A pocket door or cavity door is essentially a concealed sliding door – it has a cavity compartment allowing a sliding door to be hidden; hence giving the effect of door disappearing into the wall when it is fully opened.
Pocket doors or cavity doors are used either to achieve elegant aesthetic effect or resolve tight space problem encountered with swing doors.
The sliding door panel is ideally mounted from top hung track; without the need of bottom tracks – thus giving uninterrupted floor finish. In addition, it eliminates the problem of floor track trapping dust or injuring someone’s foot when stepping onto it.
The pocket door frees up the space which is otherwise required for the swinging action of a door leaf of a swing door. Imagine if the rooms in your unit are compact, the swing door may bang into a wash basin or water closet in the toilet/bathroom, or fridge in the kitchen. Wouldn’t it be nice if it’s a hidden door, ie the door is hidden away when you do not require it.
Hence the pocket door has the effect of adding space to the room. For say a 900mm door, the space saving for 1 door is about 0.64m2 (7 square feet) of space. For a typical 3 bedroom apartment unit (say 850 square feet), there will be a least 6 doors which can be converted to pocket door; the space saving will be at least 3.84m (42 square feet). ie 5% saving of the space. Hence, this space saving feature is the most overlooked aspect by architect and developer when come to designing a more efficient layout design, particularly in apartment/condominium design.
As cost of construction escalates, the use of pocket door will actually reduce the construction cost in totality if the wastage of space is taken into account. Hence, the cost of the pocket door must be evaluated in overall perspective, rather than just comparing with a typical swing door.
Most of the door manufacturers or door contractors claim that they can do a pocket door. What they provide is the conventional pocket sliding door consisting of a timber box – using timber studs and clad with plaster or timber board done by a carpenter. The quality of the pocket is as good as the workmanship of the carpenter who installs it. As the various parts of the pocket are sourced from different suppliers, the contractor will not provide warranty for the pocket door.
Common problems encountered by conventional pocket sliding door or cavity sliding door are :
Pocket or cavity compartment is flimsy
If you are accustomed to solid feeling of brickwall, the pocket will definitely appear to be soft as the conventional pocket are made from timber studs and is cladded with a board.
If the pocket surface needs to be tiled, the tiles may not stay
Door panel is stuck and difficult to pull
This is usually due the track sagging. Most of the conventional tracks are fastened with the screws and the screws may be loosened due to vibration and weight of door leaf.
Door panel is scratching the pocket
This is either due to the pocket is off centred from the track.
The timber pocket may warp when exposed to moisture – especially in bathroom.
If the construction of the house consists of brickwall construction, when the contractor tries to integrate this type of pocket within the 150mm adjacent brickwall thickness – is likely to be disastrous due to dissimilar material which will result in joint cracks.
For those who have adverse experience of conventional pocket door or as-built system will tend to have phobia of pocket door. In reality, if a pocket door cannot close, it would be better not to have any door at all. Most conventional pocket door will be difficult to replace or repair when something goes wrong. Fixing the problem may require the removal of the entire pocket or cavity wall.
As such, for those who have faced the problem of pocket door will appreciate that to have a pocket door which will function in long term requires a reliable pocket system which has stood the test of time – hence eliminating all the unwarranted maintenance and quality headaches. It must have been tested by accredited test laboratory in accordance to international standard for pocket door.
The use SLIDEHIDE system which allow the door to slide and hide within the factory assembled pocket unit will ensure the user or builder will not experience this quality problem.
SLA TEKNOLOGI SDN BHD is a leading pocket door system supplier and installer of SLIDEHIDE in Malaysia. It has done project since 1998. Slidehide System can suit timber door supplier, glass door supplier or aluminium door supplier.