Friday, July 10, 2015

Easy Sliding Door

Our bathroom is tiny. Don't believe me? Check out our recent remodel here. I'll wait.


See? Told ya. To help give us more space, I wanted to switch out our door with a sliding door. We had plenty of wall space on the bedroom side, so it was the perfect solution. It was inexpensive and quick, so it was my favorite kind of DIY.

The sliding door was the first one of my four summer projects, and since it's already July, I'm feeling like it's time to crack down if I want to finish everything else on my list.

Ready to start? The first thing you will want to do is determine the length of your pipe. My door was small at just 24" inches so I needed a length to cover a minimum of twice that size. On my wall I measured 24" from the opening, on the side where the door will slide. From there I used my stud finder to determine the next closest stud, beyond the 24 inches. Mark the wall where the sides of the stud should be. Now, find the stud on the opposite side of the opening. Mine was right in the corner, so my door can only slide one way. If you have wall space on either side of the opening, you will need to determine how far you want the door to slide to the opposite side. Mark the stud on that side, just like you did on the first side. A little graphic is below; hopefully this explains it for you visual people.

Now, measure the distance from stud to stud on either side of the opening. That distance will tell you how long your galvanized pipe should be. Your entire shopping list is below.

Supplies:                                                                                     Tools:
Hollow door slab (I reused the existing door)                            Stud finder
1 - 1/2" galvanized pipe, cut and threaded to length*                Pencil
2- 1/2" galvanized 90 degree elbows                                         Drill + drill bits
2 - 1/2" galvanized pipe nipple
2- 1/2" galvanized floor flanges
2- rigid casters**
2- eye-hooks***
8- screws

*The pipe comes in various lengths. Choose the one closest to your length, then have a sales associate cut the pipe and thread the end for you. I know that Lowe's will do this for you, but I'm not sure about  other stores.

**Make sure your casters are not wider than the thickness of the door. They will have to be rigid casters, not swivel, because you want the door to just slide back and forth, not every other direction.

***The eye on the eye-hook needs to be big enough to fit over the 1/2" pipe. Try it out in the store to make sure it fits.

If you are reusing an existing door, you will need to remove the hinges from the door and the door jamb. Some additional supplies will be needed if you are going this route. Skip to the bottom and I'll explain how to patch in the hinge pockets.+

First, use four screws to attach your casters to the bottom of the door slab.

Next, drill two holes in the top of the door to fit the eye-hooks. Screw them in, making sure you keep them consistent heights.

Now you can pass the galvanized pipe through the eye-hooks. Attach an elbow to each end of the pipe, then screw the pipe nipple into the elbow. Next you will screw the floor flange onto the pipe nipple. The floor flange will be the piece attached to the wall.

Have someone hold the door in place while you position the flanges over your studs. Since you marked either side of the stud earlier, you can line up the flange so that two of the holes are vertical with your stud. Your flange may need rotate on the pipe nipple, but you will want to do this so that you can get both screws into the stud. Mark your holes on the wall on both ends, move the door out of the way, and drill your holes. Replace the flanges over the holes and screw them into place.

Pretty easy, huh? It gives our bathroom more breathable space and looks cool. And for around $30, it has been the biggest change we have done to the house, for the smallest amount of money.

+If you took down an existing door, you will probably want to patch the hinge pockets and the door strike. One of the easiest ways to do that is to purchase wood lattice moulding (see here). You can cut pieces to size and attach them in using wood glue and wood filler, then paint them, or you an apply the entire strip top to bottom of the frame, covering the old holes. (Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick has a tutorial on the second option.)