Framing a closet door

Old 08-17-08, 07:07 AM
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Framing a closet door

I tried posting it in other forum but got no response so posting here. I don't know how to delete the other one.

I'm trying to make a frame for a closet door but don't know where to start. The tutorials I found on the web all assume that there are 2x4's inside the walls and you can just screw framing 2X4's onto them. In my case, I don't know if there is any studs behind the walls.

It is in a finished basement and I'm considering either the bi-fold doors or the sliding ones (Which ones would be easier and less pain). The rough opening is 60 inch wide X 74 inch high (not standard), what size of of door I should look for?. It is all sheet-rock walls right now.

Is it necessary for the stud to be there behind the drywall all around the frame of the door? What if there are no studs behind the wall? Can I just buy some 2x4's and screw them onto the drywall to make a frame?

Where do I start? What material do I need?
Old 08-18-08, 06:34 AM
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You need to create that framed rough opening as explained/shown in the tutorials. No, you can't just screw studs to the drywall and expect things to be OK. Wood studs are fastened (nailed) to upper and lower plates. Steel studs are fastened (screws, pop rivets, or welded) to upper and lower track.

The basic components of your framed opening are upper lower plates/track. King (full length plate to plate) & Trimmer (extends bottom plate to bottom of header & is secured to King stud & bottom plate) studs on either side. Header (spans the opening, and rests on the Trimmer studs & is fastened to the King & Trimmer stud. Intermediate “Cripple studs” are installed between the header and upper plate, filling the void above each Trimmer stud, and spaced across the opening for securing sheet goods. Afterward the bottom plate is cut away for a door opening. Next drywall is installed and taped.

Your least painful solution will be bypass hollow core flush doors, assuming that you can live with about 50% of the opening being accessible. If you need a greater percentage of the opening to be accessible choose bifold pairs or pairs of swing doors. Choose a door style. Then choose trim options.

A cheap trim option for bypass doors is wrap the opening with drywall. One step up is a cased opening using flat jamb stock & door casing. Very high end is marble veneer.

Once these choices have been made (you know the finished opening size or it can be reasonably estimated) then you can start to determine what size doors are required.

Bypass door track is rated for the weight of the doors and duty cycles (how many times the rollers & track operate before failure). A pair of 32” (they will be re-railed to a smaller size if bought as bypass pairs) wide hollow core flush wood doors for your 60” opening will weigh between 65 and 80 pounds. 125 pound track will suffice.

Different styles of bypass track & hardware exist. Center hung rollers & track are superior to (and more expensive than) side hung track & rollers. Again, you must choose.

When the track & rollers have been selected, refer to the manufactures data sheet to find the drop range. The drop range is the “free area” between the tack & upper rail of the door.

Determine the undercut. Undercut is the free area between the finished floor and the bottom rail of the door (typical ½ to 5/8”) . The net door height equals finished opening height minus track, drop, & undercut.

If this process seems complicated, provide the suppler with a rough or finished opening size that is plumb level and square.

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