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.
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.
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 Hiding 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 commonly 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.
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.
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.
So, regardless of whether or not you have something to hide, today's hidden doors have so many different ways for you to organize your home more efficiently