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loftezy 11-11-2010 02:28 PM

How "square" does "square" have to be for pocket door?
I am framing an opening for a Johnson pocket door (my first time!). I've read the instructions and tips online and they all say to have the opening perfectly square and plumb. My opening is 65" wide (32x2 +1) but when I measure the opening on each of the diagonals, the measurements are different by a 1/4".

Is that too far out of square for a pocket door?

oh'mike 11-11-2010 02:41 PM

What does the level say? Forget the diagonals--if the floor is out you can deal with a little variation in the gap

The header must be level--that is a must--

Shimming can take care of any out of plumb in the right and left studs.--Mike--

DangerMouse 11-11-2010 02:44 PM

right AND left? -=chuckle=-
Like Mike says, as long as the door hangs level, yer good to go.
I wouldn't worry about it TOO much.

Does the door close flat and plumb?

Which way is it cockeyed?

You might be able to square it up visually with the casement to hide it, (if it's even noticeable.)

BTW, wise choice for hardware. They make the best IMHO and is all I'LL ever use.


loftezy 11-11-2010 02:57 PM

I don't have the pocket door frame yet (it is in the mail), so I don't know if it closes properly yet.

The header is level and it makes me feel a lot better that the 1/4" difference doesn't alarm either of you. I will install the frame when I get it and see how it looks.

DangerMouse 11-11-2010 03:13 PM

If you ever see another frame that's not a Johnson, feel free to compare the quality.
The Made In ***** ones I've seen are pure junk, avoid them at all costs.
Remember, the door rolls freely above the floor, so the " makes no difference.
Just follow their (easy to understand) directions and I bet you'll love your pocket door as much as I love mine! Po)


DangerMouse 11-11-2010 03:24 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's a 36" Johnson I'm putting in.
Done (drywalled) on one side, still need to do casements and trim.
I think I'll do it in walnut.


oh'mike 11-11-2010 07:37 PM

I usually fill in the open areas with plywood---seems to stiffen up the system--adds a bit of sound deadening and makes the drywall easier to install.---Mike---

jlhaslip 11-11-2010 08:55 PM

Rough openings having diagonals within a 1/4" are quite acceptable.
If the Jamb that the door hits against is out of plumb, either shim it to plumb or use a thicker door stop trim.

loftezy 11-11-2010 09:57 PM

Thanks for the tips, everyone.

I hadn't even thought about trim though! :eek: Is there special trim for pocket doors? Also, I was planning to go to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Use store to buy an old slab door instead of buying a new one. They usually have a good selection of solid old doors - would there be a problem going that route with a pocket door? The frame I bought can handle up to 200lbs.

jlhaslip 11-12-2010 01:25 AM

Trimming out the pocket door requires a full width jamb for the door to run into and half jambs fo the concealed side and the top.
You will need to custom cut the half jambs to suit your opening.
It in not uncommon to have a door stop moulding on the full jamb so you don't get light leaking and for privacy.

A H4H door slab would work fine but they often have door knob holes cut in them. Pocket doors do not need the hole.

DangerMouse 11-12-2010 06:15 AM


Originally Posted by jlhaslip (Post 532953)
Pocket doors do not need the hole.


I've never seen a pocket door WITHOUT holes in it of SOME sort!


tcleve4911 11-12-2010 08:18 AM

I think he's referring to the hole that the old doorknob came out of

tcleve4911 11-12-2010 08:20 AM

All the above posts were correct.

The critical piece is the header.
The track MUST be level so the rollers operate properly and the door doesn't "slide" on it's own.

Trim is the tool we all use to make plumb & 'out of square' look perfect.

I use 3/4" plywood for my walls also.
It allows fastening for DW, baseboard, wainscot, family pictures and more.

DangerMouse 11-12-2010 10:15 AM


Originally Posted by tcleve4911 (Post 533020)
I think he's referring to the hole that the old doorknob came out of

They have 2" drop-in brass plugs for that. You can use pretty much any used door. The old side/latch hole can be used for the pull-tab. Po) Or get the locking ones and both holes are still used.


troubleseeker 11-17-2010 09:52 PM

My "Cliff Notes" for pocket doors

The rough frame opening is not that crucial, as long as you meet or exceed the required size; always err on the big side.
Set the door track absolutely level as this makes everything easier.
With the track in, mount the door on the trolleys and hang it in the track, using a plumb bob to plumb it. This is the tool for critical plumb situations, not a level.
I then use the edges of the plumb door as a reference for setting the metal studs, gauranteeing they will be parallel with the door's edge. Do the same thing with the latch side jamb, using shims so that the door fits perfectly against it when closed.
Finish the trim out, and you will have a pocket door that is parallel with everything, whether open or closed.
I have used this method for many years and have never had a call back on a pocket door since the availabilty of modern quality hardware kits; Johnson being the only one to use IMO.

Remember when fastening base across the pocket, that you are only fastening into studs that are 3/4" thick; there is nothing more disheartening than shooting a 2 or 2 1/2" nail for the base, and finding out you have nailed into the door.

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