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Interior Sliding Panels - Shoji/Fusuma

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Sliding panels are light panels designed to slide like simple doors. They are usually used in pairs or sometimes in triplets. They differ from sliding doors or pocket doors in that they usually have no rolling or locking hardware and are quite light. The definitive examples of this form of panel are the Japanese paper and lattice shoji screens and decorated fusuma panels. They are particularly well suited to use as sun screens, as doors for walk-in closets, or to conceal large appliances and entertainment systems. Traditional fusuma are highly decorated and can serve as a very elegant way to add decoration to a contemporary interior.

These panels are limited to 25mm maximum thickness and have a very simple construction. They simply employ a top and bottom 10mm flange and pop-into the upper and lower profile slots with slight flexing just like pop-in panels. However, unlike wall panels which are mounted flush to the frame edge. Sliding panels are mounted flush to the floor surface and an added wear-strip -adapted from standard profile wear strips, is placed along upper and lower frames to provide a lower friction sliding surface for the panels. This requires they employ slightly less basic panel height and slightly wider top and bottom slats -the difference usually about 10-20mm depending on floor surface thickness and wear strip thickness.

Sliding panels also usually feature a recessed hand pull, called a hikite in Japanese, that allows the panels to be pulled open and closed without touching the finished panel surface, which helps reduce wear and keep them clean.

Relating to their traditional decorative role with fusuma, sliding panels can be a very good way to integrate artwork into a home, the panels being designed to function as very large picture frames. They can also be used to integrate certain appliances -particularly with the advent of thinning and lightening video displays- or function as projection screens, white boards, chalk boards, cork boards, and the like.

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