Bye-Bye Bi-Fold Closet Doors. Hello Space-Saving Slider Doors
When I moved into my apartment last summer the closet doors in my second bedroom/office were already banged up and constantly falling off. It was a small room with bi-fold doors on the closet, so I was daydreaming about the space-saving benefits of sliding doors. Finally, after months of constantly putting the doors back into place after they fell off, I decided to fix the problem for good and install some brand-new sliding doors.
What You Need
- Interior slab doors
- Bypass sliding door hardware kit, including track, rollers, and fasteners. I needed to use four doors to span the width of my closet, so I bought a kit for a four-door system. Measure your closet opening to find the kit size you need.
- Sliding door floor guides
- Enamel paint (should match your other doors and trim)
- Screw driver
- 1-2 paint brushes
- Drop cloths for painting
1. The first step is the simplest: clean out your closet! You might think you can skip this step, but you’ll thank yourself later when you have a nice, clean space to work with.
2. Remove your old closet doors. This step was easy for me, since only one of the doors was still hanging on. Reach up to the top of the door, and if there is a locking lever, push down to release it. Then compress the door (like a sandwich), lift up from the bottom, and remove the door from the bottom brackets. Then tilt the door until you’re able to remove it from the track attached to the top of the door frame.
3. Next, remove the old hardware from the bottom of the door jamb. It’s easiest to use a drill to unscrew the brackets, but a screw driver will also work. If you’re left with some unsightly glue, sand it down with fine sandpaper.
4. Then remove the old track from the top of the door frame. Use your drill to remove all the screws, and then pull the track down. This might take a little bit of muscle if the track has old paint that makes it stick to the trim.
5. Attach the rollers to the top of the doors. Each door should have two rollers positioned about an inch from the edge of the door. The hanging plate should be attached to the back side of the door.
6. Attach the new bypass sliding door track to the top of the door frame. Make sure it’s evenly placed across the frame, and then use your drill to screw it in. It’s helpful to have someone else holding the track in place while you drill in the screws.
7. Hang the doors. For bypass doors, the track should have two guides—one in the front and one in the back. Starting with the back doors, lift and tilt each door until the rollers are locked into the back guide. Then repeat this step with the front doors by hanging them on the front guide.
8. Once all the doors are hanging from the top track, install door guides on the bottom of the frame. Position the guides where the doors will overlap, and drill in the screws to install each guide. Since I have four doors, I used three door guides evenly spaced throughout the closet opening.
9. Almost done! The doors I bought were only primed, so I painted the doors and the new track to match the existing trim. (Make sure to put down some drop cloths or newsprint so you don’t drip on the floor.)
10. Once the paint dries, just fill up your closet again and enjoy your new sliding doors!
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