Can You Lock an Accordion Door?

Accordion doors are a great option when you want a way when you want an option to divide a space without making it permanent. But is it possible to lock accordion doors? We've done the research, and here's what you need to know:

You can definitely lock accordion doors. Many accordion doors have built-in latches that can lock. You can also install a lock on your door if it lacks one or you want a stronger lock.

That said, you might be wondering how a folding door is locked. And just what kinds of accordion door locks are available out there? After all, questions concerning security aren’t easily satisfied by a simple yes or no. In this article, we'll take a closer look at these questions and more! Read on to learn all about it!

Green vintage wooden accordion doors with old locks. Can You Lock an Accordion Door

What Is An Accordion Door?

An accordion door is a folding door that you close or open by dragging to the side instead of pushing forward or pulling backward. It’s easily recognizable by its creases, which allow you to move it on its tracks despite having little to no clearance. This makes it a spectacular option for small, packed rooms with limited leeway.

The name was derived from a family of instruments, also called the accordion, that has a fan-shaped body called the bellows. If you’re confused about the terms “accordion door,” “folding door,” “bifold door,” “double-fold door,” “folding sliding door,” and “concertina door,” it’s probably because they all more or less refer to the same thing.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that when people say “accordion door,” they’re mainly talking about a folding door that has a paper-like design.

Vintage Accordion sliding style partition separating the two rooms

How Can I Make My Accordion Door More Secure?

Due to its motion being lateral rather than pivotal, an accordion door is more prone to security problems than a hinged one.

Fortunately, you can make your accordion door more secure by putting a lock on it. Although accordion door locks aren’t as reliable as deadbolt locks when it comes to stopping a burglar from busting into your room, they’ll do enough to keep pets and youngsters from causing or getting into trouble.

Use a Thumb-Turn Lock

A thumb-turn lock is one of the most effective types of locks you can choose for your accordion door. You just flip it like a switch on an old microwave oven, and—poof!—your door is secure.

This lock is commonly used indoors and is ideal for rooms that don’t need to be locked with a key from the inside. As you switch it, a wheel-like component digs into the door frame and latches in place, preventing the door from being pulled horizontally. Although an accordion door can be fixed for bedrooms and bedrooms with this lock, it’s still advisable to use a hinged door for your most personal rooms.

Thai vintage red wooden accordion doors

How Do You Lock Accordion Closet Doors?

If you’re dedicating your accordion door to a less private room, like a large cupboard in your basement—or, in this case, a closet—then a magnetic lock should do the trick. If you need more security, you may consider using a keyed hasp lock.

Magnetic Locks

When the rectangular piece of magnet on the edge of the accordion door clicks with the magnet on the door jamb, you’ll need to exert more force than you use when you’re opening a fridge before you can enter. That is if you’re using strong magnets. So, be cautious with this one. The weaker the magnet, the lesser the security.

This isn’t the most trustworthy lock for your accordion door since anyone from either side can open it, which is why it’s not advisable for bathrooms and bedrooms. But if you’re a minimalist looking for ways to free up some real estate, a magnetic lock is a great option. You’ll never have to worry about a door latch not retracting, too!

Keyed Hasp Lock

While a strong magnetic lock will keep your door latched and can keep very small children or pets out, a keyed hasp lock will provide you with more security. These are useful if you have bigger children or others who you need to keep out of a secured closet.

Click here to see this keyed hasp lock on Amazon.

How Do You Lock A Double-Fold Door?

There are several ways to lock a double-fold door, but the most common is to either use a childproof lock or a twinpoint lock.

Childproof Locks

If your double-fold door leads to a small room or cupboard you don’t want your kids to enter, a childproof lock is your best choice. It looks like a scrabble tile holder, and you place it at the top of your double-fold door. Once closed, you slide it to the center to prevent the door from folding outwards or inwards.

This optimizes home safety by also preventing children from getting their delicate, nimble fingers pinched by the double-fold door.

Twinpoint Locks

A twinpoint lock is preferable if your double-fold door leads or is located in a major room or area that needs to be secured properly. It works just like a regular mortise lock, where you put your hand on the handle and yank downwards. The main difference here is that it’s located at the center, not the side, which makes it perfect for wide, bifold patio doors.

Vintage wooden accordion doors with old locks

How Do You Install A Folding Door Lock?

To install a folding door lock, you can follow these steps as long as you have the necessary tools:

  1. Drill holes through the markings on the door lock jamb casing. You can choose to drill the holes higher than the door handle to deny your children access.
  2. Mount the casing to the door jamb using screws.
  3. Attach a spring to the appropriate hook piece for your door’s model, and plug them inside the cover of the jamb casing.
  4. Mount the cover to the jamb casing using screws, and put the knob into the hole outside the hook.
  5. Now that you’re done with the door jamb close the folding door and lower the hook.
  6. Place the latch pin under the hook, and mark the location of the holes with a drill bit.
  7. Tuck the knob back up, remove the latch pin and drill pilot holes through the markings you’ve just made on the door.
  8. Insert the anchor plate from the other side of the door, adjust the latch pin, and attach it firmly with screws.
  9. Slide the door to the jamb, and turn the knob, so the hook locks on the top bar of the latch pin.
  10. Your folding door lock is installed and ready to use!

See the process for yourself in the video below:

Beware Accordion Door Problems

Accordion doors move along a track at the top of the door frame and hang from there, almost like a curtain. This means that not giving some room at the bottom could prevent the door from closing or opening.

Luckily, this problem is easily solved by leaving enough space between the door and the frame. In case the top track starts squeaking, using a lubricant will come in handy.

old wooden accordion door with varnish, old chrome locks still working. Can You Lock an Accordion Door

Final Thoughts

As you’ve read, accordion doors by themselves aren’t that secure, which means curious children and silly pets could wander into all the wrong places. Even with a basic magnetic latch, cats, dogs, and toddlers can push the door until a gap is created.

This is where locking your accordion door becomes beneficial. By fixing your folding door with a lock, you make it significantly more sturdy and secure. Unless you’re a bona fide handyman, having someone who can carve your door frames the right way is a must.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out these great posts:

9 Types of Sliding Door Locks

How to Adjust a Top-Hung Sliding Door

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