Stubborn Pocket Door
Often, the simplest fix for a pocket door that binds is to replace the door.
My pocket door was installed about 20 years ago and has become hard to move. The pocket door binds at the halfway point, but if I push too hard, the door jumps off the track. How can I fix the problem without opening up the wall?
Ben Myers, via email, None
Gary Striegler, a custom-home builder in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and author of Trouble-free Pocket Doors, replies: My guess is that at the halfway point, the door is rubbing on the split studs. Look for rub marks on the back half of the door to confirm this. If you see the telltale rub marks, then either the door is warped, or the studs are bowed.
Either way, though, one fix is to replace the door. If the door is warped, a new door of the same thickness may fix the problem. If the studs are bowed, you can replace the door with a thinner one (swap a 1-3/4 in. door for a 1-3/8 in. door). If replacing the door with a thinner one doesn’t work, there is no real option other than replacing the studs. The good news: You can replace the studs without disrupting both sides of the wall if you’re careful.