What is a Pocket Door?

Recently we were working on a project where someone did what I believe that they thought was a good idea at the time, but then the real world functionality of their creative ambition kicked in and a more practical solution was called upon to be enacted.

The center of this predicament was a pocket door that the then owner of a condominium unit installed as an entry door at the rear entrance to their unit, coming in from a back stairwell.

While this may have seemed like a fantastic decision to the owner at the time, in reality what occurred was simply not the most proper use of a pocket door.

We were called in to change out the pocket door for a 6-panel steel entry door, which was not only more secure, but in this specific instance, much more user friendly as well.

If you have not seen a pocket door before, a pocket door is a door which slides to open and typically becomes nestled, literally, within the wall itself.

This gives the effect of the door actually seeming to disappear when it is opened (as the pocket door rests inside the wall areas).

Pocket doors are very beneficial when there is not as much room for the swing which accompanies a hinged door.

Pocket doors open and close through the use of being attached to rollers that are hung from a track at the top of the door jamb and extending into the wall and are often kept on track by guides which are found on the floor.

The challenge with pocket doors is that they do not close as tight as traditional doors (which our fine Client discovered) and there is often a larger gap between the bottom edge of a pocket door and the floor than there is with a more traditional door (which does not help in terms of limiting noise, odors, and even light from one room to another).

Pocket doors were VERY popular later in the 1800s (particularly in Victorian-style houses) and although this popularity did see a brief positive bump in the 1950s, the manner in which pocket doors were installed “back in the day” became more frowned upon by more modern building standards, as the raised tracks in the floor which often came along with them presented a bit of a trip hazard.

Pocket doors are, literally, made as a pocket door and “regular” doors should not be attempted to be modified into a pocket door.

All doors can be a bit tricky to install, but installing a pocket door can be an especially delicate project, particularly if the pocket door is being attempted to be installed at some point after the home itself is built.

Although building codes and regulations these days make installing pocket doors even more challenging than they have been traditionally and their use as features in one’s home had definitely waned a bit for quite some time, as of late there seems to be a definitive uptick in incorporating them into the stylistic approach of more contemporary homes which are striving for uniqueness in their appearance and overall flair.

Part due to the yearning of more current versions of historically AWESOME features, part due to the continuous strive to be a trendsetter, and a number of other reasons, pocket doors can add a streak of chicness to one’s home, as long as you are not attempting to have your longing to be cool lead to trying to use a pocket door as an entry door into your home (whether from a stairway or otherwise!).

Follow Us on Social Media!