(ARA) – While the walls of your home still can’t talk, they can move — thanks to advances in track technology and new thinking about how living spaces can be defined. The result is rooms that can serve multiple purposes and be virtually redesigned by simply sliding a wall panel.

“American families’ lifestyles often change, whether it’s a life change such as a teen going off to college or just a day-to-day change like wanting an open kitchen for a special party,” says Steve Johnson, vice president of L.E. Johnson Products, Inc. “Demand is growing for homes that are more flexible and easier to adapt to changing space needs.”

Sliding and pocket doors have long been the architectural solution of choice for small spaces where a swinging door would be in the way. Now, homeowners and designers are applying that concept of convenience to more expansive spaces, using the latest hardware technology — capable of moving multiple 300-pound panels — to increase floor plan flexibility.

“Sliding panels of wood, metal, glass or fabric are becoming popular design tools for multi-use spaces,” Johnson says. “For example, in an urban loft, characterized by great open spaces and uninterrupted visual flow, you may choose to place sliding panels between kitchen and living room spaces as an alternative to a half wall or pass through. The panels could be left open for buffet style entertaining that requires an open flow and closed to create a more intimate space at other times.”

Sliding wall panels are also useful in defining spaces in the large, open floor plans popular in modern home design. In a finished basement, sliding panels are an easy, versatile alternative to fixed walls. Panels can be used to open a basement rec room for parties. Or they can create privacy and division when the room is being used for two different purposes at once — such as a home office for parents and a play area for children.

Finally, improvements in the hardware that moves sliding doors have mitigated concerns over sticking and track jumping. Johnson’s Series 200MD Multi Pass Hardware, for example, offers a track system that can handle individual door panels each weighing up to 300 pounds and up to 48 inches wide.. The hardware can also accommodate up to four panels side-by-side, with track lengths up to 192 inches. The track system comes with a lifetime guarantee. To learn more, visit www.JohnsonHardware.com and click on Multi Pass Hardware or call (800) 837-5664.

“This modern track technology, and new thinking about how to use movable walls, can help a family ensure they don’t outgrow their floor plan as their lifestyle needs change,” Johnson says.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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