Interior bifold doors are a practical and economical choice for closets in small spaces. There’s a variety of finishes from which to choose, including wood veneer and glass doors.

Small areas such as a bedroom, entry or hallway usually don’t have enough room for closets with swinging doors. That’s where bifold doors are a practical alternative. Closest dimensions typically have openings of four, five or six feet. A bifold door is versatile as it has a right and a left section, which join in the center in an unfolding action. This allows for opening the door from either the right or left side.

The selection of bifold door styles are the same as with traditional swing doors, with the exception of the type of hardware needed. Bifold doors are available in the typical hollow core interior style, which makes them an economical and lightweight choice. Durable and easy to install, bifold doors don’t have to be drab looking. Some hollow core styles include decorative features such as raised panels, which add a stylish touch. There is also a variety of wood veneers available such as mahogany, maple and oak.

Solid core bifold doors are another option. Although they cost more than hollow core doors, they can be a good investment if sound is an issue. The term “solid core” describes the core portion of the door, which is a solid piece typically comprised of manufactured or particleboard wood. Some solid core doors have a steel core. The veneer on solid core doors is similar to that on hollow core doors but more closely resembles the wood finish of swing solid wood doors. This makes it easy to match the style of existing swing doors in the home.

You may want to purchase casing or trim for the doors and consider adding a doorstop to your list. Casings, trim and doorstops are not included in the bifold door package. These can add extra cost to your project, but do provide a more professional and finished look. However, it’s not necessary to have these extras, especially if cost is an issue.

There are other uses for these doors besides closets. They’re very useful between rooms that don’t have doors and transition into other areas, such as into a living room or kitchen. It’s also easy to combine bifold doors, using two to make up one larger door.

It’s not difficult to install a bifold door and only a small number of tools are needed. The most expensive tool you might use will be a screw gun or power drill, but a manual screwdriver is sufficient. Of course, if you plan to add trim, there will be a bit more work and time involved. Adding casing, trim or a doorstop is an extra step.

These doors come in louvered, solid or other combinations of styles, making them easy to match with your existing doors. There are many varieties from which to choose, and they can add elegance and beauty to any home at a reasonable cost.

Pat Fisher is a professional carpenter and woodworking craftsman. For more information on finish carpentry and household carpentry projects and plans, visit www.finishcarpentryhelp.com.