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January 2007
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Bathroom Pocket Door 3 – Taping Drywall Corners

Now that the door is in place, and I have drywalled and beaded the opening, it is time to begin Taping.
Inside Corner
I have decided to make part of the casa square corner and part round corner. This is a shot of the narrow archway created by putting the pocket door next to the bathroom wall. In the forefront is 3/4” round bead and in the back, 1/2” “L” bead. Also is my good friend 2″ blue tape, covering the frame opening of the pocket door.
Being an old school drywaller, it took a while to understand round bead. Traditional square corner beads work by having the one side of the drywall overlapping the other, forming a consistent thickness of drywall, so there is no raw wood underneath it, which in a worst case would be a path for fire. In the case of rounded bead, the two sheets meet at the bottom edge, and do not overlap, creating a gap. The solution is that you mud the inside of the cornerbead before you apply it.

Corner Trim Miter Tool
The mitre in the corner of the round bead was cut with snips but was drawn on with this cute little tool

Corner Bead Attachment Methods
Here is a little better view of this corner. I have used screws and nails to illustrate the various methods that can be used to attach beads. In the case of screws, using a screwgun, you will need to adjust the depth so that you do not bow the bead edge. In the case of nails, care must be taken so as to not hit the factory edge, nor to drive the nails so deep that the metal bows.
When the bead bows, it will form a ridge that is higher than the recess created by the factory edge, resulting in a metal line that does not get embedded in your mud and will be the first thing to crack.
I am using a 6″ wide drywall knife for this.
Since this corner has two factory seams meeting, we put in enough mud to fill the eased edge.

Applying the Tape
This is standard drywall paper tape. Your tape should be long enough to overlap your bead, but not so long that the paper will be over the factory edge. It leaves a ridge and a bump, that will have to be fixed later. Trust me, it is far better to get this right at this stage, because it is one of those little problems that gets bigger upon subsequent coats of mud.

Wiping Down

Once you have your tape in place, you wipd it down with enough pressure to remove the excess mud, but not so hard that you squeeze the mud out completely from under the tape, which will create a bubble that is even harder to fix than the tape over the factory edge. First One, side…

Then the other. Then wipe your knife, and use it to remove excess mud from the factory edges of the beads. Do it now or have to sand it down later.

Corner Tools.
At the store where you get your drywall, tape, mud, bead and drywall knives, they sell a corner tool. I don’t use them nor do I recommend them. A 6″ drywall knife will do your flats, butts, spot your nails and your inside and outside corners. A corner tool will only do inside corners.

One of these days, when I win the Lottery I will get a video camera and make these postings into videos.
I can explain a certain amount this way, but video would go a lot father in demonstrating taping and mudding techniques.
Speed set is dry, time for another coat.

Bathroom Pocket Door 2

In my last episode of replacing my bathroom door with a pocket door, I had ripped out the closet, slashed open the ceiling, removed the old bathroom door, stops, and trim, leaving the frame from my current bedroom door. This gave me enough room to fit the door into the opening I had created, and to find any surprises.

I decided to put the door in the hallway as there is the light switch, tp holder and a covered switch from the swamp cooler that had been mounted on the roof. That would have been way too much work.

Moving on…..
I nailed up some 1/2” plywood strips vertically over the drywall and into the studs behind. This allows me to screw the horizontal frame members into the plywood. I then moved my door into position and checked it for plumb. The original wall was out of plumb by 3/4” from top to bottom.
(Plumb is important in construction just to spread the load as it was intended, and even more critical in doors. If your door is out of plumb on the hinge side, and depending on how it falls off, your door will have a tendency to swing closed or to swing open. If your door is plumb, you can move it open 5” and it will stay there. If not it will try to move. No ghosts, just bad carpentry.)


So I attached it at the bottom, and then shimmed up as I fixed the door frame into position. I screwed it all together, as it is a better method of fastening, and you can usually get a screw in places where a hammer cannot go.(Coarse thread Drywall screws)


Here is a better view, showing the detail. On the left is the original door frame where you can see the last guy took out the original door which was smaller, as he just bent the nails over from the orginal header, and only used one nail to attach the new header. Next is the 1/2” drywall, then my 1/2” plywood shim and finally a piece of 3/4” pine that I salvaged from the old closet.

On the back side, I recycled some more of the old closet and screwed ‘nailers’ between the pocket door’s horizontal frame members. I could have done without this step, but I don’t want my work to come apart or have some other remodeler show up and post photos of cracked corners. As you can see, the last guy wasn’t too concerned about the walls either.

Because I installed the pocket door outside of the bathroom the jamb side required a little creativity as well. I removed the bedroom door, (it’s okay, it’s just me and the dogs, and none of us are especially modest), added 2 2×4” studs to the bedroom door frame and attached the jamb. This wasn’t nearly as far off as the jamb wall is concrete block. The guy who originally built the house back in ’52 did own a level and knew how to use it.

So here we are with the new pocket door in place and closed. Which ,until I cut it open for a piece of frosted, fluted glass, is probably the last time it will be closed until someone modest stops by.
Now I will finish the drywall patching in the bathroom, tape and mud the drywall and skim coat the interior of the closet until I figure out how I am going to build the new storage closet.

The only adhesive you will ever need for your remodeling projects.

This is my gorilla snot box. Gorilla Snot is my term for compounds that have a mucus/pus/snot type texture, usually coming out of a caulk gun requiring you to use your finger to smooth them down resulting in the stuff sticking to your hands and clothing like snot. It contains various compounds for putting stuff together.
My box contains Latex caulk for filling voids and cracks that is paintable, plumbers putty for setting sinks, powered wood putty for covering nail holes and filling defects prior to painting, and Liquid Nails, a brand of caulk gun appliable glue.

Also in this picture is a cheap 3” paint roller (you usually find them in the paint roller and tray kits at the home improvement stores) with a cover that I deliberately filled with paint, rolled most of the paint out, and let dry. It makes a great roller for rolling things to squeeze adhesives smooth, like vinyl base, trim and rubber matting. Yes, you can buy commercial brayers made of solid rubber, from art or printing supply stores, but the sticker shock will rock your world. This is a simple solution to needing a roller for smoothing projects around your house.

I will probably end up tossing out every one of the tubes of stuff. My new best friend and yours is Loctite Powergrab.
Loctite is not a johnny come lately to the adhesive business. They make Thread Lock, which is a compound that comes in a number of grades to lock screw threads tight. It has been used for years to lock bolts and screws in place in conditions where vibration, and heat can cause failures from bolts vibrating loose.They have been cursed and praised in the mechanical, automotive and aerospace industry for years. Taking apart things that have been ‘loctited’ causes the cursing, and putting things together with Loctite is cause for praise and sleeping well at night. Ask your auto mechanic. He has it in his tool box. Your new cars are put together with it, planes, trains and space shuttles are held together with it. Loctite knows things about adhesives.

This is why Powergrab is your new best remodeling friend. I first mentioned it during this post on Soffit Construction. Since then I have used it to fasten wood trim to plywood, plaster walls, glue down rubber matting, use it in place of vinyl base adhesive, as a third hand for holding trim in place for screw and nail attachment, and other purposes. Really this stuff replaces every one of the dozens of grades of Liquid Nails, most other adhesives, and is the only caulk type adhesive you will ever need.

It may even improve your sex life! Consider that after using it for your projects, you will not have to worry about them falling apart, leaving you more time to have sex and concentrate on it. I’m just saying…

Bathroom Pocket Door 1

I love pocket doors. They are an elegant solution to partitioning space in any home, but even more so in smaller houses. Hinged doors are a waste of space on a number of counts. When you look at the square footage they suck up this becomes a stronger argument for pocket doors.

Consider a bathroom door which is typically 30”. With the hinge side of the door and trims, you are typically up to 36″ in linear area with when you consider the sweep of the door, renders 9 square feet of your livable floor area unusable. When you take into account the standard 80″ height, the wall behind the open door has a very limited useage as well. You loose roughly 17.5 square of wall space as well. On the other hand a pocket door uses only about 1.5 square feet of your floor and gives you back your wall.

Yes it is more expensive. A pocket door frame set is about 70 bucks and another 30 bucks for a door slab, but a hinged door set is not much cheaper when you toss in the knob set and trim kit to match your existing house, unless of course you are building a ”home improvement style” house.

In a typical bathroom in older homes the plumbing is strung out in a line, shit, shave and shower, or toilet, sink and tub. The bathtub is usually the determing factor in bathroom size. A 5′ bathtub means that your bathroom is 5 foot wide. With a toilet and sink your other wall is usually around 8′, giving you 40 square feet of space to cram in all of the stuff that normally goes with personal hygiene, like soap, shampoo, towels, bum wad, and the toilet and shower cleaning products.

I am putting a pocket door in my bathroom. Since I have a small bathroom, and tools, I can do this. My hallway has this storage closet which was an afterthought by the guy who remodeled this house.
Particle board and 1” pine. Don’t get me started on particle board.

The resultant hallway is 32″ wide and a little over 7′ high, due to the duct work for the roof mounted HVAC unit. They mount them on the roof here in arizona and drop the ceilings to conceal the ductwork.

First thing is to slash open the ceiling to see what I have up here, and to ensure that I can get the frame and header in. Remember that pocket doors require a header that is twice the length of a hinged door header as the track and framing are twice as long as the opening.
As you can see, this was a birdshit closet, and there is enough space to install the frame.


After opening up the rest of the ceiling that I needed for the header and removing the old bathroom door and trim, I dry fit the door frame and check it for fit.

This is a pocket door kit from the home improvement store, which has the track and header preassembled, which is a real time saver. It is also a light duty model, as is most of stuff you get at the home improvement stores. Not much of an improvement in most cases, but that is a rant for another post.

I decided to put it next to the existing wall rather than cutting up the bathroom, and installing a new header to tuck it into the existing wall. As luck and a little planning would have it, my pocket frame will allow me to have a clean detail in the new archway.
I will be using a either a wood panel or standard hollow core door(depending on what I find at the remodeling salvage yards) that I will be cutting out to install some frosted glass to provide light in the hallway as well as privacy, which at this point being only me and my dogs is not all that big a deal. I may get lucky someday and then it will come in handy.