What are Room Partitions?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2019
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Sometimes referred to as room dividers, room partitions are devices that allow the space in a room to be divided into subsections or areas. In some cases, the use of room partitions has to do with a decorating theme for the space. At other times, the reason for the usage of the room divider is more functional that decorative.

There are essentially two types of room partitions. The first example is a folding partition. The folding partition usually involves a series of panels that are hinged together and is free standing. One of the more common examples of this type of divider is the room screen. Generally, this device has a minimum of three panels. The panels are unfolded and positioned in a manner that sections off a portion of the room. Room screens are often employed in bedrooms to create a changing area within the room. People who live in efficiency apartments may also make use of room partitions of this type to create a visual distinction between living and sleeping space.


A second example of room partitions is the accordion model. This design is often used in public buildings and houses of worship in order to be able to enjoy the benefits of a large open space while still retaining the ability to section off the space when necessary. The room partitions are mounted in metal tracks running across the ceiling area, making it easy to slide them into place when necessary. Depending on the size of the space, one or more sets of accordion room partitions may be installed.

For example, a church may choose to equip a fellowship hall with accordion room partitions. When the entire space is needed to accommodate a large number of people for a meal, the partitions are retracted. The same space can be subdivided into smaller areas by closing the room partitions and creating a series of individual classrooms. As a result, the same space is made into a multifunction area of the church by employing room partitions.

One of the benefits of room partitions is the ability to manage sound in the space. In an office setting, partitions that segregate a larger space into several work areas helps to minimize the sounds created by various employees in the space. While the effect is usually not as pronounced as placing the employees in different rooms, the use of room partitions do often make it possible to contain the sound well enough to allow each employee to not be distracted by sounds created in the other cubicles.

Along with functionality, room partitions can also add an element of visual interest to the space. This may be true in both an office and a home environment. Partitions made of panels may be covered in print fabrics, or painted with any type of design that the resident of the space desires. Even accordion types of room partitions are now available in a wide range of colors, making them more attractive and desirable as part of the overall design.

However, solid panels and accordion types of room partitions are not the only options available. In small living spaces, it is possible to create room partitions that are little more than weighted panels of fabrics suspended from the ceiling or a rod mounted on a wall. While these room partitions do nothing to contain sound within the space, they are easy to install and will provide the visual segregation of the space that is often important to the overall decorating plan.


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