The sliding pocket door was a very popular product during the Victorian age, as well as in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. The convenient aspect of the sliding pocket door is obvious: the sliding wood panels can be opened to fit into a niche (or pocket, hence the term, “sliding pocket door”) in adjacent walls. When the door is closed, it can latch to an opposing wall or an opposite panel, and when opened, it may appear that there is no door there at all. This is convenient because it saves space.
One of the difficulties, however, both in the Victorian age and in the early part of the 20th century, was that the sliding pocket door would have a tendency to slide off the track inside the wall, and it was extremely difficult to put it back on. So you might see in some interior entryway a door pocket with part of the door, the upper or lower part, sticking out slightly. In some cases, it was sometimes necessary to create a hole in the wall in order to get the door back on track, which of course was expensive and very frustrating.
The sliding pocket door went out of style in the early part of the 20th century, and some manufacturers went bankrupt. However, contemporary sliding doors have taken advantage of modern technology to prevent the difficulty of the door sliding off the track. For a contemporary sliding glass door to fall off track is extremely rare, and usually due to a misuse of the door.
The sliding pocket door takes up much less space than hinge doors and is easier for children and disabled people to use, as well. Unlike other types of sliding doors, which save space by allowing the panel to slide to the left and/or right of the entryway, the sliding pocket door maximizes space the most efficiently, since the door itself disappears into the wall. This provides the homeowner with all the remaining space in the room.
The sliding pocket door can be comprised of a multitude of varying materials to fit anyone’s personal style and design, including thick or thin wooden doors, knotted doors, transparent or translucent glass or mirrored doors, metal or aluminum doors of numerous styles and design, and more.