Pocket doors are a popular option for closing off rooms that only occasionally need privacy or where floor space is limited. They are often featured in older homes, particularly between common areas like living rooms and kitchens, but have also found a place in modern, minimalist design.
If your pocket door isn’t sliding smoothly, drags on the floor, or doesn’t open or close at all, then it may have fallen off the track. When that happens, you need to rehang the pocket door, so it will operate properly.
Even though part of a pocket door’s track is located inside the wall, rehanging a pocket door isn’t as complicated as it seems on the surface. Here’s what you will need to do to rehang a pocket door.
Examine The Track
Usually, when you need to rehang a pocket door, it’s because it came off the track. While this can happen accidentally, it can also indicate that something is wrong with the track itself. For example, it may have bent, or an object may be stuck or intruding into the track’s interior.
Before you rehang the door, it’s always wise to examine the track carefully. If you notice a warp, you can attempt to correct it with a set of needle- or bent-nose pliers if it is reachable. Similarly, if you see an object or a protruding screw, you can attempt to fix this as well.
If you can’t reach the source of the issue, you may need to prepare for a larger scale job or consult with a professional, as the only permanent solution may require a hole being cut in the wall to provide better access.
Check The Hanging Hardware
The hanging hardware is located on the top edge of the door, so it is usually only accessible when the door has been removed.
Since you have access to the hardware, take a look to make sure everything is tight and undamaged. If it appears loose, you may need to tighten down the screws using a standard or Phillips head screwdriver (depending on the screws that were used). If the hardware is damaged, you might want to replace it before proceeding.
Lubricate The Rollers
Since the door isn’t on the track, now is the perfect time to lubricate the rollers, if you haven’t done so recently.
The type of lubricant you need to use depends on the material used to construct the rollers. For example, plastic rollers may require a different lubricant than metal rollers. Determine what your rollers are made of and select a product that is safe for that material.
Rehang The Door
Once everything has been checked and lubricated, you can begin the process of putting the door back on the track.
First, you need to determine which edge of the door needs to be pointed toward the wall or which needs to face the doorway opening. If your door has a handle attached or only one edge is unfinished/unpainted, this is a quick process.
If not, then you need to examine the hanging hardware to determine if there is a difference between the hardware on each end of the door.
After you’ve determined which edge of the door needs to go into the wall, you can begin to rehang the pocket door. If your door is heavy, you may need help from an assistant. Otherwise, lifting the door into the track could be difficult or may lead to injury.
Similarly, if you’re doorway is particularly tall, you may benefit from using a ladder or step stool. This will allow you to see the hanging hardware with greater ease as you slide it into the track. Whenever you use a ladder or step stool, it is wise to have an assistant available to act as a spotter, regardless of the weight of the door.
Lift the door and place the hanging hardware into the track, aligning it with the wheeled carriages. It may be easier to line up one end and then the other, depending on the amount of clearance you have available.
Adjust The Hangers
If your door is plumb after being rehung, then you can proceed to the next step. If not, you may need to adjust the hangers until the door sits properly in the doorway.
Test The Door
After you rehang the pocket door and have confirmed it is plumb, you need to test it. Move it along the track to make sure that it operates smoothly in both directions.
If it falls off the track again, there may be damage to the track that needs to be corrected. If it stops short, there may be a protruding screw or a foreign object in the track that must be addressed. As mentioned above, handling these issues could require cutting a hole in the wall if the warped section is inaccessible from the opening, creating a much larger project.
Otherwise, if the pocket door slides with ease, you’re all done.
Now, you should have a properly rehung pocket door, allowing you to open or close off the space whenever the need arises. Make sure to lubricate the rollers on a regular basis to ensure smooth operation and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the door to help ensure it stays on track.