In hallways or corridors that are too narrow for a swinging door, learning how to install a pocket door offers an ideal solution. But pocket doors are difficult to install, and if the wall you wish to use for the pocket door is a supporting wall, you’ll have to add beam support above to carry the load. There is an easier installation trick for pocket doors. Instead of installing the pocket inside the wall, consider installing the door with its ready-made pocket over the wall, then sealing the pocket and adding panels for beauty.
To install a pocket door over your wall you will need:
- A pocket door with its ready-made frame.
- Plywood to fit the measurements of the pocket, both front and side.
- 230 inches of window casing to cut into door panels.
- 4×4 post to reach from floor to ceiling.
- Semi-gloss white paint.
- Nails and metal brackets.
- Install the pocket door frame. Place the pocket door flush with the opening your wish to seal off with a door. When pulled out of its pocket, the door will close the opening. Nail the pocket door to the wall and floor. Use metal brackets for added support over the top of the pocket frame.
- Seal the pocket. Enclose the pocket with the plywood, nailing the front and side, then sanding to eliminate elevation changes.
- Cutting the pocket door panels. Cut the window casing into two panels that you will glue over the front plywood cover. Each panel will be made from four sections, like a picture frame. The horizontal sections should be 23 inches long, the vertical, 33 inches long. Cut the casing at 45 degree angles to create metered corners. Glue each panel together and let it dry, before you glue it in place over the plywood cover, one panel over another.
- Create a new doorjamb for the pocket door. Since the pocket door sits over the wall, you will need to install a false doorjamb over the existing door frame. Begin by removing the side door casing, then install the 4×4 post from ceiling to floor. When closed, the pocket door should reach all the way to this new doorjamb. You may have to replace the top door casing with a straight cut end (rather than the existing metered end) so as to come flush with the new doorjamb.
- Installing the pocket door hardware. Install the lock hardware that comes with the pocket door. If you wish to have the option of locking the pocket door, install the striker plate in the new doorjamb.
- Paint the pocket door, casing and doorjamb. Be sure to paint your new pocket door to match existing doors in the room or hallway. In modern homes doors are typically painted with semi-gloss white.