Stylish, elegant and resourceful, pocket doors that disappear when opened can solve space problems and add sophistication to a room. The metal and wood cage that the pocket door slides into is usually installed when the walls are framed. If not, you can buy a pocket door kit, which includes all of the hardware for the door, and build it into the existing wall. If you're looking to update your style and remove a pocket door to replace with a new one, it isn't difficult to do.
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How to Install
Pocket door systems are all installed in roughly the same way. First, construct the opening or modify an existing opening if you're replacing a pocket door. Adjust the pocket door header-and-track assembly to fit, cutting it to the required length with a hacksaw if it's too long. Start with the top jamb and install the header-and-track assembly with the brackets and fasteners. The end plate should then be nailed to the wall studs. The split jamb stiffeners are then attached to the floor bracket. Plumb them with a level before nailing the brackets to the floor and then nailing the split jamb to the header. The middle pocket stiffeners are installed the same way.
To prevent warping, paint or stain the edges and face of the door. On the top of the door, fix the hanging hardware and slide the wheel hangers into the track. Hang the door on the two hangers and adjust until it's plumb. If you have a handle or lock, install it now before removing the door to install drywall over the door pocket. Place drywall tape and a few coats of drywall compound to the joints and reinstall the door. At the mouth of the pocket, install the door guides on the inside and outside of the door. Make the door flush by nailing the two-piece side and head jambs to each side of the door. Install the strike plate and nail the door casing to the jamb and the pocket door studs.
How to Remove a Pocket Door
Pocket doors are designed to be removed with some ease. Slide the door to just a few inches of being closed and release the clip that's closest to the strike side of the door. Grab the edge and slide it toward the strike and then pull it toward you. When the door is at an angle and past the jamb, you can pull it off completely.
How to Adjust
Pocket doors are installed with adjustment in mind. Look for the narrow space at the top of the door where the nuts meet the hanger. Turn the nut clockwise to raise the door and counterclockwise to lower the door. If the door leans crookedly, adjust the opposite nut for an even hang.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.