DIY How To

Pocket Doors

A pocket door is one that, instead of swinging open and using up space, it slides into a compartment contained within the wall. This can save up to 6% of the space of a room, and can be used to create privacy or to separate rooms when needed. It is also a great space saving idea when it comes to small bathrooms and a great time saver for those who use wheelchairs or walkers. They are designed with handles that are recessed and flush to the door, or with ones that fold flat.

Installation of Pocket Doors

Before you begin you should make sure that you read the instructions that come with the pocket door kit that you have purchased. Though in general all pocket doors are installed the same way, there may be specifics that apply to your kit and will give you the best advice for that particular piece of hardware. It will also help you to be prepared with all the equipment that you might need.

Check That The Wall is Suitable
The first thing that you should do, before even purchasing a pocket door kit, is to make sure that the wall that you intend on using is suitable. It needs to have enough room to accommodate the door. The rough opening needs to be over twice the width of the door. The wall can be a load-bearing wall, though it may take more work and effort to achieve. It may require a longer header or ceiling support- ask a pro! See if the walls have wiring or plumbing within them. While pipes aren't good for pocket doors, wiring can be rerouted, though again, it may take more work.

Taking the Existing Door Off
Taking the door off itself should be relatively easy. Simply unscrew the hinges and take the door off. You may have to cut through nails to take off the doorjamb however

Installing the Pocket Door Kit

    • Create the rough opening at the size that the manufacturer has recommended, and make sure that the studs are perfectly vertical (or plumb).
    • Cut the header and the track to the length according to the manufacturer's instructions.
    • Install them with fasteners and brackets to the top jamb.
    • Attach the split studs to the floor brackets and nail them to the floor, and nail the tops to the header.
    • Install the door according to the manufacturers' instructions.

Make sure everything is level at each step as you go along. This will help to prevent any unevenness.

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