Type of door for pocket installation

mikect05December 3, 2011

Hello,

I am currently working on a complete remodel of our main bathroom. We have decided to install a Johnson pocket door so that we can include everything in the bathroom that we want and not have the door interfere with either the shower door or the linen closet door.

I am wondering what type of door I should use for this type of installation. Would I be better off with a heavier sold core door, or a lighter door. Does anyone have experience with one or the other?

This door will be used alot, and by children. I am wondering if the heavier door will open and close easy enough or if a lighter door will slide open to easily and bang. I would appreciate any info, because I have no experience with this type of door.

Thanks

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mikect05

Okay after doing more research I have come up with that it is definitely better to have a heavier solid door.
Now I have a new question- Are they easy to open and close with the latch, or would it be better to add a few inches to the door opening and install the door so it doesn't go fully into the pocket, that way there will always be a couple of inches of the door to grab and pull closed easier?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 1:44PM
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renovator8

A pocket door is designed to be used rarely and with a bit more effort since it doesn't have an easily grabbed handle. A door that does not go all the way into the pocket is better for a frequently used pocket door but the opening and the door must be larger. It can have a pull handle on both faces of the door but such pocket doors usually bounce back when opened or closed quickly and they can hurt fingers. They are also difficult to latch closed for privacy. A pocket door really isn't a good solution if used frequently or privacy is an issue.

A double-swing pivot door might be a possibility.

Here is a link that might be useful: double-swing pivot door

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 2:33PM
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chibimimi

Get the heaviest duty hardware available for your door. Our home has pocket doors in the original (unremodeled) bedrooms and bathrooms. ALL of them have become very difficult to open and close, even with the retrofitting of door knobs to pull on. I hate them and will replace them as soon as possible.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 4:23PM
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renovator8

Before trying to make a bad door better, show us the plan and see if someone can find a way to use a swinging door.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 8:20AM
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brickeyee

"since it doesn't have an easily grabbed handle."

The pull for a pocket door is mortised into the exposed edge of the door.

Most pop out with a gentle push on one end, and ten are spring loaded to return into the mortise.

Most of the latches are pretty junky.

If you get a door with a pattern make sure you you account fr width to keep the pattern centered when the door is closed.
The biggest weakness of the Johnson hardware it the plastic guides designed to prevent sway when the door is closed.
They WILL eventually scratch the face of the dor.

A small section of aluminum angle on the floor of the pocket riding in a groove in the bottom of the door works very well.
The door must not come so far out of the pocket the bottom is not on the guide strip on the floor.
Extending the pocket edge of the door is all it should take, or using a wider door ad cutting down the exposed edge to make any pattern centered.

If the groove is stopped before the exposed edge nothing even shows.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 10:33AM
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kudzu9

The key to good pocket doors is quality hardware. I sold a house a couple of years ago that was built in 1952 and it had a number of pocket doors that were used every day (closets, kitchen). They were still working fine more than 50 years later. All of them were solid doors, with sturdy hardware, and a couple used a groove on the floor like brickeyee describes.

My current house has pocket doors on several of the bathrooms and the powder room. Some have a pull mortised into the exposed edge, and the others are constructed so they stick out of the pocket a couple of inches with cups mortised into the faces. These doors are about 10 years old and all are trouble-free, too, because they have sturdy hardware mounted onto solid core doors.

If you ever need to remove trim to get to a malfunctioning pocket door, you'll understand why you should have gone with the best hardware you can find.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 4:20PM
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mikect05

Thanks for the input. Went over a friend's house today who has some pocket doors and they are very nice, and open and close with ease. I don't think it will be a bad thing at all to have one.

Brickeyee,
So if I get this correct, I use a router to put a grove on the bottom of the door, then fasten the aluminum angle directly to the floor? And then I just leave off the plastic guides that come with the johnson kit?
Thank you!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 4:22PM
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chibimimi

Hi, renovator8,

If that offer was for me, I appreciate it. We are intending to replace them all with regular swinging doors, but it will probably have to wait until we remodel the bathrooms ... which I hope is next on our list.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 8:39PM
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brickeyee

"So if I get this correct, I use a router to put a grove on the bottom of the door, then fasten the aluminum angle directly to the floor? And then I just leave off the plastic guides that come with the johnson kit? "

That is about it.

The upward pointing side of the angle is trapped in the groove preventing sway with no chance of marring the face of the door.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:55AM
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doug_gb

I remodeled our 1950's home and have replaced several pocket doors with 6 panel, solid doors.

The Johnson hardware works quite well.

Our doors are flush when opened. Baldwin makes edge pulls:

http://www.amazon.com/Baldwin-0465-150-Edge-Satin-Nickel/dp/B001P82D1K

I attached a thin piece of hardwood (about 3/8" wider than the door - 3/16" on each side) -to the bottom of the door - this prevents the door from hitting the sides of the pocket.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 12:39PM
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brickeyee

"I attached a thin piece of hardwood (about 3/8" wider than the door - 3/16" on each side) -to the bottom of the door"

Not you can scratch the edges of the jamb.

Luckily it does not show as much as the face of the door.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 4:19PM
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doug_gb

@brickeyee: "Luckily it does not show as much as the face of the door."

The original doors used this 'base shoe' idea. After 50 years, the edges of the jam (3/8" off the floor) showed no noticable wear. I bought some 3/16" maple from Rockler and repeated thier design with the new doors.

The nice this about this method is that the floor is clear!

I agree that the plastic door guides supplied by Johnson are bad.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 10:40AM
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brickeyee

"The nice this about this method is that the floor is clear! "

Putting angle in the floor of the pocket keeps the floor clear also, and nothing shows.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:28PM
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taft

We put a real wood door in our main floor powder room as a pocket door. The hardware you buy is key. I got the pocket door hardware from Restoration Hardware. It was more money but it has not failed to work yet, been installed eight years. Like you I was concerned about opening the door since our wood door is much heavier. The only time we have problems is when a new guest is here and hasn't seen a pocket door before so does not know how to use it. Surprising how often that happens.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 7:49PM
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edselpdx

Use the Johnson hardware and a standard door. Ours is a salvage door one-panel that matches the originals in our 1926 home. Ours is used every day and has held up for 10+ years since our remodel on the bathroom (one of 2 doors, but gets closed whenever someone uses the bathroom.) Everyone seems to figure it out. The hanging/sliding hardware is the most important. Johnson is good... get it heavier duty than you think you need, and you'll never have a problem.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 9:40PM
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brickeyee

"get it heavier duty than you think you need, and you'll never have a problem."

The 111PD is good, the 100PD is even better.

The 100PD is rated for doors at least one inch thick (pretty easy since interior doors are usually around 1.375) and for up to 200 pounds (even the press-board doors are not that heavy).

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 9:36AM
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kirkhall

Renovator, those doors are cool, but where do you buy them? The link seems to be an advertisement, but I can't figure out how much they cost...

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 4:55PM
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rawdeal21

Any feedback or thoughts on the Stanley home decor PD150N/760 pocket frame?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:55PM
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millworkman

Good solid door frame, I would stick with most any Stanley or Johnson frame. Door is basically immaterial as long as the frame and rollers are rated properly for the weight of the door.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:13AM
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brickeyee

"thoughts on the Stanley home decor PD150N/760 pocket frame?"

Get the hardware from Johnson.

They have been at it a long time with a very good design.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:58AM
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rawdeal21

Would the johnson rollers work with the Stanley frame? Johnson seems to have three (3) wheels vs four (4) for Stanley

What else do you mean by use "Johnson hardware"? Thanks for the tips!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:44AM
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brickeyee

Use Johnson tracks and wheels.

Johnson has 4 wheel bogies for heavier doors, but the three wheel 111-PDsystems should be more than adequate for most residential uses.

I never use the frame kits, ad try as much as possible to make walls with pockets doors 'wet wall' thickness.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 2:41PM
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rawdeal21

Unfortunately It's too late to use the Johnson track as the Stanley track is already installed. And so I'm trying to see if I can use the Johnson wheels on the Stanley track.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 4:11PM
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brickeyee

"I'm trying to see if I can use the Johnson wheels on the Stanley track."

That would probably be a very bad idea.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 11:03AM
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millworkman

I do not believe the 2 to be compatible.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 8:45AM
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