Surprise! I started a whole new room/project! Madison and I are building a “recording studio” up in the loft. It’s really nothing more than a closet sized room that will be quiet enough to record voice overs … or music (Madison — not me) without the dogs collars jingling or someone knocking on the door or walking into the room singing, etc. To save space, I installed a pocket door and since I’ve been asked for one quite a few times, I took all the necessary pictures to write up a tutorial and show you how to install a pocket door frame.
How to install a pocket door
I’m using a pocket door kit from Johnson Hardware for a 36″ door. These kits make installing a pocket door super easy. You just have to frame the rough opening in your wall.
Obviously you’ll want to ready YOUR instructions for the kit you purchase! My kit called for a rough opening height to be the height of my door + 4 1/2″ with a minimum height of 84 1/2″. The width called for was the width of my door times two + 1″.
My door is 80″ so my opening height is 84 1/2″.
My door is 36″ wide so my opening width is 73″.
The next step is to put a nail or screw in the center of each side jamb (the studs on the side of the pocket door opening). The placement of this nail (in my case) is determined by your finished floor height .
Then the pocket door frame header will rest on these nails while you make sure everything is level. Once you have determined that the header is level, secure each side with screws. The wider part of the header goes over where the actual door opening will be. You may have to trim your header. If you do, a metal blade on a reciprocal saw works great.
Now you have to secure the “split jambs” in place. One set of split jambs will be butted up to the header nailer. The other will be installed halfway between the first set and the side jamb.
*Note that one end of the split jambs has a set of holes on the metal side and the other end does not. The holes need to go on the top. Those allow you to secure the split jambs to the header nailer. The other end slips onto the fingers of a floor plate.
Now, to install the split jambs!
You can either snap a chalk line or use a straight edge to draw a line on the floor even with the side jambs.
I slip the split jambs into the fingers of the floor plate, center that in my lines and mark the location of the nail/screw holes.
Then I secure the floor plate with screws and slip the split jambs back onto the fingers. (I find it easier to do it this way than as the instructions call for which is to try to nail or screw the floor plate with the split jambs in place. It’s not a very big space!
Make sure your split jambs are level and then secure with screws.
I grabbed a handful of drywall screws because there was a box sitting right there but that was a mistake! The drywall screw split my jamb. I ran down for a box of SPAX screws for the rest of the holes. Quite a difference!
And that’s it folks! That’s the pocket door kit in a nutshell. Then you screw the wheely hangers onto the door and slide it into the track…but you have to actually HAVE a door for that.
I didn’t have a door yet so I moved forward with drywalling the inside of the new room. I’ll get some electrical outlets, a light and possibly some sound proofing in there before I drywall the outside of the walls.