23 June 2012

Making Your Own Sliding Doors

Conduit Project

Make your own sliding door hardware with conduit.

Inexpensive solution for a space saving door that is not used too often or one cannot afford barn hardware.

Rooted In Thyme

The Shabby Nest

Make Your Own Sliding Door

This is a great look for a loft, contemporary home, or a room where one needs the floor space.
I really wanted this at johnsonhardware; I had been looking at it for months, but my budget is small.  Then one day this past week I saw this http://pinterest.com/mariposajs/doors/ at countryliving.com and Country Home House Tours and found this blog Crisp Living.

I like to use electrical conduit for projects; I used it to make the curtain rods in a previous post, and it was perfect for this sliding door project.  It has a beautiful patina, and it costs less than plumbing pipes and is just as strong.  I used two different applications based on the door opening's location.


This takes two people.

Correct size and type screws for the holes to the flanges and for the material you are drilling into.  (wood, plaster, drywall etc.) (This was plaster and wood depending on where we put the holes.)

1x 10 ft piece of 1/2 conduit cut to the size I needed and rethreaded by Home Depot.  (It is all labeled.) $10
2x 1/2 inch galvanized flanges $13
1x male female 90 degree elbow that fits the flange  $7
2x eye hooks that I could thread the conduit through $6
2x non swivel casters that fit the thickness of my door $6
Because this door is up against a wall, I only needed one elbow.
We drilled holes for the castors and eye hooks and one can see by the photos that the eye hooks and castors are evenly spaced to distribute the weight of the doors on the wheels.

It is important to note that these are male female elbows.  You need male female elbows, but if you make a mistake (which we did on the first one their is a male adapter  called a CLOSE (choose the smallest to buy and screw in.)  (Female-Female elbows: end won't mate with flange.)

Getting it Level.  WELL, it is only as level as your floor and your door.  It is gliding on original, colored concrete floors with no baseboards (though it looks like it would clear that if I had them). ( A feature in old, desert homes.)  So one has to go with the flow. This door moved best by attaching the pipe at a slight decline.


THE SECOND DOOR ( A Closet Door)

correct size and type screws to fit the holes of the flanges
2x 1/2 inch galvanized flange $14
2x male female 90 degree galvanized elbows  ( I used an elbow on each end to attach it to the wall because the door is in the middle of the wall.)
1x 10 ft piece of 1/2 inch thick electrical conduit cut to size and rethreaded (both ends need thread). $10
2x non swivel casters $6
2x eye hooks $6

This door  happened to slide best level, so the floor and the door must have still be level.


Well at least twice as wide as your door with forgiveness.


Well we stripped, sanded, and painted the 70 year old doors in this house, so the doors were slightly smaller than the opening, but this is a library so complete privacy does not matter.  However if I wanted it to cover the opening more fully I could of gone with a larger stock door, on the other hand there will still be  about a half inch gap between the door and the wall.  So perhaps it would not be best for a bedroom application.  My spouse attached the units securely.  We also have only one child that is middle school age.  

DOOR KNOBS WOULD ONLY WORK ON ONESIDE.  So we decided to make our own original pulls.  These old holes are too small for today's closet pulls.

This is a 3/4 inch flange with a fitting in the middle.  I needed two for the library door, but only one for the closet.

The hardware for two doors cost approximately 80 dollars not including screws and the pulls we made.

 closet ( 1x elbow into each flange)

 Eyehook Closeup

Closeup of Library Door ( one elbow into a flange and one flange with the threaded pipe directly into it.)

Enjoy!  SJohnson

Shared at Romantic Home


  1. Congrats SJohnson, You have been featured for this inspiring post on Simple & Sweet Fridays. What a wonderful creative project! Don't forget to stop by and grab a button. Have a great week.


  2. Helps to have a handy husband, doesn't it? Thanks for giving us some insight into the process of doing this. It's a cool idea.

  3. I have been looking for a solution to a door situation we have in our basement. This would work beautifully. I love the way it looks!

    Jenny Lynn

  4. This is fantastic! I wish I would have seen it before I finished my remodel. You never know though - knowing me, I'll figure out somewhere I can do this. You've got me now, after reading 3 posts I am your newest follower!

  5. i would love to feature your sliding door idea , i think it looks so cool, if this would be ok with you please let me know,

    1. Thank you, Lauren. That would be cool!

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  6. One problem you could’ve encountered here is space. You have to be accurate with your measurements or you risk hitting fixtures or furniture that can be detrimental to the image of the room. I’m glad that you executed this project very well; and for that, I applaud you!

  7. Very interesting to see that many people are using different 'parts' for supporting mobilization of sliding folding doors, very cool. I am still not sure about their names and which one is best?

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  9. Did you get all of the supplies at Home Depot? I haven't been to the store yet, but I'm having trouble finding the right elbows on their site, just wondering if this is where you found everything!


    1. Yes, in the store. These are standard fittings and they come in various sizes to match the pipe. If you can't find it in the electrical check the plumbing. H.D. organizes them in boxes. On the box is a drawing of the shape and it also states the size. Each might be individually wrapped in a clear plastic bag if I remember correctly.

    2. Thank you! I can't wait to start on this project!

  10. Sliding doors look nice and would work well in any part of the house, but things have to be always kept in mind when installing this. Accurate measurements are needed for this or else you'll risk hitting fixtures and furniture. I have one at home and it's very manageable, I can even make the other room bigger if I just keep this open.

  11. Nice posting, thanks for sharing with us. Your blog is great and helped me feel better knowing about the Sliding Door. Thanks again!

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  18. i think if you are not an expert, why not really ask a carpenter to do the sliding door for you? but if you are already used to working on it then no problem.

  19. Your old door looked like it really needed a replacement, and I commend you for doing so. How's your new door now? Did you still go for the conventional design door? If in the future you have more projects like this, I hope you consider having sliding doors to help you maximize the space in your house. Thank for sharing! :)

    Ron Bauguss @ CarolinasHomePros

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