how to take off a pocket door

how to take off a pocket door
Tools Needed
1 Safety glasses
2 Utility Knife
3 Stud finder
4 Pry Bar
5 Wallboard Saw
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Materials Needed
1 Drill
2 Forstner drill bit
3 Chisel
4 Wood Shims
Total Cost
$10-$20
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
1-2 Hours
Skill Level: Beginner
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

 pocket door in a beautiful home

For homeowners with limited space or for those who crave unique aesthetic style, pocket doors serve the need perfectly. Pocket doors are frameless and hollow inside, and while similar to other sliding doors, set themselves apart from the competition because they attach to the top of the door using hangars. When the door is completely opened, it is out of sight, saving space as it adds character and ambiance to your area.

Knowing how to take off a pocket door is wise because the doors can sustain a variety of damages that require proper repair to keep it working as it should. Over time, wear and tear to the door and its accompanying parts can cause the door inability to slide across the track properly, damaged pieces, and other hassles. Hiring a handyman to complete the repair work to revive the door back to working condition  is unnecessary. For most people, it’s easy to take off a pocket door themselves, with just a few tools needed, and begin those repairs.

Using the step-by-step instructions below, homeowners can learn how to take off a pocket door and complete the project themselves in about half a day. Once the door is removed, making repairs or replacing the door with an updated style is simple. The instructions below also help you replace the door after you’ve made the repairs needed Gather tools needed to remove the pocket door before the project begins. Only a few items are needed for this task, so ensure that you’re prepared ahead of time. Follow these instructions to remove -and replace- a pocket door, making any necessary repairs during the process.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Remove the Door and Trim

beautiful pocket door

The removal of the pocket door and frame can become a messy job, particularly for older doors. Before you begin the project, laying a tarp or other cover down minimizes the dirt left behind inside your home. To remove the door from the opening, simply grabs the door with both hands and pull it toward you, lifting the door from the rollers in the track.

There is a strip of wood running alongside the jamb of the pocket door that you need to remove before the door can be taken down. This strip of wood is known as the stop. Removing the door is simple with a utility knife and pry bar. Use the utility knife to score the caulk and that holds the stop in place. This makes it easier to remove. Then, use the pry bar to pull up the stop.  Carefully remove the pieces so they’ll remain intact and usable when replacing the pocket door. You’ll notice screws underneath the bar. Remove the screws now, although the track screws are still unaccessible inside the wall.

 To remove the hidden screws inside the wall, an opening in the wallboard should be made.  A stud finder can be used to find and mark the internal framework on the pocket door. Mark the location with a pencil. Ensure the opening is large enough for your screwdriver to fit inside, but no larger. Use a wallboard saw to cut a square opening. Don't damage the cutout and it can be reused to repair the hole.

2

Remove & Replace the Old Track

pocket door track

Single pocket doors and double pocket doors are available for purchase, if you plan to replace the door that you’ve just removed. Whether you purchase a new pocket door or not, frame hardware kits are sold to help you replace an existing structure once it’s removed. These kits contain all the information needed to remove and reinstall the new track. Before you visit the hardware store to purchase the kit, you first should know the size of the door.

Use a measuring tape to determine the thickness level of the frame you should purchase, measuring the length, width, and thickness of the old door. It is imperative that the door or frame that you purchase is square and plumb in the opening, so be sure to use the instructions accommodating the frame kit. Remove the screws remaining in the track and pull the track out through the opening of the door. Should you notice gaps in the fit of the door, correct them now. Remove the floor plate for the rough opening and construct a new door frame according to the kit’s instructions. If the frame isn’t exact size, a reciprocating saw can be used to trim it to proper length.

The new track must be level, which will alleviate many problems with gapping. Place shims under the new track, since settling may have occurred since the original installation of the pocket door. Once the track is level, screw it into place. Follow the manufacturer's instructions that accompanied the track to make installation easier. Many of the newer pocket door tracks require that you use rollers on the track. These rollers must be installed before the track has been screwed in, else you’ll likely encounter many hassles. If your track requires rollers, the next step teaches you how to install them.

3

Install the Rollers

close up of the rollers at the bottom of a pocket door

The rollers that run inside the metal track are made of metal and nylon materials and feature three or  four rollers. Lack of lubrication and wear and tear cause the bearings in the rollers to tighten, making them difficult and sometimes impossible to move.  When adding rollers, they must fit inside the track’s grooves. The track style is made into a ‘C’ shape that has sides that curl to make the groove. Sometimes kits are sold that include the track.

Find the opening at the end of the track on the strike side of the pocket door. Place the roller track into this opening, moving it until the wheels easily roll into the track. Move the roller to the middle of the door opening, titling and pushing until the next set of rollers engage inside the track. Position the track so that all the rollers are inside the grooves.  This is oftentimes easier said than done, so prepare to spend a bit of time on this task. Before proceeding with pocket door removal, roll the roller back and forth to ensure that it is properly working.

4

Replace the Hardware

pocket door hardware

Now that the rollers are in place, you can remove the door panel to install the new hardware. After you’ve screwed it into place, rehang the door. A pry bar and shims make it easier to lift the door into place because you need to hold it at the right height to secure the hardware at the top of the door. Make adjustments as necessary after the new door panel hardware is in place. Most doors require a few adjustments be made to work properly.

If you saved the trim that you originally removed from the old door, you can put it back on now. However, you can opt to use new pieces if you choose. Reusing the old trim saves time and money, and reduces hassle of finding molding the perfectly matches the old profile.

5

Repair Wall and Latch Opening

wall bracket of a pocket door

The access hole that you earlier cut into the wallboard must now be repaired. Reusing the same material is possible, so long as you carefully made the cut out and didn't damage the piece. Backers should be placed in the opening using drywall screws. Leave one-inch of the screw exposed in the hole to provide support to the loose piece and provides an anchor. Use quick-dry joint compound to fill the screw holes. Sand the area when dry, preparing to prime and paint next. Use a wood filler to fill the mortises and the old holes. This provides you a new surface to work with. Once the filler is applied, allow it time to begin drying, but begin trimming off excess before it gets rubbery.  Taking this steps saves sanding time later on. When completely dry, sand it to smoothness.

Use you Forstner bit to drill several overlapping holes to form a latch opening. Make the hole the right size for your latch. Use a chisel to adjust the opening or remove wood that exists between holes. A faceplate will cover the latch, so don't worry if it doesn't fit perfectly. Screw the latch into place, but leave it loose. Use a utility knife to score the outside plate. Remove the latch, and use the chisel to remove the wood from the scored area. Remove enough wood so that the faceplate can fit flush into the edge of the door.

Conclusion

With the pocket door frame in place, you’re now ready to install a new door or add other decorative touches to the space.  If you’re adding  a new pocket door, attach the rollers inside the track, ensuring that it operates smoothly before finishing the project.

How To Take Off A Pocket Door

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  1. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Cherry Color and wood Construction-Hardware includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Cherry Color and wood Construction-Hardware included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  2. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Mahogany Color and Composide Construction-Hardware includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Mahogany Color and Composide Construction-Hardware included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  3. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Mahogany Color and MDF Construction-Hardware includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Mahogany Color and MDF Construction-Hardware included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  4. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Fir Color and wood Construction-Hardware includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Fir Color and wood Construction-Hardware included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  5. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and MDF Construction-Hardware Not includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and MDF Construction-Hardware Not included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  6. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and Composide Construction-Hardware Not includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and Composide Construction-Hardware Not included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
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  8. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and wood Construction-Hardware Not includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and wood Construction-Hardware Not included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  9. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and wood Construction-Hardware Not includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and wood Construction-Hardware Not included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  10. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and MDF Construction-Hardware Not includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and MDF Construction-Hardware Not included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  11. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Mahogany Color and Composide Construction-Hardware includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Mahogany Color and Composide Construction-Hardware included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  12. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and Composide Construction-Hardware Not includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Oak Color and Composide Construction-Hardware Not included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  13. Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Mahogany Color and MDF Construction-Hardware includedview
    Pocket Door by HideNdoor in a Mahogany Color and MDF Construction-Hardware included
    Create the unique look you’ve always wanted for your home interior with pocket doors from HideNdoor. Easy to install, easy to open and close, and easy to customize, pocket doors are the ultimate way to bring your décor dreams to life. Choose from, framed glass, lattice, or classic full-wood panel in any style, stain, or color. Multiple track and pocket designs are available to give you the exact configuration to fit your space.Classic pocket doors offer the function of a door with the space-saving of a sliding frame, and a flush door upgrade hides all parts of the door, allowing you to establish an open-design feeling even in a traditionally-designed home. Warranty, installation, and spare parts are all included, as is a free in-home estimate for any necessary contractor work.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
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Questions And Answers

https://www.doors.com/pocket-doors/how-to-take-off-a-pocket-door

Are pocket doors popular?

Pocket doors were popular during the late 1800s into the 1920s, then lost some of their appeal. But they made a resurgence in the 1950s, as people rediscovered their clean lines and space-saving qualities.

Why install a pocket door?

Pocket doors maximize space and make under-utilized areas around doorways into functional storage areas. Since standard doors take up considerable wall and floor space, pocket doors make sense since they glide on a track that disappears into the wall, immediately providing more usable square footage. They provide privacy without sacrificing space; accommodate traditional, country or modern design; and offer a clean, streamlined look. Also, pocket doors are easy to operate by people of all ages and abilities.

What are some problems that can occur with pocket doors?

If something gets into the space behind the door, it might not close properly. Also, pocket doors can stick because of old hardware or non-functioning rollers. Wood doors also might warp, or expand and contract, hindering movement, and the house itself might settle, affecting the walls and the operation of the door.

How do you fix these problems?

When the doors aren’t closing properly, take off the door and remove any debris. You can often use a yardstick or broom handle, and a flashlight to check for clearance issues like nails and screws. If your pocket door sticks, try opening the door all the way and apply a metal cleaning solvent on the rollers, then roll the door back and forth and wipe off excess solvent. After it dries, apply some silicone lubricant and make sure all the rollers are working and sitting in the track. If the door is warped, take it off and either shave off the protrusion, or the bottom or top of the door, to gain better clearance—or replace the door.

What do pocket doors cost?

High-quality pocket doors often come in kits and feature heavy-duty, ball-bearing nylon rollers and studs wrapped in metal to prevent warping. Kits can cost $100 to $400 depending on size, materials and weight capacity of the frame. If you install it yourself, you can add $100 or more, depending on materials needed. For professional installation, budget $350 to $550, depending on where you live and how involved the demolition and installation is.

How to you remove a pocket door?

To remove the door, take off the plastic guide at the bottom of the door, so you can remove the trim. Next, slice through the paint fill on the door trim with a utility knife; then pry off the trim. If the doors ride on a J-track, tilt the bottom out and lift it straight up to get the wheels off the track, then move the door. If you have a newer door that glides on trolleys, slide the door until it’s almost closed and release the clip closest to the strike side of the door. Pull the edge, slide it to the strike, pulling it toward you at an angle and past the jamb, and pull off the door.

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INTERESTING RESOURCES

double wood pocket door showing the sitting room

Wood Pocket Doors

Wood pocket doors are doors that are installed so that when they are opened, they slide on an upper track into spaces called pockets within the door frame. Instead of solid door jambs on the sides, they are split to contain the pockets. Wood pocket doors have been in use since the Victorian era at least, but they’ve become increasingly popular in recent years as we’ve become more conscientious about making the best use of space. Updates to the configuration of pocket doors allow them to glide into a cage or cassette that has been embedded into the wall ensuring that it will hold the door safely. Benefits of pocket doors include the ability to place your furniture just one time, but also not having a hinged door hanging out there to stub your toe on. Whether you want to maximize your floor space or you just like the look of them, wood pocket doors can be an excellent choice for your home. read more

Rolling Down the Tracks

single wood pocket door for a bathroom

Tracking the Issue

wood and glass pocket door for a bedroom

Ease of Access

two tone wood pocket door in a living room
pocket doors

High Priced Pocket Doors

Pocket doors are some of the most interesting additions you can make to your home improvement plans. Of course, these are not the only reasons why you might choose a pocket door, but it’s a fact that so many of the pocket door’s benefits boil down to its space-saving abilities. It’s also a fact that pocket doors may be a bit more expensive than standard doors, due to the added complication of their installation. However, you shouldn’t let sticker shock steer you away from high-priced pocket doors. They can still be a choice for you. read more

Can You Hear Me Now

bathroom pocket doors

On Solid Ground

interior pocket doors

Open Access

pocket doors
pocket door

Modern Pocket Doors

Modern pocket doors can infuse your average indoor space with architectural elegance and charm and save space at the same time. A lot of people simply adore modern pocket doors. This is because they add a sneaky detail you can enjoy every day as you take your guests or neighbors on a home tour. With facade finishes and hardware accents you can easily dress up a simple pocket door panel to complement different interior designs. Pocket doors can disappear into a crevice within the wall when opened. These doors are usually top-hung and can slide along tracks mounted on a ceiling. Modern pocket doors are a perfect solution for tight bathrooms where there is insufficient space to accommodate a standard swinging door. These doors also let you experiment with new materials and different textures without being overly dramatic, because the door remains tucked away most of the time. Apart from bathrooms, pocket doors are great for closets or as a connection between two areas. Moreover, consider using a mirror on your pocket door to add more light as well as the appearance of additional space. Also, partial-height pocket doors provide an elegant solution to keep your kids or pets safe in one space. Designed as a typical “dutch door”, the partial-height door comes in two sections, so each portion can be opened individually. Material and structural design improvements make modern pocket doors an enduring and functional favorite for most home owners. These are some of the benefits of installing a modern pocket door in your home. read more

Aesthetic Appeal and Space Saving

pocket doors

Versatile and Functional

contemporary pocket doors

Convenience

modern glass pocket doors
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