How To Install A Johnson Pocket Door

A Johnson pocket door can be a good entryway for certain areas in your home. But what are the steps to install this door? We researched this concern for your convenience and here’s what we found.

After ensuring that your Johnson pocket door model fits its opening, the general steps to install this fixture are:

  1. Measure the frame’s header
  2. Snap a chalk line
  3. Install the frame header
  4. Install the split jambs
  5. Seal the door and attach the bumper
  6. Mount the door and its plates
  7. Install additional jambs, casing, door guides, and split headers

Take note that you should pay attention to the details present during the installation process. So continue reading as we talk about this job in greater detail.

Worker turning the door lock of the pocket door, How To Install A Johnson Pocket Door

How Do You Install A Johnson Pocket Door?

Remember, proper preparation is vital to the successful completion of relatively any door installation project. The first precautionary measures to think about are the safety and security of the people involved.

Worker drilling a hole on the side of the pocket for its lock

Some of the safety precautions you should note are:

  • Inspect the jobsite for any possible hazards and repair them before starting the project
  • Wear proper safety equipment (e.g., gloves, safety goggles, and safety shoes)
  • Place signs in the area to warn other people to stay vigilant as they walk in and out of the jobsite
  • Only use tools that are in good working condition

After completing the necessary preparations, you can continue this Johnson pocket door installation job by following these steps:

What You’ll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Circular saw
  • Hammer
  • Nail gun
  • Strings
  • Chalk
  • Sawhorses
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrench
  • Door paint and/or sealant
  • Johnson pocket door installation kit

Step-by-Step Guide

Step #1: Create The Opening

If you don’t have a correctly sized opening for your Johnson pocket door, start by measuring the frame’s dimensions. Cut the opening with a circular saw to cut marked areas afterward. Make sure that the doorway's opening is twice the size of the pocket door's width.

Step #2: Measure The Frame’s Header

Drive nails that are ¾ inch from a finished floor or 1-1/2 inch from a subfloor. Don’t drive the nails until it's flush with the frame header. Instead, leave a 1/8 inch allowance for the pocket door's brackets.

Step #3: Snap A Chalk Line

Coat two pieces of string in chalk. Then, stretch each string at the bottom of the pocket door’s frame. Both ends of each piece of string should be secure at the side jams.

Then, pull each string from the middle. Release it afterward, which should create a thin line of chalk on the floor.

Step #4: Install The Frame Header

Take out the frame header from the Johnson pocket door installation kit. Next, place the header into the rough studs over the nails you drove in step #2.

Ensure that the frame header is level. If not, remove it and readjust the nails until you get a level installation. With the frame header level, secure it by driving nails through its end plates.

Step #5: Install The Split Jambs

Place the floor plate’s slip fingers into the split jambs’ slots. Then, place the jambs into the header. Secure this assembly by driving the jambs into place.

Repeat this particular part of the procedure for the other split jambs in the kit. Next, nail the split jambs into the floor. If you’re installing the jambs’ into masonry or other harder materials than wood, you may need to use adhesive instead of nails.

Note: Ensure that the split jambs are flush with the snapped chalk line. Otherwise, adjust the split jambs’ positions before proceeding to the next step.

Step #6: Seal The Door And Attach The Bumper

Place the Johnson pocket door on saw horses or a clean and flat surface. Next, use a paintbrush to seal the door’s edges with paint or a coat of sealing satin. Let the paint or sealing satin dry afterward.

With the coat dry, attach the door bumper to the back edge of the pocket door. The placement should be 40 inches from the door’s bottom edge.

Step #7: Mount The Door And Its Plates

Take out the door plates from the installation kit’s packaging. Then, place and secure these parts on top of the door. Ensure that the placements have 2-inch allowances for their left and right sides.

Request the help of another individual to help you carry and mount the door to its frame. With the extra pair of hands, lift the door while it’s under the frame until the bolt enters the door plate. Slide the lock on the door plate afterward.

Step #8: Install Additional Jambs, Casing, Door Guides, And Split Headers

Unlocking a wooden pocket door

Push the pocket door into its hole in the wall. Next, install the finished jambs and secure them with nails. At this point, you can adjust the door’s alignment to ensure it’s flush with the jambs.

Then, install and secure the casing and split headers into their appropriate locations. Finally, attach the door guides at the pocket door’s bottom edge.

Check out this Johnson door installation kit on Amazon.

You can also watch this video if you need a visual representation of the steps mentioned above:

After the installation, you might find out that the pocket door squeaks. If so, read our post highlighting that issue to know the solution.

Are Johnson Pocket Doors Any Good?

Johnson pocket doors typically supply users with different advantages. Some users report that the models they bought are:

  • Easy to install and level
  • Slides easily and doesn’t create noise
  • Quality hardware included in the kit

However, some users testified that their Johnson pocket doors are quite difficult to install alone. So it might be a good idea to have an extra pair of hands to help you with the installation.

When Should You Use A Pocket Door?

A doorlock for a pocket door

You can install a pocket door into relatively any opening in your home, as long as the doorway fits. But perhaps the ideal locations for this type of door are bathrooms, mudrooms, and laundry rooms.

The pocket door helps eliminate the awkward space that a regular door often creates when it swings. That way, you can enhance the space, which can be helpful when carrying loads in and out of those rooms.

Plus, the pocket door can provide additional benefits like:

  • Improves the flow of traffic between rooms
  • Enhances the home’s architectural charm
  • Reduces obstructions that might otherwise cause accidents and injuries

You might also be curious to find out if pocket doors need to be solid or hollow. Check out our post on that subject matter to gain insight into it.

Do Pocket Doors Have Problems?

Wooden concealed pocket door

Despite the potential benefits brought by pocket doors, users should still be wary of some possible drawbacks. These shortcomings may include:

Installation Requirements

Installing a pocket door often demands an appropriately sized frame. So you may need to increase (or decrease) the size of the door’s opening to fit a pocket door correctly.

Material Warping

Pocket door manufacturers use different materials to create these fixtures. Some of these materials include plywood, glazed wood, and tempered glass. However, certain materials can warp over time or because of extended exposure to harsh and inclement weather.

Expensive Replacement Costs

The materials used to make pocket doors may deteriorate over time, requiring you to replace them. At that point, you may need to prepare to spend about $1,000 to $3,500 for the replacement.

However, you may mitigate some expenses by completing some of the replacement processes using DIY techniques.

Final Words

Worker turning the door lock of the pocket door

Installing a Johnson pocket door might be a DIY-friendly task. However, you shouldn't miss important details, or else you increase the risk of committing mistakes. Follow the guidelines presented in this post, and you should be able to enjoy your new Johnson pocket door without worrying about significant issues.

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