I’m excited to share with you the tutorial on how to build a sliding wall. About 10 years ago is when I came up with this idea to make a sliding wall. At the time I was taking down our large Christmas tree and putting it away. Of course, this will make anyone start thinking of scenarios to make putting away Christmas EASIER! So I thought what if I had a secret room where I could put all my Christmas decor including my tree that I don’t have to take down and could store the Christmas tree still decorated and of course any other decor that needs storage. I really dislike storing all my decor/Christmas stuff in the garage. Since I don’t need a formal living room (our family room is very well loved and lived in) I’ve decided this will be the year to share how to build a sliding wall and create a secret room. This is the third week that I’m sharing on the One Room Challenge. Make sure to check out all the amazingness going on there with all the room reveals.
Here’s the before of the entryway and living room…
And the after:
It doesn’t look like a sliding wall but it really is. This wall is 12 feet long and about 9 feet of the wall actually slides.
You can see the line in the wall where the sliding wall meets the stationary wall. The small portion of the wall on the right does not move. Click on the image below to see the wall move…
Pretty cool, hey???
To get a feel of the entryway and to see all the before pics start here:
Engineering a sliding wall took some time to figure out. The one thing that was important to me was to make this wall easily removable. So when there comes a day that we sell our home and the new owners want a formal living room. This wall can be removed with just needing to fill in the wall holes and do some painting. All the trim, baseboards etc were left in place. So this planked wall is pretty easy to remove and not have any evidence it was there (once the holes and painting have been done).
The entire wall is 12 feet long with the sliding portion of the wall about 9 feet long.
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Materials to build a sliding wall:
These are the basics we used to build the wall. How much to purchase will depend on the size of the sliding wall.
- 2″ x 6″ x 10′ pine board
- 2″ x 4″ x 10′ pine board
- 2″ x 3″ x 8′ pine board
- 1″ x 6″ x 12′ tongue and groove board
- 4 inch exterior wood screws
- Nylon fixed caster wheel
- Elmer’s wood glue
- Trolley track door hanger Designed for doors weighing up to 450 pounds
- Rail trolley wheel hanger – these are the wheels that comes in a set of two packages
- Box rail mounting bracket – I purchased 3 for this trolley track
- stud finder
- circular saw
- pull saw
- socket set
- drill bits
- brad nailer
- set of sawhorses
- speed square
To explain about the sliding hardware for the wall – I purchased what is usually used for barn doors. You will need a track, the brackets to hold the track and the rail trolley wheel hanger that has wheels to slide inside the trolley track. The trolley track door hanger I purchased can hold doors weighing up to 450 pounds. So I knew this is the one that would work well. The rail trolley hanger (with wheels) came in a package of two. Three of the box rail brackets were purchased to hold the trolley track. That is all we needed to make this work. This is a very good hardware system and I’m really happy with how well made it is.
A 2″ x 6″ x 10′ was attached to the top of the wall with lag bolts that were counter sunk through the board into the wall. Make sure to use a stud finder for this part. If you don’t, the weight of the wall will pull out of sheet rock. This wall is heavy! Also, use a level to install the 2 x 6 and the rail. Nothing worse than a door not opening (or opening on it’s own) because the track isn’t level. This board was added to the wall to give support to the trolley track door hanger. The box rail mounting bracket came with lag bolts. This bracket was attached to the wood first and the Trolley track was then attached to the 2″ x 6″ wood. Check the top of the image to see the board and the trolley track.
You can see why I wanted to have a wall hide the messy storage room ; ) Even though we moved last summer I’m still working on unpacking quite a few things. Here’s the room that hasn’t been unpacked yet.
There are TWO frames that need to be built – the sliding wall AND the stationary wall frames. Both frames were made out of the 2′” x 3″ and 2″x 4″ with 4″ exterior wood screws and wood glue. The first frame was created to be the size of the sliding wall (see step 4 for the details on the other stationary frame). Attached to the top of sliding wall frame was the trolley wheel hanger. A nylon fixed castor wheel was screwed on one end of the bottom of the sliding wall frame to help support the end of the sliding wall when it is finished. The trolley wheel hanger slides into the trolley track door hanger.
Diagonal bracing adds stability and is an important structural aspect of the wall frame. Bracing (2″ x 4″) was used in each bottom corner of the frame to square up the wall. Speed square was used to check squareness of the wall.
A stationary frame was built on the right side of the wall. This part of the wall does not need to move, so the frame was anchored to the fixed wall. So now it would be flush with the sliding wall.
Tongue and groove 12 foot boards were nailed onto BOTH frames (the sliding frame and the stationary frame) with a finish nailer and 2 inch brad nails. Glue is on the back of every board – glued to the frame. The final tongue and groove board has not been added yet. The wall needs to be cut first. See below for more details.
Now this is the very EXCITING part! Once the cuts are made the wall will slide. At this point we have a solid 12 foot long wall. Nothing slides yet because the tongue and groove has been nailed to both frames. A chalk line was used to create a cutting line. A circular saw created a plunge cut to go into the wood and cut down the straight chalk line. For the last part of the cut on the wall a pull saw cuts flush all to the way to the bottom.. This prevented my nice wood floors from getting a deep cut from a circular saw. Yahoo!! The wall now slides. ; )
Now the very last tongue and groove board can be added to the top of the wall. Wood glue was used on this last board.
Now the really good engineering part happens. It’s called a wedge. What does a wedge do? The wedge helps pull the wall flush. There are TWO wedges one is located on the original permanent wall and the other is on the sliding wall. The images above show the wedge at the top of the wall. 60 degree cut angle was used so that the door would pull together. Check the three images above to see how it works.
There is also another additional wedge at the bottom of the wall on the other end where the sliding wall rolls into place. The wood tweaks a bit so the wedge will help keep the wall straight.
We are getting to the end! One of the last steps is to finish the edge of the sliding wall. Tongue and groove was used to create the outside edge . To create the board, the tongue portion of the wood was cut off to create the board. I love the planked wall and how this all turned out!!
There it is: How To Build A Sliding Wall!!!
So what do I need to finish up with the wall? Next week it will be painted. I’m not sure if I will add baseboard. We will see how it goes. I’m hoping the week after next I will have a gallery wall on this sliding wall.