How To Fix A Pocket Door That Rubs?

Nothing exists forever without an issue. Besides, where there is an issue, there is a solution as well. For a pocket door, there is a common problem you may face: the rubbing of the door. For this reason, the door can’t operate swiftly and causes scratches.

However, all this happened because of the warping of the door’s shape or faulty adjustment. And here, the main culprit is the uneven moisture of the cabinet’s surface. 

Here, in this article, we have discussed how to fix a pocket door that rubs. Read the article thoroughly. 

How To Fix A Pocket Door That Rubs

What Causes Pocket Door Rubs?

Now, rubbing starts with the pocket door gap when closed. But why does it happen? Wood warping of the door is the main reason for which the pocket door gap narrows. It mainly occurs when the moisture level of the wood varies unevenly. 

Moreover, if your pocket door is dragging on the bottom, the bowed door studs and track problems might be the reasons. Stump or hardwood slab warping is responsible for the door compartment’s warped appearance. 

Wood warping of the door is the main reason of rubbing

In addition, cheap pocket door hardware and adjustments can also cause such door rubbing or scratching in the long run. Purchasing good tools and hiring a good carpenter is always a plus in this regard. 

Now, once the shape of the door is deformed or adjusted incorrectly, the pocket door scratches either the floor or itself while sliding out. And to avoid this issue, you have to fix pocket door scratching.

How To Fix A Pocket Door That Rubs?

Among different pocket door problems, rubbing or scratching is the main one. And it’s time to fix this issue. But how to do so? 

Accumulate Necessary Tools And Materials

When you are going to fix the pocket door yourself, instead of hiring any professional carpenter, you have to get your pocket door repair kit, including some other materials. 

What should you have in the kit? They are a pocket door adjustment wrench, a screwdriver, measuring tape, pliers, a hammer, a nail gun, a brush, a vacuum cleaner, a putty knife, and others. 

Moreover, you may need lubrication, white vinegar, sawhorses, tracks, a cleaning rag, and pocket door rollers. However, choosing which tools and materials you need depends on the causes and types of issues.

Start Fixing

Now when you are going to start the fixing, you must identify the root of the cause. For different reasons, the process is also different. Let’s fix-

1. Fix The Warped Wood

If the warping of the wood in your pocket door is the source of the issue, then replacing the door is the best and easiest option for you. 

But, if you have enough time, then you can go with the unwarping processes of a warped piece of wood. Altering the amount of moisture present on one face of the board will allow you to bring a warped plank of wood back to its original shape. Follow the steps given below:

  • Wrap damp clothes around the warped wood fully.
  • Place the wrapped wood on an ironing table.
  • Heat the iron to its maximum setting.
  • Now press the iron on the surface that is out of shape.
  • Repeat the process if necessary.

2. Replace The Studs

How To Fix A Pocket Door That Rubs

If the pocket door rubs because of the studs of the frame have warped, the only thing you can do is take the whole thing apart and put in a new one. It can be hard to do this. Because you have to take down the wall around the stud before you can take it out and put in a new one.

3. Fix The Tracks

Your pocket door’s tracks can have one of three problems: 

  1. Tracks may get clogged with dirt.
  2. Broken tracks.
  3. Lack of lubrication.

These problems cause the dragging of the door on the bottom. Whatever the problem is, you can DIY to fix it. Now, how do you adjust a dragging pocket door? Follow the steps given below. 

  • Firstly, clean the tracks to ensure a smooth ride. You’ll need a cloth, a brush, a vacuum cleaner, and a cleaning rag. First, use your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust you can’t reach. Then, use the brush and white vinegar solution to clean the tracks.
  • Secondly, after completing the cleaning of the tracks, inspect them for damage; if they’re bent, the rollers won’t operate. If it’s minor, you can solve it using some of the tools mentioned earlier. If it’s major, you’ll have to replace them.
  • Thirdly, your pocket door may rub because there isn’t enough lubrication on the rails, causing friction and noise. Regularly greasing your tracks eases slipping.

How Do I Stop My Pocket Door From Rubbing?

To stop your pocket door from rubbing, you have to take preventive steps so that it won’t rub. What are they?

Maintain the proper process to avoid the pocket door rubbing
  • Process the wood properly before you convert it to your cabinet door
  • Here you may follow the unwarping process as well.
  • Cut the cabinet regarding the size of the doorway. If you are cutting for the IKEA cabinet, then you need to know how to cut IKEA cabinet doors. 
  • Adjust all the hardware tightly.
  • Maintain the door regularly with proper cleaning and lubrication.
  • Stay cautious so that the wall and the cabinet won’t remain dumpy or moist. 


A rubbing pocket door is a situation when your door hardly moves on tracks and leaves scratches. As you know, it happens when the door cabinet is in contact with moisture. This moisture may be absorbed from the wall or in any other way. 

When some of the portions of the wood get moisturized, it starts being deformed in shape. And at this point, it starts rubbing. However, you can fix a pocket door that rubs by following the tips mentioned above.

So, what are you waiting for? Before the cabinet becomes completely null, fix it. Otherwise, you may have to replace the whole system.