Do you know a pocket door can maximize your interior space, create a convenient connection and let you make a private and safe space?
A pocket door is an interior door that slides into a shallow space or pocket inside the wall. These doors offer practical, simple solutions for limited spaces that might not accommodate traditional swinging doors. They also provide unmatched privacy.
Over time, you might need to remove older pocket doors, remodel the project, or even replace them because of wear and tear. But how will you do that? In this guide, you’ll learn how to remove a pocket door without removing the trim. Keep reading for the steps you need to take.
Tools You Need
You need some basic handheld tools to remove a pocket door effectively. You can purchase them at a local hardware store. These tools include:
- Power drill
- Flat bar
You should also have emergency safety kits in case you harm yourself.
4 Steps of Removing a Pocket Door Without Removing the Trim
Removing a pocket door without removing the trim is easy, especially if you are conversant with handheld tools and home improvement projects.
Having someone to help you when completing these kinds of projects is vital. Typically, pocket doors are lightweight and shallow, but there’s a chance you might come across a solid wooden pocket door that might require extra manpower. Many local contractors and handymen can assist you. Plus, if you have questions about the new hardware, such as the hanging set, you can call the hardware store for help.
Removing a pocket door doesn’t have to involve removing the trim. Be gentle with the jamb and rollers to repair or install a pocket door. A screwdriver is one of the main tools for doing the project. Once everything is ready follow these four steps
1. Locate the Jamb Stop
Jamb stops are positioned at the track’s head above the pocket door. It’s the J-shaped hardware that requires it to be detached with a screwdriver. Unscrew the bolts and disconnect the jamb stops
Let the assistant hold the pocket door such that the door doesn’t get banged down after detaching the doorstop. This way, you can unscrew the opposite nuts of a jamb stop.
2. Lift the Door From its Track
This is for pocket doors that operate on a J-Track. But if you are removing a door on a trolley mechanism, this step won’t be necessary.
Hold the door from the bottom and lift it up. This will disengage the rollers from the door track. However, if the pocket door is attached to its track through a trolley system, you’ll need to slacken up the connection with a screwdriver.
Then start swinging the door outward gently as you push it up to lift the wheel assembly out of the J-track. This might take time and extra maneuvering to ensure the carriage door is at the right angle. Make sure you assess the weight of the pocket door before you embark on this project in case you might need assistance once the door is released.
3. Remove the Old Rollers
Find the roller’s base and unscrew the door frame keeping the roller in position. After you remove the pocket door frames, you can remove the older roller. Store the screws and metal brackets so you can reuse them when you want to mount new rollers.
4. Remove the Pocket Door from its Frame
Never let the rollers come near the track, as this might not allow you to detach the door from its frame. Position the pocket door and then push it out of the sliding space. This process is simpler if something guides the door to prevent the door from pumping into its frame.
Full Removal of Track and Pocket Door
The process is complex if you want to remove the pocket door fully, install a swinging door, or change the door’s track. Here are some of the things to consider.
When removing a pocket door, it’s crucial to ensure the hanging mechanism matches the door track. Many aren’t interchangeable, and changing the entire track with a new door won’t be worth your time.
Old tracks might seem functional and become sticky or noisy over time. In this case, removing the entire track might make sense. If you are in this situation, here is what to do to remove the pocket door and existing sliding track.
- With a stud finder, locate the internal track. Make the location of the internal pocket door hardware and studs using a pencil.
- Use a drywall saw to cut a square opening around the framework. Ensure the hole is large to accommodate the screwdriver or power cordless drill. Remember that the drywall area can be utilized after replacing the door or track to fill the hollow in the drywall you’ve created.
- Remove the screws from the track. You’ll have easy access to screws via the hole in the wall, and make sure you remove all the screws in the track at the top sides of the frame.
- Since all screws are out, unscrew the door hinges and slide the track out of the wall.
As we’ve seen, most pocket door issues can be fixed without having to remove the trim. Here are other tips to help you when it comes to fixing a pocket door. The good news is that all these are DIY projects.
1. Lubricate the Door Rollers
If the door is hard to lock or open, the rollers might need lubrication. Don’t use water or oil displacement lubricants. Rather, spray the rollers once or twice with a silicone spray. Roll the door a couple of times to distribute the spray.
2. Tighten the Door on Track
The door pocket might become loose since it’s used repeatedly. You can tighten the accessible half of the track without removing the trim.
3. Replace the Door Track
Sometimes, you might want to unhang the whole track and change it. You’ll need to remove a small part of the drywall near the pocket door opening to get to the hidden part of the track.
Once the part is removed, insert a drill to detach the screws fastening the track, and then remove the retention clips. Reach out to the reachable section of the door opening to loosen the track. You can now take away the track and replace it.
4. Fix Misaligned or Uneven Door
The door may be in its position and slide well but fails to meet the covering squarely when fully closed. Due to this misalignment and unevenness, a door section might protrude once you open the pocket door.
Find the adjustable metal rollers on top of the pocket door using a flashlight. Turn the rollers using a pocket door wrench to lower or raise them. The process will move the pocket side down or up. Do it carefully not to damage the hanger and clip.
5. Re-level the Track
Maybe the door is uneven or may not slide well since the door track at the top of the opening isn’t on the level. Realigning the rollers will help but to a slight degree. However, if the door track isn’t on the level, you’ll need to remove and reinstall the level.
Once you remove the door track, hold the level against the track’s attachment point. However, if that point isn’t level, bolt the shims. Place the shims in a proper place till the gurgle level gets to the right level. Then Install a new track and door.
Pocket Door Maintenance Tips
Taking good care of a pocket door will improve its functionality and prevent you from wasting money on frequent maintenance and repair costs. Here are pocket door maintenance tips to pay attention to:
- Use proper lubricant: Silicone is the best for lubricating your pocket door. A water-resistant product will last long to make sure your door lasts long as it prevents drafts.
- Lubricate the door rollers regularly: Creaking noises are unpleasant. It would help if you had a quiet and peaceful environment at your own home. So, make sure you lubricate the rollers to avoid embarrassment when having guests around.
- Clean the track and rollers frequently: The door will function well and last longer when clean rollers and tracks are present.
Even though pocket doors work excellently in most cases, sometimes they might get stuck, come off track or become misaligned. You can solve some of these problems by doing it yourself (DIY). Removing a pocket door without removing the trim shouldn’t be daunting now that you’ve read our guide.
If you have any questions or concerns about pocket door maintenance without removing the trim, leave a comment below.