How to Install, Adjust or Remove Sliding Closet Doors

Sliding closet doors come in several variations: finished or unfinished wood, solid or hollow core, mirrored, painted, etc. However, there's one thing that most sliding closet doors have in common: a track. The track is a piece of hardware on which the sliding door glides back and forth, and it's essential in the installation, adjusting and removal of sliding closet doors. With the right tools and instructions, installing, adjusting or removing sliding doors is a cinch.

Bedroom with bookcase and wardrobe
credit: in4mal/iStock/GettyImages
How to Install, Adjust or Remove Sliding Closet Doors

Get on Track

First, carefully lean your sliding doors against a nearby wall. Next, measure the closet opening at the top, from the left wall to the right wall. Cut your top track to this measurement. To get a straight cut, use a miter box and hacksaw. Hold up the top track in position and mark the pre-drilled holes with a pencil. Next, remove the track and drill holes on the pencil marks, using a ⅛-inch bit. Place the top track back in position and screw it in.

To install the bottom track, begin by measuring the opening, wall to wall. Cut a wood strip and bottom track to this measurement. Use nails or screws to install the wood strip and slide the bottom track over the wood strip. Attach it with screws. Make sure to adjust the wheel assemblies on the doors, verifying that 1 inch of the roller is showing.

Pick up one door panel with the outside facing you, tilt the top back and slip it into the top track. Then, set the bottom of the door into the runner on the bottom track. Repeat this step for the front door.

How to Get Back on Track

The first step is to make sure the tracks are clean, and if not, scrub them with a toothbrush or rag to clean out the dust. Then, check whether the door is off the top track. If so, lift the door and push it in towards the closet. Hook the top rollers back into the top track.

If the bottom roller is off its track, gently lift the door and push it back into place.

Once the rollers are set on the track, make sure the door glides back and forth easily. If not, use a lubricant, such as olive oil or petroleum jelly, and rub it on the track using a rag.

Getting Off Track

Remove the outside closet door by first sliding the door to the center of the track. Next, carefully lift the door up at a slight angle to remove the bottom rollers from the track. Then, angle the door towards you and pull gently, detaching the door from its top track. Once this is complete, repeat the process with the inside closet door. If you're taking out the tracks, you can remove the screws with a screwdriver or drill and scrape off any residual residue.