Install Sliding Door Runners in 6 Steps

With everyone looking for ways to save money, taking the few simple steps to install sliding door runners for closet doors is one project most homeowners can complete on their own within a short period of time and without the expense of professional help.

Sliding doors work extremely well for closet doors. They don't require room to swing outward, so they save on floor space and are easy to install. Sliding closet doors can be made of wood, mirrored glass or regular glass. Using sliding glass door hardware, almost any door can be turned into a sliding door. Sliding doors are attached to an upper track on the closet door frame, which is usually hidden by decorative trim or an overhang. A second track normally installed at the bottom of the door to guide and keep it in place as it moves.

Before You Begin

Before you install a sliding door, you will need to measure the opening of the door space. Most closet door openings are around 80 inches tall, but your door opening may be slightly smaller. In most cases you should be able to find a door that will fit in the space, but you may need to special order a closet door if you have an unusual size.

Measure the door opening for length and height, measuring both sides vertically. If your door opening is out of alignment or plumb, use the larger size measurement for your door. You will be able to bring your runners into alignment using shims to raise them.

Step 1 - Fit the Upper Track

Fit and install the upper track against the header of the door opening. Check the level of the track and use shims to adjust if necessary until the tracks are level.

Step 2 - Attach Rollers

Attach door rollers to the top of the door. Rollers are usually adjustable so the door will hang correctly.

Step 3 - Bottom Tracks

Install set of guides or tracks in the bottom of the door opening. Double check alignment with level and use shims to left guides as necessary to bring tracks into level.

Step 4 - Door Installation

Hang door from overhead track.

Step 5 - Make Adjustments

Adjust bottom guides so that the doors fit between the bottom track lanes, keeping the door in line.


Fit the door inside the bottom track. Set doors inside the track and lift to hang doors from top track.

Step 6 - Final Steps

Complete installation by installing decorative trim to cover the new hardware.

Now that you have your sliding door runners installed, you can enjoy your sliding closet doors and know that you have not only installed them yourself, but saved money in the process. For the home do-it-yourselfer, this is the ultimate mark of satisfaction.