A pocket door is an inventive and enticing alternative to a traditional hinged door while also making a great space saver. If you’re unaware, pocket doors are doors that slide into a cavity wall space to open, and slide in the opposite direction to close – creating a vanishing door effect.
The pocket door was once very popular in households during the 1800s but fell out of favour due to the trip hazards caused by older installation methods. But today, installing pocket doors is a relatively simple job to do quickly with the right know-how.
At Runners, we’re experts in pocket doors and sliding doors of all kinds – including both single pocket doors and double pocket doors – so you can trust us to deliver the pocket door kits you need. If you’re a professional handyman, joiner or DIY expert and want to start offering pocket door installation as part of your services, or if you’re someone seeking to install a pocket door in your own home yourself, here’s a quick guide on how to install pocket doors.
As always, if you’d like any more information about the pocket door installation process, door hardware, or any of our other sliding door products, speak to a Runners expert today.
The steps involved in installing pocket doors
1) Ensure your workspace is suitable
If you want to install pocket doors it isn’t an overly time-consuming process, but you’ll need plenty of space to work with if you want to finish the project in good time. If working in a small space, be sure to remove your existing door in good time and empty the room of anything that will get in the way – you should leave plenty of floor space so you can lay all of your parts as this is where much of the assembly work will take place. This is especially true if working with double doors, as you’ll need twice the amount of necessary door frame space.
Alternatively, if you don’t have enough space in the room in question, you can move everything into a larger room, or onto a flat, even surface like a driveway, to begin the assembly before moving everything back. Just make sure you have enough room in the house/building to carry the framework of the system safely.
Also, ensure the doorway and wall you’ll be working on are suitable to accept pocket doors. Walls with pipes and excessive electrical wiring aren’t ideal and you should check there’s enough space between the layers of brick, wood or plasterboard to properly fit your chosen pocket door.
2) Assemble the pocket door stud wall
Pocket door frames need to be affixed to stud work before pocket doors can be fitted, so you need to ensure this is in place before moving further.
To do this, remove any plasterboard from around the doorframe – if you have not yet removed the door trim, do this now. Then use the dimensions of your chosen pocket door to build the studwork your pocket door frame will be attached to. Level stud work is essential if you want the door to move as planned, as well as for replastering the wall once you’re done, so always use a spirit level to make sure it is level and perfectly straight both horizontally and vertically.
3) Build the frame
Using the large floor space you created for yourself, it is time to assemble the frame. All pocket door kits are different and will differ depending on the system you’ve chosen and the doors you’re working with – so always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.
However, most top-hung systems are very simple to put together and shouldn’t require any excessive prior knowledge of pocket door systems, but feel free to speak to Runners if you run into any issues.
4) Affix the pocket door frame to the wall
Once the pocket door frame is built, you’ll need to lift it into position. But these frames can be heavy, so make sure you have at least 2 people working on this part.
Move the frame into position in line with the exposed studs carefully and screw it in. At this point, you may need to use inserts to keep the door frame perfectly in place before the door is finally placed in – these will make sure everything holds tightly while the wall is being repaired after the pocket door process is complete.
If your chosen system comes with soft closers, you’ll need to follow your manufacturer’s instructions and insert them at this time before going further.
5) Replaster your walls before hanging your pocket door
Now that the pocket door system is in place, it’s time to repair the damage you caused to fit the system in the first place and replaster the walls to bring them back to an impressively smooth finish.
If you have experience installing plasterboard and plastering walls, this won’t be a problem assuming you have all the relevant materials. But even if you don’t have any experience, it’s a simple enough process that anyone can do – you can find plenty of handy tutorials around the web. However, if you’re not confident, you can always ask a friend or another professional to help you.
Keep in mind, though, that this is the last chance you’ll have to access your pocket door system before it’s covered forever – so make sure everything is firmly in place and that you haven’t left any important components or personal belongings inside the wall cavity before you close everything up.
6) Move the pocket doors into place
If you’re working with top-hung pocket doors, all that is left to do is install the roller(s) that came with your pocket door kit to the door itself. You should do this before moving your door into the door pocket and attaching the rollers to the header that was installed as part of your pocket door frame. This can be quite an intricate process and differs greatly between systems and doors, so refer back to your instruction manual for exact guidance.
Buy the best pocket door kits from Runners
While the above may feel like a reserved version of a pocket door installation guide, it does show how simple the process can be for someone with experience in carpentry and DIY. It also helps to work with quality materials, to ensure the door operates as planned for years to come.
At Runners, we’re home to the most reliable and durable pocket door systems and pocket door accessories – check out our products here or get in touch if you’d like any more information on our products.