Choosing Closet Doors: Find the Best Size for Your Space

Howdy folks, Hank here! As a woodworker and DIY enthusiast, I’m often asked about the best closet door sizes for different spaces. Selecting the right closet door size is an important decision that can impact the look, functionality, and accessibility of your area. In this blog post, I’ll share tips and tricks to help you find the perfect closet door size for your home. Stick around for a handy closet measurement guide, the pros and cons of different door styles, and my advice on installations. Let’s dive in!

Taking Stock of Your Closet Space

The first step in choosing a closet door is to assess the physical space you’re working with. Closets come in all shapes and sizes, so accurate measurements are critical.

Types of Closet Doors

Here are the key measurements to take:

  • Width – Measure across the whole opening from side to side. Be sure to account for any trim or molding.
  • Height – Measure from floor to ceiling. If you have high baseboards or crown molding, measure to the bottom edge.
  • Depth – Measure from the back wall to the inside of the door frame. Note any shelves or hanging rods.
  • Hinge Side – Measure hinge locations – this impacts the door swing radius.

I recommend using a metal retractable tape measure for accuracy. Laser measurements are handy, too, for tight spots. Don’t rely on the old “tape measure and pencil” method – sloppy sizes mean poor door fit!

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Once you have your measurements, it’s time to think about door styles and recommended sizing.

Picking the Right Door Style

There are five main door styles to consider for your closet:

Hinged Swing Doors

The classic hinged door option. Swings open into or out of the closet space.

  • Pros: Timeless look, wide style selection, accommodates various heights
  • Cons: Requires clearance for the door swing radius

Recommended Width: 24″ to 36″

Recommended Height: 80″ is standard, up to 96″ for taller closets

Sliding Closet Doors

Sliding Doors

Door panels slide horizontally on a track. It can be single panels or bypass style.

  • Pros: Space saver, stylish modern look, accommodate expansive closets
  • Cons: Limitations on height, not suitable for narrow closets

Recommended Width: 36″ and up

Recommended Height: 78-80″ standard

Bifold Doors

The door is constructed of hinged panels that fold up like an accordion.

  • Pros: Compact, versatile, contemporary look
  • Cons: Multiple panels can sag over time, and they are not as durable

Recommended Width: 24-36″ for closets

Recommended Height: 80″ maximum

Mirrored or Glass Doors

Doors made of mirrored glass or frosted/translucent glass.

  • Pros: Light and spacious look, mirrors enlarge space
  • Cons: Heavy, more accessible to break, glare from mirrors

Recommended Width/Height: Fully custom based on closet opening

Custom Doors

For tailored fit, unique designs, or matching aesthetics.

  • Pros: Personalized sizing, custom materials and hardware
  • Cons: More expensive, longer lead times

Recommended Width/Height: Fully customized to your space

Once you know your preferred style, it’s time for the final fitting. Let’s go over proper measuring techniques to get that just-right fit.

What is the Standard Closet Door Size

Measuring and Fitting Your Doors

Getting accurate measurements is critical – an improperly sized door can ruin the look and functionality of your closet. Follow these steps when taking final measures:

1. Confirm Rough Opening Size

Re-measure the width and height of the rough opening from stud to stud and floor to ceiling. Measure both left and right sides for hinged doors – sometimes walls aren’t perfectly square!

2. Account for Moldings

Measure from the innermost edge if the baseboard or crown molding protrudes into the opening. Make a note of the baseboard and trim thickness.

3. Note Hinge Side Clearances

For hinged doors, measure clearance from the hinge side of the frame to the nearest wall or obstruction. Compare this to your door’s swing radius once opened 90 degrees.

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4. Check for Plumb and Level

Use a 6-foot level to see if your opening is plumb and level. Out-of-square openings need shims when installing the door frame.

5. Pick a Standard Size

Choose the closest standard width and height that fits your measured opening. Most are in 2-inch increments (24″, 26″, 28″).

6. Leave a Gap

Add 1/8 to 1/4 inch clearance underneath the door and on each side for the best fit.

Follow these tips, and you can select a closet door guaranteed to fit!

Custom Closet Doors

Considerations for Accessibility & Space Planning

The size and placement of your closet door can have functional implications for your room. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • For small rooms, an oversized door can be overwhelming. Try a narrow hinged or bifold door to save space.
  • Hinged doors require room for the full swing radius – ensure furniture doesn’t obstruct the opening.
  • Check for adequate clearance with room fixtures like lights if a door opens outwards.
  • Look at room traffic patterns. Will the door location create a bottleneck?
  • Consider glass sliding doors to open up room sightlines. Mirrored doors enhance light, too.
  • Try to position the door neatly within the wall space. Awkward off-center doors disrupt room flow.

Take time to visualize how the door will function within the space. This upfront thought will pay off in improved home flow and livability.

Walk in Closet Doors

Installing Your New Closet Door

You’ve selected the perfect door – now it’s time for installation. I recommend hiring a professional for anything beyond basic hinged doors. But for handy DIYers, here are my tips:

Materials Needed

  • Pre-hung door unit or components (hinges, jambs, stops) for custom-build
  • Wood shims
  • Power drill with Phillips bit
  • Tape measure
  • 4-ft. level
  • Hammer
  • Flat pry bar
  • Wood filler (for gaps)
  • Paint/stain and brush for finish work

Step-by-Step Installation

  1. Set hinge jamb plumb and attach temporarily with finishing nails. Confirm it’s square.
  2. Hang door to test fit – shim if needed to align with frame.
  3. Secure hinges to the door side of the frame with long screws.
  4. Install shims behind the hinge side, then anchor the jamb to studs with 2.5-3” screws.
  5. Test operation and make sure the door latches appropriately when closed.
  6. Install a lock strike plate centered at the proper height.
  7. Anchor latch side of the jamb with shims and screws.
  8. Caulk gaps if needed, install trim, and paint/stain for best results.
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There you have it, friends – a complete start-to-finish guide on selecting and installing the perfect closet door! I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any other questions, drop me a line in the comments. I’m always happy to help fellow DIYers with their projects. Safe woodworking!

Mirror Closet Doors

FAQs About Closet Door Sizing

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I get about closet door sizes:

What are the standard closet door sizes?

For reach-in closets, 24″ to 36″ wide is typical. For walk-in closets, 36″ to 48″ are joint widths. Standard heights range from 80″ to 96″.

How wide should a closet door be?

24″ to 36″ wide is suitable for most reach-in closets. 36″ to 48″ provides comfortable access for walk-ins or main bedroom closets.

What is the most common height for a closet door?

The most common height is 80″ – this accommodates standard interior door sizes. For taller closets, choose a door up to 96″ high if space allows.

Can I install a custom-sized closet door?

Absolutely! Many manufacturers can create made-to-order doors in any custom width, height, material, and finish. Expect to pay more and wait longer.

What is the smallest recommended closet door width?

I don’t recommend going smaller than 24” wide except for very tight spaces. Anything narrower creates difficulty getting in and out.

Should my closet doors open in or out?

Typically, interior doors open into a room. But for closets, it often depends on space. The swing direction should maximize room flow.

How much space is needed for a closet door swing clearance?

Plan for 30” to 36” clearance perpendicular to the closed door. This allows a full 90-degree swing.

What materials are best for closet doors?

Solid wood is attractive and durable. Hollow core is more affordable. Mirrored or glass adds style. Fiberglass and metal are other options.