I personally have some pocket doors that I installed myself. I like them. In the rental property I have I would not install them however. Pocket doors need to be treated with respect as they will not take the abuse that a 3 hinge hung standard door will tolerate.
Ive had old pocket doors in a number of houses. You might try an architectural salvage place. The old fashioned ones are better as they are heavy like regular doors and use serious hardware to hang them. The new ones are kinda flimsy to my mind and thats what causes the trouble.
I appreciate the input very much. I agree with the comments on the new products, that just about goes for anything newer over the old. I've lived in a couple of homes with the old pocket doors and they weighed a ton and were pretty indestructable. I'll have to keep my eyes open for salvage yards.
Little Quacker, I'm glad that you are paying attention. Pocket doors are simply doors that when opened are slid into an opening (pocket) in the wall rather than swung open like a traditional door.
I work at Menards, in Millwork department. We sell a pocket door kit, it comes with steel studs with cut outs, and a couple tracks. Then you buy a slab door (as apposed to prehung) to go with it. I would reccomend you buy a nice door for it, we sell hollow core flush doors, but I would go with a 6 panel, the pine ones we carry are 100% pine, the oak ones are solid, oak rails and styles, the panels are particle board vaneer. Either of these would hold up very well. I havent looked at the kits too much, but it seems like it would be pretty easy to install when your building a house. Menards is only in the midwest, however I would expect Home Depot, Ace, Lowes, etc. to have similar products. Good Luck
We used them. Took a little time of laying them out and seeing how they go. Not hard. Our local building supply ordered them for us. Cost was about $40 each for stainable quality oak.
What I don't like about them is that the wall where the "pocket" is, is much weaker than other walls. YOu can't have any electrical where the "pocket" goes and you can't use that wall for pictures or anything.
I do like the fact that they are out of the way when the door is open.
There are two ways you can frame the wall. The typical way is to lay a 2 x 6 sill and then set the 2x4 studs sideways so that the wide side of the 2x4 is flush to the wall. You do this on both sides of the sill which leaves a pocket between the two walls for the door and mechanism. The other and sturdier method is to frame two regular 2x4 walls with a space between them. This eats up a bit of floor space but makes a stronger wall and looks more substantial to the eye. Either way works. Hope that was clear.
LQ, I have heard them called "sliding doors" too. I have also heard "sliding pocket doors". Same thing, Tomato and to-mah-to. I like how they look, especially the ones with stained glass. Some years back I was in a friends new house and she had one-and had never seen one before-thought it ws some wierd door. On one side was a living room wall, where a large piece of furniture sat perfectly, and on the other was a built in linnen closet-it seemed to make good use of the space.
I installed pocket doors in the addition I built when my father came to live with me. They're good for anyone that's unsteady on their feet (or in a wheelchair). It can be awkward to open a door toward you and the pocket door was much easier for him.
If you use a standard wooden door (which I recommend), make sure to get a heavy-weight track. Some are too lightweight to handle a real wooden door.
Listen to Agmantoo advice - pocket doors are pretty convenient in tight spaces, but don't abuse the product. Slamming them into / out of the cavity is a Bozo no - no.
When it comes to repairing them (i.e., the door falls off the track above), you have to remove wall facing just to get to it! Yes, you can 'patch to match existing', but who are we kidding - it takes great skill to fool the eye and not catch attention. Maybe planning for this eventuality and having a wall treatment which allows this to easily happen might be a good idea. FolioMark also has good advice - a well constructed wall to receive this door is money well spent. As well as good, no good sliding door hardware.
We have two of them in my parent's (now Mom's) house - she's lived there since 1968. The restroom door fell off the track about 10 years in, and we had to remove custom wall paneling to get to it. The work was done skillfully by a professional, but it was costly.
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