How To Install A Lock In A Pocket Door

On October 22, 2019 by Preeti Shah

Making good use of the space in your home sometimes means using some unique features. One of the most popular solutions to a space crunch is a pocket door. When there is not enough space for a hinged door to swing, pocket doors can be a great solution. They slide conveniently out of the way by storing inside the adjacent wall. You get full separation when the door is closed and full access when the door is open.

Of course, things are a little different with this type of door. It doesn’t use a traditional knob for opening and closing, which means it won’t lock the same way a hinged door will lock. If you have a room with a pocket door that you need to anchor with a lock, needs to be locked, there are plenty of products to choose from. Check Propertyguardmaster for a buyer’s guide, then install it according to these five simple steps.

Make Sure The Door’s Motion Is Consistent

Interior

For a lock to work correctly, the latch must align with the strike plate. Poor alignment is usually the reason why a door must be pulled, pushed, or lifted to lock correctly.

Pocket doors, like any door, can settle or shift over time. Before installing a lock in an existing pocket door, be sure that it rolls smoothly in the track and lines up correctly with the frame.

Mark The Door

Mark The Door

Your lock will probably include a paper template. This guide is applied to the door to show you exactly where to mark the door for cutting. Position the guide very carefully, and tape it in place to keep it from shifting.

Once the guide is in position, mark the door for cutting. Use a pencil for your marks. It’s easier to correct it if you get a little off target, and you can easily erase any remaining visible marks after installation is complete.

Cut The Opening

Mark The Door

This is where proper marking comes in. Use a jigsaw to create an opening according to the lock’s instructions and within the space laid out by the template. Again, review everything before you start sawing. You can only cut it once.

Use the proper tool for cutting. Sharp blades will leave splintered edges, so purchase a new saw blade to make clean cuts. The cost is minimal, and you will end up with an excellent opening for the lock with a smooth, professional finish.

Install The Lock

Install The Lock

Now you’re ready to install the lock in the door. Again, the instructions will guide the exact details. Follow them carefully. In general, be sure to tighten screws thoroughly and to test the lock’s movement to be sure it doesn’t stick, bind, or wiggle.

During your test run of the lock, check the latch’s alignment with the door facing. Make sure it will go near the center of the facing and not be too close to an edge.

Mark The Door Facing For The Latch Plate

Mark The Door Facing For The Latch Plate

Next, you’ll need to repeat the same necessary process for the latch plate, which is the other half of the lock equation. The same rules apply; you want your marks to be accurate, straight, and clean, and you will need to use the right tool for the job.

Be sure that the frame is solid and doesn’t have any damage that could weaken its hold on the latch plate. Chisel the wood out to a depth of about 1/8″ so that the plate will fit flush with the rest of the frame, then bore out the center for the latch to the depth recommended by the instructions.

Install The Latch Plate

Install The Latch Plate

We’ve reached the final step. Using the screws included with the lock, screw the latch plate into position. Watch it as you tighten the screws; the plate may shift a little bit, requiring you to hold it in place until it is fully mounted.

Be sure the screws are fully tightened and of the correct length. Some kits include screws of different lengths. A screw that is too short could let the latch plate get loose over time or even cause it to strip out if the door is pulled too hard.

Test It Out

Test A Pocket Door Lock

Once everything has been installed, it’s time for a trial run. Close the door, lock it, and gently pull the handle to make sure the lock holds. Repeat this process to make sure the alignment remains the same.

With the door open, operate the latch several times. Make sure that it feels solid but moves quickly. Feel for any signs of loose parts.

The process of installing a lock on a pocket door is just that simple. Now you’re able to make efficient use of your space while maintaining privacy and security.

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