Pocket doors were a huge trend long ago in the 1800s and 1900s. And now these sleek, minimal doors are back in style. One of the main advantages of pocket doors is their space saving feature. They tend to go well with studio apartments, small flats, and bedroom suites.
Many people want to know if pocket doors are also suitable for bathrooms. If you have a tight bathroom, a pocket door can be the ideal space-saving solution. It is a great alternative if you can’t install a swinging door in your bathroom.
Before you install a pocket door, it would be a good idea to understand how they work, what their main pros and cons are, their ideal size, and other necessary details.
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What Makes Pocket Doors Good For Bathrooms?
There are a number of reasons you should consider installing a pocket door in your bathroom.
Lets look at some of the main benefits in this particular area:
When it comes to bathrooms in specific, pocket doors help save tons of space. While a traditional hinged swinging door needs room for movement, a pocket door simply moves parallel along its tracks.
The added benefit is that the door slides into a hidden compartment or recess, which makes it better at saving space when compared to sliding doors.
If you want to add some architectural charm to your house interior while benefiting from extra space, a pocket door can help you achieve both.
They can give a traditional or modern look, depending on your preference. Plus, pocket doors come in many materials, styles, and designs so you have plenty of options.
Plus, you can make your pocket door even more versatile by incorporating a mirror on one side of the door. If you have a particularly tight bathroom, this is a great option. Now, you’ll have more space for vanity units or bathroom shelves.
Similarly, if you have a small bedroom, you can simply place the mirror on the room’s side, eliminating the need for a separate mirror. And your room will feel much less cramped too.
Another reason pocket doors are ideal for bathrooms are their functionality. They simply create a partition between the bathroom and bedroom and will disappear when the bathroom isn’t occupied. It is also easy to move around while cleaning the area.
Disadvantages Of Using A Pocket Door For A Bathroom
Like any other door style, this one too comes with its own set of limitations. Here are some reasons pocket doors might not be the ideal solution for you:
Not Good At Blocking Noise, Light Or Smells
The way a pocket door sits on its tracks and doorframe does not allow it to seal as tightly as traditional doors do. This means pocket doors are not as effective at blocking out lights, noises, or smells.
As sounds and smells can drift out, this can create an embarrassing situation if someone is using the bathroom and there are people in the living area!
Another similar problem is that pocket doors make noise while gliding on the tracks. There is also the possibility of light penetrating out of the gaps. This can be distracting if someone is sleeping in the same room.
A pocket door can compromise your privacy so it isn’t recommended to install them in high-traffic areas. You will be able to hear the sounds of people outside the adjacent space. So, these doors are usually suitable for a private area.
May Be Inconvenient For Some
Someone who is limited in their movement may find it difficult or not be able to use a pocket door.
It can be very difficult for physically handicapped people to open and close this type of door. This greatly reduces the convenience and user-friendliness of the door. It can even be dangerous in critical situations when someone needs assistance or gets stuck inside.
What Size Should A Bathroom Pocket Door Be?
The size of your pocket door should be determined according to the dimensions of the wall space available.
To find out, you need to measure the overall space of the corresponding bathroom wall you want the pocket door attached to. The frame of the pocket door should be able to fit in this space easily.
As a rule of thumb, a standard pocket door measures 30 or 36 inches in width, and 80 inches in height. However, make sure to measure your wall space first.
You should keep in mind that the pocket door basically slides into a “sleeve” inside the wall. So, for a standard 32-inch wide door, a linear wall space of at least 66 inches will be required.
Can an ADA bathroom have a pocket door?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are some important requirements for doors to fulfill their criteria.
An ADA bathroom may have a pocket door as long as it has the required measurements and functionality. All ADA doors should have an opening of at least 32 inches so a wheelchair can easily pass through.
For a pocket door, this means the door will slide into the opening. So, the door should have at least 1.5 inches of space on both sides when closed or open. A minimum of 4 inches protrusion into the doorway is needed to maintain this standard.
The door handle’s hardware should also be suitable for disabled people. In order to comply with ADA’s requirements, the required opening force should be under 5lbf.
One recommendation is to use the CL400 ADA magnetic door lock for added functionality and easy grasp.
Now you know that pocket doors can absolutely be used for bathrooms and they offer many benefits that other doors do not.
While selecting your pocket door, make sure to opt for high-quality hardware as this can greatly improve the level of privacy and functionality you’ll get from it. Best of luck!