Pocket doors are space-saving doorways that provide privacy yet allow for both open and closed positions for doors. Rather than swinging out into the room, this door slides sideways into the wall. When open, the door is invisible to the naked eye, and when shut, a pocket door looks similar to ordinary doors. However, it does not have hinges or a doorknob.
Pocket doors were once popular in Victorian homes and are currently making a comeback as Universal and Accessible Designs become more popular. Because pocket doors slide to the side, they do not impede access for those with mobility issues or pose problems with those who use wheelchairs.
Pocket doors come in many sizes, but the standard doorway of 30” is most common. The average cost range to install a pocket door is between $800 and $2,500, with most people paying around $1,050 to install a 36” solid wood pocket door in an existing wall. This project’s low cost is $500 to install a 30” hollow core door in new construction. The high cost is $4,250 to install double glass pocket doors in existing walls.
|Pocket Door Installation Prices|
|National average cost||$1,050|
A pocket door is a sliding door that sits on a track. Pocket doors slide into the wall instead of along the wall. It disappears when it is open, leaving only a finished opening. When you shut it, it looks like any other solid door but lacks hinges 1 and a doorknob. They may have a recessed handle for opening, and many have a small metal loop on the interior edge to pull it.
Pocket doors can be installed in existing walls, but they are most often installed in new construction because they require the wall to be built around the track. Installing a pocket door in an existing wall involves removing that wall and rerouting any existing electrical wires and plumbing, before rebuilding around the door and track.
Like ordinary doors, pocket doors come in many sizes for anywhere in the home. The most common size is around 36”, which allows people to enter a room comfortably. If you need to have a wider doorway for accessibility or for furniture to fit through comfortably, up to 48” is available. The smallest size that can pass code is 32”, although many people find that too small for comfortable use. For large openings, it is possible to find some doors up to 60” in width. Below are the average costs to install pocket doors of varying sizes in both new construction and existing walls.
|Size in Inches||Average Cost (New Construction)||Average Cost (Retrofit)|
|32 Inches||$450 - $1,500||$1,350 - $2,200|
|34 Inches||$500 - $1,600||$1,400 - $2,800|
|36 Inches||$550 - $1,850||$1,550 - $2,950|
|46 Inches||$600 - $1,900||$1,600 - $3,100|
|48 Inches||$700 - $2,800||$1,600 - $3,800|
|60 Inches||$800 - $3,300||$1,700 - $4,200|
Like regular doors, pocket doors come in several materials, each with pros and cons. Like any door, consider appearance, weight, and durability. Lightweight, hollow core doors are easy to slide but not very durable. Solid wood doors are attractive and last longer but can be heavy to slide. In addition, each material has a cost range for the materials and its installation. The costs below show the averages for the different materials and their costs when installed in new construction. New construction is the most common method due to the difficulty and costs associated with retrofits. The added costs associated with a retrofit can be found in the subsections for comparison.
|Material||Average Cost (Material Only)||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Hollow-Core||$400 - $600||$500 - $800|
|Chalkboard||$400 - $2,000||$500 - $2,200|
|Glass||$450 - $2,000||$550 - $2,200|
|Fiberglass||$500 - $800||$600 - $1,000|
|Solid Wood||$500 - $2,000||$600 - $2,200|
|Aluminum||$500 - $2,000||$600 - $2,200|
Hollow-core doors 2 cost $400 to $600 on average for the material alone. The cost of this type installed averages $500 to $800 in new construction. Costs for retrofitting will be roughly $900 to $1,500 higher. Hollow-core doors are often installed by builders in spec homes and by homeowners who want a lightweight and inexpensive option. These make good pocket doors from the standpoint that they are easy to slide, but because they are only a thin MDF shell with no interior core means that they are not durable or long-lasting.
The cost of installing chalkboard pocket doors ranges from $400 to $2,000 for the material. Installed, this can cost $500 to $2,200 in new construction. The cost of this type installed in a retrofit will be $900 to $1,800 higher. You cannot make one out of chalkboard. However, any model can become a chalkboard door with a layer of chalkboard “drawing” material on its face. You can do this yourself or purchase one readymade. Any type is covered in either chalkboard vinyl or chalkboard paint that allows you to draw on it with chalk, then wipe it clean.
The cost of glass pocket doors averages $450 to $2,000. The cost of one of these doors installed in new construction ranges from $550 to $2,200. The cost of this type installed in a retrofit will be $900 to $1,800 higher. Glass pocket doors are attractive and ideal for many homes from an appearance standpoint. They can be modern and frosted or look like a traditional French door. Glass pocket doors must be installed properly to avoid the glass cracking over time, and they often need a sturdier frame than other doors. For this reason, it is harder to retrofit this style.
The cost of fiberglass pocket doors ranges from $500 to $800. The cost of these doors installed is $600 to $1,000 in new construction. The cost of this type installed in a retrofit will be $900 to $1,800 higher. Fiberglass doors are durable and low-maintenance. These are lighter than wood and easy to slide but are simpler to maintain than a solid wood door. They may have a simulated wood grain or be smooth. However, they can scuff over time and may need repainting.
The cost of solid-wood pocket doors averages $500 to $2,000. The cost these solid-wood doors installed in new construction is $600 to $2,200. Expect costs to be $900 to $1,800 higher in a retrofit. Solid-wood pocket doors are the most commonly installed. They are strong, durable, and come in many wood grains and styles. They can be stained or painted and sanded 3 down and restored, making them a good, long-lasting choice.
The average cost of aluminum pocket doors is $500 to $2,000. The cost of this type installed in new construction averages $600 to $2,200. Expect costs in a retrofit to be $900 to $2,000 higher. Aluminum pocket doors are a good choice for modern and contemporary homes. They are lightweight and easy to slide and have a clean, modern appearance. They can be painted if desired, but they tend to dent, making them difficult to slide over time.
Pocket doors can be installed as a single, double, or set of French-style doors. Double and French pocket doors are roughly twice the cost of a single door because you are purchasing and installing two doors to cover a larger space. But these doors can be cheaper than attempting to install a very large one, which requires a heavy and supportive frame. Below are the average costs for the different types and their costs when installed in new construction. Additional costs associated with retrofitting are in the subsections for each type.
|Type||Average Cost (Material Only)||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Single||$400 - $2,000||$500 - $2,500|
|Double||$800 - $4,000||$1,000 - $5,000|
|French||$1,000 - $4,000||$1,200 - $5,000|
The cost of single pocket doors averages $400 to $2,000. The cost of these single doors installed in new construction is $500 to $2,500. Expect costs to be $900 to $1,800 higher in a retrofit. It is the width of any normal single door in your home. It can be rather narrow or extremely wide, but the wider you go, the larger and more expensive the track and the installation become to support it. Single doors tend to be no wider than 60”. However, after door openings of 64”, it makes more sense to go with a double door from an installation and maintenance standpoint.
The cost of a set of double pocket doors is $800 to $4,000. The cost of these doors installed averages $1,000 to $5,000 in new construction. For a retrofit, expect costs to be $2,000 to $6,000 higher. Double pocket doors pull together in the center to create a single large doorway. They each operate individually, so you can open one or both at a time. You are purchasing and installing two doors, with two tracks, which increases the costs dramatically. Hollow-core doors are not good for this project because they are too light to close together tightly, but all other types can be used.
The cost of a single French pocket door is $1,000 to $2,000, while the cost of double French pocket doors is $2,000 to $4,000. This makes a total cost range of $1,200 to $5,000 when installed in new construction. Costs in a retrofit will be roughly $900 to $2,200 higher. French pocket doors are common in some older homes. These glass doors cost slightly more than a standard one but greatly enhance the room’s appearance. They require special hardware and installation to make sure the doors do not crack, which increases costs.
Labor costs for pocket doors vary greatly, depending on the location and whether this is new construction or a retrofit into an existing wall. Because the walls are open in new construction, it is easy to install the track before the wall is finished. Because it has been planned for, space is left between the studs to allow for the door. In this installation, expect labor to fall between $100 and $500, depending on the size and weight and how complex the header track is.
In a retrofit, labor is more complicated because you need to open it and potentially reroute utilities. This means that the labor costs are much higher, between $1,000 and $2,500 depending on the material and job complexity.
|Project||Average Labor Costs|
|New Construction||$100 - $500|
|Retrofit||$1,000 - $2,500|
If you install a pocket door in an existing wall, labor is more complicated and expensive. The wall may not be thick enough to accommodate the door. Or, there may be pipes or wires that must be moved. The wall must be opened so that the track can be installed and the door properly hung. Sometimes, the best course of action is to remove the wall and reframe it so that it is wide enough to accommodate it. This is why there is an enormous cost difference between new construction and retrofitting.
For a retrofit or the installation of a pocket door in an existing wall, the labor costs are between $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the condition of the existing wall.
While uncommon, you can install pocket doors on the exterior of the home. The process is the same for both new and retrofit walls, with a few key differences. The doors usually need to be solid and stronger than those indoors. Solid wood doors are the most commonly used in this scenario, but you can use French pocket doors to a patio.
To support this heavier door, the track in the wall needs to be heavier and stronger to hold it without sagging or becoming a security hazard. It can also be more difficult to insulate the wall where the door is installed because the cavity must be left open for the door. Under-siding insulation or a tighter building envelope is recommended to help prevent cold spots in this area. Expect an exterior pocket door installation to cost around $1,000 to $1,500 for new construction and $2,500 to $4,000 for a retrofit with these considerations.
Pocket doors have two sets of maintenance. The first deals with the door. This maintenance will largely depend on its material. Fiberglass and some hollow-core doors will scuff, which may mean more frequent cleaning. Wood doors may need to be painted. Aluminum and glass doors can show fingerprints, so you may need to clean them more frequently.
In addition to the maintenance of the doors, you also have added maintenance for the track. Pocket doors have more moving parts than a standard one, so there is more maintenance involved. There are rollers inside the doors that allow it to move freely on the track. These rollers may collect hair, dirt, and other debris that can cause the doors to stick and not slide properly. When this happens, the doors must be taken off the track, and the rollers cleaned out.
Sometimes, the track itself may become a problem, so the wall must be opened and a new track installed. If this is the issue, you will likely find that the doors are sagging or dragging on the ground, rather than rolling smoothly. Repairs can usually be accomplished by opening a small access hole in the wall, rather than opening the entire wall.
Occasional oiling of the rollers and track keeps the doors moving smoothly, but little additional maintenance is needed.
Pocket doors have many advantages that may make them a good fit for your home. This type is one of the best at saving space in small areas. Since they do not swing out, they will not take up room in a small hallway or bathroom. They also do not cover the wall when open, so you can hang artwork on the wall. When left open, they can help make a space feel more open without having it be in the way.
They are also great for accessibility. Someone using mobility aids will find it easier to slide it than to pull it toward themselves. So, using pocket doors helps with Universal Design.
Pocket doors are also stylish. They work well in contemporary spaces to give an illusion of openness, and they also work well in historic homes.
Pocket doors are not a good fit for every home, however. They are more maintenance than regular doors, and getting into the wall to do maintenance may mean you need to hire someone for routine tasks. This means they often have higher ongoing costs than standard doors. If yours slips off its track or becomes stuck, this can be a problem. They are also more expensive to purchase and install than other types, including other sliding doors that use a track on the outside of the wall.
While pocket doors can work in numerous situations, they are not always the right door to pick. Standard or traditional doors may be a better fit in these cases. Traditional doors are easier and less expensive to install, particularly in an existing one. They come in many of the same styles and materials as pocket doors, but they install on hinges in the doorway, rather than needing to be installed inside a wall. That makes them a less expensive option and an easier install than pocket doors.
Pocket doors are a better fit for small spaces and a good choice for those with mobility issues. They are not visible when open, which can make spaces seem larger than they are. However, they will take more maintenance than a standard door and can have higher ongoing and startup costs. Below are the average costs to install each type.
|Type||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Traditional||$350 - $1,100|
|$800 - $2,500|
Pocket doors are a subtype of sliding doors meant for saving space and ease of use. Another type of sliding door with many of the same advantages is the barn door. Barn doors have a rustic appearance that enhances your interior. Instead of sliding into the wall, they slide along it to be easier and less expensive to install. They come in many of the same materials and sizes as pocket doors, but the track and door remain visible at all times rather than disappearing like pocket doors.
When a pocket door opens, it is not visible, and the wall it fits into can be seen. When a barn door opens, it covers the wall, so the wall needs to be free of any wall art or outlets that it might block.
Pocket doors come in many more styles than barn doors. However, they are more costly to install and maintain long term. Below are the average costs to install both types.
|Type||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Barn||$600 - $2,000|
|$800 - $2,500|
Sliding doors are doors that move from side to side along a track. Pocket doors are a subtype of sliding doors. They slide from side to side to open and close, but what sets them apart from other sliding doors is that they slide into the wall rather than across it or across a stationary panel.
Sliding doors come in many different subtypes. They include barn doors, some types of French doors, pocket doors, and many patio door types. They have a wide range of styles and costs to consider. This means that you can choose a sliding one that is less expensive to install than a pocket door, or you can install a pocket door as a type of sliding one in the same area. Below are the average costs to install both types.
|Type||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Sliding||$300 - $2,500|
|$800 - $2,500|
To make a pocket door truly accessible, you may want to invest in automatic door technology. Automatic doors operate by a sensor 4, push-button, or remote control and come in many sizes. Often, you only need to automate the track, letting you use the door of your choice, but some companies sell their own doors and sensors as a package. Expect to pay a minimum of $500 additional per door, with some companies having additional costs of up to $1,000 for automation.
If the wall you want to install the pocket door on is not suitable, it must be removed. Interior wall removal can have a wide range of costs depending on the wall and whether or not you need to reroute utilities that were in it. The average cost of wall removal is $1,200 to $5,000.
The average cost of installing a pocket door in new construction is around $800 to $2,500, depending on the type.
Many doors can be converted to pocket doors, but the hardware is different. So, an existing door may not make the best retrofit. For example, the hinges and doorknobs cannot be used, leaving holes behind. A new one with no hardware installed may be converted to a pocket door.
The ease of installation depends largely on the wall. New construction is the easiest because the walls are open. In a retrofit, the wall must be opened up to fit the track into place. If the wall is not wide enough or wires need to be relocated, this will be a tougher job and require a professional.
The standard pocket door is the same dimensions as a traditional one, 32” x 80”. Add around 4” to the top and both sides for clearance inside the wall.
You can add a pocket door to an existing wall. However, you may need to reroute wires or plumbing that are currently inside the wall to make space for it.
Most pocket doors come off their track by lifting them straight up, then tilting them slightly before pulling downward. Free the rollers by turning it over and gently banging it on the ground.