Bifold doors are a modern convenience. Riding on tracks from above, they span large openings, providing unobstructed access to the contents of the closet. Rough openings for bifold doors should allow enough space for hardware, drywall and jambs.
The Most Common
The majority of bifold doors are 80 inches tall. The width varies depending on available space, but openings typically graduate in 24-inch increments up to 72 inches or more.
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Individual panels are divided equally. For example: A 48-inch, or 4-O -- pronounced "four-oh," -- bifold typically consists of four 12-inch-wide panels.
Jambs or Drywall
The typical bifold door is finished with drywall only. But there's no reason why you can't add jambs if desired. If jambs are planned, the rough opening will be larger than a drywall-only opening, to allow for the jambs.
The required size of the finished opening for a 48-by-80-inch door is 48 by 82 inches. The rough opening should be 49 by 82 for a 48-by-80-inch door. This allows for 1/2-inch-thick drywall on both sides and at the top, 80 inches for the doors and hardware, and a 1-to- 1 1/2-inch space under the door. The space between the floor and the bottom of the door may vary depending on the type of flooring.
Opening With Jambs
The rough opening for a bifold with jambs is framed slightly wider, to allow additional space for a door jamb on three sides. The difference in height is insignificant, since it adds only 1/4 inch. Door jambs are 3/4 inch thick, for a total of 1 1/2 inches, including 1/4 inch of space around the perimeter for shimming. The rough opening for a 48-by-80-inch door with jambs would be 50-by-82 inches.
Figure the rough opening size by adding 2 inches to the height of the bifold, and 1 inch to the width.
Figure the rough opening size by adding 2 inches to the height, and 2 inches to the width.
One Size Fits Both
If you're not sure if you're installing drywall or jambs, it's fine to opt for the bigger jamb opening. The difference in size is not that big a deal, and it allows you the option to trim it out later with jambs or lumber of any type.
Always check with the manufacturer or dealer for specific specifications regarding rough opening requirements for a specific bifold.
Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.