Installing a Pocket Door

by April Reinhardt
(last updated January 8, 2016)

A great way to save space while maintaining privacy is to install a pocket door. Traditional doors need room to swing open. Pocket doors slide inside of the adjacent wall (the "pocket") when open, and out of the wall and into the doorframe when closed. You can find pocket doors in many sizes, including 36-, 32-, 30-, 28, and 24-inch doors. The door's wheels or casters slide on the metal rail located on the floor of the pocket, or on a track installed at the top of the pocket, or both.

Because of the space needed inside of the wall to house the door, and the process involved with installing the tracks, pocket doors can be more difficult to install than traditional doors. Before you purchase a pocket door kit at your local home improvement store, make sure that you prepare the frame for the door, and that you leave enough room for the equivalent of two doors. Follow these guidelines for installing a pocket door:

  • Read the instructions that accompany the door kit you've purchased, and then frame the door to the manufacturer's recommendations. The door will not work properly if the opening isn't plumb or the heading isn't level.
  • Place the doorframe into the opening in the wall and then mount the tracks with the included hardware, according to the directions.
  • Before tightening the stiffeners included in the package, make sure that they are plumb, and then install the door bumper according to the kit instructions.
  • Hang the door from the mounted doorplate, adjusting the height using the adjusting nuts and hardware.
  • If you feel it is necessary to center the door inside of the pocket, you can install door guides at the front of the pocket opening, and then install side and head jambs. Make sure that you use screws— not nails—when you install the side and head jambs so that you can easily remove the pocket door if you decide later on to replace it.

You can attach drywall to the frame, if you'd like, smooth and finish the wall and seams. Never use nails when installing a pocket door, as nails in the wall will impede the door's flow. If you've purchased a door handle and lock for your pocket door, install the lock according to the instructions on the package. If you have an uncut doorframe, you will need to use a chisel to cut a depth for the locking mechanism. Follow the instructions on the package to do so.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Advertising a Garage Sale

The key to a successful garage sale is advertising. You can have the greatest items at the best prices for sale, but if you ...

Discover More

Using Hair Removal Creams

While there are many methods for removing unwanted body hair, using hair removal creams is, by far, the most popular choice. ...

Discover More

Common Tomato Diseases

Taking the time to plant your tomato plants with adequate spacing, well-drained garden beds, and appropriate fungicides will ...

Discover More

Cordless, Compact, and Powerful! DeWalt's 18-volt drill-driver kit packs a big punch in a small package, with a powerful high-performance motor tucked away inside a compact design. A great addition to the tool chest of any professional or DIYer! Check out DeWalt 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Installing a Deadbolt in an Aluminum Door

Of all the possible ways to make your home a little safer, one of those most commonly used options is a deadbolt. However, is ...

Discover More

Installing a Prehung Entry Door

Whether you are looking to make your home a little more energy efficient, or you simply want a change, installing a prehung ...

Discover More

Repairing Door Trim

Over time, it's quite common for just about every part of the house to need a little repair work done. Usually one of the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven more than 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)