It’s fun to have a pocket door instead of a regular door, although you certainly can’t slam the door if you are angry!
However, repairing a pocket door can be difficult and cleaning the inside of the pocket requires tools most people don’t have on hand. For some people, this type of door is more hassle than it is worth. So, can you remove a pocket door?
You can remove a pocket door and replace it with either a new pocket door or a swinging door. If you replace it with a solid door, you must fill the open gap with drywall or insulation.
It is possible for a DIYer to remove the pocket door themselves. Or you can hire a handyperson to remove the pocket door.
Removing a pocket door and replacing it with a new door should not take too long. But installing a new door entirely can take longer. If you have the know-how and the right tools, you can get it done by yourself or with a friend.
Did your 2-year-old slam their foot-powered car into the pocket door that separates the kitchen and the living room and now there’s a huge dent? Well, it’s time to remove that pocket door and buy a brand new one!
Removing a pocket door can be easy or difficult, it just depends on the type of pocket door you have.
There are four reasons you may need to remove a pocket door:
- the track or the rollers broke and you have to replace them.
- The door is ugly or dented and you want to replace it with a brand-new door.
- You want to remove the pocket door and replace it with a swinging door.
- And, finally, the pocket door is just in the way and the area would look better with an open space.
Certain doors are double locked on two tracks. This door is the easiest to remove, as all you have to do is lift the door off the bottom track and tilt it so that it slides underneath the top track.
Other pocket doors hang from the top of the threshold ceiling. For this type of door, you will need to use a screwdriver to unlock the door from on top of the track. Be careful, when you unlock this type of door, it will fall to the floor. Watch your feet!
The third type of pocket door is encased in the wall behind the threshold. In order to remove this pocket door, you'll have to remove the wall trimming so that the pocket door can fit through the opening.
As long as you can lift the door when it is no longer on its track, it’s perfectly safe for a regular person to remove a pocket door. But if you don’t have much upper body strength, then ask another person to hold the door for you.
Can You Change a Pocket Door to a Normal Door?
Changing your pocket door to a normal door is possible. A contractor can do it in less than a day. There’s no special tricks or tools required, so a DIY enthusiast can do it on their own as long as they know how as well.
Here is how you can remove a pocket door to make way for swinging door:
Remove the pocket door. As stated above, there are three main ways to remove the pocket door: by taking off the threshold on the wall, by using the screwdriver to loosen the pocket door frame off its hanging track, or by lifting the pocket door off of the bottom track and tilting it.
To remove the threshold around the sliding door, you will first have to remove the crease of paint that connects the threshold trim to the wall. This can be done with a utility knife. Once the gap is exposed, place a chisel between the trim and the wall and pull the trim off.
It does not matter if the trim breaks, because trim cannot be reapplied, anyway. Since you are changing the pocket door to a swinging door, remove all the threshold from both sides of the wall.
Once you have removed the door, remove the rollers and the track from inside the door.
Now you must fill in the hollow section of the wall with insulation or work on drywall. The entire gap does not need to be filled in, but the gap cannot stay open, as bugs, liquids, crumbs, grime, and anything else will make its way into the gap.
After you fill the gap, you now have to establish where you’re going to set the swinging door and where hinges should go as well.
If the pocket door connects a bedroom to a hallway, it is better to purchase a swinging door that will swing into the room instead of the hallway.
By setting up the door so that it swings into the hallway, you can restrict the flow of traffic whenever you open the door. Plus, you never know who’s walking down the hallway, so you may slam your door right into them when you exit your room.
Now you can install your swinging door. Be sure that the area where you place the hinges is strong enough to hold a door.
Yes, most standard pocket doors do not require drywall removal to remove and replace a pocket door. You only need to remove drywall if you have a special pocket door created and installed by a contractor.
Removing the pocket door roller from the pocket will take a bit of maneuvering, but it is workable. We suggest you stand on a chair and put the chair as close to the pocket as possible.
To remove a pocket door roller, do not take the roller and the door off together.
Once the door is no longer in your way, you can now remove the rollers that allowed the door to slide easily on the track. Locate the first roller and allow it to slide all the way to the end of the track.
Once it gets to the end of the track, it will fall on the floor. Then you must find a second roller and bring that to the end of the track as well. It will slide off of the track. If the track on the floor has rollers, you can remove them the same way.
Conclusion to Removing a Pocket Door
You can remove a pocket door and replace it with a new door, it just takes a bit of knowledge and manpower. But otherwise, you can give your room a whole new look with a new door!
When you purchase a swinging door, purchase one that will swing to the inside of the room and not into the hallway or the area with less room to maneuver. When you remove the pocket door, you must fill in the gap with insulation, light drywall, or wood.