Living in a condo may require you to get creative with how you divide your space, especially if your unit is open-concept. On the other hand, maybe you’re looking to upgrade your builder-grade closet doors in your home to something that’s both stylish and functional. This is where Space Solutions comes in – the makers of sturdy, durable sliding door systems and room dividers.
Space Solutions has been providing, well, space solutions, for homes and condos for over 25 years. The company’s ability to provide custom products – in this case, sliding door systems – can improve the look and feel of your home by utilizing space in an efficient manner.
The people behind Space Solutions
Space Solutions was founded in 1986 by Barb Larocque. The business was always centered on home organization.
“We used to do a lot of ready-to-go storage accessories, coat hangers, baskets,” says Andrew Wencer, a showroom manager who works behind the scenes at Space Solutions.
The business evolved overtime because premade wasn’t always suitable for clients in terms of colour, size and functionality.
Today, Space Solutions does strictly custom design, including building closets, wall units, storage cabinets, Murphy Beds, entertainment centers and more.
A growing company requires a growing team. Larocque is joined by a six-person design team, six installers and a manual labour staff.
The Design Process
Whether you’re looking for a sliding door system to upgrade the look of your closets, or would like to create more division within your favourite space, the design process is where the fun begins. Space Solutions offers free in-home consultations, says Wencer.
“A designer will come to the home, they’ll take measurements, bring samples and a portfolio to go through concepts and scenarios,” he says.
The site visit gives Space Solutions the ability to assess space they’ll be working in to see what obstacles may be in the way, like electrical work or bulkheads, so it makes sense to start the process with that visit.
“We need to be fully armed before we build something and send somebody out,” he says.
Before going into production, it’s also a good opportunity for clients to visit the showroom to see physical samples of the options available to them.
“We have full-size displays of sliding doors, closet doors and samples of things we can do,” says Wencer. “You can see, touch, feel, and use the actual pieces in our displays here.”
The sliding door system – its purpose and why you could use them
Traditionally, sliding doors functioned as a simple way to cover a closet space.
“A lot of condos will put in a fairly simple basic sliding door – generic, plain white board or mirror,” says Wencer.
One of the reasons why Space Solutions evolved its business to incorporate state-of-the-art sliding door systems is because there became a need for something better.
“We do try to respond to what our customers are asking for,” he says. “They’re looking for better options – an upgrade to what the builder has provided, and beyond what was already available in the local market.”
But it’s not just about covering a closet opening. For those living in a condo, especially units as small as 350 or 400 square feet, the open-concept unit doesn’t provide much room for segmenting.
That’s why five years ago, Space Solutions decided to bring in their own materials and hardware from overseas to respond to that need to create attractive, stylish sliding closet doors and room dividers.
When it comes to room dividers, Space Solutions can build a custom sliding door system that’s suitable to its purpose, whether it’s building a system that goes wall to wall across a big room to create two rooms, or cornering off an office space.
“We can cut off a corner and set up two sets of doors that meet in an L-shape to close off the space,” says Wencer.
When it comes to closet doors, there’s no one size fits all solutions. That’s the benefit to working with a custom sliding door designer – they have the ability to work around bulkheads and fill the space both horizontally and vertically.
The construction behind sliding door systems and dividers
Clients looking to upgrade their homes with custom sliding door systems and dividers are looking for stylish and functional options.
What they’re also getting is an extremely durable and lightweight aluminum system.
“Traditional systems use steel, which is heavier and not as durable in some cases,” says Wencer. “The hardware we bring in is manufactured in Poland.”
In fact, Space Solutions is the only organization in the GTA working with this hardware system, he says, adding there are operational differences between the aluminum Space Solutions works with, and other steel systems on the market.
“Ours is a bottom-roll system, in that all the weight is carried at floor level,” Wencer describes. “The tops of the doors feature additional guide wheels which roll against the front and back walls of the upper track, ensuring a smooth, quiet operation.”
Steel systems on the other hand are typically built with rollers in one place and can produce a bit of noise. Some of these door systems have suspended rollers that are hanging, and pulling down on the door system.
Materials – you have options!
Everyone’s personal taste is different; therefore it’s important to have options when it comes to building a room divider or closet sliding door. Space Solutions can put different materials into the doors.
“Traditional systems will use mirror, or a plain white board look,” says Wencer. For clients looking for something a bit different, they have options!
“The look that most gravitate toward is a frosted glass look,” he says, adding most people are looking for frosted glass. “But we can also offer 20 different melamine finishes in solid colours and wood grains.”
In the past, glass inserts were sandblasted to create a dull frosted side and a regular glossy side at the back, which is often susceptible to fingerprints no matter how often you clean your hands, he says. “The glass we offer is superior to that,” says Wencer.
It’s called white laminated glass – white lami for short. “It’s composed of two sheets of glass that are joined in between with a white film that gives a frosted appearance front and back,” he says, adding the frost provides enough privacy if it’s being used to close off a bathroom.
There are a few benefits to a frosted glass door system or divider:
- It’s easy to maintain and keep clean.
- It acts as a safety feature.
“The film that holds the sheets of glass together strengthens it, so it won’t shatter in a million pieces in the event of an accident,” says Wencer.
But what if you’re looking for something different? Maybe you want the glass painted a specific colour to match your home’s décor. Bring Space Solutions a paint chip. They’ll match it and paint the glass that exact colour.
“You could do the door entirely, or it can be an accent somewhere in the middle of the door.”
Space Solutions can make modifications based on your needs
While the door systems have tracks at the top and bottom of the systems, there are instances where the bottom track may pose a challenge in a space.
“To move furniture or something easily through an opening, you may not want to have a threshold, even though it’s low profile anyway,” says Wencer.
Another reason you may want to avoid the bottom track is in the event that a homeowner requires a wheelchair to move around the house.
Space Solutions can build a system that doesn’t have a bottom track. Rather, it will be hung from the top.
The hardware will be the same as it would be for other doors, but to prevent the door from swinging, an installer will insert a peg mounted to the floor to prevent the door from swinging around, says Wencer.
Nothing’s too big of a challenge for these experts
A visit to your home to see the space that requires a sliding door system is imperative to the design process.
Wencer says if the team is working on a room divider and there are bulkheads to contend with, or conduits for duct work or electrical, the systems can be customized to work around these structural elements.
“We can make doors that go from floor to ceiling, and between those bulk heads and underneath, we might do a shorter fixed panel that closes that space and doesn’t slide,” he says.
Alternatively a system can be designed to go wall to wall and only go to the underside of that bulkhead, says Wencer. That space would then be left open, or you have the option of making a fixed panel to fill in the space.
In this video, Wencer demonstrates the benefits of a closet solution. See the transformation for yourself!
Let’s talk pricing
The price of a sliding door system/divider varies based on these factors:
- How many panels are required;
- Hardware and material choices – glass, mirror, and boards, which are all priced differently.
Typical closet enclosures start in the $1,000 to $1,400 range, says Wencer, adding a room divider will usually cost anywhere from $1,800 and higher.
What about warranty?
“Everything that we install – doors or closets, built-ins, everything – we guarantee for the lifetime of that customer owning it,” says Wencer.
If a wheel stops working, or there’s a flaw in the hardware, Space Solutions will send out an installer at no charge to make the repair.
If you’re finding that your living space could use some upgrading – whether it’s new closet doors, or a stylish room divider, contact the experts at Space Solutions at 416-322-5575. But first, visit Space Solutions for more information. Start thinking about how to improve the look of your home.