Pocket doors are such a great invention and I don’t know why you don’t see them used more often. Manufacturers have come a long way with their quality and engineering. Johnson Hardware produces excellent quality mechanisms for pocket door installations and their offerings are available locally at Kuiken Bros., Dykes Lumber, Glen Rock Lumber and Fairmount Lumber.
Perhaps the number one reason to use a pocket door is to preserve space. In fact, a pocket door can typically save up to 10 square feet of room area that a swing door occupies.
These pictures illustrate a pocket door application used in a cabana. The framed room you see is to be a small kitchen. The wall space to the right of the entrance is planned for an entertainment center and as soon as you enter the kitchen the refrigerator will be to the right. This leaves no space for a conventional swing door.
During initial construction is the best time to install the pocket door because, as you can see, the pocket door track and hardware goes well into the adjacent wall space. That’s not to say you can’t install a pocket door into existing construction, but there’s a fair amount of demo involved to install “the works”.
Needless to say you must investigate and be careful of possible plumbing, electric and any other utilities that might be running in that wall space before you start ripping & tearing.