On the origin of sliding doors

Nowadays sliding doors are a practical and very stylish interior solution for many homeowners. Something more, sliding doors are an absolute must for smaller apartments/studios. Today, however, we would like to “escape”, so to speak, from the practicality of sliding doors. Instead, in today’s blog post we will pay attention to a different topic – that of the origin of sliding doors. Unfortunately, the information available on the topic is rather scarce. That, on the other hand, makes it so much more interesting. So without further ado, let’s travel back in time and explore the history of sliding doors.

Historical sources point to a simple fact – sliding doors are nothing new. There is information for the existence of sliding doors dating back to the first century AD. Sliding doors have been unearthed in archaeological sites across houses in the ancient city of Pompei. Historians believe that the sliding doors uncovered there were hanging from the ceiling. That made doors slide smoothly and as follows, they could be opened and shut easily. A reason which even today makes sliding doors a preferred choice for many homes. Sliding doors were also favoured in the past because they saved space. That is again why these types of interior doors are a primary choice for many households to this day.

A Japanese house with a traditional Shoji sliding door in the foreground

Modern sliding doors

The sliding doors we know today came about in the years preceding WWI, during the twentieth century. They became increasingly popular at the time and were heavily produced up until the start of the Second World War. Historians claim that modern sliding doors were designed after the Japanese sliding doors, called Shoji. In traditional Japanese architecture, Shoji is a window, a door, or a room divider, which consists of a wooden frame, holding a semi-transparent paper and a grid made of bamboo or wood, placed on top of the paper. The history of Shoji doors is rather long and very interesting. A curious fact about the Shoji door is that this type of sliding doors originated not in Japan but in China. The earliest records of their existence date from the third century BC.

With time the wood and paper were replaced with more durable materials, such as glass. This made sliding doors sturdier and more durable. This is how we get to the present day and age, where sliding doors are still a perfect choice for many homes and offices.

If you would like to take advantage of all benefits that sliding doors have, get a hold of a representative of SBS Design or come to one of our offices. We’re based in Varna, Bourgas, Ruse, and Shumen. Our consultants will gladly assist with more information on sliding doors and you can trust us with the design, manufacturing, and installation of your new door!

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