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When it comes time to add your personal touch or even manage home renovations, construction and remodeling can become quite challenging. One of the solutions that interior designers love using in smaller areas is pocket doors. Pocket doors can add space to an open room, connect two adjoining rooms, and make any space private when shut. Depending on the door style you favor, they can add an elegant touch to a formal room or a modern, sleek look to match the style of your home.

As a first-time homeowner, or perhaps a first-time renovator, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the concept of pocket doors. Which is the best pocket door? Which ones are easy to install? How do you install a pocket door? If you've been asking these questions and finding little help, don't worry. We're here to break it down and help you make the right choice for your home.

What is a Pocket Door?
Unlike typical doors hung from hinges and typically opened with a door knob, pocket doors are sliding doors. They slide either on rollers suspended from an overhead track or on tracks along the floor. When a pocket door is fully open, the door disappears into a compartment in the adjacent wall. Pocket doors are often an excellent alternative when there is no room for the swing of a hinged door.

Why Are Pocket Doors Chosen For Smaller Spaces?
On average, homeowners can free up roughly ten square feet of floor space when a pocket door is installed correctly instead of a hinged door. Tim Carter, expert builder and founder of Ask The Builder, considers the pocket door "one of the top ten most overlooked items when many architects and builders plan a home." (1)

What is the Easiest Way to Install a Pocket Door?
Everything starts with a good quality pocket door kit to ensure that installation is more manageable. Several excellent brands create pocket door kits for various designs and options, such as standard hangers and top mount hangers.

In general, you'll find two main kits for pocket doors available:
1. The first and often most affordable option will include the tracks and reinforced studs built in by a builder, carpenter, or yourself to support the door cavity. These kits are used for building metal or timber stud work walls.
2. The second type typically features a steel-framed cassette that provides a self-contained pocket for the door to slide into. Plasterboard can be installed directly over the cassette.
The most important aspect of using a pocket door kit is ensuring that your kit can accommodate the weight, size, and width of your chosen sliding pocket door. You may find it easier to stick to standard door sizes as non-standard sizes may require hiring a professional.
Additionally, in most cases, you will need to specify the door lining unless the manufacturer of the door kit includes this in their package. Hardware, such as finger pulls or locks, are generally an extra you will need to purchase.

Best Pocket Door Kits
Before choosing hardware, you'll most likely want to begin finding the right type of door. We have six of the most popular types of pocket doors explained below.
• Classic Single Pocket Door. A single door that slides into an interior wall compartment.
• French Double Pocket Doors. Two sliding pocket doors with compartments within the adjacent walls. This design is advantageous when you have an extensive doorway or opening. 'French' refers to the famous French Door style, usually a pair of doors of light construction with glass panes extending most of its length.
• Double Pocket Doors. Double pocket door design functions like the French Double Pocket Doors, with more stylistic and décor choices outside the French Door look.
• Barn Style. Barn style functions exactly like pocket doors. The only difference is that barn-style doors when fully opened, do not retreat into a compartment.
• Telescopic Sliding Pocket Door. A telescopic sliding pocket door features two parallel doors that disappear into a single, same pocket, unlike the two compartments used in Double Pocket Doors.
• Half pocket, Half Hinged. This is a single door system of which part of it slides into a pocket while the other half opens as a classic hinged door.

Pros and Cons of Pocket Doors
• An excellent choice when you need extra space or want to give a sense of openness between two rooms.
• Pocket doors look great, enhancing the aesthetics of both old and new home designs.
• Pocket doors are ideal for spaces where you know the door will be left open most of the time but want the option to close them should the need ever arise.
• When choosing a pocket door, you'll find that compared to traditional doors, which are generally one solid color, with a pocket door, there are more daring options featuring intricate design patterns, bold color schemes, and a wide range of materials that can add vibrance to any room.
• Because pocket doors slide out of the way entirely, they provide no obstruction to wheelchair users or those who rely on mobility aids for walking.

• As pocket doors don't sit as tightly as most conventional doors, they aren't as effective in containing noise, light, or potential smells traveling from one room to the next.
• For an average 32" pocket door, a wall opening double that size is needed. The opening is then covered up with a wall finish material, but because that wall section contains no studs, that section is not as structurally sound as other interior walls.
• While sliding pocket doors are excellent for wheelchair users, those with limited mobility in their hands, or those with arthritis, they can be more difficult to manage.

What is the Best Pocket Door System For Me?
In essence, all pocket doors function similarly, sharing the same pros and cons. Surprisingly, choosing the best pocket door for you is relatively simple.
• Measure the available space.
• Choose a standard pocket door frame size or kit that will fit your space

The rest of the decision depends on what style or color door you like. Pocket doors have been around since the Victorian era, proving they are a classic and timeless choice with little change to the design over the centuries. If you are seeking hardware or options for your pocket door, please feel free to contact us at Direct Door Hardware. 

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