Whether you’re planning on separating a room or space for an office, spare bedroom or storage, dividing a room with a pocket door can help keep any area private without sacrificing on much needed space. If you can frame a 2×4 wall, then you can easily divide any room or space with a pocket door.
Locating the Wall Choosing a proper location for installing a wall is crucial to success. Locating plumbing lines, electrical lines, vents, ducts and studs are critical to installing any wall in an existing structure. A stud locater/ line detector is the perfect piece of gear for checking behind drywall and other wall coverings, without destroying the drywall in the process.
Once your certain no interference is behind the wall, snap a line and attach the bottom plate to the floor. Then, attach a wall nailer 2×4 to the existing wall with five 2 ½” woodscrews. From this point to the other side of the room will hopefully be another stud.
If no stud exists on the other existing wall, then use two 3″ screws placed in both the top and bottom plate of the existing wall. Use three large butterfly toggle bolts to secure the wall nailer in place. Attach the top and bottom plates the same way.
Building the Wall If you’re lucky enough, you will have enough room to attach the studs to the top plate, enabling you (and a helper) to lift the entire wall into place in one shot. Otherwise, you’ll need to attach the top place first, and then add each stud in place one by one. Don’t forget to add a minimum of three toenails in each stud, top and bottom.
A typical door header and jack height for a pocket door is 83″ but may need adjustment for the addition of a bottom plate or differentiating floor heights such as a transition between tile and carpet. Always assemble the pocket door prior to building the wall. This will ensure your height is correct as you build the wall. Use my article on Installing a Pocket Door and How to Frame a 2×4 Wall in Five Easy Steps for more in depth advice and instructions.
Installing the Pocket Door Although this is the final step, it may be the hardest. A perfectly leveled header and jacks must be installed during framing; otherwise, you’re going to have some serious problems when you actually install the pocket door slab. These articles, Installing a Pocket Door, Installing a Pocket Door Slab, Trimming a Pocket Door and Installing Pocket Door Locks will get you started in the right direction when dividing a room with a pocket door.