We are mildly obsessed with our kitchen’s pocket door. And when I say mildly, I actually mean super, ultra, crazy. (Wildly, even?) Not only do we love the look of a good pocket door, but they just make sense in tight spaces – and in our case, this pocket door leads into a small barely 7′ wide room that’ll ultimately be our four-season Work Room. (Think: floor to ceiling paint and daily tool storage, with a place for everything and everything in it’s place.)
The overall plan to make it work is to extend the cabinets on our wet wall by 2′, which would leave room for the pocket, and the doorway would be moved to the left by 32″ or so – the width of the door itself. The installation was handled entirely by our contractors, and throughout the process, they called me in for photos (which I loved) and kept me updated on what’s inside these walls (lath; lots and lots of lath!):
We’ve been warned by some (contractors, even) to avoid pocket doors, since there’s always a chance the track could go awry, and the only solution would be to open up the drywall. At the same time, we’ve also been told (by other contractors) that the charm is worth it, new hardware has come a long way, and don’t listen to the downers! Ha – we’ll take it!
Before the drywall was installed, I took some photos of the pocket guts, which is actually really simple and not nearly as intense as I had imagined (and I’m not sure why I thought that in the first place). There are two supports on each side and small, smooth plastic guides by the base that keep the door on track. If the door ever becomes off-balance or slightly un-level, that be easily remedied with a wrench and adjustments to the top gliders:
We’ll need to trim the door jamb with a 1×6, and on the opposite side, we’ll need smaller strips of 1x3s on each side of the pocket. From there, we’ll simply add our usual casing on both the kitchen and Work Room side, at which point we’ll be able to install the baseboards. (Well, after we’ve put ourselves through drywall repair and a clean coat of paint on the walls.)
By shifting the door, we were also left with a bare patch of flooring, but that’s a super quick patch job. Luckily, we already have leftover hardwood planks of this exact flooring from our entryway – remember that?
And now – pocket door!
The walls obviously haven’t been painted, but once they are, that soft minty color (Ben Moore’s Swept Away) will really, really shine. With every step of progress, we are just bursting with excitement as the dominoes, so to speak, start falling into place. We have a painted sample for our cabinets (to be installed in a week!), we’re thisclose to nailing down a stone for the counters, and that hutch is almost complete!
PS… For anyone looking to install a pocket door on their own, we noticed that our team used parts from Johnson Hardware, but we’ve also seen kits at the big box stores, too.