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How To Install Bifold Door Hinges

Bi-folding doors allow us a means of opening out an interior.  They don’t take up too much room, as they’re able to collapse in on themselves, and each panel is tethered to a rail so that the door doesn’t swing outward – which, when you’re installing a particularly large door, is welcome.  With the help of a folding door and some folding door hinges, it’s possible to create space from almost nowhere – which is why they’re now found in homes across the country.

But getting internal bifold doors into place isn’t quite as straightforward as an ordinary door installation.  For one thing, you’ll have to ensure that the rollers at the top and bottom of the door are able to fit into their respective tracks.  For another, you’ll have more hinges to contend with.  

In this article, we’ll deal with the latter problem, and see how to fit hinges for bifold doors so that they open and close smoothly – and that they remain functional for the maximum possible timespan.  Our scope here will be limited to hinges; so if you’d like to learn about installing a bifold door frame or installing a bifold door itself please check our respective articles.

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How To Install Bifold Door Hinges: Step-by-Step Instructions

Let’s go through the process, step by step of how to put hinges on bifold doors. Before starting, you’ll want to be sure that your door has been properly painted or varnished – as doing this after the doors have been hung is sure to cause a headache.

Mark your hinges

You’ll want to mark the space where your bi fold door hinges are going to sit before proceeding.  With a pencil, make a mark eleven inches from the bottom of the first panel, on the jamb side (the one that meets the frame).  Next, make a mark seven inches from the top, and then another at the point exactly midway between the existing marks.  Finally, repeat the procedure for the remaining panels.

If you’re replacing existing hinges, then this step will be easier – just be sure that your new hinges match the space left by the old ones.

Mount the lower hinge

Next, you’ll want to attach the first hinge.  Place it square to the lower mark on your door and make sure it’s sitting flush to your door.  Now you can start drilling holes.  Drill the lowest one first and install a screw.  This will help to keep the door steady as you’re drilling the other holes on the hinge – but before you do so, be sure to double check that everything lines up properly.  It is not possible, after all, to un-drill a hole!

Mount the middle and topmost hinges

From here, you’ll be able to install the other sets of hinges in exactly the same way.  Again, be sure that you check that everything lines up after each step.  That way you’ll be able to rectify any mistakes before they become an issue.

Join the doors together

Naturally, a bi-folding door requires that we attach the other side of the door to a second (and potentially a third) door.  The easiest way to do this is to place the doors back-to-back, so that the hinges (or, the spot where you’re about to install them) face the ceiling.  That way, you’ll be able to measure and mark both doors simultaneously, and thereby ensure that the hinges align precisely.

Of course, when you’re doing this, bear in mind that while slightly uneven hinges won’t compromise the function of the door, they will undermine its look.  It’s worth taking the time and care to do things right: get your tape measure out again and ensure the middle hinges line up with the outer ones.  Be sure when doing this that you put the hinges on the right way around; getting this wrong will assuredly result in embarrassment.

If you’re putting together an especially large set of bi-fold doors, holding them together as you drill them might prove tricky – so you’ll need a set of helping hands to hold them ready for you.  If you’re struggling to get over the top of your doors to drill the holes, then stand on a stool and do it.

Install the door

Now it’s time to actually hang the door and see how well it fits.  All being well, you’ll be almost done. If you’ve got a set of bi-folding doors which open from both sides at the same time, you’ll need to repeat the procedure on the other side.  Assuming that your track hardware and aligners are already in place, you’ll be ready to go!

Additional Tips

Aside from the tools we’ve listed earlier in this article, you’ll also undoubtedly need the help of another person – since you’ll probably struggle to hold the door steady as you drill it into place.  Bi-fold doors, and particularly larger ones, are heavy.  Don’t risk dropping and damaging yours:  enlist the aid of a volunteer.

In Conclusion

A bi-folding door will make a great addition to any home – they’re great for small doorways where space is at a premium, like airing cupboards and pantry doors.  But they’ll also work great if you’re looking to open out a wider space in your home – that’s why they’re so popular in kitchen and dining areas.  Bi-fold doors look and function great – and with the right tools and a little bit of care, they’re easily fitted.