Replacing Pocket Door LatchesReplacing a pocket door latch is not too hard if you get the same size and style that you had before. Replacing the lock will consist of four steps. (1) Purchasing the new latch or lockset, (2) Removing the old latchset, (3) Changing the mortise in the door if required and (4) Installing the new pocket door latch.

Are you sure that you need to replace the lock? See the articles 'Adjusting Pocket Doors' and 'Troubleshooting Pocket Door Problems' for a listing of possible repairs that may solve your problem.

This repair should take less than an hour once you have the new door lock in hand.

Purchasing a Pocket Door Latch

You can find pocket door latches or locks on the internet and at home supply stores. They are about the same price as a conventional lockset.

There are not nearly as many options with pocket door locks as you have with regular swinging doors. You may find the selection and functionality somewhat limited.

When replacing the door lock, you need to get one that is the same size as the old one. There is not a lot of door left around the lock for the cover plates to seat on. A lock that is too small will not cover the mortise. It would be a good idea to take the old lock with you when you go shopping.

Removing the Old Lock

New Pocket Door LockA Pocket door lock is held together with screws. There are probably four screws that are toward the center of the door that hold the lock assembly to the door. Use a screwdriver to take these screws out. The entire assembly should slide out, once the screws are removed.

The three pieces are also held together with screws. It will be one or two on each side. 

Preparing the Pocket Door for a New Latch

The new lock should have a template for the mortise. Check the old opening to make sure you don't have to trim it. Use a sharp chisel to trim it if necessary. After you're sure the opening is the right size you can install the lock. Slide the lock into place and install the screws.

You may have to chisel out the mortise for the strike plate. Mark the outline with a pencil and use the chisel to remove any wood that is in the way. Screw the strike plate in and check the door to make sure the lock is working. Adjust the door as needed.

Installing the New Pocket Door Latch

Sliding a Pocket Door Lock Into the MortiseDry fit the new lockset in the mortise to make sure that it fits correctly. If there are any interferences, chisel or file them away until the lock fits in place properly.

The lockset is made of three pieces. The center piece is the actual latch and can only be installed one way. You want to make sure that the latch comes out and goes down when the knob is turned. Use the thumbset to make sure you have it turned the right way.

Installing Screws for Pocket Door LatchThe thumbset should go on the side of the door that is inside of the room. Remove the screws and switch them around if they are the wrong way. The two outer plates are interchangeable, screw the lockset together with the thumbset facing into the room and the privacy function facing out.

Once you are sure that the pocket door latch if assembled correctly you can slide it into the mortise. Install the screws into the holes and then check the action.

Replacing a Pocket Door Latch - Summary


Replacing a locks on a pocket door should not have taken you too long, once you found a replacement. We hope this article helped to get your pocket door lock installed correctly. Still having problems?