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Can You Install A Pocket Door Without Removing The Wall?

We know about the great space-saving qualities of the pocket door and how the enduring retro classic design keeps on coming back into fashion, and will always look sleek, stylish and elegant. But many people are put off by the installation phase and some misconceptions about the work involved.

The recurring question that keeps being presented is can you install a pocket door without removing the wall? And the answer is yes.

How does the pocket door system work?
If you are not aware of how the pocket door system works, the lightweight all-steel frame system fits inside the wall recess in a stud wall and is then covered by plasterboard, so when the door is opened it slides into the frame and is invisible, making the pocket door a neat, practical and appealing feature of the home or workplace.

How do I install a pocket door without removing the wall?
Of course, if you are in the fortunate position where you are constructing a property and plan to install a pocket door, you can design the wall construction around this. So you would construct the stud wall timbers and install the pocket door framework within it before boxing the wall in with plasterboard. If you are installing the pocket door system in an existing wall this can be done whether the wall is a stud wall or a solid wall. For a stud wall you need to remove the plasterboard, ideally on both sides though you may get away with just one side if you have enough room to work. You will need to remove the studs as well so you have enough room for the new door header and frame. So making sure you have a hollow space with sufficient width to accommodate the frame size you are installing, you can then start to fit the pocket door frame system. You may encounter problems if the existing wall you are working on has wiring or plumbing included in it, and if the wall is a solid wall you will need to hollow out the required space and install a lintel above the door frame. If the wall is load-bearing (either solid or stud) this may also cause a structural issue, so in all these cases you should get some expert advice before carrying out any work yourself. Another option for installing a pocket door frame on an existing wall, and this is particularly popular for solid walls where there is more work involved, is to install the pocket door system alongside the existing wall. Here you are effectively creating a new false stud wall alongside the existing one, and with space for the frame inside it, which is then covered over with plasterboard as normal. This is much easier than taking the existing wall apart, can be incorporated into your internal décor easily and doesn’t require much space in the room, so does not encroach on the space the pocket door is helping to create.

Example configuration – Existing walls

existing wall pocket door


^Unico Classic Single Pocket Door Kit – Existing Wall

existing wall pocket door single


^ Syntesis Single Pocket Door Kit – Existing Wall

Contact the experts at Pocket Door Shop

If you are unsure on how to go about installing a pocket door frame in an existing wall, then talk to our sales experts at the Pocket Door Shop. We can advise you based on a few simple details, and it is important to get the right professional advice before attempting installation projects yourself. But certainly, there is no need to remove a wall completely when installing a pocket door system, so you can enjoy the many great benefits of the pocket door in a quick and practical way.

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