Mirrored Doors Sizes, Specifications & Tips
Mirrored Doors: Five Must-Do Installation Tips
Installing any door can be a chore. Some are definitely more difficult than others. Sliding mirrored doors are more forgiving than bi-fold doors. The sliders don't actually meet one another since they are in different planes. One of them can be cockeyed and the other door will mask it. You don't have this luxury with a bi-fold door. The gaps between the doors and the jambs need to be consistent for the doors to look smart once you are finished with the job.
1. Check for Plumb
Door openings can be out of plumb in two directions. Each jamb should be plumb if possible and the opening should be plumb front to back. The top and bottom tracks for sliders allow you to adjust for the front to back plumb. Plumb is important. The side and top jambs need to be square to one another for the mirrored doors to operate smoothly. The doors come with fancy and innovative adjustment screws on the top rollers to accommodate out of square and out of plumb conditions, but they do have limitations.
2. Measure Carefully
The tracks for the doors usually have to be cut. You will only get one chance to do this so make sure you measure and mark accurately. If you have a scrap piece of trim, use it as a template. Measure the opening, transfer this measurement to the wood, cut it and see if it fits perfectly. If it does, use it to mark the track.
3. Pay Attention
The bottom track is often the most important one in sliding doors. But if your door set works where the door weight is suspended from the top track then the screws used to mount that track MUST bite into solid wood. This is often not a problem, even if you are attaching the track to a drywall wrapped jamb. A flat 2x4 was probably used to create the rough opening and solid wood is just below the drywall. Make sure the screws used to mount the track penetrate at least one inch into solid wood.
4. Temporarily Mount the Bottom Track
Bi-fold mirrored doors work differently than sliders. The weight of a bi-fold door is always on the bottom pivot next to the side door jambs. These need to be installed in such a way that you can adjust them so that the doors meet nicely when they are closed. For sliders, you may want to pay attention to the bottom track placement. If you twist it, the doors will bind as you operate them. Hang the doors and they will tell you where the track should go.
5. Study the Instructions
Become familiar with how the adjustment screws work on the doors. They are REALLY important!
Standard Mirrored Door Sizes
Many houses have standard interior door openings, especially homes built within the past 40 years. The actual door height is often 80 inches. The width of the doors is most frequently 30, 32, 34 or 36 inches. You can find smaller ones but they will almost always be an increment of 2 inches such as 24, 26 or 28 inches wide.
It makes sense that companies that make mirrored doors would follow suit. You can trim and sand wood doors to fit. It is next to impossible to do this with mirrored doors. Thus if you want to sell mirrored doors for both the new and remodel marketplace, they better match existing, popular wood door sizes. This is why you have an excellent chance of finding a mirrored door that will easily fit into an existing opening. For example, common 4 foot wide sliding mirrored doors will fit openings that range in size from 44 to 48 inches wide. Five foot wide sliders will work if your width is 56 to 60 inches wide. Six foot sliders will work if your opening is 68 to 72 inches wide and eight foot sliders fit nicely in openings that are 92 to 96 inches wide.
The width tolerances for bi-fold doors is much tighter. You only have 1/4 inch of play. These doors come in widths of 2, 3 and 4 feet. Your opening must be 24 to 24 and 1/4 wide for it to work and so on and so forth.
There are two common heights for the doors: 80 and 1/2 inches and 96 inches. You will find that these heights work for just about every opening. All of the mirrored door manufacturers have handy measuring guides to help you determine the correct door for your home.
Various Door Specifications
Not all mirrored doors are created equal. The moving parts that allow the sliding and bi-fold doors to operate are critical. Look for door systems that have twin top wheels and nylon bottom rollers. Some door manufacturers offer a jump proof track. That is a handy feature.
The glass used in the doors needs to be shatterproof. Some accomplish this by applying a plastic backing on the mirrors that holds the glass together in the event of an accident. This is a must-have safety feature in my opinion.
You will find doors that are framed or frameless. Pick one that suits your style. The wood framed doors are elegant and are perfect for older homes. The metal framed doors come in gold, silver, aluminum, white, etc. There is one that will look good in any room of yours. I happen to prefer the frameless doors if I am in doubt of how they might look. The frameless doors also are decorator friendly. They look swell with any wall color. This is a great advantage if you like to change the look of a room on a frequent basis.
If you are installing a mirrored door in a bathroom, specify aluminum for sure. Failure to do this will result in a mess over time. The steel doors are well protected but they will develop rust over a period of time.