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Fitting two 28" doors in a 59.5" closet doorframe?


Morgan19's Avatar
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09-21-11, 12:42 PM   #1  
Fitting two 28" doors in a 59.5" closet doorframe?

I'm planning on removing the old sliding-doors in our bedroom closet and replacing them with bifold or slab doors (haven't decided which yet). The closet from inside frame to inside frame is 59 1/2 inches wide. I've been looking into options from big-box stores (Lowe's and HD) and it seems that, without going custom, my choices would have to be two 28" doors. But even that would be a few inches too narrow.

So then my question is, how feasible would it be to just run a piece of wood up either side of the inside frame, approximately 1" thick (and then paint it to look like part of the frame) so it's basically making the closet slightly narrower and thus having the doors fit better?

Has anyone tried that? As long as the extra piece on either side is secured well to the frame, would there be any perceivable issues with the door being attached to the piece of wood rather than the frame itself, even though the screws could theoretically be long enough to go through the shim and into the frame?

Thanks,
m19

 
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09-21-11, 12:55 PM   #2  
You should be fine doing this.

 
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09-21-11, 12:59 PM   #3  
At 59 1/2", you would be better off getting two 30" slab doors that are not prebored for handles. You would cut each down to about 29 5/8" so that they would fit in your opening.

You could also install a center divider (that would be about 3 1/2" wide) which would leave you with the 28" you need on each side.

When you hang doors on existing openings, you are at the mercy of the guy who set the jamb. If it's out of level or out of plumb it will make your life real hard when you go to mortise the new hinge locations on your existing jambs. So you might want to check the side jambs with a 78" level, and check the head with a 4' level to see how true it is before you go much farther.

 
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09-21-11, 01:15 PM   #4  
I made a lot of assumptions when I said you'd be fine, sleeper's wiser than I am.

 
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09-21-11, 02:01 PM   #5  
Thanks, good call on checking the frame's levelness.

Not keen on a center divider; we're trying to make the entire closet accessible, so even that little bit of a block in the middle would be troublesome.

I was shying away from trimming a door down because if I end up going with a hollow core, which is most likely, I've heard you shouldn't trim them for stability reasons. However, I imagine only 3/8ths of an inch off wouldn't be too structurally unstable?

So you think a total width of 59.25" wouldn't be too tight in a 59.5" space? (I'm unfamiliar with how much "wiggle room" doors would need to properly open and close.) Assuming I can easily get the doors and have someone trim them (I have no tools to do so myself), that sounds like it'd be the option involving the least amount of hassle.

m19

 
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09-21-11, 02:18 PM   #6  
So then my question is, how feasible would it be to just run a piece of wood up either side of the inside frame, approximately 1" thick (and then paint it to look like part of the frame) so it's basically making the closet slightly narrower and thus having the doors fit better?
If you do this and use hinged doors, the wood you add to the side will have to be solid enough to support the hinges for the doors.

I would consider removing the jambs and reinstalling 60 inch wide jambs.

 
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09-21-11, 02:56 PM   #7  
Posted By: mitch17 I made a lot of assumptions when I said you'd be fine, sleeper's wiser than I am.
It probably would work... just giving some alternatives. And I doubt that I'm wiser.

Posted By: Morgan19 I imagine only 3/8ths of an inch off wouldn't be too structurally unstable?
a 30" door is usually closer to 29 3/4" so you would really only be trimming off an additional 1/4" or so from each door. This isn't a big deal even with a hollow core door. If it is prebored for the handle, you would want to take it off the hinge side so as not to affect the backset, then you would need to re-mortise the hinges.

Posted By: Morgan19 So you think a total width of 59.25" wouldn't be too tight in a 59.5" space? (I'm unfamiliar with how much "wiggle room" doors would need to properly open and close.) Assuming I can easily get the doors and have someone trim them (I have no tools to do so myself), that sounds like it'd be the option involving the least amount of hassle.
You usually want to figure 1/16" on the hinge side, 1/8" in the middle (each latch side should already be bevelled about 3) and 1/16" on the other hinge side. This assumes everything is perfectly plumb and parallel. (same distance between the jambs at the top, middle, and bottom of the opening).

If you are getting the doors from a large lumberyard with a window and door department, they would likely trim the doors for you and will even mortise them and put on the style hinge you want. Closet doors usually will have dummy handles (no bore holes needed) and ball catches on the top latch side of the doors. You'll also need door stop around the interior perimeter of the opening. An applied astragal on the interior of one of the doors sometimes helps to line the doors up when they close.

 
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