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 Full Louver Prefinished White Plantation Closet Door Bi-Fold 24 in. by 80 in. door units 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.
The Plantation Bi-Fold Closet Door includes the installation hardware (jamb bracket, 2 foot door track, door pivots, screws, etc.) and printed installation 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.
The door track alignment bracket has a dimple in the middle for centering the bracket in the door tracks:
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
The door knob is attached from the back of the door with the long screw provided with the door kit:
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.
The quarter round molding 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 moldings are installed first, then the top quarter round piece is cut and installed last. I cut the top molding about 3/32 inch longer than the tape measurement, test fit and trimmed it for a perfect fit:
Corner moulding closeup with the bi-fold door closed:
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:
Quarter round moulding at the side jamb with the door slightly ajar:
The brad nailer is perfect for fastening the PVC molding with no jarring, marring or movement. I think it’d be very difficult to install the molding 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:
- Superslide Shelf Kit – 6 foot for hanging clothes and general storage
- 4 ft. x 12 in. Ventilated Wire Shelf Kit for extra side storage
- Hanging Wire Shelf
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.
View of the basement closet after installing the bi-fold doors:
The faux wood blinds are installed in the next update of this series.
Thanks for reading,