Most people hear the word pocket door and kind of wrinkle their brow in confusion thinking maybe a doggy door or a door within a door. A pocket door is a sliding door that disappears, when fully open, into a compartment in the adjacent wall. They can be used either for their appearance or if there is no room for a hinged door to swing open. In smaller places or areas where a swinging door is inconvenient for space, a pocket door is a great solution. Some of them also serve other purposes like the partial height pocket door can also double as a pet/baby gate. Some owners enjoy the look and aesthetic of a sliding door in their home. As you see this door style in more modern home styles.
Pocket Door Pros
There are a lot of things that are ideal about pocket doors. The main appeal is usually saving space in small areas where doors are not fitting or in more cramped spaces. These are good for bathrooms and small closet areas. The idea of a pocket door is saving valuable wall space that can then be utilized for other shelves or other furniture.
Sliding doors are useful for designing two separate rooms. So that you can join the rooms as needed. Also, there is the aesthetic value of the pocket doors, especially glass pocket doors, that many can use to add creativity to their home.
Something else a lot of parents is enjoying are partial height pocket doors that only come up to two or three feet tall. They are good at being a gate for toddlers and pets to keep them out of individual rooms. For instance; like the kitchen when you’re cooking or cleaning.
Any parent can tell you how annoying it is to install a baby gate in any room, permanently or temporarily. With the partial height pocket doors, it’s just a matter of if you need a gate up or not.
Pocket Door Cons
While there are a lot of good things about pocket doors, there are also a few downsides. One of the main issues is the door doesn’t seal as tightly as a regular swinging door that can be locked.
The sealing issue means the sound isn’t dampened as much and you can be heard more clearly behind the doors. If there are any smells, like the bathroom or kitchen, they easily waft into the rest of the open home. And the light is tough to seal against as well with pocket doors. So if you’re a light sleeper and have an issue with the light keeping you up, this may not be a good idea for your bedroom door.
Issues with Pocket Doors
Another problem is when installing you have to tear up part of the wall when you install the pocket door. When finished being equipped, the door is covered by plaster and drywall. This means there are no central reinforcements or studs, so the wall is less sturdy than a swinging door.
Pocket doors are also known to have problems with their functionality such as falling off their tracks. As well as moving with difficulty, and are problematic to lock and can screech when rolled.
Anyone in the home who has dexterity issues like arthritis might also have a problem opening the doors as they take more energy to close than a swinging door. Most people who install them enjoy them even if they have to get it fixed or replaced.