Pocket doors are in their glory when space is tight. Bathrooms, dressing areas, hallways and closets are all candidates for using a pocket door. The key advantage is that the door slides into the wall, out of the way.
This leaves the floor area on either side of the wall for other things. No need to worry about leaving an area for the door to swing in. Architects and builders will often use this type of door in locations where space is critical and the swing of a door will interfere with something else.
Do you have another door problem or type of door? See the article on 'Fixing Doors In Your Home' for more information.
How Pocket Doors Are Different
Pocket doors pose special repair problems. They operate differently than the rest of the doors in your home. Standard doors have hinges that are attached to the door frame. A door that slides into a pocket has hangers that are attached to the top of the door. The hangers are in turn attached to rollers that allow the door to slide.
Most of the repair issues will be related to the hangers or the rollers. Rollers as the have small wheels that can tighten up or even seize up, making the door hard and sometimes impossible to move. The hangers affect the alignment of the door. Gaps along the sides or latches that won't work can be traced back to the hangers.
Pocket doors are usually installed during the construction of the home. They have a special frame that has to be built into the wall. The header for a pocket door has to be twice as wide as a normal door. The reason for this is that half of the door opening is hidden in the wall.
The electrical, plumbing and heating utilities have to be routed around the pocket. Since the door has to slide into the cavity, there is no room for other things. It is possible to have a switch next to a pocket door, however, a special shallow box has to be used.
For the above reasons, pocket doors are difficult to add at a later date. A considerable amount of demolitions is involved in getting them installed.
Repairing Pocket Doors – Finding Help
Pocket door repairs are mostly simple and require only a few minutes. Adjusting the door and lubricating it are two common items. Putting the door back onto the hangers is also a common task. Why call a repairman every time you have an issue? You can take care of most things yourself and save some money.
Below you will find some common problems. There is a brief description and a link that will lead you to additional information. Our evaluation sections of the pages will help you to decide if you want to make the repair. The "What Can You Save?" and "How Hard Could It Be?" sections give you a quick overview of the repair. This will help you decide if it is using Common Sense to make the repair yourself.
The "Check the Simple Things First" section will clue you in to easy fixes to check for. Many times something easy will eliminate a problem without the aggravation of an involved repair. In an effort to warn you about what you are in for, there is the "What Can Go Wrong" section. Forewarned is forearmed as they say. Knowing what to watch out for is always helpful.
Troubleshooting Pocket Doors
This page provides a general discussion on pocket door repair issues. Information on adjusting the door is provided along with an explanation of how the adjustments affect the door. Problems with gaps along the edge of the door and latches that don't work are related to the adjustment.
Lubrication is an important maintenance item for this type of door. Find out how and when to provide lubrication.
Pocket Door Rollers
The rollers are the moving parts for a pocket door. Most doors have two roller assemblies with three or four nylon wheels on each one. Stiff or frozen rollers can make the door difficult to move. Follow this link for information on the rollers.
Pocket Door Hangers
The hangers are a threaded bolt with special ends that allow a bracket to slide onto them. The bracket is attached to the door. With a special wrench you can adjust the hanger. These adjustments move the door up and down and change the margins on the side. This link will take you to an article that discusses this topic.
Pocket Door Track
The pocket door track provides the guide for the pocket door to follow. The track is specially shaped to allow for the rollers. The track extends into the pocket and is hidden from site.
Pocket Door Guides
The guides help the door to align properly when it gets near the latch. Without the guides it is difficult to get the door to go into the stops. When this happens you cannot get the latch to work.
The guides are simple and easy to replace and do not cost very much.
Pocket Door Locks and Latches
Pocket doors need to have a way of maintaining privacy. However, the fact that they slide back into the wall makes a conventional door knob useless. Special latches have been designed to work with pocket doors.
These locks have special problems and look completely different.
Removing a Pocket Door
Pocket doors do not have hinges and so taking one off, differs from a regular door. There is a trick to removing them this article will provide the steps needed to successfully take down a pocket door.
Replacing a Pocket Door
When a pocket door is taken off or it gets knocked off its track, it can be difficult to put back in place. Again there is a method that needs to be followed to get the pocket door back on the track.
Pocket Door Summary
Troubleshooting and repairing issues with pocket doors is a simple task most of the time. Replacing the track can be a big job that may even require some drywall patching. Most of the time it is just some adjusting and lubricating. A few minutes work and your door will be quiet and smooth.
Now that you have addressed your disappearing door problems, you are ready to move onto other home repairs. Do you have a list? Or is it a job jar? Whatever your tracking method, you can go to the next item. Unless you have earned a break.