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What Is a Pocket Door? Save Space and Optimize Small Interiors


I’ve always thought the key to a cozy home is wisely using every square inch. And pocket doors are my unsung heroes when it comes to space-saving wonders. Pocket doors were popular during Victorian architecture; however, in the mid-1920s, pocket doors became obsolete, and hinged doors soon took over. On the other hand, in recent years, a renewed interest in space-saving and design solutions has brought pocket doors back again.

Pocket Door

© ECLISSE

2) Pros of a Pocket Door

  • Space-Saving Design: This type of door saves space otherwise wasted by swinging doors. Unlike traditional doors that require clearance for opening and closing, pocket doors slide neatly into the wall, freeing up valuable floor space. This is particularly beneficial in smaller rooms or tight spaces.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: This door type contributes to a clean and minimalist aesthetic. When open, they create an unobstructed view, enhancing the room’s overall look. Their disappearing act adds a touch of elegance and drama, making even modest chambers feel stylish.
  • Improved Flow: Homeowners frequently use pocket doors to connect adjoining rooms, where the door is most often left open. For example, installing pocket doors between a dining room and a living room enables effortless movement between the spaces. The doors can be closed when required to create privacy or minimize noise.
  • Historic Authenticity: Doors have a rich history dating back to the Victorian era. Many older homes originally featured doors, which were later replaced with swinging doors. Restoring doors in historic homes adds authenticity and enhances their beauty and grandeur.
Pocket Door

© LIUNE

3) Cons of a Pocket Door

  • Installation and Maintenance: Installing pocket doors can be complicated due to their specialized hardware and precise measurements. Maintenance can also be challenging.
  • Limited Noise and Odor Blocking: Unlike solid swinging doors, doors do not provide strong noise insulation or odor containment.
  • Interior Wall Space: Doors require sufficient interior wall space to accommodate the door when fully retracted.
  • Potential Noisiness: Sometimes, pocket doors can produce noise while sliding due to their mechanical mechanism.

4) Types of Pocket Doors

  • Solid Doors: These doors are the most widely used pocket doors. These doors are designed to fit a standard 36-inch-wide opening and are concrete panels that match this width and slide on a track into the wall. You will likely find solid pocket doors in small rooms that need space-saving openings.
  • Double Doors: Double doors consist of two doors that meet in the middle, making them ideal for wider entryways such as those leading into dining rooms. They are pocket doors with two pockets, one on each side, so installing them with ample free wall space on both sides is essential.
  • French-Style Doors: French doors are a unique combination of double and solid doors. They have two doors and require two wall pockets, just like double doors, but are designed to fit into a standard 36-inch wide opening. While they can be installed with solid panels, they are most commonly designed with glass panes.

Read More: 20 Inspiring Types of Doors to Make a Grand Entry

Pocket Door

© Wingburg

5) Design Tips for Pocket Door Perfection

  • Color Coordination: For the illusion of space, paint the door and surrounding walls the same color.
  • Privacy Play: Consider installing solid pocket doors in bedrooms and bathrooms to avoid accidental surprises during morning routines.
  • Hardware Heroes: It’s essential to choose quality hardware for pocket doors, such as smooth rollers, sturdy tracks, and discreet handles, as their performance depends on these unsung heroes.
  • Material Matters: Choose lightweight materials such as wood or aluminum because heavy doors can strain the mechanism, and nobody wants a difficult pocket door.
Pocket Door

© ADL

6) How To Install a Pocket Door?

Restoration projects require the establishment of a pocket in the wall for door-pocket doors, making installation slightly more complex than that of an ordinary door. Nevertheless, it could be easy if a few basic procedures are followed. Since different brands and models may vary in their instructions, it is always advisable to closely follow each manufacturer’s guidelines. Here are some broad guidelines.

Pocket Door

© Rimadesio

  1. Before diving into construction, ensure the feasibility of installing a pocket door in an existing wall. Verify adequate space (twice the door’s width for proper concealment), determine the load-bearing status (requiring a new header and temporary support during installation if load-bearing), and check for wiring or plumbing (avoid placing a door in a wall with pipes).
  2. Determine the exact location of the pocket door on the wall by measuring and marking its opening.
  3. Cut the plasterboard or plasterboard to make the door open, wear safety gear, and proceed with caution when cutting through the wall.
  4. Attach the top and bottom tracks to the top and bottom of the opening before installing the pocket door frame. Next, attach the side jambs to the tracks.
  5. Install the hangers behind the pocket door. These should be fastened to the back of the door and slid onto the tracks.
  6. Slide the door into the pocket and make sure it slides easily.
  7. Install the door handle and any additional hardware, such as locks and latches.
  8. Finish the wall around the pocket door, which may require patching, painting, plasterboard, or installation to hide the aperture.
Pocket Door

© Veronika Raffajová

7) Is a Pocket Door Worth the Cost?

The installation costs range from $500 to $3,500, depending on the size and intricacy of the installation, with the national average being around $1,000. The functioning of a will determine whether this improvement is worthwhile for you and your property. If installing saves important space and separates an area that requires it, the cost may be justified. On the other hand, if you’re happy with a swinging door, you could stop there. A competent contractor can advise whether a is the best option for your home.

Pocket Door

© Eclisse



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