Pocket doors not only help to save space, but their sleek and modern look are an upgraded addition to any office. They are especially useful in small areas where space is at a premium since they allow furniture to be placed closer to the door opening and don’t need to swing open, risking hitting other walls or people that are walking by.
Where open concept designs were the choice for many offices in recent years, it’s becoming more and more common to erect walls and dividers as people see the need for privacy as well as germ mitigation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pocket doors offer a balance between traditional doors and open spaces. They slide out of sight when an open space is needed, but can act as a divider when necessary.
What Is a Pocket Door?
A pocket door is a sliding door that slides into the wall rather than along it like typical sliding doors, or swinging outward like hinged or pivot doors.
Often seen in old homes built during the Victorian Era, pocket doors reached their height of popularity in the late 1800s as a way to open up space for entertaining. Their heavy construction and track that created a trip hazard on the floor caused their popularity to wane.
Through the years they have faded in and out of design, but have recently experienced a resurgence as people look for streamlined design, and technology has made it possible for them to slide smoothly and quietly. Lighter door materials and a track on the ceiling rather than the floor have made pocket doors popular once more.
Can I Replace a Pocket Door?
Yes, you can replace a pocket door. In the event that you’re remodeling and need a different style of door or the current door is broken, replacing a pocket door is easier than it sounds, and you won’t necessarily have to remove the wall to do it.
If a pocket door has already been installed, then removing it is a matter of removing a few pieces of trim to access the door and then lifting it off the track, and then placing the new door onto the existing track. The next section walks you through step-by-step instructions for pocket door replacement.
How to Replace an Existing Pocket Door
The supplies you need will depend on whether you’re just replacing the door or if you need to replace the track as well. If you’re just replacing the door, it’s possible to use the existing rollers by removing them from the original door and replacing them at the exact same place on the new door. If you’re replacing the door and the track, you’ll need to purchase new pocket door replacement hardware because the rollers and track come as a set.
Supplies for replacing the door:
- Pry bar or stiff putty knife
- Utility knife
- Brad nailer
- Replacement pocket door
- Replacement pocket door hardware
- New latch or fastener (the same style as the old door, if possible)
- Screw gun
- Forstner bit
- Remove the two pieces of trim along the top and side of the door. Be careful so that you can reuse them when you install the replacement door. The casing around the door can usually stay, and won’t be in the way when you remove the door.
- Identify the side of the track that the door slides on (the open side of the track) and pull the door up and away from the open side to lift it from the track.
- If reusing roller hardware, remove it from the original door and attach it to the same location on the new door or install new hardware.
- If reusing the latch, install it on the new door. This can be done in a number of ways depending on the specific hardware, but there should be instructions with the hardware. If the old latch doesn’t fit, you’ll need a chisel, hammer, and possibly a Forstner bit to prep the new door for the latch.
- Reinsert the rollers on the track and test the replacement pocket door.
Supplies for replacing the door and the track. All of the above, plus:
- Wallboard saw
- Stud finder
- Wood strips
- Joint compound
- Primer and paint
- Remove the door following steps 1-3, above.
- To remove the track you’ll need to cut an access hole in the wall. Using a stud finder, locate the internal framework of the wall and mark its location. Measure down far enough so that you won’t cut into the internal framework, and then mark the wall at the top of the track and measure down far enough to allow screw gun access. Then mark the sides, using a level to ensure all of the marks are straight.
- Using a sharp wallboard saw, cut on each line to open an access hole in the wall. Save the drywall, so you can replace it when the job is done.
- Unscrew the track and remove it.
- Install the pocket door replacement track, following any instructions that came with the pocket door replacement parts.
- Install the pocket door replacement rollers and latching hardware.
- Reinstall the pocket door by lifting it into the track and attaching the pocket door rollers to the track, following any pocket door roller replacement instructions.
- Repair the wall by screwing support strips of wood to the inside of the opening with enough showing to give you a place to screw the drywall. Attach the drywall to the wood strips. Use joint compound to fill the cracks and screws. After it’s dry, sand the area and prime and paint as needed.
Upgrade Your Pocket Doors
Avanti offers a pocket glass door that glides seamlessly into our SolareTM Double Glazed Partition System. These doors are also compatible with traditional walls, making them the perfect choice for any office.
Contact Avanti Systems today to upgrade your pocket door, save space, and create a quiet environment.