two sliding pocket doors separating a bedroom from a living room

Pocket Door

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 3/15/2021

If you’re renovating a room in your home, one of the final design choices you may need to make is whether or not you’re going to replace your doors. Although they are not overly complicated to install, choosing and installing the right door for a room in your home can be difficult, especially if you’re working in smaller areas. For certain projects, a pocket door kit might just be the perfect solution, allowing you to save space while maintaining your privacy.

Definition

Unlike traditional swinging doors, pocket doors typically slide along a track or rail into a hidden compartment in the wall. This unique design element conceals all the hardware and the door itself inside the wall when it’s in the open position. There are different variations of these sliding doors available, with some running along rollers below the door and others suspended from tracks above. These hidden gems are often installed for design effect or to avoid the space consuming nature of swinging doors. They are often found in the doorways leading into dining rooms as a way to create privacy. Pocket doors are also easier to open and close for some people who use mobility devices, such as wheelchairs or scooters, because they slide conveniently out of the way.

What’s The Best Situation For A Pocket Door?

Pocket doors are relatively uncommon as a design feature, despite being known for their sleek and concealing nature. In part, this is probably because they can be difficult to install and repair without having to access the inside of the wall. Before deciding on one of these hidden features, there are a few important factors to consider:

  • According to some experts, pocket doors can save on average ten square feet of floor space, which makes them ideal for smaller spaces and popular with condominium and townhouse owners.
  • They are also an excellent choice for anyone using a mobility device, like a scooter or wheelchair. The sliding door is less obtrusive when trying to open and close it, making it easier to gain access.
  • Nevertheless, installation and repairs can be costly as accessing the pocket door hardware may require opening up the wall. Imagine having to tear into a wall just to fix a bathroom door.
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