How to Hang a Bifold Door

Knowing how to hang a bifold door will come in handy for homeowners from any walk of life, as they can be used for many different kinds of entryways, closets, and as an alternative to traditional entryways to other rooms and spaces. The following steps will serve to instruct you through hanging bifold doors of many types and sizes—however, extremely large, ornate, and heavy exterior bifold doors will likely require professional installation and a much larger set of hardware and door frame than what you’ll find at the corner hardware store. For everything else (which is almost all bifold doors), keep reading to learn how to get this job done!


Understanding How to Hang a Bifold Door: Checking Entryway Measurements and Dealing with Old Hardware 

If you have a space from which you’re removing an old bi-fold type door or where you would like to replace a traditional double door with a new bi-fold door, measuring the opening (frame minus doors) correctly is winning half the battle. As with nearly all other door types, bi-fold doors come in many standard measurements. If you’re going to need to build out the frame or remove any portion of the frame to fit it in, you need to know that going into the process—not halfway through.

Once you have measurements that will work with the bi-fold door you’ve chosen, it’s time to remove any existing hardware. The fastest and easiest way to do this is with an electric drill using a flat head or Phillips head bit in reverse. Once you’ve pulled out all the hardware you may want to cover old holes with wood putty or drywall caulking—this will ensure you don’t have any eye sores when the doors open or close.


Before Hanging Your Bi-Fold Doors: Painting Bare Wood as Needed

If your doors are not already painted, you'll want to paint them before you install them in the doorway. Paint them in a dust-free environment using a sawhorse if possible, allowing 12 hours for the first side to dry before turning it over to paint the other side and all four edges last. Even if you prefer the look of bare wood for your project you should still coat your bi-fold doors with a coat of clear varnish. This will keep the look clean over time and protect the wood from dust, dirt, scratches, and other wear and tear.


How to Hang a Bifold Door: Measuring to Fit Your New Hardware

Unlike classic one-hinge entryways, bi-fold doors are measured for fitting from the center out to ensure the most accurate use of the opening. To position bi-folding doors accurately, use a measuring tape to discover the full length of the opening without anything in your way.

From here, you'll make a light mark right at the perfect center of your door opening. For example, if the entire entry is 84 inches across, make your mark right at the 42-inch line. Next, using the length measurements of each side of the bi-fold, decide where you'll add your next two pencil marks on the right and left sides of the upper door frame.

For example, if each bi-folding door is 20 inches long, make the left and right hand marks at the 20" line moving from the center line in either direction. When you're done you should be able to measure 40 inches from mark to mark with the centerline mark focused perfectly between the other two lines.

Rather than classic hinges on one side of the door, bi-fold door opening have hardware that holds either side in place on the top and bottom of both the left and right sides of the doorway so they can move independently of each other. Knowing the width of your doorjambs (and knowing they are equal on either side of the opening) is crucial to the next step: adding jamb brackets to either side of the doorframe at top and bottom so that the doors are flush with one another when closed.

Use the same practice for adding brackets that you did for measuring the top centerline. For example, if the whole jamb width is four inches, screw in jamb brackets at the 2” mark on the right and left sides at top and bottom of the entryway.


Preparing Dry Painted or Varnished Bi-Folds for Hanging: Applying Pivot Hardware 

Once both of your bi-fold doors are dry from being painted or varnished, your next step is to apply the pivot hardware to the top and bottom of both. This is where each bi-folding door will fit into the doorjamb brackets you affixed to the top and bottom left and right of the entryway. Simply use a hammer to gently tap in each pivot where it goes. Remember: both doors have a top and bottom pivot, so you'll install four total across both bi-folds. From here, you'll simply install each bi-folding door by fitting the top and bottom pivots of each into the brackets on the left and right top and bottom door opening.


Installing The Snugger Guide Track 

At the top of the doorframe, you’ll need to install a snugger guide track across the entire length of the frame. The snugger guides—small, white plastic wheels that keeps bi-folding doors in their frames—will fit into the tracks you place here for the life of the doors. Be sure that you nail or screw the track into the center of the jamb—using the exact same line on the jamb where you measured center with your jamb brackets. This way, you’ll know your snugger track has been installed at the direct center of the jamb where it belongs.


Final Steps: Installing the Snugger Guide onto Bi-Folding Doors

Knowing how to hang a bifold door properly means knowing how to execute the final step: applying the snugger guide to both sides of the bi-fold. To begin, you will remove the top door pivot from the top bracket (one side at a time). Holding the door with one hand to keep it from falling and breaking out of the lower floor bracket, use the other hand to install the snugger onto the top pivot. Repeat this step on the other bi-folding door so that the top pivots of both are now equipped with snugger guides. These should glide relatively effortlessly across the track you installed before installing the doors themselves but after installing the jamb brackets. Now you should be able to make a few minor, final adjustments and the job is complete. Now that you know how to hang a bifold door you can repeat the exercise almost anywhere!