Can You Lock A Pocket Door?

A pocket door is a favorable choice in most tight spaces to close a room that is not in use. Most pocket doors are ideal interior passage and privacy doors. These pocket doors are easy to use, especially with locks. Choosing a lock is crucial for the security of your house. To help you with your security concerns, we have researched from the experts about pocket door locks.

Yes, you can lock pocket doors to secure specific places in your house. Pocket doors can have a lock on one or both sides. If you want to secure your property, you can choose a pocket door lock with a key. The locks may either be a round or square lock. Installing pocket door locks is simple. If you have all the materials and correct measurements, you can proceed with these steps:

  1. Cut the edge of the door following the size of the lock.
  2. Drill the holes for the screws.
  3. Install the lock and tighten the screws.

Before buying a pocket door lock, you must understand the function of your pocket door. Aside from the function, consider the location, material, and people who will use the pocket door. Pocket door locks will be useless if the door does not operate. Keep reading to learn more about pocket doors and locks.

Interior of a white painted room with wooden flooring and a pocket door on the middle, Can You Lock A Pocket Door?

Are Pocket Doors Secure?

Before anything else, you must understand if pocket doors are safe. Unfortunately, pocket doors are not always secure. Pocket doors can be flimsy and wobbly, which makes the doors fall off their tracks. If there is no proper sealing of the doors, it will warp. As a result, the door becomes loose and rubs against the jamb. Even though there are locks available, these will not function if the doors are off-track.

Although with flaws, people still choose pocket doors for interior doors. Pocket doors are easier to operate compared to an ordinary swinging door. For example, people on wheelchairs and other walking devices can go out of a room with ease. Pocket doors are also fire-rated, which can be useful when fire emergencies arise.

A pocket door inside a white painted living room with wooden laminated flooring

Another thing to consider is where you place the pocket doors. Pocket doors for exterior purposes need thicker walls. You will also need to install locks on both sides of the exterior pocket door. Also, do not install pocket doors in living spaces and garages. Even though pocket doors are fire-rated, a garage door requires a higher rating.

For interior purposes, pocket doors can function for privacy or passage. Privacy pocket doors with locks are great for bedrooms and bathrooms doors. Some pocket doors have an emergency release button installed outside. On the other hand, passage pocket doors do not have a lock. You only need to pull it open. These passage pocket doors are ideal for closets, pantries, or laundry doors.

If you want to add security to your place, read further to find out the types of locks that you can use.

Types Of Pocket Door Locks

Pocket door locks are available in two types. These are the round and square locks. Both of these locks are effective in adding a level of security to your space. Even with similarities, there are different ways of installation. Find out below the two types of pocket door locks:

1. Round Pocket Door Locks

A round pocket door lock is similar to a traditional door lock. The circular design eliminates the need to cut a new notch on your pocket door. You can install this type in standard door holes with a 2 and 1/8 inches diameter. The latch backsets usually available are around 2 and 3/8 inches. Also, there are adjustable lock options that fit in most standard doors.

If your door has a square hole, it will be hard to retrofit a round hole. To avoid this problem, choose a lockset that fits in your existing door. When selecting a round pocket door lock, pick a lock made of solid metal. Most recommend choosing a lock made of durable, stainless steel metal.

Get this Kwikset round pocket door lock on Amazon.

Product details:

  • Ideal for bathroom and bedroom doors
  • It fits in most drilled doors with 2 1/8 inches thickness
  • Latch fits any door configuration
  • A satin finish adds some class to your interior doors

2. Square Pocket Door Locks

The other type of pocket door lock is in the shape of a square. Square locks are the trend for contemporary styles. Unlike round locks, you will need to cut a square shape on the door before installing the lock. The latch for this type has a round faceplate, which can easily fit in rounded hole doors. If you want to install a lock that is difficult to break, you can choose a square pocket door lock.

Get this Prime-Line privacy pocket door lock on Amazon.

Product details:

  • Will fit in most pull doors 
  • Made with thicker and durable metal plates 
  • Includes a die-cast pull hook
  • Not recommended for high-traffic areas

How To Install A Pocket Door Lock

After choosing the suitable lock for your pocket doors, it is now time to install them. Before installing, prepare the tools you will need. Listed below are the simple tools required for installing pocket door locks:

  • Small jigsaw
  • Chisel
  • Utility knife
  • Screw driver
  • Measuring and marking tools

Installing Pocket Door Locks

Whether you are installing on one side or both, here are the steps to install locks on a pocket door:

  1. Choose whether you use a round or square lock. Also, consider if you will use a thumb turn or a key for the lock.
  2. Check if the latch plates need modification. The latch faceplate should lie flat and even on the door.
  3. Measure the size of the lock on the door.
  4. Cut the edge of the door according to the size indicated in the instructions.
  5. Drill the pilot holes for the screws.
  6. Mount the strike plate on the side of the door.
  7. Check if the door jamb catches the latch.
  8. Adjust and tighten screws.

How To Lock a Pocket Door From Both Sides?

Locking a pocket door on both sides adds a layer of security to your space. It will also be difficult for trespassers to break in with double pocket door locks.

An application of double pocket door locks is for the main entrance gate of a house. No one can break in when you close the door on the outside. Double pocket door locks are also beneficial when you want to divide a common area. You can install double pocket door locks in your bedroom to maintain privacy.

There are two ways to lock pocket doors on both sides. You can use a thumb turn or key. These locking mechanisms will vary on the chosen pocket door hardware. Find out below what are the differences between the thumb turns and keys:

Thumb Turns

You can use a thumb turn to lock or unlock the pocket door. A thumb turn retracts a latch every time you turn it. You only use a thumb to push this small metal piece. With a larger thumb turn, it allows you a proper grip.


Instead of turning a small piece of metal, there are pocket door locks with keyholes. You only need to insert the key and turn it to operate the latch. Locks with keys are also more secure. Only the authorized person who has the key can open the door.

Can You Put a Key Lock On a Pocket Door?

Yes, you can put a key lock for your pocket doors. Pocket door locks with keys are rare, but some brands offer keyed locks to address customer's needs. A keyed lock might not be necessary for interior pocket doors. But if you plan to install an exterior pocket door, adding a keyed lock is a must. The entryways of our house must have the most robust locks to maintain security.

The downside of keyed locks is that they wear as time passes by. Keys can rust, and the keyholes will need some lubrication. As much as possible, find a keyed pocket door lock that is durable and of high quality.

Buy this Lockwood keyed pocket sliding door lock from Amazon.

In Closing

Adding a lock to pocket doors adds security to your home. Although pocket doors are common for interior purposes, you can also add locks for exterior pocket doors. For pocket door locks, you can choose between a round or square lock. For added security, you can install pocket door locks on both sides of the door. If you feel that the type of lock is not enough, you can select keyed locks. Whatever lock you choose, always keep in mind the security of your property.

One comment

  1. With their limitless versatility, pocket doors are a fantastic addition to any home. From bathrooms to bedrooms, these doors look fantastic. However, if you don’t have a good lock, keeping them locked can be a big pain.

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