It’s great to have a DIY project lined up for a clear weekend. With a little foreword planning and all the tools in place, you can spring into action on a Saturday morning – and make a positive transformation in your home by the Sunday night!
Mark Williams, installation engineer for Spaceslide, imparts his expert advice on how to fit your own made-to-measure sliding wardrobe doors…
I’m Mark and I’m part of Spaceslide’s team of professional fitters. I’ve carried out more fitted wardrobe installations than you can shake a spirit level at! The best advice I can share mostly centres on good preparation, i.e. having the best tools to use and setting up a safe workplace.
1. Get the right tools in, ahead of the weekend
Making sure your doors are level is vital. For best results, you should always use the longest spirit level which will fit on the surface you are testing. A 6ft spirit level will cost you between £30-£60 and will give you an accurate result. If you’re really into DIY, a self-levelling laser level is a nice gadget to have.
Decorators’ caulk costs next to nothing and is an absolute must. Once your liners have been levelled against the walls, you’ll likely be left with a few small gaps. Decorators’ caulk seals and fills the gaps, making for the best finish. It dries quickly and, with a touch of paint about 1-2 hours afterwards, you won’t even notice it.
2. Invest in the best fixings
Be sure to use the best fixings (e.g. screws, wall plugs, etc.) for the job. You’ll likely need different types for the floors and walls, but using the correct fixings makes for a sound installation that will last for years to come. Very important: don’t forget to check in advance for any hidden electrical wires or water pipes, before screwing into the walls or floors!
3. Set your workplace
Move items out of the way, giving yourself as much room as possible to work with. Not only is it easier to move around if you have a clear space, it’s safer too. You can even do this on the Friday evening, so you can start fresh on the installation in the morning.
4. Stay safe
Safety specs, gloves and boots are always recommended. It’s not a particularly messy job, but just the smallest wood or metal particle can do damage to your eyes, and working in bare feet or slippers is just asking for trouble. Also, don’t struggle; ask for help if it’s needed, especially when lifting and carrying. Whilst our sliding wardrobe doors are not heavy, as they can be up to 2,490mm high, general handling and positioning is much easier with two people.
I always prefer to use liners when installing fitted wardrobes. They’re not essential but they make the installation much easier, acting as a floor plate for the bottom track, as well as a wall liner where the sliding doors meet the wall. You do have to cut the liners to size – you may also need to trim the top and bottom tracks – and my best piece of advice here is: measure twice, cut once!
So, I hope these tips help you avoid those common pitfalls. I’ll leave you with a final and very important note: don’t forget to get a great radio station on, get a cuppa, and enjoy the process…as well as the finished result!
Our website has lots of free downloadable packs and videos on DIY installation. However, if you prefer to have someone like Mark come and do the job for you, take a look at our professional installation service.