What is a Hidden Door?
A hidden door is an object that disguises an entranceway to a secret room, escape tunnel, or any other area where concealment from thieves or other would be intruders is necessary. A hidden door can also offer extra security as the first line of defense when guarding a safe room. In the beginning, secret hidden doors found in tombs or castles were large, heavy, and bulky requiring teams of people to install; hardly a secret. Over the years as home construction changed and became more modern, so too has the design of a hidden door. Today's hidden doors are smaller, lighter in weight and constructed in factories then shipped to the customer's home where as little as two or three people can install them in within an hour or two, eliminating the need for a large assembly crew that would normally have the knowledge of where your hidden room is located.
As the need for a hidden door has evolved over time, so too have the types and styles of a hidden door. Modern hidden doors have taken on the shape of a bookcase which affectively became a dual purpose of storage and obsecurity. Because a bookcase door creates valuable storage that would otherwise be a useless space of a doorway, people that aren't interested in hiding a room find them very practical for every day use. As the bookcase doors became more popular, different styles and types of hidden doors were developed and made available. Today, it seems, that their uses are near endless and limited only to one's imagination.
The earliest known civilization that used Hidden Doors in their structures dates back to Ancient Egypt where the builders of the pyramids used hidden doors to keep tomb robbers at bay. In the second century AD early Christians used hidden doors to hide from religious persecution by using make-shift hidden doors to conceal rooms where they would gather to worship.
In medieval times, local rulers flaunted great wealth and power by constructing large castles. These stone fortresses were the first line of defense against impending attack. Winding passageways, usually guarded by a hidden door used as a means to confuse would-be attackers while the occupants would slip out of harm's way and avoid capture.
American Civil War
A network of secret passages called The Underground Railroad connected safe houses as means for escape for enslaved
African Americans that ensured safe passage to free states and Mexico where slavery had been abolished. Then, false
walls or trap doors played a large part in keeping the Underground Railroad from being discovered.
Though our needs for owning a hidden door have changed over time, today's hidden doors have far more uses than their ancient counterparts had. People are now more interested in creating extra space around
their homes and less interested in hiding a room. When taking the place of a conventional interior door, the bookcase door offers the unique ability to take what is an otherwise useless space and transforms it into a
beautiful and valuable storage area. Hide-A-Way Doors has created two categories of hidden doors based on the two basic needs, extra storage and security. The Standard Bookcase Door, which includes the Single,
Double, and BiFold bookcase doors is designed for storage and utility, and our concealment doors that includes the Alpha and Mirror Doors, they have been specifically designed for concealment. Both types of doors,
Standard and Concealment have several different types of models (listed below).
Some sixty years after prohibition ended, workers discovered a secret door off of a penthouse room in a Regal Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago that was built in the 1920's that concealed a secret stairwell leading
to the ground floor. Illegal bars called Speakeasies were prevalent during the prohibition era, usually located at the back of a ligament business hidden out of site by a false wall or hidden door.
How does a hidden door work?
When designing the bookcase door we purposely wanted to keep them as close in relation to a conventional door as possible to ease installation and limit confusion. The biggest challenge came from bridging the gap from concept to reality. Dealing with the sheer size and depth of a bookcase presented problems created by trying to turn something so large in a standard size door opening without the bookcase snagging on the frame as it operates in a way that a conventional door normally would. We had to come up with a proprietary formula that took into consideration an opening's width and the bookcase's depth to determine the difference in size between the bookcase and the frame. The difference had to be a bare minimum in such a way where the trim that covers the space isn't required to be oversized and seemingly out of place.
Possibly the biggest challenge in designing the bookcase door that had to be solved was when considering what type of hardware to choose. Standard hinges used on conventional doors would be problematic considering the mass and weight of a bookcase door. The jambs would be required to bear all the weight of a loaded bookcase door, which would eventually fail. The solution to the problem was top and bottom hinges that transfers all the weight to the floor, taking all the pressure off of the hinges, jambs, and mounting screws. The bookcase rests on top of the bottom hinges and the weight from the bookcase and all of its contents is transferred to the floor allowing for smooth dependable operations.
Not Just for Hidding Things!
I don't have anything to hide, why would I need a hidden door in my house? The description by industry standards for a bookcase door is known as a "hidden door" but did you know there are far more uses for a hidden door other than hiding a room? While concealment doors are specifically
designed for keeping your belongings safe from a thief's prying eyes, Standard Bookcase Doors provide a unique way of storing or displaying your items
in what would normally be a useless space of a doorway.
What are the different types of hidden of doors?
Double (French Door)
Standard Bookcase Doors have near-endless uses. They were designed to operate similar to a conventional door and are marketed to customers that are more interested in their practical usage.
Like conventional doors, Standard Bookcase Doors have a small seam at the top (outswing doors)
and bottom (both in & outswing) that allows the doors to operate properly.
Alpha Double Door
The Alpha Doors, exclusive to Hide-A-Way Doors, and the Mirror Doors are true concealment doors
specifically designed for hiding a room. Their unique design hides the seems necessary for any door to operate properly. For someone that isn't interested in concealment, those unique that make a hidden door truly hidden would quickly become a nuisance. Both the Alpha and the Mirror Doors have a small but permanent step over that would make them not suitable for main entrances or high traffic areas. The Alpha Doors only open in, but the Mirror Doors are available in inswing and outswing models.
STANDARD VS ALPHA DOOR
Are there Different Models of Hidden Doors?
The different styles of hidden doors seem to be limited only by one's imagination. We have put together a small list of hidden doors currently available from Hide-A-Way Doors.
Double & Single Bedroom Organizer Doors
The Double Bedroom Organizer, as seen on the left, are specifically designed for larger closet door openings from 48" to 72" and a wide range of
heights. Each double unit comes standard with six drawers, 2 large and 4 regular sizes. The Double Bedroom Organizer is twelve inches deep and
available in your choice of inswing or outswing. Each unit comes with two shoe rack shelves. The Bedroom Organizers are also available for smaller
door openings ranging from 30" to 48" wide.
The Bedroom Organizers are the perfect clutter buster for any bedroom. Both the Single and Double organizers can be customized by adding mirror
glass upper cabinet doors. You can also add more drawers or shelves to your order. Personalize your order with one of the two basic paint colors, Satin
White or Black, or order your door with a custom color; we also have 6 poplar stain colors for you to choose from.
The Pool Cue Door
The Pool Cue Door, available in Standard & the Alpha Door line, is the perfect way to show off any man-cave or rec-room. Standard features that come with the Pool Cue Doors are 1 rack mount, 9 to 11 cue holders (depends on the door's width), and recessed ball holders as seen to the right.
The Pool Cue Doors are available starting at 30" wide all the way to 48" wide and your choice of 8" deep or 10" deep doors. The tops of the sticks slip through a hole in the top shelf and the bottom shelf is recessed to fit the bottom of the sticks holding them in place.
All of our products are constructed from real wood, making the Hide-A-Way Door's Pool Cue Door an easy choice.
The Wine Glass Door
The Wine Glass Door, available in both Single and Double Doors, is a perfect addition to your home. This unique door will be the talk of your wine club friends. Built solid from real wood, the Single Wine Glass Door comes standard with 2 adjustable wine bottle holders, each with 3 rows of wine glass holders and a regular adjustable shelf. The Double Wine Glass Doors come standard with 4 adjustable bottle holder shelves and two regular adjustable shelves. Not enough bottle shelves? No worries, you can add more right at checkout. Complete the look by adding lover cabinet doors, available in Shaker Style, Flat Panel, or Raised Panel.
The Wine Glass Doors are 12" deep and can be customizable from size to the material you decide is a perfect fit for you. Order your Wine Glass Door
with finish, or unfinished for the DIY spirit in you. The single doors are available in your choice of right or left-hand swing; they open in or out.
The Hide-A-Way Double and Single Wine Glass Doors are easy to install, ships anywhere in the US and most of Canada and arrives fully assembled and ready to install.
The Spice Rack Door
This is what every kitchen needs!
"As a contractor, I've built many houses that had a basement access door leading to the kitchen above, this door is perfect for that type of application!"
Each Spice Rack Door comes standard with 2 adjustable spice shelves with an upper and lower displace, so you'll never be reaching in the back of a wall-mounted cabinet for your spices again! Each spice shelf comes with 2 brushed stainless bars and plastic mounting caps to insure all of your spices stay put during operation.
The Spice Rack Doors are available from 24 to 48" wide, 8 or 10" deep and your choice of right or left-hand swing, open in or open out.
Timing is everything; never be out of arm's reach again for your spices!
The Country Door
An original Hide-A-Way Door design, The Country Door combines the bookcase doors with the very popular Barn Door look with full-length cabinet doors.
We offer the Country Door in two types of wood, Pine and Knotty Alder. Each door comes with magnet catches to keep the doors in the closed position and is available from 24" to 48" wide, 8 or 10" deep. You can order your Country door in right or left hand, in or out swing doors.
The Country Doors offer extra storage with that rustic look. Easy to install and ships fully assembled anywhere in the US and most of Canada.
The Attic Door
Another original Hide-A-Way Door design. You don't have to have an attic to have this door, an Attic Door is nothing more than a smaller version of the Single Door and can install anywhere in your home.
Unlike the Standard Bookcase Doors, the Attic Door does not have a center fixed shelf. The Attic Doors can be customizable from different wood types, trim packages, paints or stains and range in size from 24" to 48" wide and from 36" to 70" tall. They are also available in right or left hand, in or out swing units.
Don't have a large opening, no worries, this is the door you need.
The BiFold Door
The BiFold Doors is a must-see in person if you ever find your way to our showroom. This super cool door mounts to the surface of the wall and opens
in front of a doorway.
So if you have extra wall space but a smaller door opening and you want a larger bookcase, no need to break out the saw and start cutting walls down, you need our BiFold Door!
The patented hardware makes for smooth operation even under heavy weight. Since the door sits on the outside of the opening, the BiFold will arrive 7-1/2" take than the door it sits in front of (be sure to take that into account when ordering).
The BiFold Door is only available in 9-1/4" deep bookcases and ranges from 49" to 73" wide.
The Double Door
Maximizing your space with the Double Door! another mancave must, Hide-A-Way Door's Double Door (French Door) fits larger openings from 48" to 72" with some custom sizes available. Each Double Door comes standard with 6 adjustable shelves, available in several types of wood and can be painted or stained.
The Double Doors are available in 8, 10 or 12" deep doors. Dress up your Double Door by adding cabinet doors.
*Door units larger than 48" wide will ship in several boxes: (2) bookcases, right & left trim, top trim and bottom threshold. Because of the size we can not ship units larger than 48" fully assembled for shipping purposes & so that you can get your unit in your home without obstructions.
The Single Door
The Hide-A-Way Door Single Bookcase Door needs no introduction. The most popular door, our single doors are made from real wood and are available from 24" to 48" wide and from 72" (min) to 96" (max) height. The Sigle Door is available in 8 or 10" deep, right or left hand, open in or out units.
The Single Door can be customized with different wood species and made to order with your choices of 2 paint colors or 6 different stains (please call for custom colors). The Single Door can have your choice of flat or fluted case molding and/ or crown molding.
The Alpha Door
Where it all began, the Alpha Door, a true concealment door only available at Hide-A-Way Doors. The Alpha Door's unique design makes the unit appear to be nothing more than a built-in bookcase door. No special framing is required, the lower part of the door is actually built into the frame. The Alpha Door slides into any standard interior door's opening, the bottom part is made from 3/4" thick plywood. After the door is installed you can blend the small seem between the door unit and the wall at the bottom and install baseboard to complete the signature look of the Alpha Door.
Since the very first Alpha Door was designed and built back at the beginning of 2015, it has taken on several different looks.
The Alpha Double Door was created for larger openings from 48" to 72" wide while keeping the signature style and features of the original Alpha Door's built-in look. The Alpha Pool Cue Door, wow do these things get any cooler??? Now you can have a hidden room on one side and entertain your guests with an Alpha Pool Room Door! All Alpha Doors are a product of Hide-A-Way Doors, they come standard with 3/4" cabinet grade backing for extra security and soundproofing. Alpha Doors can be equipped with electromagnetic locks.
The Double Sided Door
Does it get any cooler was the question? "Hold my Stain!" Another Hide-A-Way Door's original hidden door, the Double-Sided door is a hidden door on caffeine!
The basic double door can be ordered with shelves on both sides or a Pool Cue Door on one side and a Gun Cabinet on the other! It just makes sense, if your
going to have a gun case as a hidden door, why not put the gun case on the hidden room side of the door?
A fan favorite, the Double Sided Door comes in 12" overall depth and fits openings between 30" to 48" wide with 3/4" thick center plywood for extra strength
The Reverse Door
The Reverse Door comes with a mirror on the front and a standard bookcase on the back. The door is available from 30" to 48" wide and from 70" to 96" tall.
See-through Mirror Glass
Arguably one of the coolest add-on features only available from Hide-A-Way Doors is see-through mirror backing. We've all seen the cool see-through mirrors on your favorite cop show's interrogation room where one side a perp is being grilled with questions as the interrogator's colleagues witness from a dark room behind the glass waiting anxiously for a confession. Now you can have your very own interrogation room, or better yet, you can be loading your favorite self-protection device as you keep a watchful eye on the intruder.
Made from 1/4 tempered mirror glass, this special backing is fitted into the bookcase's sides and offers 80% reflection from the front and 20% from the rear, our see-through mirror
is an option for most bookcase and mirror doors. Works best when the hidden room is dimly lit or dark and the reflection side is brightly lit.
See through Mirror Glass, only available from Hide-A-Way Doors!
By adding cabinet doors to your bookcase door you are not only adding to the beauty of a Hide-A-Way Door, you are also adding to the feasibility of the unit as well maximizing the stow-ability.
At Hide-A-Way Doors we offer three basic types of cabinet doors Shaker, a simple flat panel cabinet door with square edges, Flat Panel which has a rounded detail on the styles and rails with a flat panel center, and the Raised Panel which center is raised and the edges are rounded with stylish edges. Also available by request is glass panel and mirror cabinet doors.
Cabinet doors are an available add on for most of our bookcase doors including the Alpha Door line up. They are available in upper, lower, or both uppers and lowers.
At Hide-A-Way Doors we make all of our trim on site, nothing is store-bought.
FAQ: Can we use our own trim?
Answer: Our doors were designed with the type of trim we provide and can not guarantee that your trim will work properly with our doors. We will send our trim with your door unattached in case your trim doesn't work properly; please contact us or write in customer comments, "Please leave trim unattached" if you plan on using your own trim.
Custom Arched Top
We've all seen the movies where the audacious main character eludes capture at the last minute by pulling a book inconspicuously placed on a shelf
unlocking a hidden door then slipping down a hidden passageway to his ultimate escape. While there are several modern ways to lock a hidden door,
one can't help but fantasize about the sheer coolness of having a hidden door that opens by means of a simple tug of a good book or an innocent push of a lone candlestick.
A more modern way of keeping your door secure would be from the addition of an electromagnetic lock. Readily available, the electromagnetic or EML locks have been around for years, and while the EML isn't designed specifically for bookcase doors, with some minor alterations they work perfectly keeping your valuables safe. EML is available in several different sizes that are based on PSI, or pounds per square inch ranging from 100psi up to
1200psi. We had found that the best combination for our bookcase doors is the 300psi electromagnetic lock, and 120psi works well on our mirror doors.
Electromagnetic Lock Controllers
The best part about equipping your hidden door with an electromagnetic lock is the type of opener you can choose to control the locks. Standard options are a wireless remote key fob that works in conjunction with a receiver that controls the ELM. Other controller options include a keypad and biometric thumbprint technology, both are programable, and both need to be mounted on site. You can be creative when mounting the Key Pad or the Biometric openers, so have chosen to mount them in a wall behind a picture frame, others chose to mount them on their door hidden by a book or other option placed in front of the controller. Each EML controller comes with a push to exit button mounted in the room behind the door that when engaged disengages the lock, usually on a 10 second delay.
Power requirements for the electromagnetic locks are standard 110v. Powerpacks included with the EML transform 110v to the required 12v that the locks use to operate. The location for the outlet should be on the inside of the room (backside of the door) and should be relatively close (within a foot or so) to your unit. Some minor wiring is required, please consult with a licensed electrician.
*electromagnetic locks have to be wired and installed on site
Mechanical Key Lock
A mechanical key lock is an alternative to an electromagnetic lock. The key lock is placed just behind the face frame on the bookcase side can be hidden simply by placing an object in front of it. The locking mechanism is attached on the side of the bookcase between it and the jamb and runs the entire length of the door
and latches at the top and bottom of the unit. Unlike electromagnetic locks, a mechanical key lock can not be locked from inside the hidden room. The mechanical key locks come with a set of two keys.
*mechanical locks are installed at the facility during construction, they can also be retro-added