Pocket doors are evil so replace with barn doors

Pocket doors are evil so replace with barn doors

titus gilliam

This attached picture below is a typical representation of a pocket door.

damaged pocket door

Pocket doors are often times drawn into a set of plans because the designer/ architect cannot figure out another solution for that door opening. It is an easy fix to kick the can down the road and avoid modifying a set of plans to have a proper functioning door.

Here are some reasons not to use pocket doors:

  • The hardware is often times lower quality and will likely wear out and fail. This is guaranteed to happen with entry level pocket door hardware. If you are doing a thicker door, can plan ahead, still want a pocket door, then at a minimum upgrade to the best pocket door frame and hardware you can find. Make sure it is rated for you weight and thickness of door.
  • If you have already installed the hardware it may not work with our heavier and thicker doors.
  • Drywallers are prone to damage the pocket door frames. They put screws through the frames that scratch the face of the door. During the course of construction the frame gets beat around and knocked out of plumb and square.
  • Once the hardware and frame is installed and covered up it is very difficult to change out, replace, repair and so forth once it is covered with sheetrock.
  • In some ways the pocket door takes up more space than a swing door or barn door because mechanical, plumbing and electrical cannot go in that section of wall. You have to find other places to put switches and outlets.
  • Like in the attached picture of the paint grade pocket door the face of the door gets damaged with use.
  • You have less flexibility for custom door sizes in all aspects for thickness, width and height.

In the main picture is a great solution to a spot that would have been typically been a pocket door. One edge of the opening dies into a perpendicular exterior wall, so no sliding door can go that direction. One side of the opening goes into an exterior door off a garage and base of a staircase. The other side opens into a congested laundry room. Neither side of the opening was conducive to a swing door. The outside wall space of the opening didn't have enough room for a barn door because of a staircase. That only left the inside of the wall space in the laundry room for a barn door. By good planning and design it worked perfectly.  This door is a particularly heavy 2" thick door but is easily supported by our low profile barn door track. The cabinets were held 2 3/4" off the wall to accommodate enough clearance for the 2" thick barn door to slide between the cabinets and the wall. The hex head hanger bolts were swapped out for carriage bolts and the backside nuts were countersunk so they were flush with the back of the door. It functions flawlessly.  The track is much smoother and stronger than pocket door track. It supports a thicker and heavier door than one could have done with pocket door hardware. Also there is a bunch of electrical and vacuum outlets in this wall section.

Our barn door v track can also be mounted in non-traditional barn door application.  The vertical leg of the track that is typically mounted to the face of the wall can instead be mounted to a bracket made with something like angle iron so it could be attached to the ceiling or the bottom of a header. Using this system means you could use our barn door track inside of a wall cavity the same way you would do a pocket door, but you get the benefit of our stronger track and failsafe ball bearing wheels. You bolt the backside of the v track to the vertical plumb leg of the angle iron, and the other horizontal leg of the angel iron is attached to the ceiling.

Bypass track has for example one sliding closet door pass in front of another with both of the doors staying within the opening and neither go into a wall cavity like pocket doors or pass in front of a back wall like a single track barn door. Builder grade closet track for bypass doors is notoriously light duty and prone to failure also. Our solution to this problem was to introduce a reliable and failsafe bypass sliding door hardware track kit. Our V track captures the wheel more reliable where the smooth operating ball bearing wheel cannot not pop out of the track. Also the all steel track and brackets manufactured here in the USA won't warp, bend, or break! You won't find single piece tracks in stock longer than what we offer since we stock lengths up to 20' long as one piece tracks. Each sliding door bypass track kit comes with two tracks, two pairs of hangers and wheels, cantilever brackets, and everything you need to mount two bypass doors on rails.

Bi-fold doors can't be left out as another likely culprit for future potential frustration, broken tracks and wheels, and job security for neighborhood handyman. They have too many moving parts fighting against each other, made to light duty specifications, and the wheels want to come off the tracks. The doors also get banged up like pocket doors and bypass doors because they don't slide smoothly or aren't properly guided on the top and bottom with tracks and guides. Substitute a barn door track for the bifold tracks. It will operate better and last forever. If you don't have room to open both barn doors then shrink the size of the opening and use a single barn door or use the bypass low profile track kit to mount both closet doors in the same space as the bi-fold door were going to take.

Good luck. Do good and save the world from poor quality hardware.