How To Install A Sliding Pocket Door Latch

A pocket door slides into the wall instead of swinging open, which saves space in small areas. If you already have installed a sliding pocket door, or you are considering installing one, a latch will make it more secure. Though pocket door latches differ from traditional locks, it doesn't take much skill to install them. Here are some tips on installing pocket door latches.

Prepare the Door

You will need a chisel, hammer, jigsaw, screwdriver, chalk or pencil, and a drill with a 15/16 inch drill bit. Mark the area on the door edge where you want to install the lock with chalk or pencil. Make certain to place the mark at a comfortable height so you can reach the latch without having to bend.

Get Measurements

Some pocket door latch kits will include a template to mark the measurements for a notch. Place the template over the marked area and make a mark for the notch. If the kit doesn't have a template, measure the height and width of the lock, subtracting ¾ of an inch from the width measurement and ½ of an inch from the height measurement. Mark the dimension on the desired lock location. 

Install Lock

Use the jigsaw to cut the marked lines for the notch, and insert the latch on the outside into the notch. Secure the screws by rotating the screwdriver, and insert wood screws through the front and back of the lock, tightening them with a screwdriver. Close the door, and mark the top and bottom where the latch comes into contact with the door jamb.

Open the door, place the strike plate between the marks sliding it to the center of the door jamb and make an outline with a utility knife. Bore a hole 1/8 of an inch deep in the mark with the chisel, making sure it is in the middle of the mark. Bore holes halfway from each side of the door to prevent splitting.

Make adjustments as needed by placing the plate over the hole and testing to see if the latch fits. Once you get the right fit, mark for the screws and drill a ½ inch-deep hole. Set the strike plate over the screw holes, and fasten them with a screwdriver. Shut the door all the way and try the lock.

You have installed the lock correctly if it won't open. Otherwise, you will have to make adjustments. If you already have pocket door with a lock you want to replace and you can't open it, you may need a professional locksmith to fix it for you.