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Page 1 of 7: How to install pocket door
Pocket door installation Replace hinged door with Pocket door
Typical bedroom door is 30" - 32" wide but hinge side reduces width, and door takes up space inside the room.
A pocket door makes a room larger. The full width of door is available for moving wheelchair, furniture, equipment etc.

Make the door wider if needed for medical bed etc.
Pocket door frame Select standard size:

30" door is probably too small, unless room is very small.
If new pocket door is wider, then more flooring will be needed to fill space at bottom.
If pocket door is same size as old door, pay close attention to flooring, and position new pocket door frame so additional work on flooring is not needed.

The pocket door frame arrives complete with roller track, rollers for door, and adjustment wrench.
However the left side will be a standard door jamb you buy at lumber yard.
The head rail and track are a separate piece that must be attached to frame.
Pocket door frame is same thickness as standard 2x4

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Pocket door frame
Pocket door frame
Structural overview of door frame and wall

-Project calls for removal of sheetrock, removing 2x4 door frame on one sider, and removing old header.
Bottom plate will be cut back.
Top plate is unaffected.
If switch or plug is located on the wall, electrical wiring is required.

Correct tool can locate studs and other objects such as wire and pipe hidden behind wall.
If you encounter duct work, gas line or other obstruction such as brick wall, then these obstacles should be identified BEFORE removing sheetrock, followed by project review before proceeding ... unexpected obstacles are not included in the how-to.


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Get started:
Remove door from hinges, remove hinges.

Cut caulk lines with sharp bladed utility knife.
Gently remove trim and jamb with hammer and pry bar.
Be careful not to mark up wall or break trim.
Cut caulk along baseboard with knife. Use pry bar to separate base from wall, then use reciprocating saw or hand-held hack saw blade to cut nails so you can lift out baseboard instead of breaking it.

Utility knife
drywall knife
Reciprocating saw
The old door jamb has notches for hinges. If new door and trim are going to be painted, you can fill notches with patching plaster, but do not use water putty. Water putty will not hold paint. Patching plaster will adhere, and can be sanded and painted.
Best solution: Use 12" tabletop planer, band saw, or table saw to cut thin pieces of wood and apply glue to fill notches, and sand smooth.
This will let you re-use the jamb for new pocket door installation. It is important to re-purpose items of value, especially real wood.
Remove cable staple
Nipper or front cutter:
Use for pulling nails from back of trim and removing electric cable staples
Save old door casing and baseboard trim since it matches other trim in home. Carefully cut away old caulk on the trim boards with utility knife. Remove nails from back of trim using nipper (front cutter typically used as a wire cutter). Preserve trim appearance by pulling nails from the back of trim. Or use hack saw to cut off the nails from back.

Crescent-brand end cutting nipper at Amazon
End cutting nippers at Amazon
Prepare the wall.
After trim is removed, use a putty blade to remove extra caulk from wall. Keep blade flat against wall. Use inward strokes to avoid tearing out texture or first layer of drywall.

If you damage the wall, for example take a section of texture off with the caulk or trim, glue it back in place using liquitex heavy body gel: a cheap, fast-drying latex glue, useful around the house.

Liquitex matte super heavy gel
Pocket door frame
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Pocket doors at Amazon
Track and rollers
Paint tarps at Amazon
4 mil plastic
Paint rollers at Amazon

End page 1/ / How to install pocket door
Go to next pages:  
page 2 cut opening for pocket door 
page 3 install new frame for pocket door   
page 4 install switch on pocket door

page 5 install drywall on pocket door  
page 6 reinstall trim, texture, paint  
page 7 install handrail on pocket door

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