installing door in rough openings


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Old 04-03-10, 07:36 PM
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installing door in rough openings

We are refinishing a basement. Someone put in some walls for us, including a closet to hide a large water softener, etc. We were going to have him put in the doors, but it's a budget buster. The rough opening is 82" tall by 66 1/2 inches wide, and the floor is a concrete slab. I think his original plan was to put in a pair of doors that would open outward.

I've never hung doors before, and it seems like a prehung pair of doors this size will be expensive to buy and hard to install. I thought instead I would buy slab doors ($19 at Home Depot or Lowes) and install them as a pair of sliding doors. My problem is figuring out what dimensions of things to use where to finish the opening and picking the right door sizes. my other problme is that I tend to write really long messages... ;-)

I read something that said I needed to leave 1 3/4" at the top for the track, and so I am thinking that an 80" tall door will be just right. For finishing the rough opening I found jambs at HD that were for a max door height of 80", and I don't remember the total length of the material (primed pine) but it was about 81" tall. Again, I was sloppy and didn't write down the dimensions of the jamb material but it was approx 1/2" thick. But if I use the jamb material on the sides (no clue what to use on the top--same stuff?), my rough opening will be approx 65 1/2" which doesn't match well with the door widths. The doors I am looking at are 6 panel composite and come in widths of 30, 32, and 36". If instead of jamb material I use clear 2x4 pine (if there is such a thing) then I think my finished opening will still be a fraction of an inch too wide for the 32" doors.

Help please!
 
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Old 04-03-10, 07:44 PM
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The sliding door idea is a good one, but the $19 slab doors will not work.

Reason is that they are hollow doors, and to install them correctly, you will need the hardware which will undoubtedly not wear will with hollow doors.

You can buy the solid slabs and they will work exceptionally, however, why not bi-fold doors?

You can purchase 2 sets of 30" louvered Bi-fold doors and they will look very nice, are a breeze to install, and won;'t break the bank.

Check it out - probably your bets option for looks and budget
 
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Old 04-03-10, 08:25 PM
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The double bifold doors idea is the only option you should consider for the utility space. If this space contains any gas appliances then think about using the full louvered design.
 
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Old 04-04-10, 09:56 AM
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Thanks for the responses. If you helpful folks don't mind, I have some followup questions:
-I'm not sure why the hollow core slabs (as sliders) would be bad. They have wood all around the perimeter, and so I figure that would be enough for attaching the slider hardware at the top.
-Bifold doors are an interesting option. I don't need to access the contents of this closet much, and I figured that in th case of major repairs, I could pull the sliders off the track. With a bifold I wouldn't need to do that. But, the only bifold currently in my house has a pivot that goes into the floor at the fixed end of the door. I don't want to have to do that in my basement, since it would mean cutting a hole in the concrete slab. Is there and easier way?
-If I get a pair of 30" bifold doors, what kind of lumber, etc do I need to use to finish my rough opening and have it be the correct size? It's currently 66 1/2", and so I'd need to make it 6" narrower
-Same question if I stick with sliders, but maybe easier since I can get 32" (or 36") doors

Thanks
 
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Old 04-04-10, 10:50 AM
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If you go with the sliders, you'll get the benefit of nominal width which is clever thinking on your part, but the standard 80" that the slabs come in would have to be reduced by 1" to make up clearance for the hardware. Hollow core doors can be trimmed, but 1" inch is beyond practical. And remember your piecing this together yourself. So really the hardware is a variable to figuring the required height.

Wtih the bifolds you were concerned about having to drill a hole in your floor to set the pivots points. Quite a commitment I agree. I have a set of bifolds that uses a bracket which scews to the floor and accepts the pin while remaining adjustable. So no one shot hole to drill. But you do have to be plumb with the upper track.
This is a complete system with instructions.

You'll have to find out the required finished opening dimensions from the product itself before you know the exact size that your finished opening should be. Either way you don't have to be as exact as you'd need to if you were installing a swinging door with a latch.

And yes you can use pine board stock to create a finished opening.
 
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Old 04-04-10, 06:43 PM
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The hollow core doors as sliders are iffy because for two reasons...

First, the stock around the hollow doors are an inch wide. That hard ware sits just below or near an inch which would most likely leave one or more of those screws attached at a weak point, ultimately leading to failure.

Second is the doors are super light. Now, you won't be using them often as you said, so you may get away with it.

also. if you need to take an inch off of the doors, you can do so by taking it off fully from the bottom of each door. You will have a hollow bottom once you do. However, you can take the piece you just cut off (stock), take the outer skin of door off of it (should peel right off), and replace it into the bottom of the door again. Do so with carpenters glue and a few clamps. just make sure your cut is straight and the board replaced is set in perfectly.

Realizing that your doors will not be used much, going with the hollow doors will probably be your cheapest route.

I still think the full louvered bifold doors are your best bet
 
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Old 04-05-10, 05:17 AM
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Another option would be to just make the opening smaller and go with a single 30" door that would be wide enough to get anything in including a furnace. All it would take would be a few 2x4's and drywall.
 
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Old 04-05-10, 08:35 AM
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Gotta jump in here. With all due respect..I disagree with the recommendations for bifolds.

Hollow core doors will work just fine as sliders. I had them on 3 closets in my house in VA. 16 yrs later they were still working fine with no repairs or hardware replacement. I've had more problems with bifolds than I ever did with sliders.

You could double or triple up the width of the jamb and then frame it with casing that matches the rest of the house to cover the edge. You won't find 2x4 clear pine...and if this is a 2x4 wall with sheetrock on both sides...2x4 wont be wide enough. You'd need wood thats 4 9/16 to be flush front and back. Either regular jamb material or ripped down 1x6 would work. Or put a ripped down 2x6 then the jamb material. For sliders you need them to overlap to some extent. Example...for two 32" doors..you'd want an opening about 62-63 inches.

You'll still have to attach the little plastic thingy in the middle of the opening to keep the doors from swinging and banging together, but you can drill and use tapcons or drill and insert a dowel and use regular screws..

One problem with bifold louvered doors is the ones available at home centers are usually pretty flimsy...only 7/8" thick sometimes. They are also a pain to paint or stain..and they are dust collectors. If you have any gas appliances in there..then they might be your only option though, as was mentioned.
 
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Old 04-05-10, 05:05 PM
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This is a very helpful crowd. It seems like bifolds and sliders both have pros and cons. I think I am going to stick with the sliders in this case, since I can get a 32" width. Special thanks for the specifics on lumber options for finishing the sides. I just have to make sure I get casing that is wide enough go cover up the seams from my stack of lumber.

I also now know how to trim the bottoms of a hollow core door if required. The last thing I now need to figure out is what to do for finishing the top. With a rough opening that is 82" tall, and the instructions saying I need 1 3/4" of height for the track, I can just barely fit an 80" door. I'd like to avoid trimming and regluing the bottom of the door. What are your thoughts on these options, in terms of simplicity, looks, etc:
1) Use an 80" door, attach the track directly to the 2x4 at the top of the rough opening. Rip some skinny pieces of jamb to cover any of the 2x4 that is not covered by the track. This leaves me with a 1/4" gap at the bottom of the doors, which is good as long as the slab is perfectly level...
2) Use a 78" door, plus 1/2" jamb material at the top, plus 1 3/4" for the track on top of that. The net result would be a 1 3/4" gap at the bottom of the door. Alternatively, I could use a 1x6 at the top, followed by the jamb. That would give me a 1" gap at the bottom. I don't know much vertical play I would have in the track wheel hardware in order to reduce the size of that gap.

Thanks.
 
 

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