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bubbler 01-09-2012 11:54 AM

closet door options
I have two closets that I need to finish off with doors. When we bought the house there were bypass doors installed, but we didn't like them so I removed the tracks and doors.

The openings for the closets are completely trimmed already, including finished sides. The finished openings are +78" tall, and the two widths are +55" and +47" (the plus meaning it's about an 1/8th or an inch or so larger, it will definately accept a 78" tall door).

We don't really like the bypass doors because you always have half the closet opening blocked. So I was hoping to put in two stanard doors, one RH swing and the other LH swing so that the knobs meet in the middle. The idea being that you approach the closet and can open both doors up so you have full access to the inside of the closet.

Failing that I'd go for bi-fold doors.

I was thinking that because my two openings are relatively close to double what typical door widths are, it could be workable. Example the 47" opening could be done with two 24" doors and the 55" with two 28" doors, where I cut about 1/2" of width from each door.

To prevent over extension of the door in the closed position I was planning to have a magnetic catch for each door (as mentioned above). When the door reaches the closed position it will hit the catch and move no further. I could also add a piece of 1"x1/2" along the top of the frame to stop the door from moving any further inward.

For the hinges, I'd need to position the doors and then mortise (route?) out appropriate openings on both the door itself and on what will now be the new door frame. I've installed 6-panel slab doors in other spots in the house--To do it I'd put the door in the frame, center it vertically, then marked out the top/bottom positions of the existing hinge, and finally use a wood hand chisel to create the mortise for the door part of the hinge. This will be my first time attempting this on the frame, so I'm a little nervous about it as there is more at stake than an easily replacable $30 hollow door.

Does what I'm describing make sense, or am I missing something and it won't be do-able?

(BTW, there is plenty of space in the room itself to accomodate the doors opening)

On the same topic, I've seen kits/templates to used with handheld routers for creating the mortises for hinges. Is there a particular kit that works better than the others? My local big box only carries one, and I didn't really like it. I'd like to buy something as I have about half a dozen other doors to replace and I'm not looking forward to hand cutting the hinge mortise.


mae-ling 01-09-2012 12:33 PM

What you are describing will work. Only thing is 1/2" may be a lot to take off the side of a door depending on the type of door. Many hollow doors only have 1" of solid material. If you are buying flat doors you may want to go bigger say 30" instead of 24" cut it down to what you need. Take the cut off piece and remove the strip of solid wood. Put it in the piece you want and glue it in place and clamp it. If you are painting you could put in a few small nails.

bubbler 01-09-2012 12:43 PM


Originally Posted by mae-ling (Post 817484)
What you are describing will work. Only thing is 1/2" may be a lot to take off the side of a door depending on the type of door. Many hollow doors only have 1" of solid material.

I'm planning to buy 6-panel hollow doors. I'd rather stay away from flat doors, as lousy as the 6-panel hollow doors are, a flat door looks worse to me... The way the room is setup, the two closets are on either side of the doorway into the door, so it would look awkward to have four slabs and one 6-panel.

I could cut 1/4" from each side...

Or, I could even cut the entire 1/2" from the knob side--since there will be no latch installed, the distance from edge of door to knob is not critical. I could also "surface mount" the knob, it doesn't need to pass through the door like a typical knob.

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