Friday, October 21, 2011

The 4 Most Commonly Used Room Dividers and Their Uses

The best room divider is, of course, a wall. But let's face it; building a permanent wall isn't always feasible or affordable. Whether it's your home, school, church, business or office, room dividers can create new spaces, add just the right touch to d├ęcor, give privacy and reduce noise.

There are four room dividers that are most commonly used. In order to help you to know which may be the best option for your situation, I'll list them below and give some of the more appropriate uses for each divider:

1. Screens
Screens are extremely versatile and can be used both at home or in a business / public situation. Because screens are lightweight and free standing, they can be easily setup and taken down or moved around. Screens also are usually the most decorative of the room dividers.

Screens are best used for situations when you only temporarily need to divide a room or when decoration is important (like when used at home). Screens do not block sound well, so these are not the best option if you need divide a room for separate discussions or presentations. Also, because screens are lightweight, they should be used away from large crowds to prevent them from being knocked over.

2. Portable Panels
Similar to screens portable panels are able to be easily setup, taken down, and can have casters to make them easy to move around. However, portable panels are sturdier and block light and sound better than screens, thus providing more privacy.

Portable Panels are best used for situations when you need more privacy for groups, but the division of the room needs to change from time to time (thus making fixed dividers impractical). Portable panels are not decorative and don't usually work well in homes, but are sturdier than screens allowing them to be used around large groups without worrying about them being knocked over.

3. Fixed Folding / Sliding Panels
Fixed panels are sturdy, solid dividers that are mounted to a wall and possibly set in runners on the floor or ceiling. These room partitions are essentially portable walls providing full privacy.

Fixed folding/sliding panels are best for rooms which need to be divided in the same way each time. They are often used for dividing conference rooms, classrooms, or church halls. Because they can extend from floor to ceiling, they are great for dividing a room for separate discussions or presentations.

4. Office Partition Installations
There are a wide variety of office partitions available. People are most familiar with cubicles and reception partitions with counters, but the options extend well beyond that with different shapes, sizes, and materials. These dividers can be decorative, such as decorative glass, or utilitarian, such a corkboard.

Office partitions are best used when you don't want a full wall or you want the flexibility to change the layout of the partitions from time to time. They are not easily moved, but can be installed and uninstalled as needed. So, they are more permanent than portable panel, but less permanent than a wall.

There are many situations where you may want to have a larger room available, but be able to divide it as needed as well. Dividers give you flexibility to change the layout of a room when you need to.

Mary P. Sargeant is an author and the Marketing Communications Coordinator for Dallas Midwest. Dallas Midwest in an office furniture outlet offering a wide range of furniture solutions for offices, schools, churches, libraries and more carying everything from wood podiums, to conference tables, to fabric office chairs and everything in between.


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