All About Internal Bifold Door Tracks
Internal bifold doors are a great option for wardrobes as you can open them up for more access, they take up minimal space, and they could give your room a pleasant, finished look. Whilst you might not see them, the tracks are perhaps as integral to the operation of your bifold doors as the doors themselves! The tracks are what hold the doors and create the mechanism through which they can function the way they do, and functioning the way they do gives you more space in your home and more convenience overall. If you have bifold doors installed anywhere in your home, it's important to understand how they work in case you ever need to make any repairs or if you plan on selling your home at any point in the near future; potential buyers are going to want to know how they work.
Here we'll take you through the basics of how your bifold door tracks work, why they work, and how to install, fix, and remove them. Just in case!
What Are Bifold Door Tracks?
Bifold doors use different hardware than generic doors. They work with a pivot bracket on the floor and a track and guide assembly on the top, which allows the folding movement. The folding door track is what holds and guides the door panels; it operates in a similar way to a train track.
The internal bifold door track will generally be aluminium, and will come in separate pieces that need to be assembled as one, with pivot brackets at each end. If you're uncertain of your DIY skills, you might want to consider hiring professional help. It's honestly not that daunting a task, though, especially if you're fitting your bifold doors in a standard size opening that already exists. Some bifold doors will require top and bottom tracks. It will depend on the size and weight of your doors.
What's the Best Way to Install A Bifold Door Track?
- You'll need to assemble and attach the hardware to your doors. Fasten the pins that fit into the bi fold door track and the floor bracket, and the hooks that slide along the track to the top and bottom of each set of doors. The pins (pivot plates) attach to the tops and bottoms of the jamb side doors, and the hooks (locking arm) attached to the tops of the leading doors. Where you'll need to attach the hardware depends on the kit you've purchased. The kit should come with instructions giving you exact measurements and placements, so stick to these guidelines or you might end up with some pretty wonky doors!
- Now you'll want to attach the bifold track itself. Use a saw to cut the track to the length that fits whatever opening you're installing your bifold doors in.
- Next, slide your hanging hardware into the track (it should simply snap in with a bit of force). Start with the small stops in the centre of the concertina door track, then slide in the track hangers with wheels and finally the pivot socket.
- Attach the track to the door header with some screws. Position the track around one inch in from the front edge of the header, giving you enough room to hide the track with the door trim without limiting action of the doors themselves. A top tip at this point would be not to be too tight when connecting the hardware to the track as it will be easier to hang the doors later if the pieces are a little loose. Not too loose mind!
- If your bifold doors require a floor bracket, this is when you'll need to install them. Use the measurements supplied by the manufacturer (as mentioned above) to position the floor bracket next to the door jamb. Next, hang a plumb bob from the centre of the track above the floor bracket to align the pin hole in the bracket front to back, ensuring that the doors are plumb (vertically in place) when installed. Now it's simply a case of outlining the bracket in pencil to mark its exact location and then screwing the bracket in place.
- Next, you'll want to actually hang the doors, connecting them to the track system. Bring your doors to the track (don't be shy to ask someone for help if they are particularly heavy) and lift the jamb side up in order to hook the pin of the top pivot plate into your pivot socket. Make sure the pin is all the way in, then push the lever on the side of the socket to lock it in place. Next, slot the pin from the track hanger into the locking arm on your leading door and twist the arm to lock that door in place. Finally, with the doors closed, swing them forward enough to catch the floor bracket in the bottom pivot pin.
- If your bifold doors require a floor bracket, now you can actually attach it! Swing the doors back into place and align the floor bracket with your pencil marks from before. Screw down the bracket. Hang your other set of doors (if there indeed is another set of doors). Close both sets and adjust them along the track to even up the reveal around them. Finally, use a wrench to tighten the pivot sockets on the ends of the track and the small stops in the centre.
How Do You Remove Bifold Doors From The Track?
If there is a problem with your bifold doors, but the folding door track system is solid, you might need to remove your doors from the tracking. Doing so without removing the bifold track systems is quite tricky (and fiddly), but it's certainly not impossible. What you've essentially got to do is snap your doors out of the track, which can be difficult to do without damaging your doors even further.
What you'll need to do will depend very much on the door and how well it's been installed. Some you'll simply be able to lift out (with some force) from the bottom, whilst others you'll be able to snap out by simply pressing down the top spring loaded pin on the top track. If you're having trouble, ask someone to help, as you might need to use quite a bit of force.
How Do You Fix A Bifold Door Track?
Fixing or repairing a bifold door track can be a complicated process. The severity of the task will depend on just how damaged the track is and, more importantly, how it's damaged.
If the track itself is damaged, the best thing to do is to remove the doors (see above) and then make any adjustments you need to make to the track before reinstalling the doors. It might be a case of simply cleaning the tracks and getting rid of any debris, or using a little WD40 to lubricate the mechanism a little, or you might need to completely uninstall the track and install a new one.
How To Put Bifold Doors Back On Track
There's also, however, the common fault of bifold doors jumping from the track, which will happen when the top and bottom bi-folding door tracks are not properly aligned. In order to fix this, you'll need to adjust either the pins and rollers or both.
First, open and close your bifold doors and ascertain whether or not the roller on the top inside edge of the door is centred in the upper track. If it's misaligned, pull the roller down, centre it, then let go of the roller and it should snap into place. If this doesn't fix the problem, open the doors and check to see if the pins at the top and bottom outside corner are fully inserted into their bracket holes. If they are not, they might need to be pulled towards the door, centred, and released to lock them into place.
These are the most common fixes, but if they don't work, you might need to take out the doors and inspect further.
After you've installed your bifold door tracks, it's time to install the door's hinges. Take a look at our guide, How To Install Bifold Door Hinges