How to divide and conquer space within the home

Cavity sliders' most common use is in providing access into ensuite bathrooms and wardrobes. However, right now, there is a revival in their use as room dividers, perhaps because, while open-plan living is now the norm, it has its limitations.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team
Created with sketchtool.
Created with sketchtool.

Cavity sliding doors that push back inside walls have long been a popular design feature of Kiwi homes. It’s a somewhat bizarre claim to fame but, per head of capita, New Zealand is one of the leading countries in the world to specify and supply ‘cavity sliders’.

“We certainly use a lot of them in New Zealand,” says Brett Wallace, general manager at Cowdroy, which manufactures a range of sliding and bi-fold door systems and units. “Nearly every new home incorporates one or two cavity sliders and, in homes designed by architects, it’s virtually endless how many might be incorporated into the home. I’ve seen nine in one house, although, they tend to be quite specialised, with a lot of design features. I visited one home in Auckland by Fearon Hay Architects that had huge 2.5-high by 2m-wide cavity sliding doors.”

Ninety per cent of the time, cavity sliders are recessed into the wall and their most common use is in providing access into ensuite bathrooms and wardrobes. However, right now, there is a revival in their use as room dividers, perhaps because, while open-plan living is now the norm, it has its limitations.

Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. Cowdroy refined the Nouvo™ door design which has reduced the weight giving the ability to use the Mediterranean door with the Robemaker sliding wardrobe track system.
Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. Cowdroy refined the Nouvo™ door design which has reduced the weight giving the ability to use the Mediterranean door with the Robemaker sliding wardrobe track system.

“There are some really clever designs out there,” remarks Brett. “More and more big homes are being designed with cavity sliders acting as room dividers, so you can close off or open up areas as required,” says Brett. “They might open and close off an entranceway into the lounge/dining area, or divide off the media room/snug or to enclose a built-in study, bookcase or bar within the living area.”

“In larger homes, it is also becoming very popular to meet two cavity sliding doors at a 45-degree angle,” explains Brett. “Suddenly, you pull across two doors to butt up against one another, creating a new space that can be used as a spare room with a fold-out sofa, for example. These ‘corner-meeting’ cavity doors offer flexibility, so you can quite literally convert a whole area of a house just by sliding three or four doors across in different areas.”

Sliding doors are not a recent invention. While they originated in China, they remain a common design feature of Japanese houses – made famous in numerous martial arts films in which ninjas are seen flying through their semi-translucent paper inserts!

Nouvo™ aluminium door. Aluminium is a contemporary, stylish and modern alternative to timber.
Nouvo™ aluminium door. Aluminium is a contemporary, stylish and modern alternative to timber.

In New Zealand, Kiwis have a certain nostalgia for the timber sliding doors seen in the classic Californian bungalows found throughout the country. Back then, the builder would have framed the wall out and run track systems and guides for timber, or timber and glass, doors. Today, however, a wide range of materials can be utilised and the doors are usually prefabricated for an easy installation, saving time as well.

“Nowadays, we do a lot with big aluminium doors and anodised and black joinery; these can be powder-coated with paint using Dulux colours,” explains Brett. “Many architects match or complement the exterior joinery with the internal sliding doors to keep a consistency throughout the design features of the house. But, to be fair, there are endless ways to use them.”

Cavity sliders have stood the test of time mainly due to their functionality. “Space-saving is a big thing in homes today,” Brett says. “You can do what we call a dual- or a triple-stacking cavity, whereby you can have a metre-wide wall with two 2m-wide doors that go back into the wall, which gives you a 2m-wide opening. Or you can have a triple version, where you have a 1.5m-wide wall and insert three 1.5m-wide doors that roll right across, creating a 4.5m-wide space. These types of cavities are really good at providing minimum wall space with big, clear openings. A lot of architects see that as a real benefit.”

Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. This door is also suitable for sliding door tracks top mount or wall mount, hinged doors, bi-fold doors and in cavity slider units.
Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. This door is also suitable for sliding door tracks top mount or wall mount, hinged doors, bi-fold doors and in cavity slider units.

Another new design feature is Cowdroy’s zero-tolerance cavity track system, which means the door finishes at the ceiling with only a 2mm gap between the top of the door and the track itself. “A lot of architects like to have the track flush with the ceiling in one continuous line and this zero-tolerance line is minimalist,” suggests Brett. “On a standard ceiling detail, we can achieve a 6mm gap but the industry standard is 14mm. But, now the architects have seen this 2mm gap, they’re starting to specify it – and it can be used just as track, and not cavity, as well.”

The 2mm gap also helps control the acoustics of a space too, as brush-seals can be added to minimise sound and soundproofed plasterboard can be used for the doors, with perimeter seals added. “You can’t get it absolutely perfect but you can certainly deaden the noise,” says Brett. “If you have a home theatre backing onto a lounge area or meetings rooms in a commercial building, then this solution can make a noise reduction.”

Nouvo™ aluminium door. Both cavity slider and door can be constructucted from aluminium and finished with a natural anodised or powder coated colour.
Nouvo™ aluminium door. Both cavity slider and door can be constructucted from aluminium and finished with a natural anodised or powder coated colour.

There are also numerous details to choose from, including square-stop, negative and zero tolerance details.“ A lot of modern homes have the GIB wrapped around the front of the cavities and the tracks recessed into the ceiling – so it becomes like a continuous wall.”

Cowdroy’s system allows for a 610mm minimum up to a 2.5m maximum width of door. “A 2.5m-wide door needs 5.5m of tracking system,” says Brett. “It creates a very large area but it’s also a very big unit to insert into a house, so these large types of doors need to be installed when it’s being built, since they arrive fully assembled.”

Given that timber is a popular feature of many interiors right now, it’s no wonder that Cowdroy is receiving a lof of orders for timber doors. “At the moment, we are creating a lot of doors in American white oak or jarrah or other exotic timbers,” he says. “We are also doing a lot of aluminium doors, frameless glass panelled doors, and doors with special glass inserts, such as leadlight. If a designer gets involved, it’s almost endless what you can do.”

Check out Cowdroy’s large range of cavity sliding doors on ArchiPro here.

Get in touch with
Cowdroy

Request pricing/info
Visit website
Recommended reading
Done tagging

How to divide and conquer space within the home

Cavity sliders' most common use is in providing access into ensuite bathrooms and wardrobes. However, right now, there is a revival in their use as room dividers, perhaps because, while open-plan living is now the norm, it has its limitations.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team
Created with sketchtool.
Created with sketchtool.

Cavity sliding doors that push back inside walls have long been a popular design feature of Kiwi homes. It’s a somewhat bizarre claim to fame but, per head of capita, New Zealand is one of the leading countries in the world to specify and supply ‘cavity sliders’.

“We certainly use a lot of them in New Zealand,” says Brett Wallace, general manager at Cowdroy, which manufactures a range of sliding and bi-fold door systems and units. “Nearly every new home incorporates one or two cavity sliders and, in homes designed by architects, it’s virtually endless how many might be incorporated into the home. I’ve seen nine in one house, although, they tend to be quite specialised, with a lot of design features. I visited one home in Auckland by Fearon Hay Architects that had huge 2.5-high by 2m-wide cavity sliding doors.”

Ninety per cent of the time, cavity sliders are recessed into the wall and their most common use is in providing access into ensuite bathrooms and wardrobes. However, right now, there is a revival in their use as room dividers, perhaps because, while open-plan living is now the norm, it has its limitations.

Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. Cowdroy refined the Nouvo™ door design which has reduced the weight giving the ability to use the Mediterranean door with the Robemaker sliding wardrobe track system.
Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. Cowdroy refined the Nouvo™ door design which has reduced the weight giving the ability to use the Mediterranean door with the Robemaker sliding wardrobe track system.

“There are some really clever designs out there,” remarks Brett. “More and more big homes are being designed with cavity sliders acting as room dividers, so you can close off or open up areas as required,” says Brett. “They might open and close off an entranceway into the lounge/dining area, or divide off the media room/snug or to enclose a built-in study, bookcase or bar within the living area.”

“In larger homes, it is also becoming very popular to meet two cavity sliding doors at a 45-degree angle,” explains Brett. “Suddenly, you pull across two doors to butt up against one another, creating a new space that can be used as a spare room with a fold-out sofa, for example. These ‘corner-meeting’ cavity doors offer flexibility, so you can quite literally convert a whole area of a house just by sliding three or four doors across in different areas.”

Sliding doors are not a recent invention. While they originated in China, they remain a common design feature of Japanese houses – made famous in numerous martial arts films in which ninjas are seen flying through their semi-translucent paper inserts!

Nouvo™ aluminium door. Aluminium is a contemporary, stylish and modern alternative to timber.
Nouvo™ aluminium door. Aluminium is a contemporary, stylish and modern alternative to timber.

In New Zealand, Kiwis have a certain nostalgia for the timber sliding doors seen in the classic Californian bungalows found throughout the country. Back then, the builder would have framed the wall out and run track systems and guides for timber, or timber and glass, doors. Today, however, a wide range of materials can be utilised and the doors are usually prefabricated for an easy installation, saving time as well.

“Nowadays, we do a lot with big aluminium doors and anodised and black joinery; these can be powder-coated with paint using Dulux colours,” explains Brett. “Many architects match or complement the exterior joinery with the internal sliding doors to keep a consistency throughout the design features of the house. But, to be fair, there are endless ways to use them.”

Cavity sliders have stood the test of time mainly due to their functionality. “Space-saving is a big thing in homes today,” Brett says. “You can do what we call a dual- or a triple-stacking cavity, whereby you can have a metre-wide wall with two 2m-wide doors that go back into the wall, which gives you a 2m-wide opening. Or you can have a triple version, where you have a 1.5m-wide wall and insert three 1.5m-wide doors that roll right across, creating a 4.5m-wide space. These types of cavities are really good at providing minimum wall space with big, clear openings. A lot of architects see that as a real benefit.”

Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. This door is also suitable for sliding door tracks top mount or wall mount, hinged doors, bi-fold doors and in cavity slider units.
Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. This door is also suitable for sliding door tracks top mount or wall mount, hinged doors, bi-fold doors and in cavity slider units.

Another new design feature is Cowdroy’s zero-tolerance cavity track system, which means the door finishes at the ceiling with only a 2mm gap between the top of the door and the track itself. “A lot of architects like to have the track flush with the ceiling in one continuous line and this zero-tolerance line is minimalist,” suggests Brett. “On a standard ceiling detail, we can achieve a 6mm gap but the industry standard is 14mm. But, now the architects have seen this 2mm gap, they’re starting to specify it – and it can be used just as track, and not cavity, as well.”

The 2mm gap also helps control the acoustics of a space too, as brush-seals can be added to minimise sound and soundproofed plasterboard can be used for the doors, with perimeter seals added. “You can’t get it absolutely perfect but you can certainly deaden the noise,” says Brett. “If you have a home theatre backing onto a lounge area or meetings rooms in a commercial building, then this solution can make a noise reduction.”

Nouvo™ aluminium door. Both cavity slider and door can be constructucted from aluminium and finished with a natural anodised or powder coated colour.
Nouvo™ aluminium door. Both cavity slider and door can be constructucted from aluminium and finished with a natural anodised or powder coated colour.

There are also numerous details to choose from, including square-stop, negative and zero tolerance details.“ A lot of modern homes have the GIB wrapped around the front of the cavities and the tracks recessed into the ceiling – so it becomes like a continuous wall.”

Cowdroy’s system allows for a 610mm minimum up to a 2.5m maximum width of door. “A 2.5m-wide door needs 5.5m of tracking system,” says Brett. “It creates a very large area but it’s also a very big unit to insert into a house, so these large types of doors need to be installed when it’s being built, since they arrive fully assembled.”

Given that timber is a popular feature of many interiors right now, it’s no wonder that Cowdroy is receiving a lof of orders for timber doors. “At the moment, we are creating a lot of doors in American white oak or jarrah or other exotic timbers,” he says. “We are also doing a lot of aluminium doors, frameless glass panelled doors, and doors with special glass inserts, such as leadlight. If a designer gets involved, it’s almost endless what you can do.”

Check out Cowdroy’s large range of cavity sliding doors on ArchiPro here.

Get in touch with
Cowdroy

Request pricing/info
Visit website
Recommended reading
Done tagging

How to divide and conquer space within the home

Cavity sliders' most common use is in providing access into ensuite bathrooms and wardrobes. However, right now, there is a revival in their use as room dividers, perhaps because, while open-plan living is now the norm, it has its limitations.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team
Created with sketchtool.
Created with sketchtool.

Cavity sliding doors that push back inside walls have long been a popular design feature of Kiwi homes. It’s a somewhat bizarre claim to fame but, per head of capita, New Zealand is one of the leading countries in the world to specify and supply ‘cavity sliders’.

“We certainly use a lot of them in New Zealand,” says Brett Wallace, general manager at Cowdroy, which manufactures a range of sliding and bi-fold door systems and units. “Nearly every new home incorporates one or two cavity sliders and, in homes designed by architects, it’s virtually endless how many might be incorporated into the home. I’ve seen nine in one house, although, they tend to be quite specialised, with a lot of design features. I visited one home in Auckland by Fearon Hay Architects that had huge 2.5-high by 2m-wide cavity sliding doors.”

Ninety per cent of the time, cavity sliders are recessed into the wall and their most common use is in providing access into ensuite bathrooms and wardrobes. However, right now, there is a revival in their use as room dividers, perhaps because, while open-plan living is now the norm, it has its limitations.

Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. Cowdroy refined the Nouvo™ door design which has reduced the weight giving the ability to use the Mediterranean door with the Robemaker sliding wardrobe track system.
Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. Cowdroy refined the Nouvo™ door design which has reduced the weight giving the ability to use the Mediterranean door with the Robemaker sliding wardrobe track system.

“There are some really clever designs out there,” remarks Brett. “More and more big homes are being designed with cavity sliders acting as room dividers, so you can close off or open up areas as required,” says Brett. “They might open and close off an entranceway into the lounge/dining area, or divide off the media room/snug or to enclose a built-in study, bookcase or bar within the living area.”

“In larger homes, it is also becoming very popular to meet two cavity sliding doors at a 45-degree angle,” explains Brett. “Suddenly, you pull across two doors to butt up against one another, creating a new space that can be used as a spare room with a fold-out sofa, for example. These ‘corner-meeting’ cavity doors offer flexibility, so you can quite literally convert a whole area of a house just by sliding three or four doors across in different areas.”

Sliding doors are not a recent invention. While they originated in China, they remain a common design feature of Japanese houses – made famous in numerous martial arts films in which ninjas are seen flying through their semi-translucent paper inserts!

Nouvo™ aluminium door. Aluminium is a contemporary, stylish and modern alternative to timber.
Nouvo™ aluminium door. Aluminium is a contemporary, stylish and modern alternative to timber.

In New Zealand, Kiwis have a certain nostalgia for the timber sliding doors seen in the classic Californian bungalows found throughout the country. Back then, the builder would have framed the wall out and run track systems and guides for timber, or timber and glass, doors. Today, however, a wide range of materials can be utilised and the doors are usually prefabricated for an easy installation, saving time as well.

“Nowadays, we do a lot with big aluminium doors and anodised and black joinery; these can be powder-coated with paint using Dulux colours,” explains Brett. “Many architects match or complement the exterior joinery with the internal sliding doors to keep a consistency throughout the design features of the house. But, to be fair, there are endless ways to use them.”

Cavity sliders have stood the test of time mainly due to their functionality. “Space-saving is a big thing in homes today,” Brett says. “You can do what we call a dual- or a triple-stacking cavity, whereby you can have a metre-wide wall with two 2m-wide doors that go back into the wall, which gives you a 2m-wide opening. Or you can have a triple version, where you have a 1.5m-wide wall and insert three 1.5m-wide doors that roll right across, creating a 4.5m-wide space. These types of cavities are really good at providing minimum wall space with big, clear openings. A lot of architects see that as a real benefit.”

Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. This door is also suitable for sliding door tracks top mount or wall mount, hinged doors, bi-fold doors and in cavity slider units.
Mediterranean aluminium wardrobe door. This door is also suitable for sliding door tracks top mount or wall mount, hinged doors, bi-fold doors and in cavity slider units.

Another new design feature is Cowdroy’s zero-tolerance cavity track system, which means the door finishes at the ceiling with only a 2mm gap between the top of the door and the track itself. “A lot of architects like to have the track flush with the ceiling in one continuous line and this zero-tolerance line is minimalist,” suggests Brett. “On a standard ceiling detail, we can achieve a 6mm gap but the industry standard is 14mm. But, now the architects have seen this 2mm gap, they’re starting to specify it – and it can be used just as track, and not cavity, as well.”

The 2mm gap also helps control the acoustics of a space too, as brush-seals can be added to minimise sound and soundproofed plasterboard can be used for the doors, with perimeter seals added. “You can’t get it absolutely perfect but you can certainly deaden the noise,” says Brett. “If you have a home theatre backing onto a lounge area or meetings rooms in a commercial building, then this solution can make a noise reduction.”

Nouvo™ aluminium door. Both cavity slider and door can be constructucted from aluminium and finished with a natural anodised or powder coated colour.
Nouvo™ aluminium door. Both cavity slider and door can be constructucted from aluminium and finished with a natural anodised or powder coated colour.

There are also numerous details to choose from, including square-stop, negative and zero tolerance details.“ A lot of modern homes have the GIB wrapped around the front of the cavities and the tracks recessed into the ceiling – so it becomes like a continuous wall.”

Cowdroy’s system allows for a 610mm minimum up to a 2.5m maximum width of door. “A 2.5m-wide door needs 5.5m of tracking system,” says Brett. “It creates a very large area but it’s also a very big unit to insert into a house, so these large types of doors need to be installed when it’s being built, since they arrive fully assembled.”

Given that timber is a popular feature of many interiors right now, it’s no wonder that Cowdroy is receiving a lof of orders for timber doors. “At the moment, we are creating a lot of doors in American white oak or jarrah or other exotic timbers,” he says. “We are also doing a lot of aluminium doors, frameless glass panelled doors, and doors with special glass inserts, such as leadlight. If a designer gets involved, it’s almost endless what you can do.”

Check out Cowdroy’s large range of cavity sliding doors on ArchiPro here.

Get in touch with
Cowdroy

Request pricing/info
Visit website
Recommended reading
Done tagging
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