Installing Internal Bifold Doors
Most houses built in the latter half of the 20th century will undoubtedly have been built with cumbersome sliding doors, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to be stuck with them. Why not, instead, swap out these dreary old doors for some internal bifold doors? Internal bifolding doors are not only generally pleasing on the eye and incredibly convenient, but can add a touch of character to your home. For example, they could transform a bland kitchen/diner into a something more elegant, or they could bring fresh life (and extra room) to your bedroom wardrobes. So if you've taken the plunge and have your bi-fold doors ready to go, hold the phone (literally) before you call in any extra help, because you might be more than capable of installing them yourself!
How Do You Fit Internal Bifold Doors?
If you're wondering how to fit a bifold door, then you're in the right place! We're going to explain the bi-fold door installation process step by step in our detailed fitting guide. Your internal bifold doors will be connected into pairs by hinges and hung on a track, which you will also have to install. You will also learn how to install bifold door hinges and how to install bifold door aligners. If this sounds like more than you could handle, you might want to reconsider the DIY approach. If not, feel free to follow the numbered guide below.
Mark the hinges – Make sure your doors have been painted or varnished prior to starting and then label them with both the order they'll be installed and which sides will be facing out. Next, mark 11 inches from the bottom and 7 inches from the top of the jamb side door (the side of the door that will be secured) and then put another mark at the equidistant point between the two.
- Mount the hinges – Align the lower half of the hinge with the bottom mark and make sure it's sitting flush with the edge of the door. Next, drill some guide holes through the holes in the hinge and screw on the hinge plate itself. Do the same with the top and middle hinges. Now, get the inner door and place it back to back with the first door. Align the two doors with the set square and screw the hinges together. Repeat the above steps on the second set of doors.
- Attach the track hardware – Take your track hardware and fasten the pivot plates (the floor bracket and pins) onto the tops and bottoms of the jamb side doors. Then fasten the locking arms (the hooks, which will slide along the track) on just the top sides of the inner doors. There should be instructions that come with the hardware, which should give you specific dimensions, placements and measurements so be sure to study those measurements and to take them seriously.
- Attach the track itself – Fetch your hacksaw and cut the track to whatever length you need to fit into the opening of the closet. Slide the hanging hardware included with your track kit into the tracks and then attach the track to the door header, there should be screws provided for this. Next, position the track about 1 inch from the front edge of the header so you there's enough room between the door and the track to avoid limited the door action.
- Get the floor bracket into position – Position the floor bracket next to the door jamb using the measurements supplied by the kits manufacturers. Next, hang your plumb bob from the centre of the track above to align the pin holes in the bracket and ensure that the doors fit comfortably when installed. Outline the bracket with a pencil to mark its location, then screw it in place. Next, remove the screws and put the bracket and its screws to one side.
- Hang the doors – When considering installing their own, many would-be DIY experts fall short when researching how to hang a bifold door, as they feel it could be quite a finicky process. But hanging bifold doors is actually quite simple. Simply bring your doors over to the track and lift the jamb side into the pin of the top pivot plate, pushing the level on the socket to hold it in place. Next, slot the track hanger pin into the locking arm of the inner door and twist the arm to lock it. Close the doors and swing them forward so that they catch the floor bracket in the bottom pivot pin.
- Alignment – Swing the doors into place and make sure the floor bracket is aligned with the marks you made earlier. Screw down the bracket, using your flexible bit extender if you can't reach it properly. Hang the other set of doors and close them both, adjusting them both until they feel 'right'. Finally, use a wrench to tighten the pivot sockets.
- Aligners and door pulls – The final step is to mount the door aligners and door pulls. Start with the aligners by mounting them 6 inches up from the floor between the two inner doors. The aligners should catch when the doors closed. Finally, measure around 36 inches from the floor on each of your inner doors and make a guide mark for your door pulls. Drill a hole through each mark and screw in your door pulls and you're good to go! Go get yourself a congratulatory cup of tea (or can of beer), you've certainly earned it!
Now you know how to fit a bifold door! If you want more information on fitting internal bifold doors, here's a few articles that should come in handy:
How Do You Remove A Bifold Door?
Although most modern folding doors are durable, aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use, many older doors might have fallen into disrepair and will require replacing. If that's the case, here we'll be detailing how to remove your older internal bifold doors before replacing them with new ones. As you can probably imagine, it's not quite as in-depth as how to install interior bifolding doors, but it can require a little elbow grease.
- Most older doors won't weigh much (anywhere between 30 and 40 pounds more than likely), but they can be awkward and are generally rather large so you might need some help.
- Each pair of doors, like our Oak Hampstead pair, will have a pivot pin and guide pin on the top and another pivot pin on the jamb side of the bottom, which will fit into a bracket. Open the doors out so you can grab both halves together, then reach for the top pivot bracket and release any locking levers.
- Pick the doors up from the bottom and attempt to remove the bottom pivot pin from the bracket. It might resist at first, so simply rotate it either by hand or using pliers until you feel it give and pull free of the pivot bracket.
- Move the bottom of the doors so that the bottom pin is no longer over the bottom bracket and then lower it so the top pin and guide pivots pull free of the guide on the top door jamb. The doors should now be able to be pulled free, but you might need to tilt them a little to get them to fall free without damaging them.
- If you need to remove the brackets to make way for a new system, remove the top guide and pivot with a screwdriver and then move onto the bottom pivot and you should be all set to install your new bifold doors!
How Do You Adjust Interior Bifold Doors?
Any adjustments you need to make should be minor, as bifold doors are generally fool-proof, but with general wear and tear might come some necessary tweaks. You might also need to make adjustments if the wood shrinks or expands over time, or if you've installed some new flooring or carpet in the room. Be aware, however, that changing the height of one door can throw off the aligners located on the inside of the doors, so as you're working, keep checking to make sure the door aligners are properly lined up.
All height adjustments are made with the bottom pivot pin. Simply use a wrench or screwdriver (depending on your individual system) and turn it clockwise to lower the door and anticlockwise to raise it. Just make sure you go slowly. You might need to adjust the height of your bifold doors if the rollers are popping out of the track, so simply raise the door until they remain in place. You might also need to adjust them is the two sets of panels in a four-panel doors don't line up. Again, simply raise or lower the doors until they match. It's no exact science, so keep working at it until you're happy!
So there you have it. That should be everything you need to know about fitting internal bifold doors. If, after reading and re-reading this guide, you're still not sure how to install, hang, rehang, reverse or adjust your bifold doors, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that will be able to guide you through every process with more visual cues. So good luck and be safe!
If you're already at this stage, we imagine you've thought about, and decided upon, the placement and room for your bifold doors. If you haven't, here are some articles that we've created that discuss the best areas of the main rooms in your house for bifold doors: