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How do i replace a pocket door without removing the plasterboard?

Although the pocket door is an extremely practical and reliable element of your interior design, there are occasions on which you may need to replace the door or carry out some repairs. The door could get damaged, or you may decide to paint the door or simply update it, or you may be fitting new carpets and need to remove the door to plane it down because the new carpets are thicker.

Whatever the reason for replacing your pocket door, there is a popular misconception that you also need to remove the drywall or plasterboard in order to do this, and hence this becomes a messy and troublesome job, but that is not the case.

In a new-build property it is much easier to install the pocket door frame assembly, and the door itself, in a stud wall before you complete the plasterboard installation. This gives you plenty of space to work in and allows you complete access to all parts of the pocket door frame. You may not always have that luxury, however, but if you are installing the door frame in an existing stud wall, you still need to do this ideally before the plasterboard is installed. But if you come to do repairs or replace the pocket door, it is not the same case that you then need to remove the plasterboard to replace the door.


How to remove a classic unico pocket door without removing the plasterboard

Firstly, this is probably a two-person job, because the door is awkward to lift off and remove due to its sheer size and weight, and ideally two people are needed to ensure it is removed safely.

  • Remove top architrave. If attached with silicone use a spatula or cutting knife. If pin-nailed on be more careful not to damage it
  • Remove wooden top jamb. If attached with silicone again use a spatula or cutting knife.

how do i replace a pocket door without removing the plasterboard?








  • Move the door almost the closed position
  • Loosen the both locking nuts, slide gently the leading bracket out of the bolt (this will only come out one direction.

door bracket, lock nut






  • Carefully slide the door completely out of the pocket
  • Be careful to take the weight of the door as it will come loose quite suddenly
  • Be careful not to damage the door guide positioned at floor level at the entrance of the pocket

You can now position the old door away from the doorway and against a wall and you have managed to remove it without removing the plasterboard. This means that you don’t need to do any patching up of the plaster or to repaint the wall. While the pocket door is off the track we would recommend that you inspect the track, the rollers and the remainder of the pocket door frame for any problems.


How to replace the pocket door

When you are ready to replace the pocket door with your new door or re-fit the existing one, this again is probably a two-person job.

  • Line the door up in place in the doorway
  • Locate the rollers and slide door brackets back on the hanging bolts the door in place so that it hangs
  • Adjust the rollers and tighten up the lock nuts to secure the door in place
  • Push the door to test that it runs smoothly on the track
  • Reinstalled the timber jambs and architrave as before

If there is any element of this process you are not sure about, contact the pocket door experts at the Pocket Door Shop, we can advise you on the best methods of removing and replacing a pocket door and we can discuss all elements of the pocket door installation.

Our pocket door systems are designed to be easy to install, but also easy to maintain. While the pocket door is consistent and trouble-free, you may encounter operational problems from time to time, but most issues can be dealt with by removing the door and enabling access to the track. You should only need to start removing drywall/plasterboard if the issue is with the section of pocket door frame or the track that is concealed in the pocket. Even then, you would not need to remove all the plasterboard, just sufficient sections to reveal what you need to see and to give you plenty of room to work on it.

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