Did you wanted to save precious floor space but ended up with scratched up pocket doors? Now you’re thinking of eliminating them from your next DIY interior projects. But you can easily fix it, so let us change your perspective!
Now you’re thinking, how do you fix a pocket door from scratching?
First, you should check for nails or bolts in the drywall. Next, remove the door and inspect the sliding cavity, the wheels and the guides. Adjust and remove the unwanted things. Remove the inner baseboard if you have one. Lastly, watch out for an out of plumb wall or wood warping.
Still not convinced? Have no fear! We have a whole detailed article prepared just for you.
Before we get started, let’s find out what’s causing this problem, shall we?
Why is Your Pocket Door Scratching?
Even if you’re a DIY expert, you’d need a bit of context to understand the pocket door issue. So, let’s check out why your pocket door might be rubbing against the wall.
Reason 1- Sliding Cavity Problem:
If you notice that the door does not slide properly, there may be a problem with the sliding hardware. Your door may slam into the sidewall as well as door hardware located within the pocket door’s sliding frame.
It’s possible that even the track for the sliding door isn’t set up correctly on the floor. The quality of the pocket frame, tracks, and trolleys is critical in this case. If you weren’t careful, you’d most likely end up with a faulty product.
Reason 2- Out of Plumb Wall:
You’d need perfectly vertical walls for your sliding doors otherwise your door might scuff against the wall. Old walls may not be perfectly vertical. So, even if you look closely, you might not be able to tell the difference.
If the wall is ‘out of plumb,’ the carpenters may have used sliding door guides and trims to equalize the tilt. If you think something is wrong, you can use a spirit level to check.
Reason 3- Design Flaw During Installation:
Check to see if you’ve installed a baseboard against a pocket door using nails that go right through drywall. In that case, your door will rub against the drywall as it slides.
The nails may also distort the position of the frame causing it to shift and begin to rub against the door as it slides.
Reason 4- Wood Warping:
Check to see if one portion or end of the door is higher than the others. If so, then the wooden panel door is most likely warped.
The moisture and humidity ratio are the primary contributors to the expansion and contraction of wood.
These were all the reasons why your pocket sliding door might be scratching. If you live in the tropics, don’t use wooden pocket doors as fixing them could be a costly affair.
5 Step BY Step Process to Fix Pocket Door Scratching
Now you’re well aware of the various reasons why a pocket door scrapes against a wall. But it could just be a broken roller or something in the track. A nail or bolt is more likely.
Let’s take a look at how you can get out of this situation step by step!
Step 1- Look Around and Identify:
Take a flashlight and look inside the pocket door frame. The door will be scratched if a nail or bolt in the drywall is extensively long. Simply removing the screw or nail will solve this problem.
Check to see if the door is out of the sliding hinge. Sometimes trolleys and wheels need to be adjusted as they could move outside the sliding cavity. You’d need to remove the whole door to adjust these properly.
Step 2- Check the Sliding Guides:
If it’s a problem with the sliding cavity, use a door guide. You’ll find these in the hardware section of your nearest Home Depot.
They should be installed at the bottom of the door frame. To get the door guides to work properly with your pocket door sliding, you might need to do a little bit of trimming.
But, if you already have a sliding guide, then you can take it out and polish it with candle wax.
Step 3- Remove Inner Baseboard:
Now, remove the pocket door entirely and see if you’ve installed a baseboard or not. If so, then that’s most likely causing all the rubbing and scratching.
You can fix it easily by taking out the baseboards on both sides of the pocket door. Also, get rid of the nasty nails and use glue instead to refinish the baseboards.
Step 4- Inspect the Wood Warping:
Even after all this effort if you hear noises and scratches, then it’s the case of wood warping. Sanding the door will probably temporarily solve the problem. But, for a long lasting effect you should change the pocket door altogether.
Step 5: Review the wall:
Lastly, before changing the pocket door, you’d have to eliminate the chances of an out of plumb wall. Holding the spirit level up to the wall, the lateral bulb will show if the wall is straight or not.
The wall is plumb if the bubble in the vial is exactly in the middle of the two marks. Otherwise, the wall isn’t really straight. You’d need to fix the crooked wall.
Do I Need Thicker Walls to Install Pocket Doors?
Answer: No, you won’t need a thicker wall to install pocket doors. You’d just need to check if the thickness of the pocket door matches the frame or not.
Which Woods are Resistant to Warping?
Answer: Cedar, Redwood, and Fir are some of the most warp-resistant types of wood. These are wood species that are resistant to moisture infiltration due to their density. Therefore, these will experience minimal shrinkage and breaking.
Can I Install Pocket Doors Wherever I Want?
Answer: No, you can’t install pocket doors just anywhere you want. You’d have to check if the interior wall has electrical wires, pocket cavity to accommodate the door or plumbing or not.
Now you know everything about how to fix pocket door scratching. Now hurry up and follow the steps to avoid scuffs and dings on your pocket door.
A simple tip for vintage pocket doors. They’re most likely to warp because of moisture. So you can have them cured professionally to prevent warping.
Best of luck with your clean-up project. Have a good day!