Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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How to Hang Bifold Closet Doors


Sliding closet doors are common on older homes; but they’re not always the best choice, since they limit access to only half the closet. Read on to find out how to replace sliding doors with bifold doors to allow full access to the closet space.  ...More




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How to Hang Bifold Closet Doors

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Sliding closet doors are a common feature in some older homes. They are not always the best choice, however, since they limit access to only half the closet at a time and have a tendency to come off the track at the most inopportune moment.

Replacing them with easy to open bifold doors allows full access to the closet space. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Remove the old doors.
  2. Cut a board to cover the recessed track at the top and nail it in place.
  3. Measure the height and width of the opening.
  4. Purchase a set of doors to fit the opening. If the exact size isn’t available, buy the next larger size and plane or cut the doors to fit the opening.
  5. Install the track along the top of the doorway.
  6. Mark the location for the pivot points at the bottom of the door frame with a plumb bob.
  7. Align the floor brackets with the marks and attach them to the door frame.
  8. Insert the bottom pins in the floor brackets and the top pins in the track.
  9. Fine-tune the fit of the door by adjusting the pivot points at the top with a screwdriver.
  10. Paint or stain the doors.
  11. Drill holes for the knobs 36″ from the floor in the middle of the two center doors.

Further Information



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57 Comments on “How to Hang Bifold Closet Doors”

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  1. Tom Says:
    October 19th, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    BOUGHT BI FOLD DOORS FOR A 4FT. CLOSET THE PROBLEM IS TRYING TO OPENING THE DOOR WITH EASY, CAN’T GET IT TO SLIDE OPEN WITH EASE? HELP. TOM

  2. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    November 7th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Tom,
    Perhaps the doors are too tight a fit in the opening where they meet in the center? If so, either use the adjustment screws to move them closer to the door casing, or plane the edges down where they meet in the center.

  3. Larry Says:
    November 28th, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Is there a way to install these bi fold doors without making holes in the floor? Some sort of mount for the wall maybe? I just put in new hardwood floors and really don’t want to drill into them. Thanks!

  4. guenther sagan Says:
    January 17th, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Is there a special drill bit to use for the floor if you have new tile in the closet and foyer? We have to put back the folding doors but not sure of putting in the floor mounting.

  5. Max Thomas Says:
    January 21st, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Larry — did you ever find a solution to hanging bi fold doors without drilling in to the floor. We’re in the same situation. Also, our house is very old and the floor board isn’t level. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  6. Lillian Steward Says:
    February 7th, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    We have been working on our old house (200 years old) I an trying to put closets in our bedroom. I have used bi fold doors and am trying to figure the size of opening I need for them. Can anyone tell me how much larger I need the the opening than the doors?

  7. Kathleen Says:
    March 13th, 2008 at 10:37 am

    I have double mirror bi-fold closet doors. The railing on bottom is rusted from shampooing the rug. I want to replace it or make them wthout bottom railing. How do I take the doors down?

  8. Robert Says:
    April 23rd, 2008 at 10:41 am

    My bi-fold doors came installed in the 1959 house I bought. There is a wall-mounted bottom receptacle for the adjustable pin that fits into the bottom of the door. Sounds like Max Thomas would do well to buy a new set of hinges for his doors because the new set would include the bottom bracket. Me? I can’t get mine adjusted to stay in the track. I am thinking it’s the up and down adjustment in the bottom pin. Sounds like we all need some more specific advice. Does anybody have the install instructions that come with a new set of hinges?

  9. Robert Says:
    April 23rd, 2008 at 10:44 am

    When you reinstall the door, which part goes in first, the top or the bottom of the door ? Is there a special tool to hold the spring-loaded top pin down during the reinstall ?

  10. david butler Says:
    April 23rd, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    owner installed brand new carpet now i am trying to install cheap bifold doors carpet runs completly through door opening also i am carpet is on concrete slab having trouble leveling doors and securing doors

  11. patricia day Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Need the answer to the question I don’t want to drill a hole in the floor and why does a door buckle outward after installation, there is no pressure on it we can find?

  12. J Ann Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Our closet doors are also those bi-fold doors, except I don’t see any tracks on the bottom or anything liek that — only on the top.
    The doors are flimsy, and in fact, my 4yr old was trying to push one side open but the top often gets caught in the track, and the door ended up falling right out of the frame. Luckily, it fell back instead of forward, so she did not get crushed.
    Is there any way to make these doors more secure?

    I’d honestly like to just take it down so this doesn’t happen again in the future, & just put up curtains or something in its place.

    Any ideas?

  13. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    September 2nd, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Hi J Ann,
    Try adjusting the doors so they fit securely in the track. Squirt a bit of silicone spray or other lubricant in the track and on the pin to help them slide smoother.

  14. Kerry Leonard Says:
    September 27th, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    When you reinstall the door, which part goes in first, the top or the bottom of the door ? Is there a special tool to hold the spring-loaded top pin down during the reinstall ?

  15. lois blake Says:
    November 15th, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    my closet is 6′ wide and already has bifold doors. the track is split at 3 ft.thert door fell off (kids) and i have not gotten it back on. i tried new hardware didnt work then i removed the recessed track wanting to replace all but cant find the same track.. any suggestions

  16. Alicia Santibanez Says:
    November 18th, 2008 at 6:39 am

    Need the solution for bifold closet door buckling outward…
    Thanks

  17. Laura G Says:
    December 31st, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    I can’t get the sliding doors off the track! There is no “button” to push to release them, there is no “hole” to align them with to have them slide off and lifting them up isn’t an option because the wheels won’t come over the guard that keeps them in the track. Any suggestions? I’m totally confused.

  18. Angelo F. Says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Hey Laura, I have the same problem… when I lift up to pull door back the white plastic piece stays in the track on the bottom… I can’t figure any way to get the doors out… anyone have any answers?

  19. chris r Says:
    January 17th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I have a 8 foot wide closet and want to put in bifold doors. I bought 4 24 inch doors and the sales man said their would be no problem attaching them together. Well I want the doors to open toward both sides of the closet and do not want them to swivel from the center of the closet opening because I have built in drawers. Anyone had run across this issue?

  20. KATHY L Says:
    February 15th, 2009 at 6:33 am

    IF YOU CANNOT LIFT THE DOORS HIGH ENOUGH TO GET THEM OUT OF THE BOTTOM BRACKET, THE ADJUSTMENT PIN ON THE BOTTOM HAS BEEN “TIGHTENED” (UNSCREWED) TO NOT ALLOW THE DOORS TO SLIP OUT. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO “SCREW” THEM INTO THE DOOR (OR UPWARDS) WHICH WILL SHORTEN THE BOTTOM PIN AND ALLOW YOU TO LIFT THE DOORS UP AND OUT OF THE BRACKET. IT MAY REQUIRE A WRENCH TO DO SO.

  21. Jen Says:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I want to install raised panel bifold doors in my closets but the smallest doors i can find are 48″ but one closet is 45.5″ and the other 46.5″…what do you recommended.

  22. Nancy Beasley Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I have a bi-fold door that don’t close all the way anymore, is there something that can be done so it will? Thanks!!!

  23. Tim S Says:
    July 4th, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Since you are only covering the existing recessed slider opening with a board, does the board now become the “support” for the new bi-folds?
    Since it seems you will be installing the new track on a board directly below the recessed track.
    What thickness board is req’d?

  24. Karen Says:
    August 2nd, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Do you have to buy a solid door to cut it to size…

  25. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 4th, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Hi Karen,
    Hollow core doors have an inch or two wide piece of solid wood around the edges, so if you are going to only cut off a small amount (less than an inch), you can use them. When cutting off larger amounts, you should use a solid door.
    Good luck with your project.

  26. SHARON Says:
    August 17th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Visit this site for side-mount and non-track mounting http://jhusa.net/fdindex.aspx Just wish I could attach all four of my 12″ doors to open to one side.
    Shar

  27. miriam Says:
    March 4th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Hi I installed bi fold doors but they don’t seem to close tight, what adjustment can I use to make they snug. Thanks Miriam

  28. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    March 5th, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Hi Miriam,
    There are adjustments to move bifold doors in and out at the top and bottom. Simply loosen the screw, move the doors over, tighten the screws back up, and try them again until you get it right.
    Good luck with your project!

  29. Jean Pearce Says:
    May 2nd, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I have bifold doors and one side will not close properly the plastic cylinder(?) at the top of the door that runs along the track does not stay in the track as the door begins to move to full closure. You have to lift the door to get it to stay in the track. The other side is fine. I have read the comments on adjustments and do not understand what to adjust. I see the stops at the top of the track mount and at the bottom. Do I adjust one or the other and which one. These are tight and it has only begun to have this problem. Please help. thanks

  30. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    May 3rd, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Hi Jean,
    If one of your doors is coming out of the track when you try to close it, you need to raise that door higher off the floor, or adjust it so that either the gap between the door and door frame at the bottom is larger or the gap at the top is smaller. Good luck with your project!

  31. Ruth Salceda Says:
    July 31st, 2010 at 2:56 am

    I am trying to figure out how to hang a bi-fold door on the inside of my bedroom door but I can’t figure out what kind of higes would I use to make it fold flat against the wall. Any suggestions?

  32. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    July 31st, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Hi Ruth,
    Standard butt hinges will work as long as you face the hinge pin toward the inside of the fold (smaller cabinet version works best for lightweight folding doors). Butt hinges can be mortised into the edge of the door, or surface mounted on the face of the door frame. Keep in mind that butt hinges will only allow the door to fold in one direction. There are special hinges, such as these dual-action hinges from Woodcraft, that allow the doors to pivot in both directions. Good luck with your project!

  33. john Says:
    August 13th, 2010 at 12:50 am

    bifold doors can they be plained. it says that they cannot be trimmed “no trimming allowance”. i replaced my old sliding doors with bifolds and i just measured my old doors 24″ but i didnt take in account that one sits behind the other. so i bought 24″bifolds to put in the closet but its only 47″ wide. i hope i can plaine them or something. anyhow can composite hallow core be plained?

  34. Byron Says:
    August 14th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I have the same problem as John, 47 1/4 inch opening. My 2 surface mount tracks have approx a 1/4 overlap and don’t fit. Can I trim of some of the metal track? Thanks in advance.

  35. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 15th, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Hi John and Byron,
    Most hollow core doors have about a 1″ wide, solid wood frame around the outer edges, allowing you to plane or trim off a small amount if needed. I can’t speak for your particular hollow core bifold doors, but if it says they can’t be trimmed, there’s probably a reason. You can find out more about trimming doors in our article How to Trim a Hollow Core door or watch our video on How to Trim a Door. Good luck with your projects!

  36. Gina Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 8:50 am

    For those who were asking about ways to install doors without drilling into the floor:
    Have you considered sliding doors with a track on top and wheels on the bottom that will just roll on the floor? I’m looking into that option for a storage enclosure in my finished basement with tile flooring. I hate to drill into it. In fact, my husband won’t even consider the option of adding the enclosure if we have to drill into the flooring so I’m looking into alternatives. I found the “wheeled” option when I stumbled upon an ad for frameless shower doors. It might take a bit of adaptation to exisiting options, but I’m going to try it!

  37. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Hi Gina,
    Sounds interesting. Let us know how your sliding door project works out.

  38. David Cross Says:
    September 5th, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Had bi-fold doors installed in my basement and I asked the contractor why the 1″ wood blocks in each corner under the floor bracket- He told me that it’s common practice so that when the flooring is put in they can work around the corners. I had bi-fold doors installed on the other side of my basement and the brackets are attached to the floor with plenty of space fo flooring. I measured the frame/opening on each side and the side with the 1″ blocks was 1″ higher. Did the contractor make a mistake and is just not admitting it? P.S the 1″ wood blocks are not fastened to the floor.

  39. Official Comment:

    Allen Says:
    September 7th, 2010 at 9:36 am

    David…the wood blocks are actually fairly common practice among many installers, although I’ve noticed that in most cases, a 1/2″ block works fine. The reason is that the angled brackets in the corner have to be on top of any finished flooring which will also raise the height of the door. So, to answer the question, no, I don’t think the contractor made a mistake. But I personally believe 1″ is excessive for most flooring options.

  40. kim Says:
    October 1st, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I have a hallway closet, we want to put in bifolds or sliders, we already laid the tile down, hate to have to dril into this. but the size is 78 height and 46 width, 2 inches shy of 4ft. can we get a track, cut it to fit and 2 24×80 doors and trim them to fit? they are 6 panel doors but hollow?

  41. Larry Says:
    December 10th, 2010 at 7:52 am

    I am trying to fix some bifold doors that were hung incorrectly. I have purchased replacement hardware to do this, but I am not having a lot of luck getting it to work correctly. I have drilled out the old plastic inserts with a 3/8″ bit, but when I try to put the replacement hardware in place; I put some liquid soap on the new plastic insert hardware and then try to gently tap it into place to seat on the door. I am using a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the shaft of the hardware and trying to use the pliers as a way of putting pressure on the insert(so it can be centered and not move) and then tapping on the needlenose pliers carefully to seat the plastic insert. I am breaking the shoulder of the new plastic insert, which causes the insert to NOT hold the shaft of the new hardware vertically and causes it to move back and forth. I looked for a tool to hold the plastic shoulder in place and not damage the shoulder, but no such luck. I have tried to find other plastic inserts that were more sturdy, but none seem to be on the market…any suggestions on how to get the inserts in place without damaging the plastic inserts shoulders. I am very frustrated and have used twice as many hardware pieces because of this issue.

  42. Cathy Miller Says:
    January 8th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I want to replace my pantry sliding doors with bi-fold doors, the problem is my opening is 46.5 inches and 2 bi-fold doors are 48″. Is is possible to cut 3/4″ off each door or can I custom order the exact size that I need?

  43. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    January 8th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Hi Cathy,
    While you could have custom doors made at a local millwork shop, your best bet would be to rip 3/8″ off the edge of each door. If the doors you plan to use are hollow core doors, keep in mind that the solid wood frame around the edges is usually only about an inch wide, so you wouldn’t want to cut any more than than 3/8″ off any one side. If the doors are fame and panel in solid wood, you would want to take it off each side as well so the frames would look even. Good luck with your project!

  44. Corey Says:
    January 23rd, 2011 at 10:15 am

    This is all well and good but after a couple months the top pin on my mirrored bifold doors refuse to stay in the disc. How do I fix that? I think the doors don’t have enough support on the bottom pin to hold the door up.

  45. Chris Says:
    January 26th, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Hi,

    Just wondering if anyone had any ideas on hanging 6ft wide bifold mirror doors along a floor that has a inch and a half pitch down left to right.

    The top frame is level and square but I can’t do anything about the floor right? Because of the weight these doors have a top and bottom track. I could rip a shim and make it level under the bottom track but is there any way to hide that? I have hardwood floors and don’t want to carpet either to hide it. I was thinking maybe some kind of trick cut with a saddle? Any ideas? Thanks.

  46. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    January 27th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Chris,
    A tapered shim on the floor the length of the opening seems like the best option to me. I can’t think of any way to hide it, but it may not be too noticeable, since it’s at floor level. Good luck with your project!

  47. Christina Says:
    February 10th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Hi,
    I have a 103.5″ wide x 95″ high closet opening. Currently there are two HUGE mirrored sliding doors. They’re heavy, ugly (brass trim) and make it difficult to get into the closet (especially when there are two of us getting ready at the same time!) because it covers one side entirely to have the other open.

    I’m thinking of having it built out to fit bifold doors…but what I’m wondering is…can two sets of 24″ bifold doors be connected to open and fold down to one side? Using a total of 4 sets to cover 96″ so that 2 sets close on each side leaving the center open.

    Or should I be considering some other solution? Maybe two closets?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

  48. Thanks! Says:
    February 23rd, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks very much – very informative video!

  49. cj sides Says:
    May 5th, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Correction

    I want to make my closet bifold door open from the other side, can you move the brackets and still use the same door?

  50. Rose Says:
    May 12th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    My boyfriend is a painter, he is working on a house that has bi-fold doors. He took them down to paint the interior of the closet, he is having one heck of a time outting them back up. Is there a special trick to this?

  51. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    May 18th, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Hi CJ,
    You should be able to reverse the doors (or hinges) and have the bifold doors swing the other direction.
    Good luck with your project!

  52. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    May 19th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Rose,
    On most bifold doors, you simply fit the top pin in the top bracket, then push up on the door to seat the bottom pin in the bottom bracket so it’s the proper distance from the door casing. Fine adjustments are done by loosening the screw in the top bracket and sliding the bracket one way or the other in the track.
    Good luck with your project!

  53. ronnie Says:
    June 13th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Hi,
    I recently retiled the kitchen floor and reinstalled the bifold pantry doors. I have had to realign them everyday since. The doors seem to be collapsing in the middle. I have adjusted the top and bottom pin and screw several times. Could something be wrong with the screw (maybe I stripped it ) at the bottom or the pin at the top. Thanks so much for your advice.

  54. mark Says:
    September 10th, 2011 at 9:22 am

    My bi fold doors came with alignment hardware which is installed at the bottom of the each door. Instructions are unclear as to whether they go inside or outside. Also don’t know how they function. Can you explain?

  55. Erik Says:
    January 14th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Hi,
    I have a 96″ wide x 95″ high closet opening and a 72″ wide x 95″ closet opening. Currently there are two HUGE mirrored sliding doors in my kids room that I have taken out for safety purposes.

    I am having trouble figuring out/finding bifold doors that will fit. Can you please suggest a solution.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Erik

  56. Colleen Says:
    January 27th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    We recently removed the carpeting in our bedroom and had the wood floors underneath buffed and refinished. The problmem is that now that the SLIDING closet doors are going back in, the bracket that secures them on the bottom, is too low. Is there a simple solution? Otherwise they will just sway and hang from the top.

  57. Jenni Says:
    January 29th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    my laundry room has bi-fold doors that are 41″ across. There are two of these. I can’t seem to find replacement doors anywhere? Do you have any suggestion of where to find odd-sized bi-fold doors?

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