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Published on April 7th, 2012 | by Jules IKEAHacker

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Pax closet doors, no bottom rail





Materials: Pax Lyngdal sliding doors, screws, washers, plastic caps, sweat and tears

Description: When I purchased my house it was in dire need of renovation. We repainted, put down hardwood floors (not easy on top of concrete), installed new windows… the whole shebang. When it came time to pay some attention to the master bedroom, I was unhappy with the closet doors. There are three equally-sized closets, though the doors were uneven, held closed with finicky magnets, and prone to sticking whenever the weather changed. Plus they just looked bad.


To IKEA! There I found the Pax Lyngdal sliding doors (light frosted glass, aluminum frame) in a near perfect size: 78 3/4″ x 118 1/8″. It seems to no longer be available in this size, but this should work with any size Pax door of the sliding variety. After some brainstorming we concluded that the four doors would work over the three closets, just with some overlapping. Ideally we would have dug up three doors that were a smidge wider, but a custom solution would have cost ten times more than the $250 per pair the four doors cost. So we rolled with that.

The first hurdle was attaching the top railing. The way that the Pax doors work puts the railing below and behind the top of the door, which meant that we had to fill in about six-inches of space at the top of the existing openings. That was solved with a few brackets and a cut-to-size 1×6 in each doorway.
[backing.jpg]

The next hurdle took almost as much head-scratching as figuring out how to arrange
the four doors: the bottom. With the rail behind the doors, the center of gravity pulls the doors in towards the wall without something at the bottom to hold them in. On the Pax wardrobes and many installations that’s the bottom rail. I wanted to be able to step into the closets, and also wanted to avoid damaging the newly-installed flooring. Also, the bottom rail for the Pax is rather tall.
After tossing around a few ideas (a double channel rail, or a single channel the front doors would rest against?) I was looking at the back of the doors and it dawned on me that we could use the screw holes meant for attaching the wheel brackets for the lower rail to instead hold a series of pegs/sliders.
A quick trip to the hardware store for a bunch of screws, washers, and plastic caps and we had a solution. The screw/washer/cap solution was mounted in the following locations:
On the baseboards of the original dividers between the three closets. These pegs keep the inner doors pushed out to a good vertical.

On the lower back corners of the inner doors – these are also the two center doors. These catch on the baseboard pegs, keeping the doors from going too far and swinging back into the opening of a closet.

On the lower back corners of the outer doors and a single on the front of the inner doors. These are dragging catches. The peg on the front of the inner doors is close to outside corner, positioned such that dragging the outer door past it will catch the peg (with the inner peg on the inside back of the outer door) and drag it to a closed and centered position. That peg also catches the outside peg of the outer door when opening a side closet, dragging the inner door (and pushing the other inner door) out of the way to gain access.

The final step, after getting that all figured out, was some additional painting. Everything between the two side wall, below the top rail, to the back of the remaining door frames was painted a medium gray. Unless the light is just right, the medium gray makes the painted elements disappear behind the light gray frosted glass of the Pax doors. The rest of the closets were left as is – not enough light gets back there with the doors closed to make it stand out.

See more of before and after photos.

~ Derek Kessler, Cincinnati

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The Author

Jules IKEAHacker

"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".

22 Responses to Pax closet doors, no bottom rail

  1. Anonymous says:

    thank you, you’re a doll for figuring this out and posting it!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Looked at all your photos. Your place is gorgeous!

  3. Anonymous says:

    that looks fantastic.

    i actually thought you removed the center posts between the closets. Instead all you did was a clever paint job with grey paint.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You’re a brave soul. That’s a lot of renovation, and it’s great that you were able to see the beauty underneath. Just the closet doors alone would have stopped me in my tracks, not to mention the wallpaper and that tub. Amazing job.

  5. Anonymous says:

    That is freakishly amazing… I wish I could do that

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have a question:

    How do the doors slide over each other??

    I see one track goes above the opening for the inner 2 doors against the wood frame. How about the outer doors that slide over?

    • Derek Kessler says:

      The track over the opening has two rails. The furthest out is the one that the inner doors hang off of. The outer door brackets fit over and around the inner doors and fall into the rail closest to the wall. That part is all standard Pax equipment.

  7. lilibean says:

    I was wondering where you picked up the headboard? It is beautiful.

    • Derek Kessler says:

      I believe it is a Broyhill, but it appears that either I’m incorrect or they don’t make it anymore…

  8. Joanna says:

    damn if I don’t love that original retro kitchen. Kinda sad to see it go. The new one is nice too, of course.

    • Joaquin says:

      What did you do with the old kitchen cabinet door handles? We’re actually searching for handles just like those! Do you still have them, and are you willing to part with them if you have not yet repurposed / recycled them?

  9. did you leave the walls up? great idea and implementation

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi, can i ask what’s the flooring in your kitchen/dining area?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ff

  12. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations! Perfect design!!
    Greetings from Austria/Europe. ;)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like you wasted more time and money trying to make cheap doors work. Don’t understand why u r so proud???

  14. Anonymous says:

    What a great idea! Your house looks fantastic! Can you tell me if the rails came standard with the doors or if they were a separate item? It’s unclear on IKEA’s site if the rails come with the wardrobe frame or the doors.

  15. Kerri says:

    We just moved into a rental house with these frosted glass sliding doors in the kids bedroom. I’d like to remove them. Can’t figure it out. Any tips?

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