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Closet Design Basics & Construction

Three Types of Closet Systems

Construction Methods

One of the first decisions that will have to be made when designing a new closet is the construction method. Wall Beds Plus offers suspendedfloor-based, or a mixture of these two methods for our closet systems. While most closets use the suspended closet system method, there are pros and cons to each which can be reviewed below.

Suspended Closet Systems

Example of a Suspended Closet Systems

Supported by a rail that is firmly secured to the wall studs. All of the structural closet components then hang off of the rail. The weight of the system is carried by the home’s studs and is very strong.


  • Least expensive.
  • Does not extend to the floor, so removing carpeting or baseboards is not an issue.
  • Custom cutouts around heating vents and electrical outlets are usually not necessary.


  • Rail is visible, although a paintable rail cover is included.
  • Usually, cannot accept crown or base molding.
  • Will not support as much weight as a floor-based closet system.
  • Cannot be used with plaster and lath.

Floor-Based Closet Systems

Example of a Floor-Based Closet System

Supported by the floor and includes a cabinet base box that raises the closet a few inches off the floor. Moldings like baseboards should be removed prior to installation so that the closet sits flush to the wall. Alternatively, the vertical closet panels can be cut at the bottom to go around the baseboard that you do not wish to remove.


  • Can bear the most weight (Pantries must be floor-based due to the nature of the goods stored on their shelves).
  • Accepts custom crown and base moldings, creating a very finished, furniture-style look that adds decorative flair and can blend.


  • More expensive.
  • Difficult to change the carpeting unless it is removed from under the unit prior to installation.
  • Custom cut-outs for vents are required when the system covers a heating or cooling duct.

Mixed Closet Systems

Example of a Mixed Closet System

The majority of custom organization systems use a combination of suspended and floor-based components to create the greatest functionality along with the most beautiful appearance and value. For example, hanging sections are often suspended while cabinet and drawer sections might be floor-based, giving more of a furniture look to those components.