Sliding Closet Doors

By Chelle Cordero

January 7, 2011 5 min read

Sliding closet doors can be the beautiful beginnings of a terrific storage area. They can hide a utilitarian alcove, or they can divide a room into multipurpose uses. Decorate in the style you want, and install simple sets of doors in an easy do-it-yourself project with step-by-step instructions courtesy of HGTVPro.

"Most sliders are 'hanging' doors. The tracks are on top, and usually there are no tracks at the door bottom. Instead, base guides are used to keep the doors in line. This also makes the floor more attractive," explains Ed Del Grande, master contractor and HGTV host. You will need a soffit and track on top for the doors to glide upon.

*Materials and Tools

Two-by-sixes

Two-by-fours

Laminated door panel

Stain

Hanging door hardware (track, rollers/plates)

4-inch screws

Paint

Level

Table saw with 3/4-inch dado blade

Drill

Chop saw

Paintbrush

Rubber mallet

Straight line saw

Paintbrush

*Steps

1) If you don't have an existing soffit in your room on which to hang your doors, you can build one by connecting two two-by-sixes to your desired length. To attach them to your wall, pre-drill for 4-inch screws about every eight inches along the edge, and place the screws loosely inside the holes. Hold the soffit up to a header above your doorway, and make sure it's level. Then screw it into place. Paint it the color of your choice.

2) Cut four two-by-fours for the door frame, and miter each corner to a 45-degree angle.

3) With a dado blade on your table saw, make a dado cut along the edge of your framing so it's the same thickness as the door panel.

4) Stain or paint the wood.

5) Cut the door panel to the proper height for your doorway using a straight line saw.

6) Peel back the plastic protective cover along the edges of your door panel, and slide one of the two vertical framing pieces into place. Carefully tap it with a rubber mallet for a more secure fit.

7) Slide the bottom framing piece almost into place, and then place glue at the corner where it meets the first framing piece. Adhere them and clamp together.

8) Continue this process for the rest of the framing.

9) Drill two pilot holes along the bottom and top of each of the four corners so they can't be seen. Start with a small bit to get things started, and then follow up with the longer bit.

10) Insert 4-inch screws with a countersink bit to connect the frame.

11) Install the first part of the track on the underside of the soffit with 2-inch screws. Place the first set of rollers onto the track, and then attach the second part of the track. Make sure the seam between the two track pieces is even.

12) Attach the plate hardware to the top of the door three inches from each edge.

13) Fit the plate inside the rollers that are already attached on the track. Once they're in place, screw in the bolts so they're tight.

Del Grande emphasizes the versatility of sliding doors: "Sliding closet doors can work with just about any room because the matching style will depend on the finish of the doors themselves (type of wood, type of material, colors, carpentry trim, etc.). The mechanics of the sliding doors should have nothing to do with style because they are just giving access to a space, and if a 'slider' is the door type of choice, they can work with any room.

"The best way to keep them on track is with a high-quality heavier door. Since they slide over each other, they are very forgiving as to the size closet they can be installed in, and 'multi-panel' installations can be easily rigged up with the proper hardware," he says.

"Lower-end jobs can be completed by a do-it-yourselfer," but Del Grande does caution, "Layout, sizing, pro tools and proper door hardware are key to these jobs being successful."

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