Pocket doors are a creative alternative to conventional doors, opening up the flow from room-to-room while still allowing you to close off a room for privacy. You will need to know the layout of the wall and what lies behind. Walls that bear no loads and walls with pipes behind are not good candidates. Pocket doors are best suited for load-bearing walls that have a header beam so you can install the track system to slide the door. Doorways that separate a living room and dining room or a toilet closet from a main bathroom area typically have load-bearing walls and make good locations for pocket doors.
Things You'll Need
- Reciprocating saw
- Carpenter’s pencil
- Tape measure
- Lowe’s pocket door framing kit
- Duct tape
- Plumb bobs
Use a chisel to remove any existing molding in the doorway. To remove an existing door, unscrew the hardware attaching the door to the jamb.
Use a reciprocating saw to cut through the drywall. Cut out a 1-foot-square block to start. Look inside the wall cavity and mark any obstacle to avoid, such as electrical wiring. Continue removing the drywall so you can access the header beam near the ceiling and the bottom plate near the floor. The track frames for the pocket door will be attached to the header and sole plate.
Measure the height from the bottom of the header beam to the top of the bottom plate inside the wall cavity and write the measurement down on paper. Use this measurement to purchase a Lowe’s pocket door framing kit that will fit the height measurements inside your wall cavity. Purchase a door shorter than the existing height but never taller.
Use 1-inch by 3-inch or 1-inch by 4-inch pieces of lumber to add height on the sole plate or top plate, if needed, so the pocket door framing assembly will fit accurately.
Cut away studs with a jigsaw until flush with the edges of the header and sole plate. This is required so a flat and level surface will exist for installing the framing tracks and to create the clearance necessary to slide the pocket door into the wall cavity.
Use duct tape to temporarily position the top track for the pocket door frame to the header beam. Check that the track is straight with a level. Mark guide lines for positioning the track on the header with a carpenter’s pencil. Fill in screw holes as a guide with your pencil.
Drill starter pilot holes following your screw hole guides. Use a screwdriver to finish attaching the top track to the header. Hang plumb bobs from the top track to line up the bottom track on the sole plate so the bottom track aligns correctly with the top track.
Repeat step 7 to install the bottom track on the sole plate to complete your pocket door framing project.
Follow Lowe’s pocket door instructions to complete the installation of the carriage mechanism and the pocket door.
Tips & Warnings
- Use a volt sensor to detect electrical wiring and mark locations on the wall with a carpenter’s pencil before removing drywall.
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