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Sliding doors are very popular these days because of their beautiful designs and functionality. The lack of traditional hinges and the alternative use of a track make them perfect for limited spaces. Thanks to the glass that normally takes up most of the door panel, you can enjoy a brighter home, richer in natural light.

We can say that placing them in the right areas will enhance the functionality and elegance of a property with their simple but practical design.

So, if you are planning to renovate your home and want to know how to install a sliding door, we have just the guide for you! Take a look below to familiarise yourself with the components of a sliding door, and find out what steps to take, if you have decided to hang such a door by yourself.

Table of Contents

What types of sliding doors are out there?

There are multiple types to choose from, depending on functionality, material, etc. It’s not always easy to make a decision, so we will try to make things easier for you with some general information about the main types of sliding doors that are available.

  • Sliding doors with curtain rods are among the most popular. These doors don’t take up wall space because they’re made of two layers of glass. The door opens by overlapping the other fixed glass window. They are the preferred type for outdoor kitchen areas, patios, and gardens.
  • Hanging sliding doors are attached to a rail above the door, and they slide over the wall. To install them, you need to have enough free wall space, which has to be at least the size of the width of the door.
  • Wall sliding doors slide in pockets in the wall. They are a great solution, if you don’t have wall space and want to achieve that minimalistic look. They are also perfect for wardrobes, as the door “disappears” into the wall when open.

The material also plays an important role when it comes to durability. The most common sliding doors usually come with a big glass installed in a wooden, aluminium, vinyl, or fibreglass frame.

On one hand, choosing a sliding door with a wooden frame will enhance the look of your home. The doors are available in different colours – from rustic, dark to light wood. You also have a wide variety of styles, frames, number of windows, and motives.

That said, aluminium may not look as appealing as wood, but is proven to be more resistant to damage. You can check below what other things to look out for when choosing a sliding door material:

  • Wood can crack and warp easily. That’s why it’s not recommended to use wooden sliding doors outdoors or in wet areas, where moisture can damage the wood.
  • Aluminium sliding doors are also available in different colours and designs. Aluminium is a strong and long-lasting material. These doors are perfect for the outdoors, because they can withstand all types of weather conditions.
  • Vinyl sliding doors are also durable, but they are available in limited colours and may give the impression of a low-quality product.
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Types of sliding door parts and their functionalities

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You may know something about traditional door parts, but keep in mind that there are some differences when it comes to sliding doors and their components. Still, the more you know about them, the better, because you will be able to recognise when the mechanism is working properly and when your sliding door needs repairs.

  • Handles – They have different mechanisms than those on traditional doors. On sliding doors, handles need to be pulled. Some styles have a clamp built-in to the door that connects with the frame and provides extra security.
  • Locks – Locks on sliding doors operate differently. They are simple latches that lock into one another when the door is closed. They can be locked with keys or with a twist-action of the lock.
  • Sliding door stopper – Stoppers are metal rods that prevent the door from opening from the outside. They come in different sizes, can be decorated with different motives, and are easy to use. You simply need to place the stopper in the door track, and tighten it up to secure it in place.
  • Track – Tracks are fitted in the door frames and provide a place for the sliding rollers. They can be adjusted up and down, so the door can slide easily.
  • Sliding door rollers – Rollers are the wheels that are attached to the bottom and top of the door. They fit into the sliding door track and keep the door sliding.

A step-by-step guide on how to install a sliding door

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Like with any other home renovation project, you will need a few tools and materials. Depending on the sliding door model, some steps in the installation process may differ. Also, note that this is not an all that simple process, so having previous experience with similar projects and the tools, such as those that we’ve listed below, will be a plus.

Still, there is no shame in having second thoughts about doing this on your own. It could be better to find some assistance from a friend or a specialist in the field to avoid complications. With that being said, let’s look into the process of installing a glass sliding door in your home!

Tools & materials

  • Power drill
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws and nails
  • Tape measure
  • A helping buddy
warning

Having a suitable door frame is essential for the easy and fast installation of a sliding door. Simply replacing an old door with the same or similar model will be simple, as you already have the door frame in place. If that’s the case, then you can follow the instructions below and go ahead and install your new door. However, if you’ve never had a sliding door in your home, or you are opting for a completely different model from the one that you have now, then bigger renovations may be required. They may include full replacement or alteration of an existing door frame, removal of walls, etc. In this case, we advise you to get a professional’s opinion on what would be the best course of action.

  1. Measure the frame prior to purchasing a new sliding door to make sure that the new piece will fit. If you are getting the same door or a similar one, you won’t have to worry about making alterations and the messy work that comes with them.
  2. Next, check if every part is levelled before you start the installation process.
  3. Once you get your new sliding door, it is essential to check what comes with it. Most models have instructions that will make your work a lot easier, especially when it comes to the measurements for the track and wheels.
  4. Now it’s time to mark where the track of your new sliding door should go. You can double-check the instruction book for the correct measurements, or use your existing track for guidance. Usually, two metal pieces should be installed evenly on both sides of the centre of the door. Attach the track to the door frame with the help of a drill and screws.
  5. If your sliding door runs on wheels, you have to attach the rollers to the door prior to placing it on the track. Measure carefully and then attach the wheels. Keep them loose until the door is safely on the track.
  6. Now get your helping buddy because it’s time to lift and place the new sliding door on the tracks. It is usually easier if the upper part goes first.
  7. Check if the door runs smoothly. You can adjust the screws of the rollers to regulate the position of the door, and fix any problems with the moving.
  8. Any remaining hardware, such as sliding door stoppers or handles, need to be installed last.

Does the sliding door installation process sound too complicated?

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How to maintain your sliding door

Installing a sliding door is only the first step. If you want to enjoy it for long, then you will also have to commit to maintaining it the right way. In this line of thought, we present a few easy tips on how to keep your sliding door in pristine condition:

  • If the sliding door is located outside, you need to keep the exterior frame clean of dust and dirt.
  • Regularly check whether the mechanism works correctly, and resolve any repair issues, as soon as you notice them.
  • Frequently vacuum and wipe clean the frame, along with the hardware of the door.
  • It’s recommended to lubricate the locking and sliding mechanism at least twice a year.
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Takeaways

  • Choose carefully what type of sliding door will suit your home best. Things like installation site, functionality, and material are all important factors.
  • Take all necessary measures before the installation, and look into any instructions that come with the new door package.
  • Fitting the sliding door may prove problematic, when you don’t have enough experience with tools or have never installed such a piece before. Asking for professional help can save you the extra work if things don’t go as planned.

Want to read more on how to improve your home? Check out our Home Improvement articles!

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Do you have a sliding door in your home? Share your experience in the comments below!

  • Last update: August 23, 2021

Posted in All Articles, Home Improvement