How to fit a pocket door

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pocket door slotglazed pocket doorhandle for pocket door

If you want to close off a non-standard doorway, and avoid the inconvenience of a hinged door, a pocket door might be the right choice for you. In this case, our clients had hung a curtain to separate their dining room from the hallway. The opening was 1145mm wide by 2090mm high

Before pocket door

We suggested a pocket door in a style which suited our art deco design for the space. This included a new oak parquet floor, and bespoke coat storage.

glazed pocket door opening

The clients say how warm the dining room feels, now that there is a proper door to the hallway.

glazed pocket door

Pocket Doors and Sliding Doors

First, we want to thank the guys at Portman Pocket Doors. As it turned out, we only needed to purchase their track and running gear, which was of the highest quality. With our design, we were actually constructing a top-hung sliding door concealed within a partition; but the principles are very similar to the complete pocket door kits sold by Portman.

Ordinarily, you would see the side-hanging gear for a sliding door on the outside of a wall, sometimes covered by a flimsy fascia. It’s not particularly attractive and often puts people off the idea. But by concealing the track behind a full partition, it becomes a pocket door and the look is one of simple elegance. By choosing an architrave free solution, we further disguised the construction – the door simply disappears into the wall.

pocket door construction

Pocket Door design

A pocket door only takes up 120mm in depth which, for most rooms, is insignificant. In this case, there was also a short return wall opposite into which we set a 20mm deep slot for the door to fit neatly when closed. Portman’s upper fittings comprised a top fixed 2.5m track from which the door hung on two rollers. In fact, the rollers settle nicely into a dip in the track’s buffered end stops to give a satisfying, positive location when fully open and fully closed.

pocket door frame

We drew the assembly to scale to locate the upper timber in the right position to suit the planned door height. We made sure there was sufficient finger space to pull the door open and closed. Our joiner designed the stiles so that the door would look symmetrical when in the closed position. He used safety glass panels secured by glazing bars and beads with mouldings to match those elsewhere in the house. The stylish black finger pull then completed the look.

pocket door fitting

Being top hung, the door was suspended without need of a groove in the floor.  A hidden pin fixed to the floor acts as a guide and provides stability to the bottom channel as shown in the image below.

Guide slot pocket door

We had to co-ordinate the joiner’s work with that of the contractor who built the partition and decorated the finished construction. The partition was made from MDF, screwed to the framework.  The top edge was finished with coving the bottom edge with skirting to match the rest of the room.

pocket door partition

Here is a summary:


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