Pocket doors?

holcombe3July 17, 2013

I need advice. I had planned on putting pocket doors in the jack n Jill bathroom to save space. The guy doing our framing told us today he wouldn't do pocket doors because they have to be replaced every 8 to 10 years and u have to take trim off to get to the track. He said he could make it work with regular swinging doors but I'm afraid that will make it feel crowded. Any advice from owners of homes with pocket doors?

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We have a pocket door to our master bathroom. We've been in the house 13 years and have had no problems with that door. It shows no sign of needing replacement and we have never taken it off the track.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 6:01PM
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I bought a new home in 1985 and it had 6 pockets doors spread throughout the house. I sold the house in 2010. Never had a problem with the doors. They got used a lot since they were for closets and bathrooms and a pantry in the kitchen and 2 others in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 6:03PM
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Why would there be a problem with pocket doors? We had them when I was growing up - heavily used, in a large family. No problems at all in the 50 years my family was in that house.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 6:18PM
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I am sure quality of the door has something to do with it. My daughter has an older 1960's home with three pocket doors. Two out of three work well, but the one used most often in her bathroom does not work correctly. If she opens it fully, it goes off track. She will be replacing her trim in a few months and maybe we will be able to fix it. One home we lived in built in 1978, an inexpensive tract home had a pocket door on the powder room. Guests were always having trouble locking the door and finally after 10 years the door broke (did not work on the track). We took it down and replaced it with a regular door.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 6:42PM
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I am putting Hafele hardware for my 2 pocket doors in my current bathroom project. My current carpenter really likes the product. He just installed it today. I chose it because of reviews and comments I read on line. I talked to Hafele tech people to get information too. I don't have my doors installed yet but they are on standby. They heavy and are solid wood core doors. I wanted these doors and tracks to last 100 years :) I also had the first carpenter put in 6" walls so I could have studs (on their sides) within the pocket. Then on the shower wall the studs were notched along the sides so that 3/4" plywood could be installed flat to the studs so that I could next put up cement board and tile. New carpenter finished the job and he is the one that commented on the nice hardware.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Johnson hardware and you won't have issues. That is just silly.
Yes, you can't buy the cheap hardware, but quality hardware, you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 11:48PM
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I have three pocket doors from original 1989 build. The ones in both bathrooms still work and divide the vanity area from the toilet / shower area which allows someone to use sink while someone else attends to other functions. The one between kitchen and laundry is off track because hubby nailed through the baseboard. We are planning two more for renovation / extension but will request quality hardware. I like them, they save a lot of space. I hear Johnson is good hardware and the Hafele mentioned by Enduring.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 11:49PM
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kirkhall is spot on. Buy quality hardware (Johnson, Haffele ((Grant)),etc), have it installed by someone who knows what they are doing and you will have no issues whatsoever.

This post was edited by millworkman on Thu, Jul 18, 13 at 9:09

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:08AM
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I had the same concerns as you and your contractor. A designer I was working with here in our humid environment on the Gulf Coast said she advised against pocket doors because she had seen problems especially with bathrooms. I'm beginning to think that the problems encountered a while back when pocket doors were first starting to be used has plagued the technology even though they currently (might) have fixed the problems encountered in earlier time.

Well.. on my previous bath, I was talked out of them. But on this current tiny master bath remodel, the pocket door solves so many problems so I went with them. They are brand new so I can't speak to how long they will last but they slide so very smoothy, doesn't seem like hardware could jam. My contractor also swears by Johnson brand. I love how they function and seem to be invisible.

Our contractor is very experienced with installing pocket doors. What I'm thinking is that your guy may not have put so many of them in. So I'm hesitant to advise you to go with them against your contractor's advice. Could you find another contractor just for the door? Also, ask him if he is going by their reputation from a long time ago. I think they have improved considerably.

Bottom line is that I regret not putting one in for my previous bath. The functionality is so good. At least I have one now.

p.s. our house is 75 years old and has a pier and beam foundation. One task our contractor did before this latest remodel of the tiny master bath is to do some work leveling and shoring up the joists underneath. I'm wondering if foundations that aren't level or that aren't firm might increase likelihood of problems with pocket doors? Might be a good idea to have your foundation checked.

This post was edited by elphaba on Thu, Jul 18, 13 at 11:01

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Our 1959 house has several pocket doors that are original to the house. They are totally problem-free.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 4:09PM
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Thank you all for the feedback! I really wanted the pocket doors and you guys have convinced me! I just sent a message to our builder telling him to leave the pocket doors. I think it will be a big space saver.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 6:06PM
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Hi, greetings from the Kitchen Forum. My kitchen is done, so I'm going to slut around over here a while and try to learn something. ;-) Next up is the master bath -- or maybe laundry -- when the bank account recovers.

Anyhoo, my sister has a large, louvered pocket door -- gorgeous -- in her family bath. It divides her vanity area from the loo-and-tub section. Makes the bath so functional, and they slam that door all day long. Flawless for the 15 years she's had it, and the 30 years before that, I assume. I love pocket doors; just such a clean look. Stand your ground, my advice.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 6:09PM
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You will love the space saving. Spoke with our contractor today and he suggests the Johnson hardware for ours too. I may even change our closet door to another pocket.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 11:34PM
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Johnson and Hafelle (used to be Grant) are the Cadillac of pocket door hardware. As previously mentioned with a good install there should be no issues whatsoever with pocket doors.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 8:23AM
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I love my pocket door also. the handyman that installed mine said that he used screws to build the top of the door frame so that it could easily be removed if I needed to remove the door. I didn't pay much attention when we discussed it, so I'm not sure how that works. But you might want to mention this to your contractor to see if it is possible for you.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 8:31AM
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This is what I bought in the Hafele. My door is solid wood so I got the 80/z:

HAWA Junior 40/Z and 80/Z sliding door hardware for door weights of up to either 40 kg (88 lbs.) or 80 kg (176 lbs.)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 9:22AM
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