Bi-fold door question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by RAC, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. RAC

    RAC Guest

    This may sound silly to some of you, but instead of having the doors fold out to the left and the right, can you reverse the hinges on one set of doors, and add a hinge to the middle to join them to the other set and add another top slider to the end of the formerly anchored door, so they would then fold to just one side? Would it put too much strain on the one side of the door, since the other side is no longer anchored?

    Reason I ask is that the laundry area has bi-folds, which look nicer (since it is in the kitchen) than say a shower curtain, or curtains on hospital tracking, but the door on one side folds partially out into the traffic pattern to the back door. It is actually like a closet but somewhat trapezoidal in shape on one side (nearest the back door), and there is a small triangle of space inside I would like to be able to use more effectively, but sliders wouldn't work because of the where the washer and dryer sit and how they open.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    I would think what you have in mind would work. Most of the bifold doors are very light and The hinges should support the extra weight. Don't neglect to consider how much of the opening will be covered by all 4 doors opening to one side.

  3. sdrew

    sdrew Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2002
    Southern Maine
    You can also replace the standard hinges, with heavier duty hinges. What you are suggesting will work, but I would make the upgrade to heavier hinges. You may be able to find them in stock at Home Depot, if not, they can special order them. If Home Depot doesn't help you (hard to find good help there sometimes), go to a local "small" lumberyard/hardware store; they will help you out for sure. Make sure to either bring in one of the hinges you need to replace, or at the very least, measure the thickness of the door. Most bifolds are thinner (1-1/8") than regular prehung doors (1-3/8"); but make sure to check.
    Good luck.
  4. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Thank you both--the doors are the louvered ones and I will look for stronger hinges. I did account for the added door space on the deep sink side, and it won't impede use of it.

    The cabinet door underneath the deep sink only opens 3/4 of the way now, that would reduce to about 2/3, but we probably should remove the cabinet door anyway for air flow since that is the only place in the house where the pipes occasionally freeze in winter (good reminder, that).

    Thanks again! :)
  5. i don't think it will be any problem at all as to the hinge issue the bi-folds i have worked with had way more than adequate hinges and tracks. the biggest problems these doors have is the hardware comes loose rollers get stuck or junk gets in the tracks and people try to shove harder rather than mantain. actually rather than turn or move anything i think all you will need to do is remove the stationary pin at one end and add one set of hinges in the middle remove the extra knob may need one extra roller set. all the bifolds i have seen are hollow and weigh almost nothing.
  6. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2002
    I have a 'solid' wood bi-fold door. It is very thin and lightweight. The track makes a big difference. Perhaps you can use some leftover trim or something to limit the movement of the door going front to back (instead of just left and right). Without the track, I would have ripped the $#% thing out by now. ;)
  7. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Well, one reason to keep the doors (as opposed to just leaving the space open, which we could do) is that it looks a lot nicer closed than the curtain option, or I suppose another choice would be vertical blinds, except it would be difficult to keep them clean, and they would look funny too. The cabinets over the laundry do not match at all what is in the rest of the kitchen, so it does look a bit odd when open. The doors/tracking are a bit fidgety, but I've learned how to operate them a bit better over time. It is nice to be able to stash things there for a quick clean-up when necessary, lol.

    There's no forward and back movement, as BCR described, the doors are pretty stable on the track. But, when open, the doors jut out about 6-8 inches, and it is close enough to the outside door that you have to twist a bit to get in and out. Putting them to the one side would fix that.

    My own personal choice would be to move the washer/dryer/deep sink out into the garage, and use the space for a kitchen office or pantry that I could close the door on, but that would be a bit expensive....*sigh* I think laundry areas in the house are a terrible waste of space in 3-season climates anyway.