Pocket Doors - A Great Solution for Small Places

Pocket Doors - A Great Solution for Small Places

You've got a problem. Your house has a tiny bathroom with a door that swings out into the hallway. Potentially it could hit someone walking by. But if the door swung into the room, it would hit the sink.

You've also got a minor annoyance. The closet in your master bedroom has sliding doors, one in front of the other. That allows access to his side, or her side, but not both at once. Not too convenient if the two of you want to hang or retrieve clothes simultaneously.

A possible solution in both situations: Install a pocket door.

Pocket doors, which slide into a frame installed in the adjacent wall, can make your living space more convenient and roomy. And the materials are widely available at local home improvement stores. But there are some points to consider.

First, what do you need to create a pocket door? Basically three things: The door itself, the frame that you install inside the adjacent wall so that the door can slide into it, and the hardware that allows you to grab hold of the door, move it and lock it. And there's one other important point: the wall adjacent to the door must be large and wide enough to accommodate the frame.

Pocket doors are usually desirable for one of two reasons: To do away with doors in tight spaces and sometimes just because they are impressive, says Roy Cooper, owner of Superior Doors & Windows Inc. of Ashland. Sliding double doors that lead into a dining room are a good example, and he adds that they are growing in popularity in the Rogue Valley.

Pocket doors are most commonly used in bathroom entrances, says Kevin Kennish, general manager of Moulding Specialties in White City. One additional feature he suggests is putting a mirror on the inside of the door, so that when you're in the bathroom with the door closed you have a full-length mirror. It's an added bonus and doesn't take up any more room.

Stylish homes are finding even more uses for pocket doors. "More and more folks are putting them in the doorways of master bedrooms," Kennish adds. "This works well because the bedroom door is left open much of the time."

One way you can't use a pocket door is for an exterior door. That's because the doors aren't weatherproofed, Cooper explains.

The quality of pocket doors has improved in the past two to three years, says David Fisse, president of Northwest Design and Restoration, Inc. of Medford. In earlier days there were problems with bathroom moisture that could cause doors to warp.

One way to reduce the chance of warping is to get a door with a round hole for the locking mechanism rather than square, says Kennish. The reason is that when creating the round holes, a strip of wood remains between the edge of the hole and the edge of the door, while a square is cut all the way to the edge of the door. It's the absence of that extra strip of wood that can lead to warping.

What do the materials cost? Figure on $60 to $70 for a good frame and about $15 for the hardware.

"Doors can cost anywhere from $30 to $1,000," says Kennish, "depending on how fancy you want to get."

Share This Story