Hot Topics: Dimensions for Sliding Closet Doors

sliding wood closet doors revealing shelves in a room with a hanging lamp

Our DIY forums feature chats between a quarter-million contributors in over 120 categories, so we highlight active threads to help with popular projects. This transcript has been lightly edited. Hope it helps!

HotBacon - Member

What are the typical rough opening sizes used when framing for a 5' sliding/bypass closet door?

Check out bypass closet door kits on Amazon.

Do they come with casing like a typical pre-hung single door? Do I need extra height in the rough opening for the track(s)?

XSleeper - Group Moderator

Typically the RO size is 2" larger than the size of the doors. In your case that would be 62 x 82 1/2. This allows some room for the track on top. But if you know there will be carpet and pad, for instance, and you don't want to end up cutting a lot off the bottom of the doors for the carpet you would probably want the RO to be a little taller, say 83" and then you would shim the jambs up 1/2" or so.

But if you have other doors in the room you are trying to match, the rule of thumb is to line the head jambs up with the other existing doors... no matter what height they are, so that the top of the casing is level everywhere in the room. You would then hang the closet doors, cutting them off as needed.

You usually buy jamb material and build your own jambs, making the inside dimensions of your jamb exactly what the plans call for to accommodate the length of your head track.

I suppose if you wanted a prehung jamb with casing you could order them. Not too many places stock that sort of thing.

HotBacon - Thread Starter

Thank you for the response...exactly the info I was looking for.

Gunguy45 - Super Moderator

I think sleeper was mixing up swing-type doors and sliding doors.

Unless you plan on using wood jambs (most sliders don't use them, they just butt to the sheetrock)...you will be screwed if you make the RO that big.

Decide on the doors (mirror kit or slab doors with a separate track kit)...look at the specs for the door kit or track kit. They will tell you the FINISHED opening required, adjust your framing as needed. It all depends on the type of doors you intend to use.

If you used two 36" slabs (actual size 36 x 80) and a track kit (for example)...they need to overlap about an inch in the center...so your finished opening would be about 70-71" wide.

I just checked our closet with 5' sliding mirror doors (drywall over the studs and header, track attached to the concrete foundation) and the finished opening is about 58 3/4 x 79 1/2.

XSleeper - Group Moderator

Around here no one has drywall finished openings... and he mentioned casing so I assume he's going with jambs.

The thing I didn't mention was the overlap. 2x door width (minus 1" for overlap).

But as far as the height is concerned, the height kind of depends on your hardware. For instance, if you use Johnson hardware, they recommend door height (80") plus 3 3/4" for their hardware, and that is to the FINISHED opening, not the RO.

So like Gunguy says, decide on your track hardware first and follow their directions to be sure.

Gunguy45 - Super Moderator

Thx for backing me up X... I just wanted to clarify that it's not always cut and dried like a prehung.

I think we agree its all about the hardware and the door. Back in VA I had sheetrock...here in AZ I do also. And I had/have casing on both.

Even Johnson (my recommended brand as well) can vary from 1 3/4 to 3 3/4" variance in height depending on model and whether its installed over the carpet or finished flooring or direct to the subfloor.

HotBacon - Thread Starter

Thanks guys. While looking at the Johnson Hardware website, I see they offer a track that is built into a header. Have either of you had any experience with this track, or would you recommend the traditional track with a fascia piece over the front?

SNRote - Member

Great information. I am getting ready to put in new closet doors in our rental and going to order my hardware from the Johnson Hardware site. This thread will be helpful, thanks! I also need to have some drywall work done. Anyone familiar with any good Chicago drywall contractors? I have never hung drywall and really don't want to get into that job myself.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commissions at no cost to you.