How to replace metal louvered doors

May 14, 2012

I’ve wanted to replace those metal utility doors in our laundry room forever:

black beadboard

I don’t have a great pic of the before but they were just awful. I’ve loathed them for eight years now. They were cheap, scratched up, loud and there was a huge gap at the bottom and the top of the doors.

Our HVAC system is inside, so every time the air or heat ran they would rattle. Annoying.

So they needed to go. They were on a track at the top and bottom:

The builder went wild and crazy with the molding too. Sooo fancy. ;) (That will be replaced soon.)

And another reason I didn’t care for those doors was the track on the bottom collected all kinds of dust and yuck. I picked up a couple new doors at Lowe’s with the hope I could just use the track that was already there, at least on top.

But when I assembled the doors and tried it, I quickly realized that wasn’t happening. Of course.

And I realized another issue – the doors were the exact same size, but because the hardware was different, the new doors were way too short for the space.

So I had to grab a couple 1 by 6’s (primed thankyouverymuch) and cut them to size to go right over the ones that were already there on top and bottom:

Please excuse the massive amounts of dust. I don’t clean in there. Or many places lately.

This made the vertical space just a skosh smaller, so the doors would fit. 

I grabbed some drywall screws:

And screwed them in on top and bottom:

The flat head on drywall screws are perfect for something like this because they sink into the wood. I filled each spot and now there’s no sign I did anything:

Other than the unsanded wood filler. Oh well. I’ll just add it to my list. ;)

I installed the new hardware, which is just a track at the top for each door and one little bracket at the bottom, so it’s much cleaner looking.

The doors came with two knobs, but I wanted something a little nicer so I grabbed a few more of the pulls I used on the kitchen island redo:

Because all of the HVAC stuff is back there, we had to go with louvered doors.

I do think I’ll paint the doors when the room gets painted:

Probably the same color as the walls? I’m not sure yet.

It is a HUGE improvement aesthetically, and they are easier to operate and they don’t rattle. Bonus!

louvered utility doors

This project was a total of about $160 – I think each door was $70 and the pulls were about $20 total. It was the most expensive item on my list, so I’m glad to have it out of the way!

This is another check off the laundry list for the laundry room. (Get it? Laundry list? Laundry room? OK, forget it.) Once we get the washer and dryer moved out, it will officially become a mud room, (hurrah!!) and I can get moving on painting, baseboards, built ins.

At this rate this will happen in 2019. So many projects to do first!

Here’s an update on the to do list I wanted to complete before the end of May:

1. Candelabra in master bath
2. Drapery hardware in master bath
3. Paint second handle on stairway
4. Paint baseboard by fireplace
5. Install small quarter round by fireplace
Fill holes in quarter round on stairs
Clean up around house – wood, flowers
8. Paint beadboard by fridge in kitchen
9. Paint trim around chalkboard in kitchen
10. Prime dining room
11. Get carpets cleaned upstairs
Sand and reoil butcher block
13. Repaint corbel in kitchen
14. Hem (and line?) family room drapes
15. Fill holes and paint spot on loft wall
16. Rehang Bub photo in office
Replace doors in laundry room
18. Change out last brass doorknob upstairs
19. Paint trim/fix drywall by back door
20. Figure out how to make powder room presentable.
21. Hang roman shade in guest room
Go through shoes in laundry room
23. Fix trim under back door
Trim burning bushes
25. Fill holes and seams in crown in family/kitchen
Fix chair in kitchen
27. Add trim around basement door casing
28. Paint trim around laundry door casing
29. Paint cabinets in dining room

It’s not going as fast as I had hoped, but it feels good to get some of these things DONE.

The bushes no longer attack visitors when they walk up to the door:

burning bush

And the holes in the molding on the stairs are filled:

It only took two years.

You’ll notice the majority of projects I have left to do are PAINTING projects. I would really appreciate it if a gaggle of elves would show up overnight and get that taken care of.

So are you surprised at my progress? In a good way? No? ;) I know many of you made lists when I did – how are yours coming along?

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  1. Still loving that gorgeous stairway. Nail holes or not ;) Sounds like a fabulously busy weekend!

    PS-at least you made a list.

  2. I like your door fix. The door handles we're a nice touch. I am amazed at everything you want to accolmish this month. I wouldn't feel bad if I wasn't able to get all that done.

  3. I like reading your blog, but I find it very difficult to leave a reply. I can only do it anominously. Otherwise, I says that I must create a blog. I cannot figure it out. Can you tell me how?

  4. I think I figured it out! I have tried to leave comments at least a hundred times!

  5. Your list has inspired me to actually make a list and ACTUALLY get things checked off! Although I haven't blogged about a list, I did complete a project today that was 1 year in the making: framing some note cards. Yep...the project took one year and 10 minutes to do. :) I'm really looking forward to your mudroom. I'm sure it will look awesome!!

  6. I made a list back in february and I'm still not done with it! I'm crazy too! ;) Love the doors and the hardware is awesome!

  7. Lookin' good!
    Hey what is the color of the interior door? The dark color? I am painting my interior doors a dark color and looking for a few options!

  8. If you are taking votes i vote to leave the doors in the laundry white. It looks crisp and clean and great with the black wainscoting & yellow walls.

    Keep up the good work then come tackle my list... Love your blog and your humor~
    Jane in Oregon

  9. I live off of my to do lists! It keeps me sort of sane...I think :) Love your blog!

  10. I'm not getting very far on my list either - the beautiful spring weather outside has been calling my name! On the plus side - SOME of my outside projects are getting done. Just not all ;)

    I have to get moving on that list though - hubby told me over the weekend that I'm not allowed to start any "new" projects until everything that I've started and then not completed gets finished. Boo. :)

  11. Your long list kind of looks like mine. I'm definitely a list person.

    The key I've found, is I won't throw out a list until I have gotten every single thing done on it. And, it has worked every time. Granted, some of the lists are looking pretty ratty by the time that happens!

    And, once in a while, a project on a to do list becomes irrelevant. I find having a to do list, and crossing each thing off gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. I love it!!!

  12. I have no list! I think I need to make one, because most of the time something just catches my eye and I'm like, "squirrel!!!" ;-) By the way, I LOVE your dark wood floors, they're gorgeous.

    Congrats on getting another project crossed off the list!

  13. Replacing those old aluminum bi-fold doors is the unsung hero of home remodeling. I feel like it is easy to over look, but it makes such a big difference.

    I recently went with by-pass doors instead of bi-folds. Since mine was a coat closet, I wanted to be able to reach into the sides as much as possible, and the by-pass doors make that possible.

    Looks great. Nice work.

  14. If you've done things not on your list, add them to your list and cross them off, that's what I do, it makes me feel so much better! I also vote (ya, I know you didn't ask) to not paint the doors yellow, because then it would look like you are trying to "hide" them, but that's just me. I'm sure it will look fab either way

  15.'re tempting me to get on the boat and replace our cheapo track door to our pantry!

  16. That's great that you are getting things done on your list! My list is long, and it never seems to get shorter! Your laundry room looks great. You wouldn't want to see my laundry room -- trust me! :0

  17. Great job working your way down through your list, Sarah. Love the new doors and I'm eager to see the finished mudroom once the laundry is relocated to its new digs. Hope you're also enjoying your spring as you tackle these to-do's!

  18. They look nice but wait until you see how much dust they collect, I wouldn't go with black paint. I have them and they are white and just a pain to clean!

  19. I absolutely love your floors at the top of the stairs!!

  20. Wow. I totally learned something today. A group of elves is called a "gaggle". Hmmm. Didn't know :) I also found out this week that a group of bears is called a "sleuth" (thank you instant oatmeal package). After the gaggle of elves come visit you, send them my way, would ya? Thanks!

  21. Laundry room doors are looking good! What are you up to in the family room now? :-) Can't wait to find out!


  22. YOU are AWESOME! Now I want to make a list! :-) In fact, I think I'll do that tonight! Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. Looks great. I sooo need to make a list - we have much to do this summer. Thanks for the reminder to get on it. =)

  24. Progress is a good thing, no matter how small! the doors look nice. I like how you made your list AND made a deadline. I so need to do that! I recently found a list we made last year in one of our "motivated husband and wife conversations about all we want to do in our house". HA! Well, about a third of the list is done now, but I need to focus on making lists of things I really intend to do, not just dream about doing. :)

  25. My list can beat up your list.

    I'll trade you your's for mine. Deal? I'll even throw in a box of my world famous chocolate chip cookies. Whadaya say?

    I vote for keeping the doors white too...but I'm a 'white' person so pay no attention to the lady behind the curtain.

  26. I know what you mean about procrastinating. I didn't even start decorating at all for two years, much less the laundry room.


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