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"Choosing the Best Tambour Sliding Doors in the Market: A Comprehensive Guide"

"Choosing the Best Tambour Sliding Doors in the Market: A Comprehensive Guide"

How do our Tambour Doors measure up to our competitors?

To find the best tambour door in the market today you first need to understand the background of tambour space-saving doors, let’s delve into a brief history.

Tambour doors typically consist of slats and come in a range of sizes, thicknesses, plastics, and color finishes. Most of these doors are manufactured and imported from China, despite the considerable expense of import. China is known for its expertise in producing top-quality tambour slats over many decades, has primarily focused on perfecting this product due to its space-saving benefits, which are especially valuable in the space-constrained environments of modern homes and businesses in Asia.

In the UK, most suppliers import various parts and assemble them in-house to create tambour door kits. Some offer pre-made kits, while others provide customization by cutting to size beforehand.

While we maintain stock of some popular sizes, the majority of our doors are tailored to specific measurements.

This guide has been crafted to distill years of experience into a concise resource, aiding you in selecting the finest doors available on the market and steering clear of subpar options, along with explanations for the same.

 

Key Factors in Choosing a Quality Tambour Door and Pre-Purchase Considerations:

As previously mentioned, tambour slats come in different sizes, thicknesses, plastics, and color finishes.

The pivotal aspect of a tambour door lies in the quality of the materials employed. Numerous suppliers opt for cost-effective PVC slats, but at THEdoûr, we take pride in producing slats from premium ABS plastic, ensuring durability and excellence.

What's the rationale behind this choice?

The distinction lies in the nature of the materials. PVC slats are rapidly and inexpensively mass-produced through extrusion. However, PVC can lose its structural integrity and strength in warm temperatures, even expanding in size. This makes it unsuitable for environments with fluctuating temperatures, like RVs or campervans, where the door is securely positioned between tracks.

Although PVC doors work well on typical days, they can encounter issues when the temperature rises, expanding and potentially getting stuck or operating less smoothly. Conversely, in colder temperatures, PVC doors can shrink, causing them to jump off tracks during travel. This inconsistency can lead to discrepancies of millimeters from the day of installation.

To counter these challenges, we opt for ABS plastic, despite its longer extrusion time and higher cost. ABS plastic maintains its strength and structure across temperature variations, staying aligned with the installation day. Moreover, ABS is flame retardant, resistant to UV damage, and promises lasting colour.

TAMdoûr is an investment for life, designed to endure and perform seamlessly over the long haul.

How the slats connect is a crucial consideration- 

when choosing a Tambour Door. The way individual slats connect greatly impacts the door's durability, as the joints experience significant friction during sliding and opening. All slats possess a male and female connection, but it's essential to focus on the specifics of each connection. Ideally, a robust connection should involve a substantial surface area that fully encases the joints, ensuring a strong bond and minimising the risk of breakage.

We strongly advise against slats connected using rubber, particularly within RVs and campervans. The changing environmental conditions can weaken rubber due to heat, light, and ozone exposure, causing it to deteriorate, split, lose its waterproof properties, and ultimately disconnect from adjoining slats. This renders the door ineffective. This type of connection is often found in larger shower doors for campervans.

Rest assured, this rubber connection is unnecessary when slats are properly linked with a solid male-to-female connection. Water won't seep through if the slats have a secure bond. For our larger tambour doors, we reject the rubber connection method, opting instead for a full male-to-female connection that guarantees enduring strength over time.

Tambour Door Handles and Slats -

The choice of handle for your Tambour door holds significant importance. For openings exceeding 1000mm, we highly recommend selecting a handle that features an aluminum backing. This addition provides crucial support to the door's strength and structure, particularly for doors of such considerable height or width.

When evaluating handles, pay close attention to the design and construction of the aluminium -backed handles. In some cases, suppliers have attempted to reduce costs by using less aluminium for this part. However, this compromises the structural integrity as this component doesn't fully connect with the adjacent plastic slat. This oversight results in a loss of strength and support for larger tambour doors over time.

 

TAMdoûr’s Custom Approach -

For our larger doors, TAMdoûr takes the extra step to ensure durability. Our Aluminium back handle slat is designed with a molded Female channel that securely attaches the adjoining plastic slat to the handle. This innovation fortifies the structure and strength of all connected slats, resulting in the most robust tambour door available on the market, promising a lifetime of longevity.

 

looking to cover a small opening area?

Small cabinet tambour doors present a distinct scenario. These doors commonly utilise slats with narrower widths, typically ranging from 15 to 20mm, composed of full plastic material. The handle in this context plays a pivotal role in both the appearance and functionality of the door.

In many cases, suppliers opt for a handle slat that features both Male and female connections. Regrettably, this approach often leads to handles not aligning flush with the surface when closed. The presence of a female joint causes the door to appear incomplete.

However, with TAMdoûr's user-friendly universal kits, our grooved handles are specifically designed to close flush against the surface. To enhance this design, we've introduced a unique channel that incorporates a magnetic strip. This innovative addition ensures a seamless and magnetically secured closing finish. Feel free to refer to the attached pictures for a visual representation.

 

The Width of Tambour Slats -

The width of each individual slat contributes to the choice of door option. Smaller widths, typically ranging from 15 to 20mm, are commonly employed for small doors. In our case, we ensure a recommended width of 20mm for optimal performance & 25mm for plus 1000mm doors.

 

Front Finish & Colors of Tambour Doors -

Tambour doors were initially designed for front-facing use, with the back hidden inside cabinets. However, due to the trend of smaller living spaces and the emphasis on space-saving solutions, tambour doors are now applied in various scenarios. When choosing a tambour door, several factors come into play. Notably, the back of the door often does not match the appearance of the front; it might retain the natural colour of the plastic. Therefore, in cases where the door is used as a two-way option, the back won't resemble the front.

Manufacturers tend to create unique tambour slat designs. Some offer a flat front finish, while others opt for a curved finish. Flat finishes can sometimes exhibit noticeable colour differences at the slat joints, revealing the natural plastic colour underneath the paint. On the other hand, TAMdoûr takes pride in its curved slat finish, which effectively conceals the natural plastic colour at joins. This curved design not only minimises visibility of plastic colour but also enhances light reflection, resulting in a more luxurious, high-quality, and modern appearance.

Tambour doors offer a wide spectrum of colour options, with Silver, Black, and White being the most favourable choice’s. However, it's important to note that the appearance of these colours can significantly differ from one door to another due to variations in the type of plastic used. For instance, some PVC plastics are matte and undergo in-house colour addition using subpar silver spray paint that can be prone to roughness, scratching, or chipping. We strongly advise against opting for such doors.

In some cases, doors are painted and then given a heavy gloss finish. Notably, many larger tambour door kits, sized around 2000 x 600mm and connected using rubber, are coated with a prominent gloss finish. Additionally, these doors are often supplied without protective film. It's important to be cautious of these doors, especially if they're intended for use as shower doors in campervans, as they'll be installed in high-traffic areas. This elevates the risk of scratches and damage.

TAMdoûr, our choice of ABS plastic offers distinct advantages. By incorporating colours directly during the extrusion process, we achieve exceptional colour consistency. For instance, our silver finish is lightly glazed to impart a metallic feel. The black and white options feature a subtle silver pigment on the front surface, resulting in a matte satin appearance that can catch the light and create a gentle sheen.

This innovative technique ensures that your door maintains its color vibrancy without any risk of color loss over time. Furthermore, each slat undergoes protection via a peel-away film during production. This meticulous step guarantees that every slat remains pristine and flawless until it's ready for installation.

Note of warning to avoid buying twice 

It's crucial to highlight that many large tambour kits, typically sized at 2000 x 600, which are commonly used as shower doors in campervans based on a low price option, are often supplied with excessive height and width. Our experience in the field has shown that approximately 99% of campervan doors fall within the range of 1700 - 1800mm in height and 600 - 800mm in width.

To adapt these kits, you would need to be customized by reducing their height. This process, however, involves a careful cut at both the top and bottom to preserve the centered handle position. Making just a top cut could lead to risks and potential door damage.

It's important to acknowledge that these doors often feature flat front slats, a heavy gloss finish, and rubber connections. These factors collectively influence the door's durability over time. As dedicated manufacturers, we prioritise quality over cost-cutting, ensuring that our doors can withstand the test of time. This commitment is why we offer a bespoke service to address these specific needs and challenges effectively.

 

Track requirements-

The track selection is a pivotal aspect that contributes to the smooth operation of tambour doors. The choice of track depends on the installation area and the available space for the door to slide open.

For vertical sliding, spirals with side tracks are a popular choice. Among these options, small, tightly-mounted circular spirals are frequently utilized. These spirals typically require adhesive for installation and can support doors with a load of up to 700mm. They tend to work well with thinner 8mm thick doors, particularly in smaller spaces. However, it's important to be aware that these spirals are better suited for compact areas.

When it comes to taller vertical slatted doors with horizontal sliding, we advise against the use of this track option. The door's thinness (8mm) is inadequate for the height, making it challenging to achieve a perfect alignment of the top and bottom spirals. This alignment is crucial for a smooth sliding motion. Additionally, these spirals are unsuitable for doors with slats wider than 20mm or thicker than 8mm. Larger doors, especially those exceeding 1000mm to 2000mm, necessitate slats with a minimum thickness of 12-13mm and a width of 25mm to 30mm.

While a U-shape surface-mounted option is available for this type of slide, it's not frequently utilised due to its relatively wide width. As a result, it might not be suitable for installation within a shower tray. However, it could be utilised in scenarios involving custom-made shower trays.

Indeed, there are alternative track options available, such as surface or recessed straight tracks with seamless connecting corners. It's advisable to avoid using all-in-one bent plastic tracks, as they often require cutting to fit your specific opening and corners. This can result in rigid lines that lead to bumps and friction, particularly problematic for a smooth slide, especially if the door is made of PVC.

 

At TAMdoûr, we offer surface or bonded straight tracks that are twice the width of your door for both the top and bottom tracks, along with 90-degree corners. This design approach allows you to start by fitting the corners, followed by cutting the straight track to the required size. This seamless assembly ensures that the track slots together effortlessly, eliminating any bumps or friction in the door slide. This versatile option works whether you're fitting a door to a large cabinet and planning to recess the track or installing it as a shower door and bonding the track to the tray.

In addition, we provide an all-in-one recessed or surface-bonded flexible track option. This allows you to achieve a modern curved close finish and even create a 90-degree turn at any point along the track, enhancing the flexibility of your door installation.

 

TAMdoûr Bespoke

Pro’s

  • ABS plastic
  • Strong & Lightweight structure
  • Maintains size in the tracks in changing environments
  • Flame retardant
  • Forever colour
  • Strong interlocking Slats
  • Tracks designed for any application, Furniture recess track or surface mounted Shower doors.
  • Full length aluminium handle slat which connects to the adjacent plastic slat
  • Custom made to measure with no minimum order quantity.
  • Worldwide shipping.
  • Designed to last a lifetime.

 

Con’s

  • Waiting Time 10-14 working days as the door is custom made to order.
  • you have to pay a little more for a quality product designed to last a life time vs a door cheaper in production and has a self life.

 

Certainly, the allure of getting the most value from our purchases is universal. The saying "buy cheap, buy twice" rings true, highlighting that inexpensive items often break, and quality correlates with what you invest. However, when it comes to actually spending more on higher-quality products, it can be challenging to justify, particularly given the rising cost of living.

Opting for cheap purchases seems straightforward—it's lighter on the wallet, and the allure of avoiding research for better options is strong. If the cheap item breaks, it might not feel like a significant loss. Yet, despite the perception of frugality, the reality is often different. Over time, the expenses incurred from replacing these goods accumulate.

While cheap items need frequent repurchasing (contributing to landfill buildup), quality purchases only require a single investment. Products built for a lifetime—ones that endure indefinitely—offer remarkable value throughout their extended usage, even if the initial cost is higher.

The cheaper a product, the more corners are often cut during its production. This means the use of low-quality materials, hasty manufacturing, and inexpensive labor. Companies recognise that an ultra-low price tag boosts sales, so they prioritise reaching the lowest cost. However, these cheap goods squander our natural resources for the sake of a short-lived experience.

While such products appear budget-friendly in the short term, the cumulative expenses for replacements and repairs mount over time.

I hope  this information has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of the distinctions between a quality Tambour door and other options. It's valuable knowledge to have when researching the best Tambour doors available in the market. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask.