How to Install a Bi-Fold Closet Door

This project shows how to install a bi-fold closet door in this update of How To Build a Basement Closet. The closet door jambs and casing were installed in the previous project.

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation

I purchased two Masonite “Full Louver Prefinished White Plantation Closet Door Bi-Fold” 24 in. by 80 in. door units at Home Depot because two 24 inch door units are needed to span the 4 foot wide finished closet door opening and the prefinished doors do not need painting. Bi-fold doors are a good choice for closets because the doors are easy to install and provides ventilation so the closet doesn’t get musty.

Masonite Full Louver Prefinished White Plantation Closet Bi-Fold Door Model # 25437

Masonite Full Louver Prefinished White Plantation Closet Bi-Fold Door Model # 25437

The Masonite Plantation Bi-Fold Closet Door includes the installation hardware (jamb bracket, 2 foot door track, door pivots, screws, etc.) and printed installation instructions. A really good set of bi-fold door installation instructions are here.

Masonite Plantation Closet Bi-Fold Door Hardware and Instructions

Masonite Plantation Closet Bi-Fold Door Hardware and Instructions

Bi-Fold Door Track Installation

The door track is installed first. Two sections of 2 foot long door track are joined by inserting the door track alignment bracket. The door snugger fits between the two door panels and is inserted into the door track before joining.

Masonite Bi-Fold Door Track Assembly

Masonite Bi-Fold Door Track Assembly

The door track alignment bracket has a dimple in the middle for centering the bracket in the door tracks:

Masonite Bi-Fold Door Installation: Door Track Assembly

Masonite Bi-Fold Door Installation: Door Track Assembly

Since my closet door width is 4 feet wide, I didn’t need to shorten the metal door track with a hack saw.

The door track is mounted in the center of the overhead door jamb with wood screws set in the factory made holes along the bracket. I used Simpson Strong-Drive SD8X1.25 wood screws to mount the door track instead of the screws included with the door kit because I preferred the wide pan head and thicker threads of the Simpson screws.

Bi-Fold Closet Door Track Installation

Bi-Fold Closet Door Track Installation

Bi-Fold Closet Door Jamb Bracket

The center of the side door jamb is measured and marked, then the metal jamb bracket is fastened to the jamb with two Simpson Strong-Drive SD8X1.25 wood screws. Compare the Simpson SD8 x 1.25 inch wood screws (left side of photo) with the Masonite screws included with the door kit (right side of photo). I decided not to install a masonry anchor in the 3rd jamb bracket mounting hole because the two wood screws were sufficient. Recall that my door jambs are nailed directly to the 2×4 studs with no shims so the wood screws are in the 2×4 stud for a very sturdy attachment.

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation: Jamb Bracket

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation: Jamb Bracket

Install the door jamb bracket for the other door the same way.

Bi-Fold Door Top Pivots

The door bi-fold door panels are identical and can be installed on either the left or right side of the closet doorway. (As my chemistry professor would say, the doors are not chiral.)

Stand up the bi-fold door panel and set it in front of the closet door opening so the door is correctly oriented. Note which side is top, left and right as it’s easy to get confused.

Lay the door on the floor then tap in the roller guide pivot (part with the plastic wheel) and door pivot pin. The door pivot pin will be closest to the door jamb and the roller guide pivot will be at the center of the doorway. The top pins are spring-loaded to automatically adjust to height of the door opening.

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation: Top Pivots

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation: Top Pivots

The bottom pivot pin has a knurled cone shape and is installed in the door panel on the same side as the top pivot pin. The bottom pivot is threaded to adjust the door height and level the doors. That extra hole on the bottom remains empty.

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation: Bottom Pivot Pin

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation: Bottom Pivot Pin

Repeat the procedure the other door: stand the door up, note the orientation and tap in the top and bottom pins.

Bi-Fold Door Placement and Leveling

Stand the door up and set the top pivot pin (left side) in the pivot bracket. Lift the door and set the bottom pivot pin the jamb bracket slot. Next, press the roller guide down and pop it into the door track.

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation

Level the bi-fold door vertically by:

  • Lift the door up to move the bottom pivot in the jamb bracket slot the door has clearance with the door jamb.
  • Loosen the top pivot bracket screw to move the bracket until the door is vertical and aligned with the side jamb.
    Tighten the screw to keep the final adjustment.
Bi-Fold Door Installation: Vertical Level Adjustment

Bi-Fold Door Installation: Vertical Level Adjustment

Next, install the second bi-fold door panel in the closet doorway.

With both doors installed and leveled vertically, level the doors horizontally – the top of both doors are equal height when closed – by lifting the door up and spinning the bottom pivot pin as needed to adjust the door height. You may need to fine tune the vertical and horizontal door leveling by repeating the above steps:

  • Reposition the bottom pivot pin(s) the door jamb bracket slot.
  • Loosen and adjust the top pivot bracket(s).
  • Raise or lower the door(s) by spinning the bottom pivot pin(s).

One or two iterations should do it.

Close the doors and check the spring snugger is centered and the doors are even with a minimal gap in the center:

Bi-Fold Door Installation: Spring Snugger and PVC Quarter Round Moulding

Bi-Fold Door Installation: Spring Snugger and PVC Quarter Round Moulding

Given that the bi-fold doors can be installed in a left or right hand configuration, holes for the door knobs must be drilled after the door is installed.

I made a mistake when locating the door knobs due to the generic Masonite door instructions. The door knob should be installed in the center board between the upper and lower panels for better leverage. See the correction in the 3rd photo below. I’ll drill a new hole and relocate the door pull later.

Bi-Fold Door Installation: Drill a Hole for the Door Knob

Bi-Fold Door Installation: Drill a Hole for the Door Knob

The door knob is attached from the back of the door with the long screw provided with the door kit:

Bi-Fold Door Knob Installation

Bi-Fold Door Knob Installation

Bi-Fold Door Quarter Round Moulding

The bi-fold doors are trimmed with PVC quarter round mounding to cover the gap along the door jambs and to hide the door track hardware. The quarter round moulding has been installed on right door jamb. I’m ready to measure, saw and install the moulding on the left door jamb. The moulding is fastened with 1-1/2 inch brad nails.

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation: PVC Quarter Round Moulding

Bi-Fold Closet Door Installation: PVC Quarter Round Moulding

The quarter round moulding is fastened to the door jambs with the bi-fold door closed for a tight professional looking fit. The corner miter is cut with the DeWALT compound miter saw. The side mouldings are installed first, then the top quarter round piece is cut and installed last. I cut the top moulding about 3/32 inch longer than the tape measurement, test fit and trimmed it for a perfect fit:

Bifold Door - Quarter Round Moulding Top and Side

Bifold Door – Quarter Round Moulding Top and Side

Corner moulding closeup with the bi-fold door closed:

Bifold Door Closed - Quarter Round Moulding Corner Detail

Bifold Door Closed – Quarter Round Moulding Corner Detail

The moulding can be installed against the door face because the bi-fold door recesses inward when opened so there’s no interference. The brad nails dimples are filled with white caulk – you can just see the brad nail indentation just to the left of the corner joint:

Bifold Door Open - Quarter Round Moulding Corner Detail

Bifold Door Open – Quarter Round Moulding Corner Detail

Quarter round moulding at the side jamb with the door slightly ajar:

Bifold Door Quarter Round Molding - Side Jamb

Bifold Door Quarter Round Molding – Side Jamb

The brad nailer is perfect for fastening the PVC moulding with no jarring, marring or movement. I think it’d be very difficult to install the moulding with a hammer and finishing nails because the workpiece would bounce around and the hammer would leave a mark.

Closet Shelf Installation

I purchased several ClosetMaid clothes racks and shelves at the local home improvement store:

Total cost for the shelving items was about $60.

ClosetMaid® Wire Shelves

ClosetMaid Wire Shelves

The 6 foot long Superslide Shelf was a bit too long to fit between the side walls. The wire shelf was cut to fit with a bolt cutters, but a hacksaw will also do.

The ClosetMaid shelf kits include plastic drywall anchors and mounting nails. It’s best not to use the included drywall anchors and nails because these can tear out of the drywall and fail under heavy load, dumping the shelf contents on the floor.

Instead, I located the 2×4 wall studs with a stud finder and mounted the shelf support brackets and clips to the studs with Simpson Strong-Drive SD8X1.25 wood screws.

ClosetMaid Wire Shelves

ClosetMaid Wire Shelves

View of the basement closet after installing the bi-fold doors:

Basement Closet Bi-Fold Doors

Basement Closet Bi-Fold Doors

The faux wood blinds are installed in the next update of this series.

Thanks for reading,

Bob Jackson

Copyright © 2016 HandymanHowTo.com   Reproduction strictly prohibited.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

15 Responses to How to Install a Bi-Fold Closet Door

  1. Doreen Clark November 6, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    Thanks for a very well-wriiten and well-illustrated description of how to hang bifold doors. This was at least the fifth or sixth one I’ve looked at–including a video–and this was the best one by far! My situation is just trying to fix broken doors, not starting from scratch. So, I no longer have any instructions that might have come with the doors, but need to understand how all the pieces fit and work so that I can successfully fix them. I think I’ll be able to do this now that I’ve see your how-to. Thanks so much!

  2. Kirk November 19, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Very helpful! Thank you.

  3. Tim S. January 7, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    Great Write up! Thank you. I’d love to see some more detail and photos on how you trimmed the gaps with the quarter round. That’s a nice touch. Thanks again.

    • Bob Jackson January 7, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

      Hi Tim,
      I added several new closeup photos for the quarter round installation. See the updated project.

      BTW – to view the full high resolution photos:
      * Click on any photo, a pop-up photo viewer is displayed. The image is sized to fit your screen, but it is not the highest resolution image.

      * If using Mozilla FireFox: Right click on the pop-up photo, then click “View Image” to see the high resolution image. Left click to zoom in & out.

      * If using Google Chrome: Right click on the pop-up photo, then click “Open image in new tab” to see the high resolution image. Left click to zoom in & out.

      * If using Microsoft Internet Explorer (bleh!), you’re out of luck. Install Chrome or Firefox.

      Thanks,
      Bob

  4. sabre January 28, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    Can you install a bifold interior door inward? And if so how? Thanks so much in advance.

    • Bob Jackson January 28, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

      You could probably swap the positions of the left & right door panels and install the knobs on the other side of the doors. This would create several problems:
      * The knobs will impact the door as it folds inward, preventing it from fully opening.
      * You’ll lose a lot of storage space because clearance inside the closet is needed for the door swing.

      If space is limited for the door to swing outward in the normal way, consider a pocket door.

  5. Steve Gannon March 3, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    Will two 24×78″ doors work in an opening that ended up Being 47 13/16 x 79″

  6. SC September 8, 2015 at 5:23 am #

    What do you call the wood that you hammered the bottom pivot pin? Is that called… frame, tenon, panel or what..? For some reason the wood split in half and now sitting on and scraping the floor. How do I fix the split wood? Thanks..!

    • Bob Jackson September 8, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

      The bi-fold door stile has split at the bottom pivot pin pocket.

      I had a similar issue with a split stile on my french door. I repaired it with Gorilla Glue and clamped it together for curing. The repair details are in this project.

      You should be able to fix your bi-fold door the same way. The wood must be tightly clamped for the Gorilla Glue to reach full strength. A few minutes after gluing & clamping the stile, wipe out the excess glue that foams into the pivot pin hole. Rub a light coat of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the plastic pivot housing and tap it into the door style. This way the glue can cure without the pivot pin stressing the wood and prying open the crack. The petroleum jelly will prevent the glue from sticking to the pivot pin should you ever need to replace it.

  7. kl February 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

    how difficult is it to uninstall door with the trim molding on the frame. Please explain how because I would like to use trim but don’t want to rip it out to adjust or uninstall the door.

    • Bob Jackson February 13, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

      Interior and exterior door moulding is easy to remove. Basically it’s the reverse of installation. Also see How to Replace an Exterior Door for details.

      Normally you shouldn’t have to remove the moulding to adjust a bi-fold door. What’s wrong with your door?

      • kl February 20, 2016 at 10:04 am #

        I am planning to reinstall a bi-fold that keeps falling off its track/not in correctly. The doorway is actually not a standard width and trim would help to disguise the gap for now. Later, I might find a larger bifold and cut in down to fit, but not now. So, I didn’t want to make the removal impossible. If I can remove the door with the trim intact (the way u installed your trim, that is great news.

        Thanks for posting your comments – your project steps are very helpful!

  8. KC Green February 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

    Is there a mimimum center gap? Can the doors simply TOUCH in the center (in a double bifold door installation)?

    I’m going with OVERLAPPING casing on the sides… and have calculated that a jamb-to-jamb measurement of 48.75″ works best (which corresponds to a 50.25″ rough opening, if I use 3/4″-thick finish boards for the jamb). The key is OVERLAPPING casing, and I’m using 2.25″-wide casing because I have to clear an obstruction at the top right (I can’t slide the casing any more to the right).

    I guess if the doors bang against each other, at the center, I can trim one side (say 1/4″)… right?

    • Bob Jackson February 22, 2016 at 8:02 am #

      The doors can touch in the center. In my former homes the builder-installed bifold doors often did push against each other in the center for no gap.

      > I can trim one side (say 1/4″)… right?
      Maybe… but that might weaken the stile to where the pivot pin may crack the wood after a time. Better to rip 1/8″ on both doors.

Leave a Reply