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What Is a Pocket Door?

What Is a Pocket Door?

There are many types of doors and each door adds its own unique aesthetic value to a home. Most people have swinging doors, but another popular type of door is a pocket door.

A pocket door is a sliding door that disappears into the wall. They are common doors for interior rooms, but not for exits that lead to the front or back yard. Contractors install some pocket doors behind a wall, while they lift other pocket doors into their tracks.

Read on to learn more about pocket doors and where they can be installed.

What Is a Pocket Door?

When people picture pocket doors, they often think of the sliding glass doors that allow people to access businesses, restaurants, and commercial buildings.

Pocket doors are not rare, but you certainly don’t expect to see them in people’s homes. But there are some homes that have sliding doors and they have a special type of sliding door called a pocket door.

A pocket door is a door that slides instead of swings. They sit or hang from a track so it can slide open and close with ease. But a pocket door is slightly different from a regular sliding door, as it slides into a pocket in a wall.

Is a Pocket Door Just a Regular Door?

That depends on the person and how familiar they are with pocket doors and regular doors. We expect homes to have swinging doors, but a pocket door isn’t that unusual. You can also certainly find pocket doors at major hardware stores. Asking a contractor to build you a pocket door wouldn’t be an outlandish request. It all depends on the style of your home.

How Does a Pocket Door Work?

Although simple, a pocket door is a bit more complex than a swinging door. When you need to open a pocket door, you just grab on the handle and slide the door until it disappears into the wall.

But for removing the doors, it can get a bit complicated. Overall, there are three types of pocket doors.

The first type of pocket door hangs from a track installed underneath the threshold or on the ceiling. To remove this door and replace it with a new door, remove the screws keeping the door attached to the hanging track.

The second type of pocket door is sandwiched between a top track and a bottom track. To remove this type of door, you just need to lift the door off its track, tilt it slightly, and lower the door so that it comes off the top track.

The third type of door also sits between a bottom track and a top track, except this type of door is encased inside the wall. This type of door is extremely hard to remove. You will need to remove part of the wall to remove the door.

What Is the Disadvantage of a Pocket Door?

The main disadvantage of a pocket door is that it is not secure.

Also, a pocket door is easier to damage than a swinging door. If a person in the house is prone to breaking objects, they will be the first person to break or smash a pocket door.

Pocket doors also do not block noise from other rooms. Sliding doors are thinner than swinging doors. There is also a space missing in the wall, and that space lets noise into the room.

What Are the Benefits of a Pocket Door?

The main benefit of a pocket door is that it won’t take up space. A swinging door needs room so it can open and close, but a pocket disappears and does not need room to open and close.

Pocket door disappears and does not need room to open and close

For example, a great place to put a sliding door is in front of the staircase that leads down to the basement. The head of the staircase will not have much room for a door to open and close.

A person standing on the small ledge above the staircase will have to place their body close to the wall so that they can open the basement door and enter the hallway or the kitchen.

But if the door was a pocket door, the person standing at the head of the staircase can simply slide it open. They won’t have to perform a balancing act to avoid falling down the stairs.

What Is the Difference Between a Pocket Door and a Sliding Door?

The difference between a pocket door and a sliding door is that the pocket door disappears into the wall and the sliding door does not. While a pocket door can also have the name sliding pocket door, the most important description of the name is the word pocket.

A pocket door slides into the wall when the door is open.

But a sliding door will be visible to everyone in the room. Usually, a sliding door will slide into the room the person is entering.

When you stand in the hallway and open a sliding door, the door will disappear into the room, but you’ll see the door again when you pass the threshold and enter the room. When you slide open a pocket door, you will not see the door anymore, even if you enter the room.

These doors can also go by other names. Some alternative names are:

  • Wall sliding doors
  • Sliding wall doors
  • Pocket sliding doors
  • Stacker sliding doors
  • Bypass doors

Conclusion to Pocket Doors

A pocket door is a door that slides instead of swings. It disappears into the wall when it is open. A pocket door is great for small homes and small rooms.

A sliding door will still be visible when it is open, but a pocket door will not be visible.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.