How to Install Sliding Closet Doors

Installing a sliding closet door is a great way to keep clothes and other cherished items in your closet safe, fresh, and clean. One of the best things about sliding closet doors is that they stay out of the way. By sliding back and forth rather than opening like a hinged door, sliding doors can help you regain space in the bedroom.

Sliding Closet Door Operation and Installation

Sliding closet doors are twin doors that slide across a wide closet opening. The doors slide on a track at the top of the closet door. Another track on the floor helps the doors stay aligned.

The tracks are split into two parallel tracks—one track in front of the other. This permits one door to pass in front of the other. To open, one door panel is slid behind the other panel. So, even though the door opening is wide (usually around 80 inches), only half of that opening is available at a time.

Types of Sliding Closet Doors

Some styles of sliding closet doors have no bottom track. Either the doors hang freely or there is a small plastic guide to keep the doors in place. Most sliding closet doors are suspended by the upper track. Other styles slide through and are guided by an upper channel but are not suspended by it.

Depending on the type of sliding closet door you purchase, you may be able to choose your style of installation—offset or flush. Some homeowners like to position the doors at the center of the jamb, for a shadowed, offset look. Others like to position the doors forward so that the doors are flush or close to flush with the adjacent walls, for a smoother appearance.

Before Getting Started

If you currently have sliding closet doors, remove everything, including all of the tracks. Tracks usually are unique to each brand of sliding closet door. Remove all items from the closet, if possible. At the very least, remove items from the floor.