Room Dividers

Room dividers are walls that provide only visual screening between rooms, if even that. Some dividers are so ridden with holes that they provide no privacy between spaces; they only act as nominal borders to define those spaces. A couple of points to note:
  1. Little or No Sound Block: Even the most substantial divider available, the bookcase divider, provides very little sound blocking. Most provide no sound blocking.
  2. Easy Installation: Fixed dividers attach to ceiling, floor, or walls with light...MORE hardware. Other dividers are even easier to install by means of eyehooks screwed into the ceiling. Folding dividers require no installation.
  • 01 of 05

    Fixed, Semi-Permanent Divider

    Redi-Screen Room Divider from Crestview Doors
    Redi-Screen Room Divider from Crestview Doors. © Crestview Doors

    Best for homeowners rather than renters, fixed room dividers attach to the ceiling, walls, or floor with screws. One of the best examples of comes from that purveyor of mid-century modern home accoutrements, Crestview Doors.

    Crestview is known mainly for its 1960s-style doors, the kind that might have had a Gold Medallion by the door and a Barry Goldwater sign on the lawn. They also sell Redi-Screens, 24" wide x 80" tall rotary-carved MDF, stain-ready plywood, or exterior-grade Medex...MORE hardboard. Being fixed, these dividers do have to attach semi-permanently to your house. I say "semi" because this level of permanence is not on the level of installing a bathtub or kitchen cabinets.

    Crestview, unfortunately, does not provide installation help, saying that they "don't have installation experience." They do say that "some people [attach] extra trim to the left and right side to make it look floating, others just attach it to an existing wall directly." With that 80" height, you'll have a little over a foot of top clearance if you install it directly on the floor. The only thing I don't like about the Crestview dividers is that they are blisteringly expensive. That 24" width will cost you $1,250; so, if you're looking to screen off eight linear feet of a room, you'll spend $5,000.

    Update:

    Crestview Doors is now out of business.

  • 02 of 05
    Nexxt Sotto Hanging Solid Room Divider
    Nexxt Sotto Hanging Solid Room Divider. © Nexxt
    Some dividers hang from the ceiling, but unlike fabric dividers, the field pieces are acrylic, resin, light wood, or other solid materials. At bottom, the dividers attach to the floor to prevent the divider from swaying or, in the case of this pictured Nexxt Sotto divider, have a weighted bottom to mitigate swaying. These are a good option for either homeowners or renters, since at minimum they need two screws attached to the ceiling.
  • 03 of 05
    Smile Hanging Room Divider
    Smile Hanging Room Divider. © via PriceGrabber

    By far the least substantial yet the cheapest room divider are those that are made of paper or fabric. These tend to come in narrow 24" or 50" widths that can be ganged to create a continuous divider that is as long as you like.

    Since they are flat, they also double as wall art. Usually they have no hardware for hanging from the ceiling, but it's easy enough to buy inexpensive brass, steel, or black hooks and manually screw them into the ceiling.

  • 04 of 05
    Folding Room Divider
    Folding Room Divider. © Oriental Furniture

    Folding dividers are easily the best for mobile owners. If you have an apartment or condo and you decide to move, it's as simple as folding up the divider and putting it in the moving van. These so-called accordion dividers do not attach to your residence in any way.

    Sizes do range, but the wood-and-rice-paper folding divider shown here, at 70.25" x 17", is typical. Materials run the gamut: wood, bamboo, paper, fabric, metal, glass.

    Two negatives: first, these folding dividers have a...MORE long but wide "footprint." Whereas the fixed dividers shown above might be only one or two inches thick, folding dividers tend to be twelve inches or more thick when unfolded. So, if space is limited, this type of divider may not be for you. Second, with the slightest gust of wind or a bump, folding dividers will easily fall over.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Enitial Lab Karrise Walnut Room Divider
    Enitial Lab Karrise Walnut Room Divider. © Enitial Lab

    The bookcase divider is the only divider that has a function besides demarcating spaces: it holds books, curios, pictures, artwork, ceramics, etc. It's also the only divider that has a modicum of sound-blocking abilities (if filled with books).

    On the downside, few tend to extend even close to the ceiling. The one pictured from Enitial Lab is only 36.5" high (stacking not recommended). The only way to have a bookcase-style divider that reaches to the ceiling is to attach it both to the...MORE floor and the ceiling; unattached bookcase dividers are prone to falling.