We have two hall closets side by side with regular outswing doors. We are converting it to one large single closet (knocking wall down that separates them) with two sliding doors.

My problem, the new opening will be 63.75 inches. Overlap on the doors for sliding closet should be 3-4 inches. Ideally two 34 inch panel doors would provide what I need, but 34x80 doors don’t exist.

Would you recommend two 36 inches and rip them down to 34? Or one 32 and one 36 inch door.

I’m concerned about ripping down the doors to size, we likely will do hollow doors so they are lighter to hang for sliding purposes, and don’t prefer to rip down a hollow core door, there should be enough actual wood on the edge but it still concerns me.

I’m also concerned about 2 different sized doors, and the 36 inch will overlap more of the opening making the middle hard to access. Let me know if you have any ideas.

  • 1
    Can you provide a sketch of what you're trying to do? I don't follow your calculations. Wouldn't 2x36" doors work?
    – gnicko
    Sep 22, 2021 at 11:25
  • 2
    Have you talked to the helpful folks at your local big-box store to see if you can custom order your 2x34" doors? I'm sure you can, and it'll cost you, but that solves the problem.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 22, 2021 at 11:59
  • 1
    Asking for "any ideas" will lead to opinion based answers (as we have 2 already) and makes the question off-topic. Asking for a specific solution, like "How do I cut down a 36" hollow-core door to fit a 34" opening" is quite on topic.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 22, 2021 at 12:25
  • 2
    You're taking out a jamb and doing wall repair, right? Why not reduce the opening to a more standard 60" (or even 62")?
    – isherwood
    Sep 22, 2021 at 13:25
  • 2
    The request for "ideas" here is not an outright request for opinion. It is a request for technical solutions with pros, cons, and alternatives, to a specific problem. It is a good question that is amenable to good answers (whether or not you regard mine as good). The ban on "opinion" based questions is not meant to squash all creativity in these forums or to allow only questions that are so narrowly defined that there can be only one precise answer. I vote not to close.
    – jay613
    Sep 22, 2021 at 13:33

1 Answer 1


Some ideas.

Who says they need to overlap 3 to 4 inches? The nice thing with less overlap is better opening. Think about bifold doors, they don't overlap at all where they meet. So if sliding doors overlap by whatever you want, who says that's bad?

Sugggestion: Buy two 32 inch doors and try different things til you like it.

  • Try 1/4 inch overlap. If it works, it works. The issue might be if the doors aren't dead straight, there might be negative overlap at the top or bottom and that would look bad.
  • OR Add 1/4 or 1/2 inch rubber bumpers to the outside edges. This will avoid slamming and will increase the overlap slightly, at the expense of creating small gaps at the outside edges.
  • OR Add a decorative strip of some kind to the back edge of the outer door at the overlap to hide the quarter inch overlap. It can be a white strip of wood or plastic or brass or a brush strip.
  • OR increase the overlap by padding out the edge of the inner door with a 1 inch thick strip of wood, top to bottom, painted to match, that will improve the overlap. Nobody will ever see this because it's the rear overlap, and the finish won't be worse than trimming down a larger door.
  • OR since you're knocking down walls anyway, this should be an easy one: Shim out one side of the closet opening by one inch to reduce the size of the opening and have a 1.25 inch overlap with two 32 inch doors
  • OR make the opening wider to accommodate two 36 inch doors without trimming.

A further idea: Don't buy the terrible, horrible, cheap track that you get from big hardware stores and that you see in many new homes and all rentals. A good heavy duty sliding door kit is about ten times stronger, operates much more smoothly, and lasts forever. If you buy good hardware you don't have to worry about the weight of solid doors.

  • I like the idea of an extension on a 32" door, but you'd probably want it dark so it disappears.
    – isherwood
    Sep 22, 2021 at 13:30

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