Sliding door wardrobes seem to be the in thing nowadays especially because they help save valuable space in small rooms that most apartments have and look good at the same time.However when designing sliding systems there are some basic rules that need to be kept in mind & I have found most folks not adhering to these, including sellers of the so called “Imported” readymade wardrobes available in the market today.

Here are the ground rules for sliding wardrobe design – this ensures longevity, ease of use as well as safety (you will know what I mean in a few moments)

1. Sliding wardrobe doors (height of 7 – 9 feet) must ALWAYS run on slide fittings having wheels on the TOP of the shutter and NOT at the BOTTOM of the shutter. This means that the door hangs and slides on wheels & runners on the TOP of the shutter. The video available at will help you get a picture of what I am saying.

While Top Running hardware is a tad more expensive, it is recommended for wardrobe shutters because

  • Since the door hangs from the top (is in tension) there is little chance of the door getting bent. In bottom running systems the whole weight of the door can cause the door to bend over time (since the door is in “compression”)
  •  Bottom running systems (the not recommended but cheaper one) have a tiny “guide” on the top of the shutter. If the shutter bends over time then the whole door can fall off as the “guide may come out of its socket at the top” causing heartache and injury. This cannot happen in a Top Running sliding systems.
  • Bottom running systems get sluggish over time as dirt gets accumulated in the bottom channel (in which the wheel is running) making the door difficult to slide (remember the struggle with sliding glass shutters of yesteryear “showcases” that always used to get jammed)

2. The board used to make the sliding shutter should be a “Block Board” and not a Ply Board, MDF, Particle Board etc. This is because Block Board offers the maximum resistance against bending.

3. There should be a “Brush” in the tiny space between the 2 doors all the way from the top to the bottom. This helps against dust getting into the wardrobe and spoiling your “trousseau”.

4. No Locks: Sliding doors WITH locks stand a risk of damaging the wardrobe if the door bangs on the side with the lock engaged. Also the keys (if not taken out) tend to get stuck when the doors overlap in the open position…(heh heh…you never thought of that did you…)

5. The side of the Sliding door should have an overlap on the carcass (box). The overlap houses 2 things  – One – Another Brush on the side (like in the center —read point #3 above) so that no dust gets in and Two – A small stopper cum closer which ensures that the door clicks into a close position and STAYS THAT WAY (Does not recoil after banging on the side)

That does it I guess…wasn’t too difficult was it Now check out how many sliding door wardrobes you have seen at your neighbors’ place or in the market have these basics right.

Happy homemaking