A few years ago when I moved into the basement to get another roommate, I needed a way to partition the basement so that my roommates could still have access to the washer and dryer and I could still have my own privacy.
What I needed was a temporary wall with a door. I needed something that wouldn’t leave any remnants of nails or screw markings in the newly installed wood ceiling.
I spent quite a bit of time searching the Internet for viable solutions, but I couldn’t find anything besides expensive sliding doors, which still required screws to be anchored in the ceiling and floor.
Unofficial Furniture from Ikea
Ultimately, I ended up making my own partition with a door. I was inspired by this IKEA hack I found online, which involved using the sliding doors from an IKEA closet system and mounting two vertical posts to support the overhead horizontal rail from the closet system so the sliding closet doors could open and close as designed.
I intended to use the sliding doors from the IKEA PAX system as the doorway into my living space and the wardrobe part to make up the difference between the width of the basement and sliding doors.
Since this hack required screws to mount the IKEA Stolmen posts and pole holders into the ceiling and floor, I used a different method to mount the posts to avoid permanent markings.
I found a company called “Dvider” (bought out by another company) that made their own canvas wall dividers. This company used a screw to adjust the height of the post, which effectively expands the post to fit snug between the floor and the ceiling. I installed the compression posts against the floor and studs in the ceiling to ensure and tight fit. Then a 2″x3″stud was used as the horizontal support piece across the two tops. Ththe railing from the IKEA sliding closet door was mounted to this.
Components of this Ikea Hack
- The Ikea PAX closet system(choose one that fits the width your room)
- 2”x3” Wood Studs, the length of this needs to be the longer than the width of your IKEA PAX sliding closet doors
- Stolmen Mounting Fixtures (4 of these required at the top and bottom of the 2”x3” studs)
- Dvider Posts:
- Main Tube (x6)
- Bottom tube (x2)
- Top Tube (x2)
- Bottom Cap(x2)
- Threaded Bottom Adjuster(x2)
- Top Cap(x2)
- Top Foot(x2)
- Bottom Foot(x2)
If you don’t care about putting screw holes in the floor or ceiling, the much cheaper Stolmen Posts from IKEA will work just fine.
The Dvider components were expensive. The total bill was about $275 including shipping. The PAX closet system from IKEA was close to $500 after taxes, bringing the total for this project to $800, not including the odds and ends I needed at the hardware store.
Though this was a lot of money, I could justify the total cost since this wall would be providing privacy by creating a cozy makeshift basement bedroom for 365 days a year. In addition, the rental income from the second roommate makes it attractive to pursue living in the basement.
How Does it Hold Up?
After having the sliding door installed for a few months, the posts fell over. Oh noo!! Apparently, the friction where the top of the “Dvider” posts meets the ceiling didn’t have enough grip.
Luckily, the tempered glass on the sliding doors did not break and there was minimal damage to my walls.
To remedy this lack of friction, I used a silicon potholder from Target at the top of the posts to prevent it from slipping. Two years later, the sliding doors have not fallen over. Every so often, I check the level and plumpness of the posts. It still stands straight without any adjustment.
The sliding doors only made up half of the basement partition. The other half was made up of the wardrobe component of the IKEA PAX system. By utilizing the wardrobe as part of the partition, I was able to have closet space in my new makeshift room in the basement. The total complete temporary wall is shown in the following picture. On the right hand side of the picture is the backside of the wardrobe from the IKEA PAX system. This is where I hang my clothes. The sliding door part shown open on the left is the entry way in my living space in the basement.
At this point, I’ve lived in the basement longer than I lived in one of the bedrooms. Given this fact, I do not mind living in the basement as the partition provide a sense of privacy much like a regular bedroom provides. The financial relief of receiving income from two renters income definitely helps to alleviate any inconveniences that may arise from living in the basement, such as my roommate running the dryer at night.
I just wanted to share a helpful way to temporarily partition a wall.