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It's a 70s home and the master bedroom has a wonderfully large closet with a very heavy double-panel sliding door. Beside the obvious drawback that we can't both use it at the same time (opening one side means the other side is blocked by both panels), it's ugly and heavy.

Any research into replacement doors reveals that nobody has made closets with doors that style in a few decades. I'd appreciate any ideas or pointers toward alternate door solutions.

(sorry about my lack of terminology, I'll be happy to clear up any missing/ambiguous info if necessary)

~edit~ To clear up, the width is the problem: It's an 81 inch opening, outside of the track for the sliding panels. Height is 96" (to the ceiling).

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This earlier question of mine might be useful if you're thinking of reducing the opening to fit standard off-the-shelf sizes. –  Niall C. Jan 17 '11 at 4:19
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In what way is it oversize -- too high, wide, or both? What are the dimensions? A picture may help. –  gregmac Jan 17 '11 at 7:26
    
Sliding by pass doors are still used all the time. Mirror, raised panel and louver styles are stock at any home improvement store. Some dimensions or a pic would be very helpful. We can talk pocket doors or standard swing doors, but either require lots of extra wall or floor space respectively. –  shirlock homes Jan 17 '11 at 10:59
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What about bi-fold doors? They will have a small intrusion into the room, but much less then a full swing door. –  Tester101 Jan 17 '11 at 12:47

2 Answers 2

I had basically the same situation in my 70's-built house, the closet doors went all the way to the roof, and were horrible looking bi-folds.

before

Basically what I did is framed in a header to bring the opening to 81" (remember to account for 1/2" drywall while framing):

new framing

Then some drywall and paint (note I didn't yet repaint the ceiling in this picture):

drywall complete

I had 4 closets like this. This particular one by the front door got sliding mirror doors, but I also installed some frosted-glass sliding doors in the bedrooms.

finished with new doors


The width is going to be challenging for stock stuff. If it was a bit wider, you could probably split the door into two by putting a small column in the middle, but that would leave you with a couple 3.5' doors, which are pretty small. If you went to bi-folds, you might be able to do a 4' and a 2' door, though that might look a bit strange.

A quick search turns up some custom closet door manufacturers, which might be an option to get multi-panel sliding doors, like this:

alt text

If you do this you can probably also get them 8' high, but honestly, even without the doors on, just making the opening 81" really updated the look of the house.

Yet another option is that you could shrink the width down to 72" (basically just extend the wall/framing on one side by 9"), and along with making the height 81", you're into a standard size where you can get both sliding or bi-fold doors off the shelf from any box store.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out

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Great looking job Gregmac. –  shirlock homes Jan 18 '11 at 11:12

One option might be to get a set of bi-fold doors. Hanging one on each side of the opening would mean you will lose a few inches on each side when the doors are open, but the distance that they would cut into a room would be much less than the full door. With an 81 inch opening you should be able to lose a few inches and the opening would still be big enough for two people. Bi-folds are cheap, come in a variety of sizes and designs and are pretty easy to install.

Before doing any of this however two tips: first, check the opening to see if it's square and level. If it is then the job should be pretty straightforward and easy, if not it's still doable, just a little harder. Second, empty the closet before you start.

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Why empty the closet? –  Tester101 Jan 17 '11 at 17:27
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Most bi-fold door kits have adjustments to compensate for openings that are not true, as long as the frame is not really far out of whack it should be fine. –  Tester101 Jan 17 '11 at 17:30

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