A pocket door is the perfect way to enclose a space-without a swinging door getting in the way. But pocket door installations can be tough without the right tools and techniques. Use this guide to installing a pocket door and get the most out of any enclosed space.

Prepping the Area

Some pocket doors can be installed on the outside of a wall if opening up the interior framing isn’t possible due to bearing walls, plumbing or wiring. You’ll need to attach a 1×4 to the floor for supporting the bottom of the pocket door. This can be done using 4d concrete flooring nails either hand driven or from a nail gun.

Most pocket doors are installed into the framing of the wall. You’ll need to remove the old drywall from both sides of the wall. If you’re careful enough, you can salvage the old drywall panels for reuse. Remove the 2×4’s from the walls and the bottom plate with a reciprocating saw to allow the door to fit in the opening. Attach a 2×4 to the back of where the new pocket door will rest for support. Frame down from the top plate so that you have an opening 83″.

Prepping the Door Frame

Set the door frame flat on the ground and detach the provided track. Attach the track to the top of the pocket door frame using two wood screws or 6d nails. Place a final screw or nail into the base of the track.

Installing the Pocket Door Frame

Set the door frame into the provided opening. Using a level and a few shims, level the track and the face of the pocket door frame. In existing openings, it may be best to measure the face of the frame so that an even measurement is available between the opening. Attach the metal or plastic floor fastener to the 1×4 on the floor and attach the back of the pocket door to the provided 2×4. You can also attach the track to the framed down header with a few 6d nails, but be careful not to nail through the track or make it unleveled. Reattach the drywall being extra careful not to poke any screws or nails through the pocket door frames interior or the door will get hung up.

Inserting the Door

Attach the pocket door hardware to the door according to the directions. Now insert the roller wheels into the track. Tilt the pocket door into the frame, carefully sliding the hardware onto roller wheels. It helps to have a friend guide the wheels in place.

Check that the door works and make any adjustments to ensure the door is flush with the door frame. Attach the provided 1×5 to the door opening and shim as necessary to ensure the pocket door is level with the 1×5 when open. Attach ¼” trim around the door frame, track and 1×5. Finish the job by attaching the doors hardware and locks.

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