Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As you can see in the picture, we have a massive two door hallway closet. The door is very obstructive in that location and it would be very convenient to have sliding doors.

What is involved in the conversion process to a sliding door? Can the existing doors be repurposed into sliding doors?

2nd picture can be used as a point of reference for the construction of the frame.

enter image description here

enter image description here

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There is a wide range of standard mounting kits for sliding doors, many of which can be purchased in home centers such as one of these:

sliding door track

sliding door 2

The sets come with a track, trolleys for the doors and attaching hardware. Some come with trim strips that may or not work in your configuration. Stock trim cam be used instead.

These systems are designed to be attached to standard doors. There is no reason you could not use the existing doors unless they are way beyond standard weight (unlikely). You will likely need to cut 3/4 to 1+ inch from the doors, preferably from the bottom. You also will need to remove the handle and hinge hardware and fill the gaps left behind.

You can choose from a variety of options, depending on how heavy duty a setup you want (pick commercial grade if you want stronger), and how you want to place and face the track. It can easily be hidden behind your own trim work once the track is hung and the doors are in place.

It isn't hard to do, but requires some care in leveling, and an extra pair of hands helps in mounting the doors.

share|improve this answer
1  
Thanks for sharing blb. One challenge I see is the doors are an exact fit without the extra for an overlap in the center, so you may need to add to the casing on the sides. You can avoid cutting so much off the door bottom by removing the top casing and attaching the track directly to the framing. –  BMitch Aug 11 '12 at 0:42
1  
I would much rather have sliding doors that don't really overlap than have swinging doors blocking the hallway. Wouldn't bother me at all. As BMitch indicated, you could always add casing to create an overlap if that's an issue. –  bcworkz Aug 11 '12 at 0:55
    
In the 2nd picture, where would be the ideal location for the track? @BMitch, I'm not familiar with the complete construction of a door. When you say remove the top casing, would this require removing all of the trim first in order to get at attaching the top track directly to the framing? –  Anticipation Aug 11 '12 at 1:07
1  
The lowest piece of wood (that abuts the face of the door when closed) is called the stop. It should be close to square in cross section. This is probably nailed to the jamb (broad trim about 4 to 6 inches wide) above it. Remove stop by cutting paint seal and prying down. It should be held with just a few small nails. The jamb above it is a good solid based to work from (if it was properly installed). The track would be pushed up against the jamb and screwed through the jamb (5/8 to 3/4 inch thick) to the framing above it. If you want to avoid cutting doors, remove jamb as well. –  bib Aug 11 '12 at 1:28
1  
@Anticipation, you'll likely need to remove all the trim, and possibly the casing as well, to get it right. It sounds worse than it is. One other note of caution, many doors today are pre-hung split jambs that sandwich together behind the stop. That means the casing could be two pieces and would not be easily reused when you remove the stop. –  BMitch Aug 11 '12 at 1:36
show 1 more comment

I haven't seen any conversion kits that would do this, but then, I've never looked. The standard process would be to remove the existing door, possibly salvaging the trim for reuse. The door itself can be donated to a reuse/reseller.

The new door comes prebuilt from any of the home improvement stores. They include the casing around the sides, the track and sliding hardware, and door panels. Installation is easier with two people, and requires attention to detail to make sure everything is level and flush. There's usually a second track that will go in the floor which may require removing a piece of hardwood and cutting a replacement. Trim is then reinstalled around the door, paint, hardware, and you're done. Someone with experience could probably do it in a few hours, not including the paint.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.