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Installing a pocket door. 36" or 42" wide?


Oct 17, 2002
We're going to install a pocket door in our basement that leads into a room that we're framing off from the rest of the basement.

We have another pocket door in the house that's only 28" wide and it's a bit tiny. It works for the bathroom but it seems like it would be small as a main door to a big room.

This will eventually become the biggest point of entry into the room, and it's going to be a combo home theater + music studio. The pocket door kit I'm going to use doesn't vary in price dramatically between the sizes I'm considering, so price is not an issue. Of course the larger door itself will be more expensive because it's more material, we're ok with it.

That said, we have 54" of total width to play with, and that includes the wall framing and space for the door. I'd basically have a total of 6" on each side for studs, trim, etc. It'd basically take up the entire width. But I can't help but think those extra inches in the door width would come in handy.




Golden Member
Mar 2, 2013
We installed 2 pocket doors here and love them.
It sounds like this may be your first so ;) -

1. Go here - http://johnsonhardware.com/index.htm , and get all the correct part #'s.
2. Then you can shop for the best prices.
3. ONLY buy a kit with ball bearing hangers.
4. Buy the 1062 Bi-Directional Soft-Close Kit (and thank me later :) )
5. Buy the 2041PLBG Hidden Pocket Door Guide Kit and throw away the guides that come with the pocket door kit. This guide eliminates all noise when opening or closing the door.
6. Hang the door and make all adjustments before closing up the wall. Everything is easier to adjust that way and the door is super easy to unhang afterwards for finishing the wall and putting a finish on the door.
7. We went with the simple recessed flush pulls, that fit in the door where the knob or lever normally goes - pictures of examples - http://www.jhusa.net/bparts1.aspx
We tried 2 different type of edge pulls (pictures of examples - http://www.jhusa.net/bparts1.aspx - they go where the latch is on a std. door and are used for pulling the door out of the pocket), but we found them awkward and not really comfortable to use.
We ended up using a finger pull, basically a flat plate with a hole to stick your finger in. Works easily and simply.
8. Use a good quality solid core door, the ball bearing, the guides and close kit I listed handle it without problems and give everything a much better "feel" and should help with sound exclusion in a media room.

Our doors operate smoothly and quietly with only 1/8" of clearance from the floor and 3/16" on each side of the pocket after installing trim. Visitors are always amazed by their ease of use and quietness, as they are used to the older style pocket doors and installations. ;)


Oct 17, 2002
Wouldn't you want a door that blocks sound?
Yes, but we weighed the pros and cons and think a huge, heavy door that's always in the way would likely be super annoying because it will usually be open.

I'm going to put in the heaviest door the pocket frame will support though. It'll have to be enough. Doing 2 layers of drywall around everything though.
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