I’ve stayed at several hotels lately that had a sliding door on the bathroom within the hotel room.  This solves some coordination issues involving the door swing and the method of stopping the door, but creates questions of its own.  What type of sliding door hardware do you prefer for a solid core sliding door?  And what type of latch do you use for privacy?

Here’s the door from one of my recent hotel stays:

As you can see, they went to great lengths to install a surface bolt on the jamb, which would project into the face of the door.  A few issues:

  • In my room, the surface bolt would not engage in the strike.  This would be extremely difficult to coordinate given the tight tolerances, and any settling of the door would cause a problem.
  • If the bolt had been able to engage, it would have provided privacy for me, but would not have allowed someone to unlock the door in an emergency (I’ve traveled with kids waaaaaay too much).
  • The first time someone leaves the bolt projected and slides the door, there will be a lovely horizontal scratch across the door.
  • The pulls were a style that I would consider accessible, and the hardware could be accessed from both sides when the door was fully-open as required by the accessibility standards.  But I would not consider the small surface bolt to be accessible.  Not every hotel room needs to be accessible, but the bolt would take so much dexterity to engage, that it’s not much use to anyone.

So what would you do?  What’s your favorite sliding door hardware and your best solution for a privacy latch on a sliding door?  Does your top choice meet the accessibility requirements?

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