Pocket Doors

by Jane VanOsdol on June 24, 2011

Pocket doors have been around for a long time. Popular in the Victorian ages, they were used to close off dens or sitting rooms from other areas of the home. Today homeowners are finding them both functional and stylish. Pocket doors can add an interesting architectural element to any room.

Usable Wall Space

If you’re considering installing a pocket door for a home improvement project, realize that you need to have unobstructed interior wall space available for the door to slide into. So, you’ll need to figure out what’s inside the wall. Some possibilities include plumbing, heating vents and electrical wires. One other potential problem could include a wall that is out of plumb, which will make it difficult to slide a straight door into that space. You’ll also have more work if this is a load-bearing wall. However, if you know the space is good to go, then a pocket door could be the right addition to your room. If you have any of the above issues to deal with, it’s probably a good idea to consult with your home remodeling expert for help.

Space Saving

Pocket doors are a space-saving solution for a small room, such as a bathroom or any other room short on square footage, with little area for a traditional swinging door. Ask the Builder Tim Carter, says, “You can pick up an average of ten square feet of floor space when you use a pocket door instead of a traditional hinged swinging door.” Pocket doors are a wonderful, unobtrusive way to create private space when you need it, and they just disappear when you don’t.

Choosing the best door kit is key to the success of this home improvement project. You want to find a kit that advertises itself as having warp-free metal studs and a trolley with three wheels so that the door can’t jump off the track. If you buy this type of quality kit, then the door should last the lifetime of the house.

Mechanics aside, pocket doors come in a variety of styles. You can find solid doors when complete privacy is an issue, or you can find doors with glass inserts that lets in light to a dark room. Or, you can go with a frosted glass alternative that allows for both privacy and light.

For those doorways where the interior walls just don’t lend themselves to pocket doors, you can try the open pocket door alternative. This type of pocket door mounts on the outside of the wall above the doorway and slides to the outside of the wall, so you’ll need to have a clear outside wall for the door to rest against when it’s open.

Overall, as the Victorians knew, a pocket door can be worth the work to incorporate it into your design. Do your homework and consult with a professional when needed.

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