05/04/2024 Posted By Siarhei Kanushok

What is a sliding pocket door, and how does it work?

The sliding pocket door system has a significant advantage among the many configurations. It undoubtedly saves space, but when opened, the slab is hidden in the wall, which looks spectacular and functional, especially in small apartments or houses.

Optional pocket hardware kit consists of:

  • Track.

  • Rollers.

  • Stoppers.

Please note that it could differ depending on the producer. However, the principle of operation is the same: like any other sliding door, it moves smoothly and silently along the guide rail, pushing into the so-called pocket.

Depending on the width of the doorway, two slabs can be installed instead of one.

Tips for installing an interior door

Before you start installing an interior door, experts recommend that you adhere to the following tips:

  • Determine the type of wall. Walls with plumbing or electrical wires may not be the place to install a pocket door (use a stud finder to determine if the wall is load-bearing or a partition).

  • Make sure there is space in the wall to slide the slab there.

  • All calculations and measurements are made after the floor is ready; that is, the homeowner must first consider the type of flooring.

  • The flatness of the floor surface determines how well and how long the door will be used.

  • If an old door is installed in your doorway, dismantle it. Cover the floor with a cloth or other material to prevent damage.

The repair work will last approximately 4-6 hours. The difficulty level is intermediate, i.e. you should be skilled in door installation, accurate and precise at every step to avoid accidental mistakes.

Necessary tools

Generally, a sliding pocket door kit includes a slab, a metal profile, a set of hardware, extensions, and casings. You'll also need the following tools:

  • Drill or screwdriver with bits.

  • Saw, jigsaw, or hacksaw.

  • Screwdriver.

  • Tape measure

  • Level.

  • Mounting foam.

  • Panel adhesive.

  • Wooden stick.

  • Pencil.

Rollers mounting and track mounting preparation

The main difference between a pocket door and a swing door is the presence of a guide track, rollers, and stoppers.

Before proceeding with the installation of the sliding interior door, insert the rollers into the track and then attach the stoppers there as indicated in the manufacturer's instructions.

Check rough opening level and sizes

Checking the opening level and measurements is crucial for perfectly mounting the door.

Note that the door must be double the width of the leaf when it fits completely into the pocket for it to work correctly. Here is an example.

For a 60-inch rough opening, a slab of 30 inches width is used. For an 83-inch rough opening, an 80-inch slab height is used. It is crucial to avoid slab clinging while sliding to a perfect level.

Pocket door track mounting

The pocket door kit includes a track on which the slab moves. Following the instructions clearly, fasten it to the top of the doorway with screws. Be aware that screws for wood and concrete are different.

The door track could be mounted with or without a wooden stick. It also allows you to adjust the opening level and height.

If the track is longer than necessary, shorten it. Be sure to mark where you want to cut. You will need a hacksaw or saw for this.

When this door element is fixed, check that its position is level. Otherwise, moving the slab when opening and closing will be challenging.

Repair the drywall

Next, the installation phase of the new drywall begins, so the tools needed are panel adhesives and screws. Once part of the opening has been sealed, you can move on to taping and grouting.

Apply the drywall compound and embed the tape in it. Remove the excess material. It is desirable to spread a large amount of mixture to each seam. Once completely dry, sand the surface and continue applying the subsequent coats similarly. At the end of this step, sand the drywall. Your doorway will have a finished, pleasing appearance.

Next, decorate the wall according to your interior design: paint or embellish accordingly.

Door plates mounting

The door slab could be supplied with or without a pre-cut for hardware. Please note that Belldinni door slabs are always supplied with a pre-finished top edge (it includes the one for the guide).

The plate should be installed at least one and a half inches off the slab edge.

Pre-drilling is crucial while mounting door plates.

Our video tutorial shows the correct way to install pocket frame styles and baseboards in the pocket door niche.

Checking the level is essential as the sliding slab, while moving, should not cling to the floor.

Door slab mounting

We proceed with door installation after placing a full pocket finish on the opening.

Attach the slab to the track as shown in the instructions. Adjust the level of the plate using the screw bolt on the roller.

Belldinni doors could be 1 3/4 or 1 9/16 inches thick. This is crucial when planning the pocket sizes, extensions, and casing mounting.

The final level check and adjustment are also done with screw bolts.

Ensure the door is secured level and glides smoothly when opening and closing.

Extensions and casings mounting

First, caulk the gaps with moating foam. However, please note that the extension level could be adjusted with inserts before foaming.

Casings are produced in an L-shape and installed into the extension cut. Install them and make the final level and gap check before using a pin-gun. The edge of the extension with the cut should be out. Extensions for the pocket opening side differ. Please be aware.

After you have secured the header extension, the casings may be longer than needed. Draw a line with a pencil to separate the excess from the main part and shorten it (e.g., with a hacksaw). It is always better to make cuts on removed parts to preserve the perfect look. Use the pin gun for final casing mounting.

This step is shown in detail and clearly in our video.

Hardware installation

Install the latch hardware. The pocket door kit should have come with door latch hardware. Some of this will be attached to the door and to the wall. Follow the instructions that came with the pocket door kit.

Installing a door pull is quite easy, but glue can be used only on the inner round side of finger pulls.

Ensure your pocket door is still sliding freely on the track, and the latches line up as needed.

Pocket door installation instruction pdf

Instruction PDF - Download

Door slab guide mounting

Checking the guide position is crucial. Keep the slab in a square position when installing the guide.

If you want to avoid mistakes and save time and effort on pocket door installation, we recommend entrusting this task to experts. They will qualitatively and quickly mount interior doors that will function properly and serve you for many years. Our service, doors-install.com, will help you find professional installers of pre-finished doors.