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Thread: JOHNSON bifold door hardware question

  1. #1

    JOHNSON bifold door hardware question

    I will be installing a Johnson 170W-486H kit on a bifold 4 door opening. The video states the door should be 2" less than the opening height. Out of the box, the doors are 1 1/2" less than the opening. I am wondering I can get away without cutting the doors?

    Door specs say I can only cut 1/4" off the top and bottom of the door. So that would be 8 cuts to get the 2" difference.

    I have cut a few hollow core doors, but not my favorite choice.

    Your thoughts appreciated. Hinges won't be here for a week or two, so I am not doing this for a few weeks.

    Ron

  2. #2
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    If you do not have thick, padded carpet and your frame and floor are fairly level, you may be able to make it work without cutting. The adjustment range on those is at least 1/2 inch.
    Missouri, it's not that bad. Best Regards, Maurice

  3. #3
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    Sorry, no experience with bi-fold doors, but if it was me, I'd wait until the hardware gets there, and then figure it out.

  4. #4
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    I believe that is the same hardware I have on some bifold doors in my shop. I cut them to have room for the top track and then the absolute bare minimum amount of room for the pin retainer at the bottom of the door (goal was to control sawdust, and i added a sweep to the doors too). Afterwards I mounted the door, and if the bottom was too difficult to get into the retainer, I made a note of how much to trim, removed the bottom hardware and trimmed a second time. 2 of the 3 fit perfect on the first try, and the last required a 1/8" trim. Since the bottom piece is spring loaded, there was a lot of room for it to sit lower than the instructions indicate.

    If I'm remembering correctly I was 1.5" short of the trimmed opening, but i would have to measure to make sure.

  5. #5
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    My experience with bifold doors is that the track occupies a certain amount of space at the top and the pivot bracket takes up space at the bottom. The upper pivot pins are spring loaded and have to be depressed to position them into the top pivot bracket and track. Since these pins don't fully recess into the doors they also need some space. I would guess you might be able to cheat on the spacing by an 1/8" or slightly more, but I don't think you can cheat on the clearance a full half inch.

    I also have trimmed more than 1/4" off the bottom of a door bifold only problem is you have to drill the hole for the pivot pin deeper. If you do cut enough off, that the bottom spacer is gone, it is easy to replace it with a new glued in filler.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 01-12-2023 at 11:49 AM.
    Lee Schierer
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  6. #6
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    I've installed a bunch of Johnson Bifold kits. IME, the 2" allows ample for carpet clearance and also clearance for non-level floors where the door might hit when it is being opened. You can usually get by with less clearance.
    --The bad news is: time flies. The good news is: you're the pilot.-- (Michael Altshuler)

  7. #7
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    I just installed the same hardware. It left 7/8" under the doors with the doors being 2" shorter than the opening. The bottom pivot bracket installs to the side jamb and has some adjustment in it also. With the doors hanging from the top the hardware is a big upgrade from the standard bi-fold hardware. I am very happy with mine.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    If you do not have thick, padded carpet and your frame and floor are fairly level, you may be able to make it work without cutting. The adjustment range on those is at least 1/2 inch.
    Yes, this.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post
    Yes, this.
    Agree. I always wait to do any trimming for the additional reason that the track may need to be shimmed to be level, further reducing the opening height.
    Timberlight Designs

  10. #10
    Thanks everyone! I will take all of your thoughts into hanging the doors when we get all the stuff. Sounds like I might be able to avoid cutting the doors, or at least maybe only cutting a little off the bottom. Need to check out the level of the floor and jamb too.

  11. #11
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    Part of the issue with this is the track being proud of the top of the opening. If you want to gain some height, just dado the top board (also called the Head Jam) and inset the track. I would just remove the parts to do this first. Otherwise you have to install a strip to hide it at the top. Dan

  12. #12
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    After using bifold closet doors for 20 years I finaly converted them to ordinary swinging doors. Much better.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    After using bifold closet doors for 20 years I finaly converted them to ordinary swinging doors. Much better.
    I installed the Johnson full access bifold door hardware on a couple of closets recently...best of both worlds: gets doors completely out of the way of the opening, but doesn't take the space of full swing doors.

    Full access Bifold Doors.jpg

    (The pic is from the Johnson web site)
    --The bad news is: time flies. The good news is: you're the pilot.-- (Michael Altshuler)

  14. #14
    Finally got to the 2 48 bifold doors at my daughters. It took a while, but I am happy to report everything worked out great. The one opening was out of level and plumb but I shimmed up the top track and all is well. My daughter is 8 months pregnant and her nursery room and her 2 year old big boy room is finished and life is good.

    Thanks creekers for all the advice and pointers.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    May the Stork fly straight and true! Best wishes to Mom and the Big Boy! Two years is a great interval between siblings. Good Job Grandpa Ron!
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 02-03-2023 at 7:51 PM.
    Missouri, it's not that bad. Best Regards, Maurice

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