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Hide the Hardware When Installing Closet Bypass Doors

September 22, 2015

How to replace bifold doors with bypass doors (and make them look good in the process.)

How to install a sliding closet door to not look cheap and ugly.

Samurai says:

"Bifold doors look cheap and ugly, and they always have a gap at the top—they just don't look good. So I like to switch my bifold doors into bypass doors. It's gonna cost about three hundred bucks for solid wood doors (cheaper if you do hollow core), the track is about fifty bucks for the hardware.

Install the bifold door track:

  • Cut the aluminum track on your chop saw—go really slow because you're cutting metal—an inch shorter than the opening.
  • Install track tight to one side so the roller wheels can slip into the other side.
  • Attach with 1-1/2 inch screws.
  • If the header is out of level (as it was in this video), use an appropriately sized shim at the high-end and then use 'liquid shim' (PL Pro) in globs on the underside of the track.
  • Drive the middle screws after the #LliquidShim has dried.

Prep the bifold door

  • Cut the door 1-1/4 inches shorter than the distance from the floor to the track.
  • Mark with a pencil.
  • Score the top of the door with a utility knife. You don't need to score the underside because a circular saw cuts on the up stroke. The bottom cut is clean, the top cut tends to splinter.
  • You can clamp a straight edge in place to use as a fence, or you can cut it free hand. Samurai is confident in his ability to cut it free hand (so he does).
  • Samurai Tip: a block plane cleans up the cut edge nicely.
  • Install top hardware plates so that the catch is at least 2 inches in from the edge of the door. If you install thge catch too close to the edge, the wheels will fall out of the the track at the short end.

Install the bifold doors:

Normally, the back door is installed from the front of the closet in the rear track, and then the front door is installed in the front track. But this leaves a gap that shows the unsightly hardware and track. Samurai will lower the casing to hide the hardware, but that means that the doors can't be removed from the front of the closet.

  • Samurai Solution: Install doors from the back of the closet.
  • Another Samurai aesthetic tip: Cut the fastening tab off the floor track. Screw through the plastic track (under the door space) to accommodate the for missing tab.

Trim out the sliding bifold closet doors:

Samurai uses his secret weapon (2P-10) to install casing trim. Two-part 10-second adhesive makes very fast work of a clean miter joint. #WorthIt.

The Samurai Carpenter is a timber framer and furniture maker in Victoria, BC. See more on his YouTube channel

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