Replacing Your Sliding Closet Door: A Guide

Replacing a sliding closet door shouldn't be a difficult or tedious job. Here are a few tips to make the job easier and to help you narrow down your choices.

Step 1 – Evaluating Hardware

Before you replace the doors, you should first look at your hardware. Sometimes, the doors are in good condition but the hardware is what prevents them from functioning.

Sliding doors work on a runner or slider system. The doors are usually hung from runners above and swing freely as they are suspended. On the floor, there are guides that hold the doors in place as the doors slide back and forth. Many times, the guides are made of plastic, which can become brittle and break. Replacing the guides allows the closet doors to work correctly.

Step 2 – Choosing Doors

If you discover that it is not the hardware that needs to be replaced, but you need to replace the doors, then you will need to decide what type of door will meet your needs.  There are several different kinds of sliding doors available.

  • Mirrored Doors – Mirrored doors can serve several different functions making a small room look larger. Mirrored doors are usually heavy but will give the room an elegant touch.


  • Louvered Doors – One different type of sliding closet door is the louvered door. This door style is not overwhelmingly popular, making it a good choice if you are looking for something that is a bit unique, but not overly heavy-handed. Louvered doors are usually made of wood and can be stained or painted.


  • Hollow Doors – Hollow sliding closet doors are probably the most inexpensive doors available and are a good option for rooms used by small children. They are lightweight and easy to open and close and can be painted or stained. Also, they may be available with a wood laminate or solid color finish.

Step 3 – Installing the Doors

If you do not already have runner hardware installed at the top of the closet opening, then you will need to first install this hardware. Make sure that you carefully follow the hardware instructions. You may find that you need to raise or lower the hardware somewhat, since many walls and floors are not completely plumb.

After you have the top runners installed, attach the runner rollers to the top of the doors, this hardware is pre-installed.

Finally, you will need to install the guides at the bottom of the closet floor opening.

Once you have all of the hardware in place, then you are ready to hang your doors on the runners and carefully set them into place.