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Pocket Door FAQ

Pocket Door History


What is a pocket door? A pocket door is merely a door that slides into and out of a hollow cavity, or pocket, in a doorway wall. When opened, the door will disappear inside the space, hidden within the confines of the wall. Designed more than one hundred years ago as space savers, pocket doors became very popular in the Victorian style homes of the late eighteen and early nineteen hundreds. Used primarily as entrances to stately libraries, elaborate dining areas, or even a basic sitting room, these room dividers continued to increase in popularity until seemingly dropping completely from the architects planning boards.

Much speculation surrounds the disappearance of the pocket door at that time, we believe there are several factors involved. The style of architecture was changing, most of the hardware manufactures producing this type of hardware went out of business, and the single largest contributor to the end of pocket door use, as we see it, was the quality of the hardware. Designers, builders, and homeowners alike, tired of the squeaking, creaking, and grinding noises caused by the hardware of that era, but most of all, the doors falling off the track, or becoming jammed back inside the wall became frequent, and quite annoying.

Fast forward to the twenty first century, developments in design and material have created new brands of pocket door track and hardware that will not only function quietly, but also smoothly, with rollers that are designed to provide a lifetime of trouble free operation.

In today's world, saving space is not only important but imperative in some instances. With building costs constantly on the rise and a trend towards smaller more energy efficient homes and additions, space is at a premium. One means to maximize potential use of the space available is to install a pocket door unit. By installing a pocket door unit in place of a standard Prehung hinged door unit, you can free up an additional ten to twenty square feet of floor space. That is enough floor space for a computer desk, small entertainment center, bookcase, aquarium, plant display, shelving, etc.

Along with its billing as a space saving door, pocket doors can be utilized in problem situations where a standard swinging door will not work. Bathrooms, laundry rooms, and closets are typically areas where problems might occur. You may have a half bath, with no space for a door to swing in and no clearance to swing out, or a closet where an open door would be in the way, becoming an obstacle you do not want to deal with. In either case, installing a pocket door unit is a practical solution.

To open a standard swinging door can be a challenge for people in wheelchairs or those relying on a walker. Pocket doors help accommodate people with disabilities, making maneuverability between rooms much easier. The door glides easily along track that requires little exertion to operate. Access to each room is simplified by sliding the door into the wall, taking up no space from a door frame.

Reasons for Using a Pocket Door

There are a number of reasons for using pocket doors in your home. Some of the reasons are included here:

  1. Pocket doors require less space to use, since they slide into a recessed space in your wall. With each pocket door used, you can gain up to 15 feet in usable space in a home, since you can use all your wall space. Using 10 pocket doors could give you up to 150 square feet in usable space. The more limited your space, the more you would notice the added space.
  2. Using pocket doors in your home allows you greater access through doorways for handicapped access, and also other uses such as moving furniture more easily through your home.
  3. Since pocket doors are hidden completely out of the way when opened, they allow a room to be closed off completely, yet completely opened when the doors are open. When using double pocket doors, this comes even more into play.
  4. French doors with glass used as pocket doors, are the perfect answer to a room where you want it closed off for certain purposes, but also want to room to be light. The doors will block sound, without blocking the light.
  5. Any type of door can be used as a pocket door, whether they are raised or flat panel doors, v-groove doors, or our glass French doors. With the appropriate hardware, you can just close a door with no lock, using a passage pocket door pull, lock a door lightly with a privacy pocket door pull, or for secure locking, with a key, use keyed pocket door locks.

 What is the Definition of a Pocket Door?

A pocket door is a door that slides into an opening in a wall.  The doors slide straight into the wall, and does not swing from either side, as in a hinged door, which swings from one side of the door jamb. Here is an illustration of how this door slides into the wall for both single doors and double doors.

Single Pocket Door
Single Pocket Door Illustration

Double Pocket Door
Double Pocket Door Illustration

Instead of hinges, the door is held in place by an overhead track, rollers, and door guides towards the bottom of the pocket door jamb. The doors slide completely into the wall and out of the way. You can save up to 15 square feet of usable space per pocket door in your home. You can purchase complete pocket frame kits, or lose track and hardware to make your pocket in your wall. For closing, or locking, there is a variety of hardware available, including passage locks, which only fasten to the jamb, and not lock.  The next type is a privacy lock, which has a lock that just turns from one side to lock a door in place.  The most secure type of lock for pocket doors locks with a key.

 Heavy Duty Pocket Door Keyed Lock Set

Heavy Duty Pocket Door Keyed Lock Set Lock your pocket door with a standard key. Great for areas where you need more security than a standard passage or privacy pocket door lock. Colors in stock include medium bronze, oil rubbed bronze, polished brass, satin nickel, and silver patina. Comparable keyed locks sell for much more.

These are available in pocket door dummy sets, pocket door passage sets, and pocket door privacy sets.

 Pocket Door Hardware Categories

First are pocket door frame kits. These are ready made kits, with track, rollers, wood studs wrapped in steel, and complete with other miscellaneous hardware, such as guides. These pocket door frame kits come in a wide variety of sizes, for heights, widths, and for wall thicknesses.

The next type of pocket door hardware that we have available is our Wall Mount Pocket Hardware Kits. With this wall mount pocket door hardware kit, the track is applied to the outside of the wall, instead of inside the wall as in a regular pocket door frame kit. This is used where there is a load bearing wall, or in circumstances where you may have concrete or block walls, or a variety of other circumstances.

The next type of pocket door hardware that we have available is our pocket door pulls. We have both economy priced pocket door pulls and heavy duty pocket door pulls. These are available in a variety of materials and finishes. They are available in solid brass, solid bronze, and wrought steel. These pocket door pulls are available in both passage and privacy functions. A passage function allows you to only open and close the doors with a pull on the side, and an edge pull built into the edge. The privacy function gives you the same functions, with the addition of a locking part that turns for privacy, such as a bedroom or bathroom. It is meant to shut the door securely but not as a very secure lock. Shown below are two examples of pocket door pulls.

The next type of pocket door hardware available is our Heavy Duty Mortise Pocket Door Locks. This type of pocket door hardware is manufactured by Emtek, and has dummy, passage, privacy, and locking functions. This is a much higher quality level of hardware, with of course a higher price. The locking type has something called a bit key, which bends in the middle, and can be left in the door, or taken out.

Hartford Building Products Pocket Door Frame Kits for  2 x 4  and 2 x6  Construction

*Unlimited Lifetime Warranty*

2 x 4 Pocket Door Frame Kits

2 x 6 Pocket Door Frame Kits

Kits available-Door Heights

Our Frame Kits feature the following upgrades:

  • Solid Poplar Hardwood Headers
  • High Quality Track & Roller Systems
  • Galvanize Steel Floor Brackets
  • Solid Poplar Nailing Strips for your Pocket Door Jamb
  • Self Tapping Drywall Screws
  • All Frame kits fits 1 3/8" to 1 3/4" Thick Doors
  • *** No Adaptor Required

Hartford Building Products have redesigned the Pocket Door Frame Kits with Customer needs  and complaints in mind.   

We have looked at each component, and found the best solution from available parts, or created our own.      

One of the main customer complaints against pocket door frame kits are too much flexibility in the steel wrapped wooden studs that come with most brands.   

We upgraded ours to High Quality Rectangular Steel Tubing. We also found High Quality Self-Tapping Screws to use with your drywall.

There is no comparison of the wall stability when using our system.  This tubing is also welded flush with the rest of the tubing.

We also found a company to laser cut and bend our Floor Brackets from Galvanized Steel.   

Our Headers are made of Solid Hardwood, a higher quality than the Pine used in competitive products.

As an added feature, we have added Solid Hardwood Nailing Strips to the front edge of the front studs, so that you have something to fasten your Pocket Door Jambs more easily. 

Pocket Door Jamb Kits

Single Door Unit
Double (converging) Door Unit
Single Pocket Door
Double Pocket Door

We have Hardwood Jamb Kits in ten different woods, including poplar, ash, cherry, hickory, mahogany, maple, alder, red oak, walnut, and white oak. We also have new additions coming of birch, and European beech.

Features include:

Sizing for 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 wall construction

Universal height (96") - simply trim to your required door height

Various widths to fit doors from 24 to 60"

Ten species of hardwoods to match our pocket doors, or doors that you may purchase from other suppliers

There suppliers have only pine in one size. We have all these woods and have options for every size of pocket door frame kit.

Heavy Duty Pocket Door Hardware - 400 lbs & 600 lbs. Capacity

See the new heavy duty track and hardware from K.N. Crowder that holds doors up to 400 and 600 pound weights.  This hardware is now available in stock for both the 400 and 600 pound weights. This hardware allows you to hang the heaviest door, or any other project that you can envision. If you have questions, call us toll free at 800-772-0314, during our regular hours Monday-Friday 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. EST, or e-mail us at admin@thehouseweb.net

KN Crowder Track Hardware


Can I use a pocket door with an arched opening?

No, since you need something the runs parallel with the floor in order to hang the Track and Rollers.

We have two cabins that are joined by a wall. We want to put in a pocket door in, which has been done to some bedrooms. But if we cut out the wall, and put in the pocket door, the two cabins are kind of noisy. If they are rented separately, how will a pocket door add to that noise?

The pocket door won't add much noise, if it doesn't have a big gap below the door. The tighter the fit is on the Pocket Door, the less noise will go through the opening.

What happens at the joint of a double pocket door? I am thinking about noise and privacy. Is there a lip or overlap possible?

There is no lip or overlap. Your doors must be straight on both edges were they met, and you may concern hardware that locks your doors together.

 Is it possible to have two 3' (36"), wooden doors both go in one side wall? We have an application where there is wall space only on one side of an opening. The opening is big enough for a traditional French door but I do not want the doors blocking part of the entry when they are open. If the doors were glued together as one piece would you have hardware to accommodate this?

Yes, it is possible for two doors to go in one side of the wall. You would have to attach the two doors together with a small plate on the top and bottom of the doors with two holes so that you can attach the two doors with screws. You can probably find a plate with two holes at any hardware store. We would not recommend gluing the doors together, since you may have problems with the doors expanding and contracting.

Am I correct by saying at the time of construction, when installing a pocket door, that you do not put drywall on the inside wall of the opening, just the drywall on the exterior side?

Drywall does not go inside the opening; it does on the Exterior side of both studs.

A typical 2 x 4 is 1 1/ 2 x 3 1/2. Are you saying these cannot be used?

No, this is the size to use with a Pocket Door Frame Kit, for 2 x 4 Walls. 2 x 4 is a nominal size, 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" is the actual size.

I am remodeling a bathroom and I am thinking that to reduce the number of doors opening into the room that I would replace the traditional door with a pocket door. Is it possible to just order a kit with everything you need, and can you just buy any door that you like to hang on the track system?

Yes, you can purchase the complete Pocket Door Frame Kit, and use any door, as long as it is the correct size.

I want a door that slides into the wall which I guess is a pocket door. But it's for a bathroom, so I want it to be "dense" ... solid and silent. All hardware seems to assume it will hang from a track, but I hate the "Loose Bottom" when its done that way. Do you have any hardware that uses a bottom track inset into the floor? That way I get the top and bottom sealed.

We do have a bottom track available for more stability for this use. It's our 1050 Bottom Track.

How do you install a pocket door in a finished entry way? We are remodeling and would like to put two pocket doors from the master bedroom to the master bath.

There are only two ways to add a Pocket door to a finished wall. The first method is tearing the wall apart and installing a pocket door system, either Pocket Door Track and Hardware or Pocket Door Frame Kit. The second method is to install a Wall Mount System, which uses one wall as your finished side.

Heavy Duty Mortise Pocket Door Lockset

Can you use a Heavy Duty Mortise Pocket Door Lockset in a 1 3/8" hollow core door, or do you have to have a solid panel wood door?

You can use these Mortise Pocket Door Locksets in any Door, since even a Hollow Core Door, has a block of wood that you can cut into were the Hardware installs.

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