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The Pros and Cons of Using Sliding Closet Doors

You cannot appreciate just how practical sliding closet doors are until you install them to hide your wardrobe in your bedroom. These user-friendly doors slide on tracks, look fabulous and can certainly tidy up the appearance of your room. However, buying the cheap choice is not always a good idea because what may be acceptable for one person may not be practical for you. Although you may find some discounted, make sure that they are still of good quality.

industrial sliding door

Advantages

The advantages of these systems far more than outweigh any minor disadvantages. The number one reason people choose to buy these designs is the floor space that they open up for you. As you are probably well aware, the less crammed you feel, the more comfortable you ultimately are. Since you aren’t having to open a conventional door that is held in place with hinges, you no longer have to worry about positioning your bed a little further away so you don’t hit it with the door every time you need something out of your closet.

sliding door track

Not only do wardrobe sliding doors save you an abundance of space, they are much more contemporary looking as well. Big brass doorknobs that you hang everything on are part of the past. Today, the look is clean, streamlined, modern and even mirrored. Not to mention, these types of closet doors allow you to access every inch of your closet. Now you don’t have that dead corner where you store certain items and then end up forgetting about them because they are out of sight. The fact that you can slide the doors on the track either way allows you to make the most of your wardrobe space.

sliding door track

Disadvantages

The disadvantages associated with these doors are mild and also easy overcome. A traditional sliding door does not allow you access to your whole closet at one time. Even when the doors are open fully, one part of the space is blocked unless you slide the doors to the other side.

industrial sliding door

This is actually easily remedied one of two ways. You can create a pocket inside an adjacent wall where the doors can simply slide into and disappear or you can opt for the accordion style. These designs fold in half on the track to slide open away from each other. These are probably one of the most popular types of sliding closet doors available today but be cautious when making your purchasing decision because a lot of them can be really poor quality. You’ll find that these systems come in a variety of materials, colors and mirrored or even louvered patterns.

Sliding Patio Door Repair - How to Fix a Sticking Patio Door

interior sliding door options

Last week I told you how to remove your old sliding glass door in preparation for the installation of the vinyl replacement door. Let's go through the installation procedure for both the Retrofit style and replacement style frames.

Let's start with the retrofit frame. Like the retrofit window, the door will have a 2" lip flush with the outside edge of the frame. The difference between the retrofit window frame and the retrofit door frame is the absence of the lip on the bottom of the door due to the sill track. Your door will have the lip on both sides and across the top. The majority of the installation process is the same whether it's a retrofit frame or replacement frame. The first thing you want to do is check the floor for a level condition. If the base is not level, add shims to create a level base. This step is very important, because if you have a sloping bottom, the whole frame will be thrown out of square. You will have problems locking the door as well as air infiltration trouble. So, put down shims to make the base level. If possible, use one long shim to create a solid base for the weight of the door. Before setting the door in place, put down a bead of liquid nails from end to end, set the shims on top of the liquid nails, and run a generous bead of caulk on the outside face of the opening, where the retrofit lip is going to contact the exterior surface. Caulk the sides and the top.

Now set the door in place, being careful to lift the door and set the bottom track on top of the shims, rather than dragging the bottom. Obviously, this requires two people, one on each side. You tilt the top away from the opening as you set the bottom in place. Then, raise the top until the retrofit lip contacts the exterior surface where you applied the caulk. The reason I use liquid nails on the bottom rather than caulk is because I don't like to put screws in the bottom, and the liquid nails product is as good as screws when it dries. Have your helper hold the frame in place while you go inside to plumb and secure the door. Put a level on the jamb where the slider will lock. Plumb the jamb and install shims where you put your screws. You should put one about 6 inches from the top and one 6 inches from the bottom. A good quality door will have long screws shipped with the door that are replacements for the small screws holding the locking hardware to the jamb. Be sure to shim where these screws install. Now, if you leveled the bottom and plumbed the side, your top and opposite side should automatically be square. Put shims on the opposite jamb, and drive in your installation screws. Put 3 to 4 screws in the jamb. Then, run your tape measure from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. Write down that measurement. Measure from the opposite corners, and the measurement should be the same if your frame is square. Finally, put one screw in the top center You really don't need any more than one. You don't need to use shims since there won't be any load or torque on the top header. Just don't overtighten the screw, otherwise the frame will bow.

At this point you should have the frame installed in the opening with the fixed panel already glazed in from the factory. Here is where you want to install the sliding panel. It goes in from inside the house. Set it on the side and spray a generous amount of lubricant to the steel rollers to help them spin freely. Wipe away excess before putting the panel in. Remember to raise the top into the header as far as it will go, then swing the bottom over the lip and set it down on the track. If the bottom won't get over the bottom lip, you will have to adjust the bottom rollers to bring them up into the frame. You should see a hole on the side rail to insert a screwdriver and turn the adjustment screw counterclockwise to bring the rollers up and out of the way. After you set the rollers on the track, be sure to adjust them back down before sliding the door. Have your helper lift the side up while you turn the adjustment screw clockwise. Do both sides, then slide the door closed and check for equal daylight from top to bottom. If there is more daylight showing on top or bottom, adjust the rollers to bring the door panel plumb with the jamb. Adjust the lock. Each door should come with lock adjustment instructions. Install the screen door on the outside. Now seal the crack between the retrofit lip and the exterior surface. Go inside and fill the space between the frame and wall studs with R-13 insulation. The last step is trimming the inside. We sell vinyl trim pieces that are designed to trim the inside without having to paint, stain, or nail. You can see samples and prices for the trim at the shopping pageon the website.

Now, the replacement frame installation process is the same, except there is no retrofit lip. Therefore, when you put the frame into the opening, you have to plumb the side jambs from two places rather than one. In addition to plumbing the jamb left to right in the opening, you also have to plumb inside to outside because you don't have the retrofit lip to keep your frame aligned with the outside wall. Also, you need to apply trim to the exterior as well as the interior. You can use a basic vinyl flat trim for the outside, and that is available on the shopping page as well. Be sure to caulk the outside trim where it meets the surrounding surface.You just installed a vinyl sliding glass door. I will be on vacation next week, but the following week's article will deal with the best and safest way to install replacement windows on the second floor.

Sliding Closet Door Design Choices

Room sliding door

There are basically two types of barn door hardware. The first is a rustic, flat track sliding door system The second is a more modern roller and track style barn door hardware system. The rustic, flat track sliding door system is perfect for exterior door hardware applications, while the modern roller and track style system is a preferred interior application.

When interior designers ask me about the pros and cons of it sliding hardware kits, I feel like I have to think long and hard about the cons! I love barn for so many reasons, but I will limit it to the top three. Reason number one being that smaller spaces are becoming more and more typical in homes and businesses, and It solves the "wasted door space" issue. Americans in general have taken up the new hobby of downsizing and simplifying in their living and work spaces. This inadvertently means there are more rooms with smaller spaces which need them. Traditionally, they have hung with hinges and have a three to four foot area of "wasted door space".

Installation is my reason number three for loving rolling door hardware. Installation is simple, any homeowner can do it! As far as the con's of barn door hardware, it is not easy to find the unique, designer barn door kits. There are several stores on the web that boast about their knowledge of the hardware.

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