Sliding wardrobe doors can be used to great effect for built in wardrobes. You can make wardrobes in the recesses either side of a chimney breast or right along a wall.
The beauty of them is that you can construct all the innards for your wardrobe – drawers, shelves, hanging rails etc first and then simply fit the sliding doors in front.
At the planning stage, give consideration to accessing the internal parts and in particular make sure that drawers will open without fouling the doors.
Also check carefully that there are no cables or pipes where you intend to fix the tracks.
You must also establish how you intend to secure the tracks. If there are ceiling joists which can be screwed to, these will provide a very solid fixing. If not, you will need to use cavity fixings, of which a wide variety are available. Choose the one best suited to the material you are fixing to. The bottom track can be fitted to the floorboards or plugged and screwed to a solid floor.
If you are building in the recesses either side of a fireplace, and the recess is not deep enough, you can easily fix a panel to each flank to increase it.
The sliding doors fit to a track on the ceiling and one on the floor. These will need to be fitted securely and must be parallel and level to allow the doors to operate freely.
Before fitting either track, you will need to check the instructions carefully to establish the height between the top and bottom tracks. Depending upon this, you may need to use spacers made of wood to set the track away from the ceiling or floor. It’s usually helpful to mark out the position of each track on the side wall so that you can measure and prepare suitable spacers if they are needed. You may use a spacer at each of the track fixing points, or fit a suitably sized batten right across the opening.
Measuring and fitting
Measure the width of the gap at the top of the alcove (or the overall width if you’re doing a whole wall). Measure the length on the track and use a tri-square to mark it. Cut it carefully with a hacksaw.
Fix the top track in place (with the spacers if they are needed) making sure that it is parallel to the rear wall. Use a spirit level to adjust the track so that it is perfectly level before tightening the screws fully.
Now, cut the floor track in a similar fashion and lay it in position on the floor (with its spacers if needed). Check it for level with a spirit level. Hang the doors from the top track and check that the bottom wheels are running correctly in the bottom track. Place a spirit level on the face of the doors
and gently move the bottom track until the doors are perfectly upright. Mark the position of the track.
Remove the doors and fix the bottom track as marked. Re-hang the doors and check that they operate smoothly. If not, double check the tracks are level and if needs be adjust.