Doors for a Wide Entertainment Center

Designing doors to hide an extra-wide TV. May 10, 2005

I'm designing an entertainment center which will house a 60"W+ TV. How should I handle the doors? The TV cabinet will be approximately 18"D, and the client wants the doors to open and slide back into the cabinet. The doors would seem to be far too wide looks-wise, and they would stick well proud of the cabinet when retracted. How would people typically deal with this?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor Y:
How about tambour doors? I have been making some that look like a flat plywood door when closed and then the y slide back into the cabinet. Other than that, you may need to bi-fold 4 doors and use pocket door slides.

From contributor J:
Pair the doors, bi-fold style, with Hafele Pramatic hinges and double the retractable hardware. The Hafele pramatic part number is 343.91.900. Also, the Accuride 1234 pocket slide is pretty good or the XL slide, both available from Hafele.

From contributor D:
I've done several cabinets like this and bi-folding pocket doors work great. I use small butt hinges or piano hinges for the bi-fold, and Accuride 1332 pocket slides. Cost for all the hardware is about $125.

From contributor N:
95% of our work is commercial, but we just finished building a cabinet that does just this. Accuride 1332 pocket door hardware for the slides and piano hinges for the bi-folds.

We used magnetic catches to hold the doors in the closed (unfolded) and open (folded) positions.

The doors on this one were solid wood, but if you are building slab doors, I'd recommend looking at ultra-light MDF as a core, to save weight.

We got some assistance from the Accuride folks to make sure we weren't over-extending their hardware. They're very knowledgeable and don't mind helping out, even if it's just for one cabinet.

From the original questioner:
Do people generally use a partition inside the cabinet to hide the doors when retracted? I haven't in the past. Also, does 5" sound like adequate clearance either inside the pocket (with partition), or to the side of the TV (without partition)?

From contributor D:
I only install partitions if I need to have adjustable shelves above the TV. The Accuride pocket pro slide is good for that application because there are flanges on the slides to mount the partition to. However, they won't work for a bi-fold door because of the flange. Otherwise, I hang a shelf from the lid. As for the pocket space, it depends on the hardware you're using for the pocket door, and whether the TV is on a swivel/pullout. If the TV doesn't move, 3-1/2" of space is adequate for Accuride 123's, or 1332's. Whatever brand or model slide you use, I strongly recommend mounting the hardware in the cabinet with some mock up doors made of particleboard to test the fit and reveals before building the finish doors.

P.S. Don't forget to consider the type and location of your door pulls when calculating the pocket space!