A pocket door is a thing of great convenience. This is a sliding door that is hung from the top of the door and slides along tracks using rollers on the top. When you open the door, it just disappears behind the adjacent wall. This makes pocket doors a great favorite of homeowners and interior designers alike, especially when they need to work with limited space.

In this short read, we’re going to discuss how to install a pocket door as a replacement for an old one, as well as how to replace a pocket door with a swinging door.

Replacing a pocket door

Tools and materials

You can order a new pocket door and the pocket door hardware required online, just as long as you know what size your existing door is. Keep in mind that it is vitally important to check that the door hardware is working properly before you begin the installation.

Let’s take a look at what other tools replacing a pocket door will need.

  1. Screwdrivers
  2. Electric drill
  3. Utility knife
  4. Small pry bar
  5. Safety glasses

The process

replacing pocket doors

Remove the old door

  • Begin by scoring around the door trim using a utility knife to break the polyurethane seal. This is done to make sure the trim does not split when you remove it.
  • Use a small pry bar to carefully remove the jamb and the trim. Pay special attention while removing the trim, so as not to damage it. While the jamb may be easy to replace, the trim is not.
  • Remove the old door from the opening. Detach all of the hardware as well. Some of it may be reusable with the new pocket door.

Install the new door

  • Use a pen to mark where you will need to attach the new door’s hardware on top of the door.
  • Use the electric drill to make the necessary holes to attach the wheels and other hardware.
  • Hang the new door on the existing track.
  • Replace the door jamb and the trim.

Replacing a pocket door with a swinging door

swinging door replacement

We already stated that pocket doors are a great solution when you need to work with limited space. However, if you do have enough space to install a swinging door, it is possible to replace a pocket door with a swinging door. Here is a step-by-step description of the process.

Materials and tools

  1. Crowbar
  2. Tape measure
  3. Reciprocating saw
  4. Screw gun
  5. Screws
  6. Chop saw
  7. Hammer
  8. Level
  9. Finish nailer
  10. 2 x 4
  11. Drywall and drywall mud
  12. Trim
  13. Pre-hung door
  14. Paint

The process

Removing the old door

  • Remove the trim from around the old door.
  • Cut out the old door from the pocket door frame.
  • Carefully cut away the drywall and pocket door frame.  
  • Remove the door jamb from the strike side and detach the rails from the top of the door frame,

Attaching the new swinging door

  • Insert a 2 x 4 as a stiffener on the hinge side of the door. 
  • Install the new pre-hung door unit.
  • Replace the old door trim molding.
  • Patch up any damaged drywall. Paint wherever necessary.

Some FAQs about pocket doors

Can pocket doors be repaired or replaced without damaging the drywall?

The answer in short is, “Yes!” Repairing a pocket door or replacing a damaged one with a new pocket door can be done without affecting the drywall at all.

How much does it cost to install a pocket door?

The cost of a pocket door itself could vary between $194 and $297. If you choose to get the door installed professionally, labor alone could cost a whopping $416 to $675. Add another $18 to $20 for job supplies required to do the job. Factor in between $64 and $86 for equipment like a pneumatic nail finisher, a 12” compound miter saw, and a detail sander. A frame for the pocket door will add a further $176 to $286 to the final cost.

This brings the total cost to install a pocket door to between $691 and $1077.

DIY home maintenance: Pocket door replacement was last modified: September 7th, 2022 by Narayan Shrouthy
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