In our most recent project, I installed two new pocket doors and updated two existing ones by replacing the slabs. This meant I needed to install a pocket door pull for each one. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to do it.
What is a pocket door?
Pocket doors are a type of door that slides into a pocket in the wall. They are often used to save space, as they do not need to swing open like traditional doors. The installation of a pocket door does require a bit more work when compared to a standard door. A special frame has to be installed during the framing process which includes the track that the pocket door will slide on. Pocket doors also require a special pull that allows you to open and shut the door.
Tools & Materials
- Pocket door pull
- Tape Measure
- Scrap Wood
- Impact Driver
- Drill with 1/2″ bit
Step 1: Measure for Pocket Door Pull Placement
Typical door handle height is 36 inches off the floor. This can vary in certain situations, but this is the height I went with since all of the other door handles in the house were this height. I measured 37 inches from the floor and made a mark on the edge of the door. The extra inch allowed for the center of the pull to be at 36 inches.
Step 2: Make a Template
This step is a time saver if you are doing more than one door. The type of pull I chose required a notch to be cut out of the door that is 1 3/4″ x 3 1/8″. So instead of measuring and marking each door on both sides.
I cut a scrap piece of 1x to this size. I placed it on the door edge with the top lined up with my height mark. Then I traced around it with a pencil. I did this on both sides of the door.
Step 3: Cut Out the Notch
Using a jigsaw, I cut out the notch on the lines I marked. I cut the top and bottom horizontal lines first. Then I used a drill with a 1/2″ drill bit to drill a hole just on the inside of the vertical line near the middle. This allowed me to get the jigsaw blade aligned with the vertical line so I could complete the cut and remove the block.
I also used 1/2″ bit to drill a 1/4″ recess in the center of the notch. This allowed some room for the latch when it is in the unlocked position.
Step 4: Install Pocket Door Edge Pull
Privacy pulls have a switch on one side that allows you to lock the door. This needs to be on the inside of the room. So you may need to switch the two outside plates on the pull. This usually only requires removing a couple of screws and is fairly simple to do.
You should also make sure the latch is pointing down when in the locked position.
Once I made sure the pull was set up correctly, I installed it by sliding it into the notch in the door and using the supplied screws to fasten it in place.
Step 5: Install the Latch Plate
A privacy pocket door pull has a plate that gives the latch something to hook onto when the lock is engaged. To determine the placement of the plate, I engaged the lock on the pull so that the latch was pointing out. Then I closed the pocket door against the casing on the other side. Doing this created an indention, which I marked with a pencil.
Using this mark, I placed the plate against the casing, and outlined with with a pencil. Then I drilled a hole on the mark about 1/2″ deep using the 1/2″ drill bit.
Then I set the depth on my router to the same thickess of the plate. I used it to create a recess within the plate outline on the casing, being very careful to not go outside of the lines. I cleaned up the edges with a sharp utility knife.
Finally, I fastened the plate into the recess using the supplied screws.