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Community and Q&A

Framing and sliding doors

thegiz | Posted in General Questions on

I’m building a simple pantry for wife with 2 sliding barn doors.  Each barn door is basically going to be made with 2 2×10 with some detailing so opening will be about 38 inches wide. I put up a t and g ceiling using 1×3 as cross beams.  I don’t want to rip up laminate floors or wood ceiling.  Since the doors are technically hanging can I simply PL the sole plate right onto floor of do I need to nail it in.  Worried laminate floor will split from nailing. I’m going to nail the top plate to the 1×3 cross beams.  Do I need to build doorway with 2×4 or can I use a smaller dimension and still support weight of doors?  Also what size nails should I use do I need 3 inch or less

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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    I would use screws, not nails, on the immediate support structure of the sliding door. While I haven’t done any barn doors, I’ve worked on a lot of pocket doors and find the forces they exert on the mounting structure tends to loosen fasteners and crack drywall.


  2. this_page_left_blank | | #2

    I'm not sure whether you're framing the pantry in its entirety, or just putting sliding doors to an existing opening. Framing onto a floating floor could cause problems, because the floor moves. My suggestion for both bottom plates of a framed wall and sole plate of the door is to drill oversized holes in the floor and screw the plates through the centre of those holes into the subfloor.

  3. thegiz | | #3

    I’m framing the wall in its entirely. Right now no wall exists, I’m basically making a large closet. I’m def going to use screws, thank you for advice. So drilling oversize holes in floor will allow movement? What size drill bit and screws are we talking about. I’m assuming I wouldn’t drill large holes in sole plate just the floor. Thanks again for help

  4. this_page_left_blank | | #4

    If it was me, I'd drill 1/2" holes in the floor. This may be unnecessary, but I don't see how it could do any harm. You could also put low friction tape on the bottom of the plates to help to allow the movement. Full disclosure, this is not something I've actually done and I'm not an engineer or framing carpenter. I'm sure the technically proper way to do it is to cut the floor to accommodate the framing and include an expansion gap.

    Yes, the larger holes are just in the floor, not the plates.

    1. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #8

      “Low friction tape” would be UHMW polyethylene tape if you want to try this. It’s available from plastics supply houses. I usually get it from US Plastics in Lima, OH.

      I agree with walta about barn doors. I’m not a fan of them myself, and they look like one of those fad-trends that won’t last long. I’d make sure you can change the door around without messing up the floor. See if you can anchor the base into the wall or into the gap between the wall and the floating floor. The idea would be to allow the base to be removed in the future in a way that doesn’t damage or leave holes in the floor.


  5. walta100 | | #5

    When I think of this style door I think wall hanging not ceiling.

    My goal would be to build a lightweight door that would make hanging and operating the door easier. Heavy doors are finger pinchers and will do more damage.

    If you have the space 1 panel will be easier to build and operate and the hardware will likely cost less.

    Most barn style doors have no floor track.

    I would not use nails into the ceiling as they will tend to pull out over time. Look for deck screws.

    My guess is the barn door fashion trend will be short lived like columns were for a few years. So do not damage the floor with your install.


  6. thegiz | | #6

    I attached picture of wall in question, fridge would be moved out. I want to close this off and put shelves. Walta want do you mean don’t destroy floor, how would I avoid that? I want the wall wide open so she can access side shelves. That’s why I thought double barn doors. My other option is 2 large bifold doors so opening would be much bigger. Is that easier to frame and less likely to cause damage. What would be minimum amount of wall space I would need on each side of opening. I guess the bigger opening might be better. Trying to find easiest way to do this. Joe

  7. Expert Member
    Akos | | #7

    It is hard to see the actual opening width, but based on the fridge size I'm guessing 6'.

    In that case you can use two 36" door slabs which you can hinge on right on the existing wall by mounting a 2x4 falt on the surface. No need to attach anything to the floor.

    Fame in a wall above the door which you can mount your doorstops to.

    Bi-folds tend to break if opening all the time. Sliders need space on the side, they work best when you have more wall space that it can slide over, otherwise the opening will be small.

    The nice part about the double door is all the shelving behind is fully accessible when the doors are open.

  8. thegiz | | #9

    Akos thank you as usual you have helped me before with other projects. The wall is actually 79inches wide so you figured out the general size. I’m going to mount 2x4s for shelving on right and left side walls, then mount a 2x4 flat on each side for door frame. So I can get shelving support and door frame in. That’s 3inches on each side leaving me a 73 inch opening that I can play with to fit doors. Thank you again, Joe

  9. Expert Member
    Akos | | #10


    Here is a closet I did in a very low basement that is similar. You want hallow doors to minimize weight, used standard kitchen door pulls for handles and magnetic door stop on the top. There is no door casing, just 4" MDF nailed to the rough opening mudded and taped to the drywall.

  10. thegiz | | #11

    Akos that is exactly what I want to do. What kind of magnets did you use on top that worked? My local hardware store didn’t have anything like that, I will prob need to go to a big box store

    1. Expert Member
      Akos | | #12

      I used something like these:

      Make sure there is a wood door stop as well otherwise these will eventually break from the impact of closing the doors.

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