Published on October 20th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Pax Hack – His and Her Closets

Materials: Pax Tonnes, Malm Chests

Description: My wife and I recently purchased a Dutch Colonial home built in the early 1900s. Due to its age, the house lacks storage space, especially in the bedrooms. The Gambrel-style roof (characteristic of domestic Dutch Colonial architecture) rendered large triangular volumes on either side of the house that were great for storage but hard to access. The Pax Tonnes sliding doors (we used white panels only) provided the perfect solution to allow access to these large storage volumes, while adding a modern juxtaposition to the traditional aesthetic.

The existing walls were demolished and reframed to create the expansive openings an inch less the width of the doors). The top track was secured to a ¾” ledger board fastened directly to the 2″x12″ header (you will need 1 ½” gap between the top of the track and ceiling to lift the doors onto the track). Because the glass doors are heavy, I drilled pilot holes in the face of the track every 16″ to compensate for the fasteners we could not use in the typical assembly (make sure they are high enough so the casters clear the screw heads … I learned the hard way). The bottom track was secured to a custom cut piece of oak stained to match the floor with 4″ countersunk wood screws. The bottom track (cut to fit within the framed opening) was then secured to the oak strip with the standard hardware.

Threaded 1″ black pipe, floor flanges, galvanized cable and fittings were used to create closet rods and we put Malm 3-drawer chests for our folded clothes below. The room itself is clutter free because all of our furniture is tucked away behind the sliding doors. We finished the install off with some directional can lights and gender graphics (the glass panels make for a giant dry erase board).

Although careful planning and measurement was critical, the doors do have some built in adjustability that made the install successful. Phase 2 is to retrofit the male side with coolers filled with Heineken.

Updated: 12 Nov 2011

Since the walls were load bearing we had to building temporary walls to support the roof trusses while removing the existing studs and installing the header.

Headers were installed for each opening and the interior was stripped down to the studs…and to our surprise, there the gabled roof sections were not insulated correctly

The top track was fastened to the top of a 3/4″ wood ledger board through the manufacturer drilled holes.  I pre-drilled additional holes in the face of the top track for fasteners that kept the track securely in place when the heavy doors were installed (the first time I hung the doors I had not added additional face fasteners and the door kept falling off the track because the track itself was bending).  The added fasteners must be pre-drilled towards the top of the track or the caster of the doors will get caught on the screw heads.  Since the weight of the doors is carried by this track, it is crucial that the track is securely fastened about every 16″ to resist deflection.  Drywall was installed around the top track

Before mudding and taping

At this point I had to make sure that the doors were going to fit and slide correctly.  I assembled the frame of one door to try a dry fit…

Tolerance was close but the door slid without interruption over our uneven floors.

…and a detailed shot of the top track when the install was complete (notice the height of the screws along the top track allowing the casters to roll without obstruction)”

~ Patrick, St. Louis

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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".

36 Responses to Pax Hack – His and Her Closets

  1. Anonymous says:

    Pure Masterpiece.

  2. Ron UK says:

    Well done Patrick,

    I have been inspired by your project and am embarking on my own 4 door wide version using the 200 x 236 pad doors tomorrow.

    Instead of screwing a 2×2.5 inch strip on I intend to use 2 headers, the lower one will project 3/4 inch and will be used to hang the track on.

    I wonder how yours is since you posted. ? Still working smoothly ?


  3. Patrick says:

    It’s been a while so I’ll try to answer some questions:
    Chris and Jonah: The doors are not swinging free at the bottom. You may be confusing the progress photo with a finished condition. The photo at the top just after the before/after pictures shows how the bottom track is mounted to a piece of oak. The doors slide just like it would if mounted on the intended ikea carcass
    Anonymous: I believe the directional cans were a Cooper product.
    Anonymous: yes these are the Pax Tonnes doors (sans the graphic panel)

  4. Jonah Bae says:

    Looks great! I was actually planning on doing the same thing this week. However, I had the same question as Chris. Does it affect the way the doors move since they are not connected at the bottom? I know the bottom brackets don’t give much support, but rather guidance to the otherwise top heavy doors.

    If you could get back to me that would be great!


  5. Sarah says:

    love the restful white walls
    do you happen to know the brand/colour?

    great job !

  6. Chris Garbe says:

    Great Work…just want to try a similar project to get a sliding door between kitchen an dining romm.

    When i take a look at your pictures: Is it correct that the doors are only attached to the top rack and “swinging free” at the bottom??

    I worry that it might be a litlle bit instable because of the missing bottom reck…

    We have two little kids and I want to be secure that the whole construction won’t falter after the first bump it gets by one of my childrens bobby-car…

    It would be happy about a short reply…
    Kind regards,

  7. Anonymous says:

    i just did very similar project, but our doors rattle a bit and are quite loud when opening and closing, is this the same with yours?

  8. What I noticed in this work was absolutely awesome! The bedroom furniture was also perfect for the relaxing ambiance. Job well done..: -)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Love your work! Where did you get the directional can lights from? Size? Brand? Thank you for sharing!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Patrick, is it the correct name of the doors you used? PAX TONNES? IKEA has these doors but with some graphics on.
    May be you used different doors? Thank you!

  11. Keira says:

    Love this! So well done. Thanks for posting.

  12. Amy K says:

    Love This! It’s such a great way to use dead space. I’m going to ask my husband to do this for me…I’m dreaming. This is just so great. Congrats.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have two rooms where I want to do the same thing (but just 1 closet in each room).
    But if we do this with the pax doors, the room will get very small, and the closet a bit to large. I would need doors that are less heigh, and perhaps even a bit wider.
    We love the style of these glass pax doors, and if we would get custom made glass doors then it would be 4x the price of a pax set of doors! So, with our budget, not an option!
    I was thinking about putting these doors together with just 3 panels and shortening the frame, but I assume the result won’t be a clean finish and it would be tricky.
    Anyone have any other ideas? Are there sliding doors from other ikea series that we could use?

  14. Anonymous says:

    I think the Skinny Jeans in the closet are classic

  15. Anonymous says:

    great work Patrick! love the idea!
    How did you get the tonnes doors with just white panels? When I asked at Ikea, they told me they didn’t sell the panels separately. Did you buy an extra pair of doors or were you lucky at the as-is-section?
    – Josep

  16. Anonymous says:

    Patrick….awesome project! It is almpst exactly the project I have in mind for my bedroom except that mine would be 3 doors wide. I’m not familiar with the door hanging system , would 3 doors wide work with the Ikea door/track system? And is there any hardware on the floor that the doors engage? or do they just float?

    Great Job!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Very nice work!

  18. Patrick says:

    Thanks to all that have commented. I will try to address everyone’s questions:
    @AprilAries The work was done by myself with the occasional help of another hand when there was heavy lifting required. It was a long process because the work was done on the weekends or late at night, but very rewarding. Thanks for the kind words. I will try to get some more process images uploaded.
    @Matt (and others) The His and Her Graphics were drawn on the doors with dry erase marker. They are not decals. Just a straight edge and some kitchen lids did the trick.
    @Anonymous The only modifications to the top track included pre- drilling additional holes in the face of the track for additional fasteners to reduce deflection. The track was mounted on a 3/4″ wood ledger board and the drywall was installed around the ledger board. I will upload photos that should illustrate better.
    @Marge The top track is not fastened to the ceiling. It is fastened to the wall. I will upload some detail images.
    @Anonymous The dog’s name is Lilly.
    Keep the comments coming.

  19. Anonymous says:

    where did you get the his and her sign

  20. Anonymous says:

    where did you get the his and her graphic from

  21. interior design studio says:

    Love these doors…what a great idea:)

  22. Lou says:

    Fantastic. I to would like to see a step by step.

  23. Anonymous says:

    What is your dog’s name?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Extra props for the Chive poster! :-)

  25. Anonymous says:

    I plan to do this at home, could you please post a close-up of the top track? How it is fastened to the roof? Not that I think I will be able to make it as stylish as your bedroom though! :)
    - Marge

  26. Anonymous says:

    What a gorgeous transformation! It looks very upscale and professionally done. Great job!

  27. Anonymous says:

    It looks amazing! very well done!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Wow! I would like to do this in my house.
    What modifications did you have to make to the top rail to get it to mount flush with the wall?

  29. Matt says:

    Where did you get the his and her graphics from?

  30. AprilAries says:

    Sorry. The above should read “Was the actual building-out of…”

  31. AprilAries says:

    Wow! This is fantastic! Was the actualy building out of the closet done by you or a hired contractor? The results are so high-end and professional. Would love to see the step-step process from beginning to end.

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