Bi-fold doors have long been a staple of homes because they are lightweight and inexpensive and can be installed by one person. While they are not designed for privacy or to keep out intruders, they do an excellent job at providing one basic service: covering areas that you would prefer not to see, such as laundry nooks, pantries, closets, and general storage areas.
Most bi-fold doors are installed with hardware kits that may come with the door but often are sold separately. A standard kit includes:
- A door track with mounting screws, a spring-loaded stop, and pivot guide
- A pivot bracket for the bottom of door
- A solid pivot pin for the top of the door on the side that doesn't open
- A roller pin with a nylon wheel on it, for the top of the door on the side that does open
- An adjustable pivot pin that fits into the bottom pivot bracket, on the side that doesn't open
Equipment / Tools
- Drill with wood drill bit and screwdriver bits
- Bi-fold door hardware kit
Install the Door Track
Slide the pivot guide into the door track so the pivot-pin hole will face the hinged (non-opening) side of the door when the track is installed. Position the door track on the top jamb of the door opening, and mark the mounting screw holes with a pencil. Set the track aside, and drill a pilot hole at each mark, using drill and a wood bit that is slightly smaller than the mounting screws. Reposition the track and fasten it in place with its mounting screws, using the drill and a screwdriver bit.
Position the track so the door will be recessed slightly inside the frame when it is closed. You can also center the track in the frame, if desired.
Install the Top Pivot Pin
Stand up the door and lean it against the wall near the door opening, in the position it will be installed. Note the two holes on the top of the door, one on each door panel. Insert the top pivot pin into the hole on the door panel that will be on hinged (non-opening) side of the doorway. Push the pin all the way into the hole, using a hammer to tap it gently, if needed.
Install the Roller Pin
Fit the roller pin into the hole on the other door panel. Tap it in with a hammer, if needed, but be careful not to damage the roller or the internal spring.
Install the Bottom Pin
Fold the door in half and set it on the floor on its side edges. Insert the bottom pin into the hole on the hinged door panel; this pin must be on the same panel as the pivot pin on the top of the door. Tap lightly with a hammer to seat the pin all the way in.
Install the Bottom Bracket
Install the L-shaped bottom bracket onto the door jamb on the hinged side of the door, following the manufacturer's instructions. Drill pilot holes and fasten the bracket with its mounting screws.
Two screws driven into the side jamb should be sufficient, but an additional hole in the bracket is provided in case you want to screw it into the floor for added stability.
The center of the bottom bracket should be the same distance from the front edge of the door opening as the center of the top pivot bracket. This ensures the door will be properly aligned with the jambs.
Install the Door Stop
Push the spring-loaded stop into the end of the track on the opening side of the door. It should snap in by hand. Do not hammer it, as it can break easily.
Hang the Door
You may want a helper for this step. Insert the top pivot pin into the pivot guide inside the track. Swing the bottom of the door into place so that the bottom pivot pin rests in the L-shaped bracket. If the door doesn't fit properly between the top guide and the bottom bracket, raise or lower the door, as needed, by unscrewing or screwing in the adjustable pivot on the bottom of the door.
Check the gap between the door and the hinge-side jamb; if it is uneven, change the position of the bottom pivot pin on its bracket to make the door gap even.
Reach up and depress the spring-loaded wheel at the top of the door, swing the door into place to align the wheel under the track, then release the wheel so it pops into the track. Close and open the door to check for proper operation.
If the door binds against the hinge-side jamb, move the top pivot pin guide and the bottom pivot pin away from the jamb an equal amount. Move the top guide by loosening its screw, sliding the guide sideways, then retightening the screw.