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Neil, a seasoned builder at Wood Made Illinois in Peoria, IL, emphasizes the importance of precision in installing pocket doors. These doors, which conveniently slide out of sight, are ideal for Peoria homes where traditional swinging doors are impractical due to space constraints. Neil advocates for the use of comprehensive pocket-door kits, which include necessary hardware like tracks, roller hardware, and steel-reinforced split studs for framing the pocket​​.

One key to successful installation, as Neil explains, is ensuring the door operates smoothly without jumping off the track or getting stuck inside the wall. This reliability is achieved through meticulous leveling and plumbing of the framing and hardware, a step Neil insists on before the final installation of drywall and trim​​.

Neil begins by framing the rough opening for the door, allowing extra space for ease of installation and adjustment. He adheres to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring the opening is appropriately sized to accommodate the track and rollers, with additional clearance factored in for any unfinished flooring​​.

The core component of the installation is the aluminum track, which Neil mounts on a wooden brace beneath the header. He customizes the track for doors of varying widths and ensures it is cut precisely for the specific door size. This customization is crucial for the smooth operation of the door​​.

Leveling the track is a critical step in the process, as Neil notes. An unlevel track can lead to operational issues with the door. Once the track is set and leveled, Neil secures it with screws, ensuring it remains adjustable for future maintenance​​.

Neil prefers using solid-core doors for pocket installations in Peoria homes, citing their sound-dampening qualities and the sense of privacy they offer compared to hollow-core alternatives. Before installing the door, he primes its surfaces to prevent warping​​.

He then focuses on the installation of the rubber door bumper, an essential component that ensures the door aligns correctly with the finished jamb. Neil’s attention to detail extends to the trim work, where he meticulously aligns and secures the jambs and door guides​​.

Neil emphasizes the importance of future adjustments, installing head jambs with screws for easy access to the roller-adjustment mechanism. He carefully selects the length of the finish nails used for trim pieces to prevent any interference with the door’s operation​​.

Finally, for doors in areas like bathrooms, Neil installs latches with thumb pulls and flush side pulls, ensuring ease of use and privacy. He recommends privacy latches with integrated locks for these specific applications​​.

In conclusion, Neil’s approach at Wood Made Illinois in Peoria, IL, to installing pocket doors combines technical precision with a keen eye for detail, ensuring that each installation is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

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