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Published on June 18th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Walk-in closet using Pax Malm doors

Materials: PAX Malm sliding mirror doors, PAX cabinets with Komplement fittings

Description: The previous owner of our house had installed a fireplace in the living room but that resulted in a quite awkward retrofitted chimney passing through the bedroom upstairs. After some thinking I came up with the solution of building a walk-in closet “around” the pipe. The PAX Malm sliding doors are designed to be mounted onto PAX cabinets, but that wasn’t an option in our case.

1. I started out by measuring the room, the placement of the chimney pipe and the door. Then I used Google SketchUp to design the wall and interior to see if it would fit the available space.

2. The PAX cabinets were assembled and put into place. The rightmost wardrobe section was full height, but was cut down to fit snugly under the ceiling. New mounting holes for the top shelf had to be made but there was not other problem with shortening the sides. 45×45 mm beams were mounted around the door opening and perimeter of the new wall.

3. The bottom rail was mounted on a 45×45 mm beam as well, with the front edge of the rail flush with the wall to avoid having to use the plastic end caps supplied.

4. A router was used to create room for the bottom lip of the rail.

5. Two pieces of 12 mm particle board were mounted on the beams.

6. The top rail was mounted on the overhead beam using just two screws, since this rail doesn’t support the weight of the doors. I enlarged one hole on each end of the rail to allow for a large screw head. This rail is also mounted flush with the wall to avoid using the end caps.

7. Slim tube lights (also from Ikea) were mounted above the top rail.

8. When the doors were finally mounted, the room felt a lot larger even though it was ~1 m shorter than before.

~ Andreas Löfgren, Gävle, Sweden

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

15 Responses to Walk-in closet using Pax Malm doors

  1. Anonymous says:

    I know this is an old thread, but I have a few questions as I am thinking about cutting down two Komplement wardrobes that are too tall for my new house (ceilings are about 3″ too low). How did you cut the laminated wood? And how did the edges look afterward? Did you finish them with anything to keep the pressed wood from flaking?

  2. This is superb! I am liking this site for getting a lot of ideas like this.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So the weight of the doors is supported at the base? I have a similar project I am trying to do, only the opening is already finished and I wanted to hang some mirror doors to hide all the ugly behind it. I don’t have many tools so routing the base beam would be nearly impossible, unless I wanted to sit there with a dremmel all week long, lol. Is there perhaps another way that I could do the base for the doors? I tried getting a good look at the models at ikea, unfortunately they tend to frown on anyone wanting to disassemble their floor models to see how the mechanics work.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We’re thinking of doing a similar implementation, but I’m a bit confused… the PAX Malm doors at our local idea clearly mount at the top… but yours clearly run on a track on the bottom… can you offer any clearification?


    • Anonymous says:


      I am facing the same issue: we purchased Pax Malm doors (March 2013) and the rollers (“wheels”) are top-mounted, whereas guides that slide within tracks are mounted at the bottom of the doors. I will need to anchor my top beam securely to the ceiling joists since they will bear the weight of the doors…

      It sounds like your situation was very similar. How did you fare? Any pointers? Thanks in advance.


  5. Andreas says:

    Yes, I have two mirror doors and they are not hacked. It’s possible that Ikea doesn’t sell them anymore, when I bought them the doors were two separate packages and the rails one package.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I see you have 2 mirror doors is this correct? If so, how did you get that? The Ikea here wont give me 2 mirror doors! Is it possible to have 2 mirrored doors on the regular PAX malm? Or do you need to “hack” it?

  7. I love Ikea and enjoy reading your Blog, thanks!
    Check out links to excellent articles and bestsellers:
    I hope to see you there!

  8. KG Style says:

    That’s a brilliant and fantastic use for the Ikea closets.
    I do think however that quite possibly you might have wanted to add to the far right, instead of drawers that pull all the way out, maybe just shelving so that you store things that are unnecessary for short-term use.

  9. Tony says:

    That’s brilliant. I would never have thought about using the PAX stuff for this. I find it difficult enough to put it together with their instructions, never mind try to make my own stuff!

    Relaxer Chair

  10. Andreas says:

    Nah, the chimney pipe is well insulated and only gets slightly warmer than ambient temperature.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Is it not getting tooooo hot inside, when you use the fireplace?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Superb. And the heat from the chimney will ensure your clothes don’t get damp smells from storage.

  13. Andreas says:

    The drawers on the far right extends fully, but you have to stand to the side when extended. The section behind the pipe is actually quite usable. The pipe stands some 10-15 cm in front of the cabinet and since it is round, there is no problem stretching in behind it to reach the stuff stored in the middle.

  14. elle pee says:

    Can you open the drawers on the far right? Also, what will you do with the shelves behind the pipe? Did you know that if they came in a separate package from the whole PAX thing they can be returned for their full value? I did it with our kitchen. Each cabinet came with two shelves (in their separate package), we only used one for each cabinet and were able to return the rest for a full refund on the value of the shelf!

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