pocket door Fairbanks, Alaska

How I install and trim a pocket door

Installing a pocket door is usually very straight forward.   Here the pocket door frame was installed during wall framing and has since been sheetrocked. If you are installing the pocket in a new construction simply leave a rough opening the size of the frame you pick up from the home store where you shop.

This is a typical 36″ pocket door opening (above).  I attached the rollers to the top of the door as instructed.  Tip: Pre-drill for your screws so you don’t crack the door.  The instructions for the model I had did not specify that and I am sure many homeowners have cracked the doors as a result.

OK, hanging the door is the easy part.  Now you need to trim it.  Below I have used a 5′ level to plumb the door jamb.  When I placed the level on the rough jamb I could see that it was 1/4″ out of plumb on the bottom. I used a brad nailer to put a shim at the top and bottom of the jam. Both of those shims should be at their minimum as is the top shim in the photo below.  Next, with the 5′ level going across those shims, I take a third shim and  push it opposite the nailed shim until the bottom is plumb with the top point on the level.
Now that the top and bottom are plumb I take another shim and locate it between the top and bottom shims on the jam.  Put the level back up and push another shim onto the last one to make that third point come into plumb with the other two points.

Are you wondering why you are doing this?

The reason is that when you put a finish board up the pocket door will close evenly. Below you can see the finish jamb board fastened over the recently plumbed shims.

To trim the narrow strips around the runners and the door gap I use 1 X 2’s of whatever hardwood I am using.  Sometimes you can find these pre-cut in a box store otherwise you will need to rip it yourself.  The only problem with ripping boards down is they can wow out which makes them difficult to install. Tip: On either side of the door there are steel support over the wood.  There are small ovals in there for you to nail through.  With a pencil mark the centers on the wall (which will get covered with casing trim) and nail there.

Below you can see the finished product.

Straight Ahead Construction, llc. installs interior door and trim.  We also replace exterior doors and windows.  Contact us for rates and scheduling (907) 978-3344 or see our website: www.straightaheadconstructionllc.com.

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