When it comes to saving floor space, you can't beat sliding doors. The ultimate is space-saving sliding doors are pocket doors, but those can be a little complicated for most DIYers. In that case, a far easier door style to install are the barn-style sliding doors. These doors simply hang over the door frame, suspended either above the frame on the wall or above the frame from the ceiling. In most cases, you can just hang the door from the wall. If you're not sure, that should be one of your first considerations before you start thinking about installing a sliding door for your bathroom. Another big consideration is the wall space on the side(s) of your door space. You'll need to have enough space for the door to open, after all. And it's not just space you should be looking out for—make sure that the door won't interfere with outlets, light switches, windows, etc.
Your final consideration before we start the installation is the privacy aspect. Sliding doors will shut off the space, but they won't shut out light, sounds, and smells. So if the bathroom is a shared space, that means that bathroom lights, impromptu shower concerts, and cologne fog could all escape the confines of the bathroom. However, if that's a not an issue for you, then let's get started.
Fit Your Door In
Before you purchase a sliding door, you're going to need to know what size door to get. Occasionally, depending on the size of the door space, you may need to get two doors or have a door custom-made. However, with a bathroom door space, that's probably unlikely. So we can measure for one.
In most situations, your door space will have casing around it. (Casing is also known as trim.) You will need to account for the casing when you're doing your measuring for the width. You can usually do this by adding inches onto the measurement of the door space. What that means is that you'll be looking for a door that's wider than the opening space. 2” wider may be a good rule-of-thumb, but of course, it all depends on how wide your casing is.
For the height, you will measure from the floor to the top of the trim.
Finish The Board And Door
You may find a door that's finished or painted exactly the way you want it. If that's the case, then you don't have to do anything more to. But if you've bought a plain door slab, now is the time to add any finish or paint coats that you're planning.
The board that's specified in “Tools Needed” is what we'll use to mount the track, rather than mounting the track directly to the wall. If you've purchased a simple board, then you'll probably want to finish or paint it, rather than hanging it rough. You can do this after you've mounted it, but you might also want to get it out of the way now.
Mount The Board For The Track
Once everything is dry and smooth, it's time to start the installation. First, we'll mount the board on the wall. You don't actually have to have the board, but it does give more support to the door and the extra projection gives the sliding door more room to clear the opening space. Whether you trim your track is up to you, but the board will have to be at least as long as the track.
To figure out where exactly to mount the board, you'll reach for that stud finder. In most cases, the board should go 2”above the door opening or casing—whichever one you have. To make sure, check your track manufacturer's recommendations. Use flathead wood screws to secure the board to the wall studs and once they're in, fill in the screw holes with wood putty.
Attach The Hanger Brackets
Before you can hang the track, or rail, you will need to attach the brackets that will hold the rail. For a single door, you’ll need three brackets. Attach the rail to the brackets and then hang the rail. Make sure the rail is level with the bottom of the board. Then attach the brackets to the board. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for hardware or use any included hardware.
Adjust the hanger brackets as needed. The door should have an inch of space at the bottom, so that it can move freely.
Attach The Roller Hardware
Fasten the rollers to the sliding door. Once they’re secured, fit them onto or in the rail. Then attach the roller stops at each end. You might need to adjust the stops so that the door is straight with the door opening.
You’ll need handles to open and close the sliding door easily. On the side of the sliding door with the rail, you can add a full handle. On the other side, you’ll need to drill for a recessed cup handle. A full handle won’t work on this side because it won’t be able to clear the door opening. Once the handles are installed, open and close your sliding door to make sure it slides smoothly. Then make any necessary adjustments.