Pocket door

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Ensuite pocket door.jpg

A pocket door is a sliding door that, when fully open, disappears into a compartment in the adjacent wall. Pocket doors are used for architectural effect, or when there is no room for the swing of a hinged door. They can travel on rollers suspended from an overhead track or tracks or guides along the floor. Single- and double-door versions are used, depending on how wide an entry is desired.


Pocket door between hall and dining room in a ~1800s home

Installing a pocket door rather than a hinged door can free up an average of ten square feet of floor space,[1] according to building expert Tim Carter, who considers the pocket door "one of the top ten most overlooked items when many architects and builders plan a home".[2] The doors were particularly common in Victorian homes to close off such areas as sitting rooms or dens; however, as architectural tastes changed, many of the hardware manufacturers went out of business.[3] With improvement in the hardware and the growth of the market for condominiums and town homes, there has been a resurgence of interest in this space-saving feature. Modern residential uses include bathrooms, closets, laundry or utility rooms, or home offices.[4]

A wall-hung variation is a sliding door, sometimes marketed as an "open pocket door"; this may be used where in-wall installation is impractical. This version is recommended for homes with disabled residents due to greater ease of opening.[5]

One downside to pocket doors is hidden parts and hardware, which can make them difficult to replace or repair when something goes wrong. Fixing the problem might require removing the door and trim and opening up the wall.[6]


1953 Kaiser Darrin showing pocket door.

The 1953-'54 Kaiser Motors Darrin sports car used pocket doors.

Sliding doors and the to-bukuro compartments into which they stack at a Zen Buddhist temple in Japan


  1. ^ Saving Space at Home – Pocket Doors (2015). "How to Save Space at Home With Pocket Doors". Retrieved 2015-04-16.
  2. ^ "Installing Pocket Doors," Ask the Builder http://www.askthebuilder.com/489_Adding_Pocket_Doors_in_an_Existing_Home.shtml
  3. ^ Interior Doors Direct http://www.interiordoors.com/pocket.html
  4. ^ "When organizing a closet, consider a pocket door," Vallejo Times-Herald http://www.timesheraldonline.com/homeimprovement/ci_3651804
  5. ^ "Wall-hanging version of sliding door available," Vallejo Times-Herald http://www.timesheraldonline.com/homeimprovement/ci_3651801 (dead link), archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20061121053302/http://www.timesheraldonline.com/homeimprovement/ci_3651801
  6. ^ "How to Repair and Replace a Pocket Door," Ron Hazelton's HouseCalls http://www.ronhazelton.com/article/home/windows/UDIzMQ/How_to_Repair_and_Replace_a_Pocket_Door_

Further reading[edit]

"Installing Pocket Door Frame Kit," JB Kind http://www.jbkind.com/info-centre/how-to-install-a-pocket-door-frame

"Choosing the right size Pocket Door" Pocketdoorshop https://www.pocketdoorshop.co.uk/information/Choosing-the-Right-Size