Pocket Doors

Add floor space to your home with pocket doors

In smaller homes, the more space you can save, the better. This goes for doors as well. If there was a door you could slide into the wall to keep it out of the way when you wanted more open space, would you want it for your home? Luckily, there is such a door. Pocket doors, originally used in old Victorian homes where privacy and style were paramount, allow you to create a room divider where there wasn't one before, or, conversely, open up two rooms to make a single open space.

Nowadays, pocket doors are used in many Asian-influenced homes and can also be found in some apartments and condos. Even though they can add up to ten square feet of floor space, they are often overlooked during a home's planning and design phases.

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Choosing and Installing a Pocket Door

If you're considering pocket doors for your home, think about where you would want to install them. Sliding pocket doors are often used in bathrooms, as closet doors, in laundry or utility rooms and in home offices. However, some people still use them to divide a bigger room or close off sitting rooms or dining rooms. Though most pocket doors are simple sheets of wood, you can choose a fancier option for a living or dining room, or even a pocket door made of glass.

In order to install a pocket door, you need a wall with enough thickness to house the door's compartment. It might be wise to draw up a pocket door blueprint, where you look at the walls of your home and decide where a pocket door can fit. The blueprint will also help with installing your pocket door and measuring correctly.

Pocket door installation begins with measuring and relocating any electrical wires, air ducts or plumbing. It's advisable to get a contractor to help you to do this – you don't want to cause a big problem with the walls of your home, or accidentally knock out anything vital. The door frame, both inside the wall and out, will be double the size of the pocket door to allow for the door's compartment and for the frame itself. The track needs to be installed exactly level to allow the door to glide correctly. Once your door is finished to your liking, including the pocket door hardware, wall it in with drywall and install the guides and jambs. Finish it with the door frame molding and your door is installed!

You may want to install a pocket door lock – most don't require a lot of installation and slip right over your door's surface. A pocket door not only gives you more space, it also gives you more privacy when you need it. If you've got a smaller space or just want to try something different in your home, a pocket door is a stylish and unique option.