How To Install Sliding Doors, Folding Doors

All homeowners are familiar with the problem of space and, given the cost of the houses and the efforts that a family has to sustain to buy a home, any solution that allows us to gain space is certainly welcome.

how to install sliding doors

With this in mind we want to deal with how to install  a sliding door or a folding door, in our apartment by modifying the existing ones.

You can ask the question whether to change or modify a door in a house during the renovation or decide, while the house is under construction, to ask to change the doors type as a variant to the terms provided for the real estate contract.

Obviously we are not considering the last case, but since we are on a DIY site, we aim to make sure you do not have to use the services of a mason because otherwise it would be enough to address you to the Yellow Pages.

So here we are trying to understand what types of sliding or folding doors are available, what is the difference and what you need to do to install them.

We have talked about home ownership not because you can not install a sliding door or a folding door in a rented house or apartment,  but simply because that is a work that represents an investment and as such has more meaning for your own home.

We also mentioned the advantage of increasing the space available in your home, but this is not the only reason why you may want to install a sliding door or a folding door.  This type of door definitely has a practical advantage, however, we wish to emphasize also that they are an improvement of the quality and the style  of the unity.

A sliding door or a folding door, when installed in a workmanlike manner, constitute an element that enhances the apartment giving to it a touch of uniqueness improving his value.

Another advantage of both doors is given by the fact that, unlike traditional doors, sliding doors or folding ones can serve a much wider surface, we can say that, theoretically, there is no limit to the possible width of the door.


The difference between sliding doors and folding doors is already explained by their name itself. We have to say that for both is not necessary to change or modify deeply the old frame. It is enough to make some minor changes and moreover you are not forced to create dust, dirt and breaking anything, things of which your wife will surely be happy.


  • Sliding door: is a door that slides along the wall. The sliding doors can be:
    • sliding door sliding external, that is, the swing of the door slides parallel to the wall.
    • sliding door with interior swing, so called pocket doors. These are doors where the door’s leaf remains hidden inside the wall. This type of door is very interesting and offers many advantages: we will deal with it in another post.

The sliding door has the advantage that it does not need of space for the closing of the leaf, however, must be taken into account that you cannot use the part of the wall at the side of the door itself.

  • Folding door: it is a door that folds back on itself and offers the advantage of occupying less space. It is a very good solution and it can be adopted for small apartments because the furniture can be placed also in close as there is no need of space for the opening of the leaf.


First you need to remove the old door, do that you have to lift the door off its hinges. You then remove the old hinges, both those on the jamb and on the door. Usually, both are secured with screws, so it wont be a difficult task. Then you must seal tightly with wood putty the holes left on the door and on the jamb. Smooth well with sandpaper and finally finish with a brush with the same color as the door.

In some cases it could be necessary to repaint the entire door and the jamb.

At this point, we have to build the system on which the door will scroll.  This can be done by purchasing a kit for sliding doors. This kit is composed of a guide, usually made of anodized aluminum, which serves as a track on which slide the brackets that support the door.

For aesthetic reasons the metal guide should be subsequently covered by a wooden strip with the size of the double length of the door and with the same thickness. You must choose the same type of wood or something similar, looking anyway for a seasoned and sturdy wood.

The kit mentioned above is not hard to find on the market, you can see at the DIY Centers or with the best hardware stores.

The guide is equipped with two adjustable brackets to be fixed to the wall above the door frame by using simple screw anchors.

It is very important having taken accurate measures, in fact the lower part of the door, once mounted, must be positioned at least at one-tenth of an inch above the floor level.

To be sure of that, before tightening the screws on the rail brackets, it would be a good idea to make a test with all the door in place, resting on some pieces of wood with a thickness of 1/5 of an inches which will then be later removed.

Normally, the kit also includes a stop race to prevent the sliding door getting off the rails. If the kit does not have one, just put a screw that will make the same function.

The old handle and lock have to be removed, to be replaced with a nice knob or fake handle with the function of allowing the socket to slide the door.


The folding doors are structural elements of the flat and consist of several panels that are closed to each other providing often solve those problems of space that are becoming more and more important in modern homes.


Here things are perhaps even more simple than for sliding doors as the folding door replaces the existing traditional doors, keeping almost all the jamb and, where possible, using the same lock.

You will have to remove only the parts where the old door was hinged with hinges to the jamb,  then proceed to stare directly into the folding door jamb using the kit.

Moreover, as regards the portion of the scroll, it is ensured by a guide, preferably made of anodized aluminum, which is screwed onto the lower face of the jamb at the top, and within which slide the hooks of the folding door. Generally are all provided in the purchase of the folding door.

We want to add a last small but important hint that concerns the measures of the folding door which must be a little bit less high compared to the traditional one in order to avoid that the lower part of the door can touch the floor, creating friction.


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