Building a pocket door is a great alternative when you don’t have enough room in your home for a door that swings. A pocket door is built to slide away into the wall, and there are a few precautions you need to take before you take on a project like this one.
Step 1 - Measure and Plan
Use your tape measure to measure and mark the place where you want to install your pocket door. Remember, you’ll need a little more than twice the width of the door to account for the space where it “disappears” into the wall. You need to make sure that there are no plumbing or electrical obstacles in the way of the door, otherwise you’ll need to move you project somewhere else. If you’re using a spot where an old door is in place, you’ll need to remove the old door and frame using a hammer or saw.
Step 2 - Cut Drywall and Studs
Using a drywall saw, cut the rough opening for your Shoji pocket door. It’s important to have a straight cut, because the track your door needs to slide on needs to be level. You also need to cut away any visible studs. Cut them high enough so there is room to install a header underneath them. The hardware for the pocket door will be installed on this header.
Step 3 - Build the Pocket Door Frame
Once you have an open hole, it’s time to make your frame. Start by cutting a piece of lumber to act as the header for the pocket door. Attach it with finishing nails. You might also need a soleplate, or a piece of lumber at the bottom where you can attach hardware. Check the instructions that came with your Shoji pocket door to see if this is necessary. If you already have a piece of lumber there, go ahead to the next step.
Step 4 - Install the Hardware
The track for your Shoji pocket door will be able to be cut with a saw to the appropriate width. Once that is done, use the instructions that came with the pocket door to assemble it. Put it together before putting it in the opening. Place it in the opening where it will go, and follow the directions to complete installation. This will usually involve making sure the door is level and screwing or nailing the top and bottom tracks into place.
Step 5 - Finish the Project
The last step for your pocket door is to make sure all the drywall is back in place where the door “disappears” into the wall. Use drywall nails and compound to rebuild the wall you cut away in the previous steps.