What do consumers think of sliding doors and which de-mands do they place on them? These are the questions at the focus of Hettich's market-research study. It clearly reveals that consumers' specific wishes and needs are the driving force behind the trend towards sliding doors in furniture de-sign. Compared directly with side-mounted doors and flaps, they score in terms of ergonomics, functionality and design.

Ergonomics – benefits that come with sliding doors

It's in everyday use that sliding doors show the strengths: open sliding doors don't get in the way where space can be at a premi-um, such as in bedrooms and offices. Doors left open on wall units in kitchens and bathrooms are not likely to leave you injured.

Design – creativity with sliding doors

Sliding doors are ideal for carrying modern spacious interior de-sign through into furniture because large-surface doors provide the key to creating spaces with purist look while reducing neces-sary gaps to a minimum. The new InLine XL range for flush fitting unit fronts meets the most exacting demands on practical func-tionality and aesthetic appeal. It's the first sliding door system that manages without handles. Doors open in response to a light pull on the door's outermost edge. As designer-style solutions are in demand whatever the space they are used in, you can now expect to find InLine XL not only in wardrobes but also in pantry units for high-end kitchens.

Introducing SlideLine M, Hettich now offers a new single-track slid-ing door system for ringing the changes between open and closed sections in furniture. The system functions as a practical design element in living-room units, shelf systems, kitchen wall cabinets and bathroom furniture. In virtual silence, SlideLine M lets close-fitting sliding door fronts weighing up to 30 kg glide back and forth with effortless ease on furniture of any type. Once furniture is in place, the system can be mounted by just one person on all top panels in standard gauges of 16, 18, 22, 25 and 38 mm. Just one profile can be used for running two doors in front of shelf rows fit-ted one above the other. Optional soft-closing Silent System is integrated to leave it hidden out of view.

The top-running SysLine S sliding door fitting for inset doors im-presses with its smoothly floating action and luxurious ease of movement. This can be optimised further still with the optional Silent System for soft, automatic closure. As the soft-closing mechanism is fully integrated in the runner profile, absolutely no storage space is lost. There are no profiles in the bottom panel either. This helps to provide a neat look and easy access to cabinet contents.

Functionality – What good sliding doors need to do

Hettich's market study makes a clear statement: When it comes to cabinet doors, it's the practical aspects most users attach im-portance to, particularly to ease of opening and closing. The bene-fit of linear movement provided with sliding doors should be com-bined with low forces needed to open them. Consumers also appreciate the convenience of soft, gentle and silent closing action.

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