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Tips to Install Space Saving Pocket Doors

by Katherine Lilly on Apr 19, 2016

Not every room and space has the clearance for a swinging door, and in these cases, pocket doors are the perfect solution. Hallway bathrooms, bedrooms in smaller homes, and office buildings are ideal benefactors of these hidden doors. With rising house prices, new homeowners are often forced into a smaller space than they would like, meaning valuable square footage being taken up by swinging doors that could be better utilized with a sliding door.

As with any DIY project, make sure to have all of the items you will need before you begin. Installing a pocket door is a relatively simple process and can be completed with minimal tools. Let’s take a look at the process for installing a pocket door in your home.

Prep Work

If you’ve decided on adding a space saving door to your home or office, you have a couple of options for installation.  You can purchase hanging kits at many home improvement stores and choose to buy the door separately, but it can be simpler to buy a kit that includes the door.

Install the Tracks

Before attempting to work on the door, you want to ensure the hanging tracks are correctly installed. These will keep the door in place and prevent it from becoming derailed. Here’s how to handle this part of the process.

  • Use a hacksaw to cut the header and track to the right length.
  • Using the bracket and fasteners supplied with the kit, attach the assembly to the top jamb. Affix the end plate to the studs where the door’s sliding action will stop. The track must be level or the door won’t roll correctly.
  • Attach the floor bracket to the split jamb stiffeners and then nail the bracket to the floor. Make sure everything is plumb vertically. Now attach the split jamb to the header.
  • Repeat the process for the second set of vertical stiffeners, which should be situated in the center of the pocket space.

Add the Door

Now that all your hardware is in place, you can start paying attention to the door. If you prefer, you can install the recessed locking mechanism in the door before you hang it. It might be easier to do this when the door is lying on the ground. OK, now it’s time to hang the door following these steps.

  • Install the hanging hardware on the top of the door.
  • Slide the wheeled hangers into the header track and hang the door on them.
  • Check everything is perfectly vertical and level and then remove the door.
  • Close up the door jamb with drywall and paint before reinstalling the door.
  • Attach the guides that keep the door steady as it rolls.
  • Add a strike plate on the opposite side.

Adding a pocket door to your home is all about the economy of space and requires just a little bit of work. By following these guidelines and the manufacturer’s instructions, it can be a simple process which frees up valuable space in your home. 

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