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Closet Terms you Need to know

Speaking the language of closets when you embark on your custom closet journey is helpful to ask for what you want and make sure you are understanding what your design entails!

Sharing some simple closet terms in this blog post to help you understand closet lingo and what to ask for or be aware in closet design.

Closet terms to know:

Double hang

This is when there are 2 rods stacked in a section with clothing on it.

Mid hang

1 hanging rod mid length so shelving can go above or below it. This is for pants clipped at the waist or ankle, dresses around the knee, dusters, tunics etc.

Single hang

1 hanging rod for long dresses, jumpsuits etc.

Bridging/connecting sections

When 2 sections come together in a corner one will run into the wall and one will stop short creating a bridging or connecting section. It is a necessary gap so you can easily reach the clothes in the corner and hangers do not catch on anything.

double hanging in custom closet and bridging section

Stacked system

A stacked system is when a system is going to the ceiling or higher than the height of the board length. It is a divide for where one board stops and the system above sits on top if it.

stacked system

Full line boring

This is when you keep the holes in your system. This is ideal for flexibility to adjust hanging rods and shelves within a section. great in guest rooms, kids closets, if you want the flexility or thinking about resale value for the next homeowner to be able to easily adjust to their needs.

Custom Drilling

Everything is custom drilled and you do not see holes anywhere .

Cluster drilling

Where there are a few cluster holes around shelves or hanging rods but not full line boring. Some clients like this for shoes or decorative glass shelves to be able to slightly adjust if something taller is placed on a shelf.

Adjustable vs. fixed shelf

When you have the full line boring to cluster drilling you can adjust a shelf that has pegs holding it. A fixed shelf is cam locked in. You can adjust it but it will require a screw driver and more time. If you have custom drilling all shelves would be fixed in a sense because there is no where to move them :)

Dovetail drawer boxes

Dovetail drawer boxes are when the sides interlock together

Full extension Drawer glides

Full extension glides are when the glides allow the drawer box to come to the edge of the system

Under-mount Drawer glides

When the drawer glides sit on the bottom of drawer box (vs. side) so you don't see them.

Soft Close drawers and doors

When a drawer or door closes gently and quietly and you don't have to full closet your own. Once you go soft close its Very hard to go back :)

Half vs. Full overlay drawers/doors

Using an example with a .75" board thikness- half overlay leaves a bit of the .75" side panel exposed vs. full overlay will cover the panel. If you want full overlay and have doors on sections side by side you will need to double the side panels to accommodate for the overlay.

Inset drawers/doors

When the doors/drawer are flush to the side panels instead of sitting onto of it. This is a common style at Restoration Hardware!

Edge Banding

If you are working with a company that uses a thermal fused laminate - they boards are cut for your closet and the exposed raw edge has a band applied to it- there are different wants to do this that can result in a soft or more sharp edge. The edge banding in the closet below was done in a contrasting finish.


Depths are going to be back to front - it can be of the system or the drawer box.


Height is bottom to top.


Width is side to side.

I have found people sometimes interchange depth and width so always best to clarify!

I hope you found these terms helpful! If you have any additional closet term questions please click here to ask a question. If you would like more info on custom closet design please click here.

Thank you for stopping by!


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