How to Fix a Pocket Door

If you have a pocket door that isn’t working properly, here are some remedies you can try.

Pocket door with translucent panels glides into the wall for space efficiency.

Pocket door with translucent panels glides into the wall for space efficiency.

Pocket Door Is Off Its Track

If the pocket door is off of its track, you’ll have to remove it before you can repair it. To do this:

1Use a utility knife to break the paint seal along the stop moldings on each door jamb, and then carefully pry off the moldings with a chisel or a 5-in-1 tool and flat bar.

2Position the door so that it’s centered in the doorway, tilt it toward the room, and lift the rollers out of the overhead track.

3Inspect the rollers to see if they’re broken, worn, or otherwise fouled. If one or both are, repair or replace both of them. You can buy pocket door hardware online or you can take your parts to a well-stocked hardware store to find matching replacements.

Repairing A Pocket Door Track

Repairing the track is trickier because it’s located inside the pocket. If possible, slide your arm into the pocket and make sure the track is screwed soundly in place. If it isn’t, do your best to tighten the screws.

A hopeless track will have to be replaced. This involves removing enough wall covering near the track to let you access the old track so you can remove it and install a new one. Unless you’re accomplished at home carpentry, call in a professional. You can buy a pocket door track replacement kit online.

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Roller at the base of this pocket door is adjustable for smoother gliding on its track.

Pocket Door Does Not Roll Well

When a pocket door doesn’t work right, the problem is often with the rollers. Check that they’re fitted into the track properly. If they are, you will need to remove the door to diagnose the problem.

1Remove both stops from the head jamb and from one side jamb so that you can lift the door out. Angle the bottom out, and then lift the door up.

 

2Inspect the rollers to see if they’re broken or have just come loose. If the problem is just a loose roller, tighten or replace the loose screws at its base. If a roller is broken, replace both.

Pocket door tracks and rollers can also be adjusted to compensate for a warped door, but a badly warped door should be replaced.

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