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How Do I Install A Pocket Door?

how to install a pocket door?

The good news about installing a pocket door is that it is very simple and you don’t need many tools. You should also be supplied with the complete system, so you shouldn’t need to go out to buy extra components. On the flipside, the big considerations are that there is quite lot of prep required, lots to think about before you start, and when constructing your pocket door frame, make sure you have  enough to construct the frame.

Preparing for installing your pocket door

Before you purchase your pocket door system and start to install it, you need to look at your walls and the wall space you have available and assess whether it is suitable to install a pocket door. Most internal walls are either solid or stud walls.

  • Stud walls – these are most popular in more modern houses, and with a new-build property, a builder may even incorporate a pocket door installation into the construction process. But if you are not that lucky it is still pretty straightforward. You will have to remove a section of plasterboard, ideally from both sides of the wall, to give you enough space to work in, and a section from above the door also. If the wall has plumbing or electrical wiring in it, this may cause a problem and the wall may not be suitable for a pocket door, so seek some professional advice on this.
  • Solid walls – you need to assess what condition the wall is in, if the plaster, brickwork or stone is old and crumbling, you may have a problem. There are two ways to install a pocket door in a solid wall; you can hollow out a cavity space in the wall, which is messy and quite labour-intensive, or you can create a ‘new’ wall adjacent to the existing one. This is effectively a false wall, but can be plaster-boarded in to create an easy space to install the door.

Whatever type of wall you have, you need to ensure the pocket door cavity, or the ‘pocket’ if you like, is roughly twice the width of the pocket door itself. This gives you enough space to work in and for the door to operate. Don’t forget you will also need some space above the door (Please refer to the overall dimension size in the relevant product table, you need enough space in the wall to accommodate the overall frame, H x W dimension) Another consideration when preparing for your pocket door installation, is to fit the kit to finished floor level. If this is not possible at the time of installation we recommend packing up the kit accordingly. i.e. 20mm flooring – 20mm packers under the kit. Also, if you need to stain, prime or paint your door, do this before you install it. 

Installing the Unico Classic pocket door

  • You will need a large space to install the door. So clear an area and make sure you will be able to manoeuvre the completed door system and lift it into place
  • Lay out all the contents of the supplied package and identify all the components
  • If you are able to set up two workbenches at the same height, this is ideal, but you need two items to balance the vertical lengths on while you construct the frame at a comfortable height. The backs of two chairs might also work
  • Lay out the two vertical sections and click in place the horizontal sections, working from bottom to top
  • Add the blocks to stabilise the frame
  • Screw the track in place at the top
  • Add the door section adjacent to the frame section, using the same click-in method
  • Clip the hanging brackets in place
  • Lift the complete frame and door section carefully and slide it into place in the wall. Then screw it in to place
  • When fitting the track, make sure it is completely level and plumb. This will cause you major problems if it isn’t, because the door will never operate smoothly and won’t stay closed in a neat position. You will be able to make minor adjustments to the roller screws if necessary, but if there is a big discrepancy in how level the track is, you may need to remove the track and reset it. But either way, make these adjustments now because it is much easier
  • Hang the door by locating the hanger brackets on the top of the door. Hang the brackets on the wheel hangers and the door should immediately slide along the track
  • Install the jambs and brushes to make sure everything lines up and you will get long term stability and smooth operation
  • If necessary, you can now replace the plasterboard sections you have had to remove, if this is a stud wall.
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