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Why Pocket Doors Fail (And How to Avoid It)

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Pocket doors tend to get a bad reputation since this piece of hardware is difficult to change later and may encounter some pitfalls in durability due to poor installation and cheap hardware selections which becomes more costly to fix.

When it comes to pocket doors, most of the time builders or even homeowners don’t think about what they want until it’s too late.

As a result, unless a builder or architect, or even the homeowner, decides they want to do something nonstandard with their pocket door installation, basic hardware is typically installed, which leads to frustration, failure, and high costs down the line.

That’s why it’s often emphasized that pocket doors need to be done right from the start.

Why Pocket Doors Fail

Pocket doors fail mainly because of two key factors: the hardware itself or the poor installation. Failures include doors that fall off the track, plastic rollers that crack, door tracks that aren’t perfectly level that cause phantom door issues (where doors may open by themselves), or even a hidden end nail in the system that the door will scratch on repeatedly.

In addition, screws from the rollers into the door will back out over time because of constant use and the door will fall off the track and drag, making it unable to open or close.

A broken door isn’t the worst part, though.

When these doors do fail, you’ll have to remove the drywall and anything that’s around it. For example, if there’s cabinetry on either side of the wall, it will have to come down, potentially involving even your countertops, depending on what’s situated around the door. This can be a long, expensive process.

How to Avoid Pocket Door Failure

Pocket doors require the use of particularly tricky pieces of hardware and installation. According to Matt Risinger, CEO, Risinger Build, you’ll want a seasoned carpenter, not a rookie, to install these.

To avoid the time and cost that will come along with failure, it’s suggested that when ordering parts, you have a finish carpenter come to the site (at the rough stage of the build) so that he or she can install the track and system prior to drywall being hung, or even before the trades arrive, to put the mechanicals on the house. That’s a big key to a successful install.

The finish carpenter, as opposed to the rough or frame carpenter, will ensure the track is perfectly level, whereas later on in the process, it can become different situation altogether because it will be harder to get to and difficult to excavate.

A Game-Changing Solution for Pocket Door Repair

Aside from proper installation, hardware is of the utmost importance.

Imagine if your pocket door track was actually designed to be detached, allowing the roller and door to be removed without damaging the pocket and having to rip down walls.

The ability to access the rollers and soft-close mechanisms from the opening area without having to cut out a large section of dry wall is something building pros would even consider to be a “game changer.”

Sugatsune is bringing that capability into the hands of building professionals with a durable sliding door track and roller system that’s going to withstand movement over time. Surely, its biggest draw is its ability to access all of the hardware without damaging the pocket.

The FD80H premium pocket door solution is the kind of hardware you’ll want to use on your pocket doors due to its two-way soft motion, quiet movements, and easy installation. It’s been designed specifically for easy access to hardware and door removal without breaking the pocket. Rigorous testing was conducted by their engineers to ensure its durability with cycle tests exceeding 200,000 repetitions and side impact tests that withstood 60 lbs. of force. (Watch this video for more information.)

The company also prepared retail packages that are perfect for DIY-ers and can be picked up at various showroom stores.  

To learn more about this high quality pocket door system visit www.sugatsune.com or contact Sugatsune’s technical experts at 800-562-5267.