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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Clasic Pocket Doors Door

Classic Pocket Doors

When you are stuck trying to figure out what to do with your home, making certain upgrades may be your best option. Adding classic pocket doors to your home could make it look fabulous and stylish, too. Interior designers are often looking to this option, along with barn doors, to provide updated looks to homes by providing a unique look with new styles. You should know today there are many advantages that come with installing the classic pocket doors. These are the kinds of doors that go into your wall when you open them and provide you with total access to the other side. They are hung on a track in your ceiling and slide completely out of your way. Most of the classic pocket doors are lightweight, so they slide very easily. Because they are interior doors, you can have a beautiful wood door that is hollow which keeps it light. You could also have a lightweight aluminum door that will serve the purpose just fine. If you want doors for your home that look great and give you the best benefits, these doors are what you need. read more

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glass pocket doors

Glass Pocket Doors

Traditionally, pocket sliding doors were used in spaces that were small due to the fact that they do not require as much space as a swinging door because they slide away into the existing wall. Because your walls have to be there, having a pocket built into it will allow you to have extra space as it stores the open door. Rather than being concern with the needed floor clearance required by a hinged door, pocket doors need nothing but the wall. Today however, glass pocket doors are considered to be a design feature which opens the space up elegantly or allows light to shine from one room into the other room. Pocket doors can come in many styles, finishes, and even different glass types such as frosted, smoked, black, and clear to name a few. Using a frosted or smoked glass will allow for some privacy if needed also. Glass pocket doors are able to create a look that is contemporary, crisp, and distinctive. Pocket doors open and close so easily, they are actually quiet in comparison to traditional swinging doors. The other great aspect of these doors is the fact that they are affordable, much more affordable than you may initially think. read more

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Cheap Pocket Doors

The cost of buying, remodeling, and building a new house is on the rise, therefore it is no surprise that people are looking to cut costs anyway possible. Pocket doors are a great option for closet doors, or even for those doors required in other areas of your home where you are trying to conserve space. The fact that they don't swing out frees the floor space surrounding the door and allows you to place furniture or other items where you would otherwise not be able to. Because they slide into the wall along your door opening, the pocket door will provide you with total access to your stuff that is stored behind it or give you quick access to the bathroom when used on that entry. However, along with saving space is saving money. You want to make sure that you are getting the best possible deal. Are you handy? Do you have the time to scope out the best price? What about the type of door you want in your home? Should it make a statement of its own or match perfectly with everything else? There are several ways that you can save money and cut expenses with your pocket door, keep reading to find out how. read more

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