Pocket Door Rough Opening Can Be Tricky

framing pocket door rough opening

Here is How We installed Two Pocket Doors During a Kitchen Remodel

I’m an avid fixer-upper fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines. We were in the middle of our kitchen renovation project. We realized the new design had a gallery-ish style and feel, with a large opening in the middle of the floor space. Then it hit me; Joanna Gaines would probably throw a pocket door in the middle of this. This would be functional because we’d have the best of both worlds, a huge opening when we wanted and two French pocket doors when more privacy is needed. 

There was one caveat, we needed to find out if the rough opening was large enough to fit two pocket doors. Please keep reading to find out what we ended up doing.

OOPS! The door we got were two beautiful 30 inches French doors. What is the rough opening for this scenario?

The rough opening for pocket doors is essential to consider when planning a new construction or renovation project. The rough opening should measure at least two times the width of the door plus 1 inch and a minimum of 84.5 inches tall for the door header. This will ensure the pocket door can slide open and close smoothly without hitting obstacles. It is also vital to ensure that the rough opening is level and free from protruding screws or sharp edges.

We measured our rough opening and compared it to the door size charts online. Unfortunately, our rough opening was too small to accommodate two pocket doors. Our rough opening was 120 inches wide, but our two pocket doors called for 60×2+2 in width, which is 122 inches. We had already bought the doors and had no choice but to find a solution, so we had to be creative.

The installation process was trickier than we anticipated. We decided to make the pocket doors overlap and install them as bypass doors. There are pros and cons to doing this, but we have the pictures for you to judge. Still, after some trial and error (and a few extra trips to the hardware store), we installed those pocket doors, and they’ve been working great ever since. Keep reading to learn how to do this in this situation.

Tips and tools to simplify any pocket door installation

pocket in home design

Pocket door installation checklist

You’ll need the Pocket Door Frame assembly for your door size; this is already framed for your door. In our case, we bought two 30×80 pocket door frames. It includes the frame with the sliding door hardware. Lastly, you need a second set of hands to make this easier. You can do it with others to simplify the installation, especially when the rough opening is on the small side.

Adding a pocket door to your home can be a great way to save space and create a more streamlined look. However, installation can be somewhat tricky. Here are a few tips and stand instructions that can help simplify the process:

Also Read:   Learn How to Change Your Kitchen Right Now!

Framing: Ensure the rough opening is large enough to accommodate the door frame. If not, you may need to do some additional framing work.

Hardware: you’ll need the Frame assembly for your door size. This includes the frame and sliding hardware for the doors.

Sliding brackets: to secure the frame, you’ll need to install brackets into the studs. The second set of hands can be helpful for this step.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to a successful pocket door installation.

Pros and cons when your pocket doors overlap as semi-bypass doors to make for the small rough opening

Pros when you install door kit as overlap or bypass:

Pocket doors give your space a high-end look and feel. Making them bypass doors will allow you to incorporate most pocket door sizes in your design regardless of your rough opening measurement.

No Gaps.

Installing the doors as bypass will ensure that there are no gaps between your doors.


The wall will be thicker

The door wall will be thicker when the pocket door overlaps with each other vs. standard installation. The thickness of your wall will be larger if you install your pocket doors as bypass doors.

Does not fit every interior design or layout

This solution will only work for some people. Dependent on your home layout, there may be a better fit for you. Know the style of your home. With the help of home design software, like IKEA planning tool, you’ll be able to visualize your space with pocket doors before you embark on this journey.


How do you Finish the Wall of a pocket door?

The prebuilt pocket door frame is very thin and isn’t safe enough to hold standard drywall on its own. In our case, we installed a 2×4 horizontally across the door opening and flushed it with the door header. That is where we screwed the drywall at the top of the header. We installed and screwed the drywall in the prebuilt frame but with short screws as not to drill into the pocket door itself.

How do pocket doors work?

Pocket doors are doors that slide and are hidden into the wall to save space. They are attached to a track on the header frame or ceiling; when they are open, they disappear into the wall. They are used for multiple functions, such as to close off a room or create more space in that same room by sliding them out of the way, as in our case.

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