systems:
Standard: Single door, single track. A hanger is placed at the top of each side of the door, attaching the panel to a singular mounted track. Pricing ranges from $298-$1278 for standard dimensions.
Biparting: Double door, singular track. The doors slide in front of the wall as they open, diverging to the left and right. Four hangers are needed in total for this system. Pricing ranges from $1100-$6615 for standard dimensions.
Bifolding: Double doors, singular track. Creased panels fold over one another as double doors diverge and slide to either side of the door frame. Pricing begins at $1047 and increases to $2400 for standard dimensions.
Bypassing: Double door, double track. Sliding barn doors each move along their own tracks, allowing them to bypass, moving left to right in front of and behind each other. Four hangers in total are needed to attach these doors to their track. Pricing begins at $1351 and increases to $6637 for standard dimensions.
In addition to meeting spatial needs, barn doors also provide aesthetic appeal. From door finish and dimension to barn door hardware, home renovators can customize each purchase to match their personal design style.
There are a few things to consider when purchasing sliding doors. Though these doors do block more light and sound than curtains or a screen, sliding doors are not air tight and therefore do not entirely prevent sounds or light from entering into a space.
Pocket DoorsPocket doors are similar to sliding barn doors in that they are the perfect wall dividers substitute for conserving space.
Rustica offers three types of pocket doors in a variety of price ranges. This chart provides a brief explanation of the three different types of folding room dividers offered through our website.
|Pocket Door Type||Standard Pocket Door Size|
(2’ W; 6’8” H; 1 ¾” L)
|Single Pocket Doors: one panel, sliding left or right)||$1327-$1627|
|Double Converging Pocket Doors: two panels, each diverging and converging in opposite directions||$1624-$2945|
|Stacked/Bypassing Pocket Doors: two or more panels that pass over one another as they run on multiple track systems||$1306-$1606|
Like a pocket, this type of door disappears when opened into a compartment in the door frame or wall. When closed, it stretches the length of the opening. There’s no need to consider the radius of a door swing or the hanging room needed for a lengthy track system. A pocket door’s track fits neatly into the dimensions of your wall or frame.
French DoorsFrench doors are stunning room partitions for spaces that can allow for a traditional door swing. These doors are also excellent for blocking sound without detracting from a space’s natural lighting. French doors will allow natural or artificial light to flow from one area to the next, creating a linear viewpoint into surrounding rooms and spaces.
French doors can easily be installed in virtually any size of wall or door opening. Often, homeowners choose to install not just one but two interior French doors for a more dramatic entryway into the kitchen, dining, living, or office spaces.
Interior French doors can be made of several different materials, including aluminum, fiberglass, and wood. All generally fall within the same price range with little price variation, costing anywhere from $900-$1100 per standard interior door.
French doors may be a bit more difficult to install and can require more upkeep due to the types of materials. Additionally, French doors may not offer complete privacy as there will always be a bit of glass paneling.
CurtainsCurtains are an elegant and surprisingly innovative choice for room division. Gorgeous lace or chiffon can be hung that stretches from floor to ceiling in doorways. Curtains can span the width of the room in a larger loft or studio apartment. Like French doors, these sheer curtains allow for a generous flow of light to flood from one room to the next. Or, solid fabric can be hung for a more private effect, limiting light and sight without removing the aesthetic of beautiful fabric room partitions.
Curtains are also extremely customizable for your space’s specific dimensional needs. A homeowner can easily move between privacy and accessibility by simply sliding the curtain to close off a space, or gathering the fabric into a wall hook in order to open the space. This could be perfect for a bedroom area in a studio apartment that needs to remain sectioned off when guests are over but reopened to create the feeling of a larger space but exposing more surface area. In essence, a curtain can act as a temporary wall.
As far as installation goes, there are many ways to hang a curtain to create the perfect room separator. Curtains can easily be hung using a cable or wire, a tension rod, or a ceiling-mount track/rod, meaning that these room dividers can be as permanent or temporary as you desire. Pricing varies depending on fabric choice and dimensions. In general, curtains made from low-end fabric or blends will be cheaper, costing around $5-$20 per panel. Curtains made of finer materials, such as silk or linen will be significantly more expensive, ranging from $20-$150.
One downside of curtains, however, is that they sometimes can look a little too much like a DIY project. For this reason, many renters and homeowners choose to install something more substantial, like a sliding door.
Accordion DoorsAccordion doors are perfect for partitioning off closet or storage areas or smaller spaces that can’t allow for a traditional door swing. An accordion door is basically a folding screen that is installed along a track so its foldable panels can collapse or stretch (like an accordion) towards a door frame or wall. These doors can be made from a variety of materials, including fiberglass, mirrors, mahogany, fir, and glass with an aluminum-clad frame. Since these doors are solid and generally opaque (aside from transparent glass), they also act as excellent sound blockers in addition to blocking light.
When installing accordion doors, home renovators have several options. Common choices including installing a single panel that stretches the entire length of the door, or installing two panels that converge and diverge to close and open. These panels can be crafted out of several materials, including fabric, plastic, wood, or PVC plastic. Most often, panels can be easily cut and trimmed DIY to easily alter your room partition at home.
Though convenient, accordion doors can be somewhat costly. Accordion doors can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,000 per linear square foot, not including the hardware system. Of course, prices can vary depending on the materials.
Privacy ScreensOne of the most portable room dividers available for homeowners is a privacy screen. These screens can be single or multi-paneled and are usually mounted on wheels for ease of movement and storage. Most frames are made with a durable material like wood or solid-steel, making this type of room divider perfect for long-term use. The screen itself can be made from a variety of materials: fabric, glass panes, decorative painted or printed panels, or solid wood. In a commercial space, office dividers help break up large areas and provide a space for conversations that need a little more privacy.
When in use, privacy screens can serve as an accent or centerpiece to your home’s decor. They’ll capture your guests' attention and bring a daily beautiful aesthetic for the homeowner, as well. Privacy screens can be used throughout a home or apartment’s layout but they especially work well in combination living space and dining room areas, sectioning off each area for intimacy or during more formal events. As portable as they are functional, privacy screens can quickly be stored against a wall or folded up in a corner of your room.
Privacy screens have a few downsides amongst their many benefits. Interior screens are not as stable as other room dividers and could potentially fall down while moving the unit. Some of the screen material can likewise be very delicate. You have to be careful with the fabric while it’s in transit.
MirrorsOften overlooked, mirrors can serve as an excellent room partition. Particularly useful in smaller spaces, mirrors have the ability to make a room appear larger as they reflect “more” surface area. Mirrors are also a trendy option for more industrial or contemporary loft spaces. Its glass will emphasize the beautiful brick and exposed beams so that those raw materials catch your eyes first upon entering into the space. Mirrors also reflect lighting, making dim or darker spaces seem bright and airy.
Mirrors can be purchased in sets of single, separate panels or as attached multi-panels that can be customized to fill your space. Mirrors can be cheap room dividers if purchased from larger retailers. Each single panel can cost as low as $75-$100. However, if you are looking for vintage mirrors or a set of attached panels, you’ll probably end up paying anywhere $500 upwards.
Keep in mind that glass is very fragile and needs to constantly be cleaned. Otherwise, you will always have unsightly fingerprints or dust. This is especially true if you treat your glass room divider as a portable partition and frequently handled.
Bookshelf DividersA bookshelf room divider is another flexible type of storage. Though not as portable as a wheeled privacy screen or mirror, a bookshelf can also be assembled and rearranged with little effort. Once in place, bookshelf dividers are semi-permanent dividers that are perfect for more fixed separation between spaces. They work can eloquently partition a living room from a dining area or an entry area or bedroom from the greater loft or studio apartment area. A major benefit of choosing bookshelf dividers is that the shelves provide additional storage for not only books but also decorative pieces, picture frames, or small storage baskets and bins.
Bookshelves, though functional, do have a few downsides. Sometimes, the extra books, bins, and decorations can add to the clutter of an open-space plan when the intent is to subtract from it. Additionally, bookshelves can be difficult to disassemble and move. Other options, like privacy screens or mirrors, might be better for the homeowner who is looking to alter their space on a regular basis.
Choosing the Right Room DividerWhen it comes to choosing the right room divider, there are many factors to consider. Here are a few questions to ask before making your decision.
- Functionality: Do you need a portable, semi-permanent, or permanent room divider? For portable partitions, consider a folding wall like a privacy screen. An excellent semi-permanent divider is a bookshelf or a curtain. Permanent room divider options include pocket doors, French doors, accordion doors, and sliding barn doors.
- Design: Are you looking for the modern features of sliding door hardware or do you prefer the decorative appeal of a privacy screen or mirror? Do you want your design to double as functional with the shelving units of a bookshelf? Ask yourself which design best fits your style.
- Spatial Limitations and Needs: What is viable for your floor plan? Do you have a wall where you can easily install a pocket door or is it best to install a ceiling mount that runs the width of a room? How far should your privacy screen stretch or how many panels of accordion doors should you purchase? Are you only looking to divide a space with curtains for aesthetics or do you need a more efficient way of blocking light and sound blockage? It’s important to choose a room divider that fits within your spatial limitations and requirements.
- Price: What is your budget? Curtains and bookshelves are definitely room divider ideas that won’t break the bank, but they may not provide the style that you desire for your space. Contemporary sliding doors and elegant privacy panels might meet more of your design expectations but they also come with a higher price tag. Choose a divider that meets your needs and fits your budget.
Benefits of Room Dividers
- Room Dividers are Practical
- A Room Divider is Affordable
- Room Dividers are Flexible
- Room Dividers Use a Variety of Materials
Practical: Room dividers will make your home functional when you lack privacy or organization.Affordable: While some of the options may be more expensive, room dividers are significantly cheaper than permanently altering the floor plan of your home or installing solid walls to block off different rooms. Installing a DIY room divider is within the abilities of any homeowner, so you can skip the price tag of hiring a contractor, as well.
Flexible: Many of the options, such as curtains, privacy screens, and bookshelves, are completely portable or semi-permanent. Even the more permanent options, like sliding barn doors or pocket doors, can be altered or switched out by simply removing the hanging doors from the track system or uninstalling the track or mount, itself.
Varied Materials: Rustica offers room dividers made of solid wood, metal, and glass with many finishes and hardware options. The materials made to craft a curtain, bookshelf, and an indoor privacy screen create nearly endless options that a renovator can choose from when considering functionality and design.
Sliding Doors as Room DividersDespite the many benefits to each type of room divider, some of the most popular choices are sliding room dividers. This is because sliding doors encompass a huge variety of design styles and functionalities. Since sliding doors have the ability (depending on material) to block both light and sound, renovators often choose to install these doors throughout a home or apartment.
Sliding doors make excellent room dividers between dining rooms and kitchens, living spaces, entryways, offices and bedrooms. They’re the perfect option for opening up a previously closed wall or creating “rooms within rooms” in lofts or studio areas. And with a huge selection of materials to choose from on Rustica’s website, sliding doors are as flexible in style as they are in functionality. You can customize dimensions and sliding door hardware, choosing different track systems as well as hardware finishes.
The style of door is also up to you. Turn older, traditional doors into sliding doors or purchase French doors, Japanese shoji screens, or solid wood barn doors to separate your space. Rustica offers a huge selection of modern and vintage options, ranging from beautiful frosted glass panels to wood panels finished with chalkboard paint.
Find the Perfect Room DividerYou can create your own style and functionality with the many choices of room dividers. Each divider has the ability to meet your design needs and spatial limitations. Consider your options to determine which type of partition is best for your home or apartment. You’ll find a room divider that has the right functionality and visual style to suit your needs and expectations.
The best part about many room dividers is that not only can they be customized to order, but can also be altered in the future. Though some might be labeled as “permanent” they are not nearly as fixed as a solid wall. You have the freedom to undergo some trial and error as you find the optimal room divider for your space.