Question: Thanks for very helpful pictures and instructions on pocket doors.
I see in Figure 1 (the one with the mirrored door) that you have pictures and a towel bar affixed to the wall outside the pocket. My contractor is sticking fast to a "no obstructions" view and just doesn't think it is possible to put anything onto the wall since it will protrude into the space that the door needs.
Answer: I do understand your contractor's concerns. He is afraid that in order to hang the towel bar there must be an anchor protruding through the backside of the drywall and possibly the sharp tip of a screw. This could scratch the door when you slide it in and out.
However, that being said, there is at least a 1/2 inch of drywall or concrete board and the pocket door frame should be a minimum of 5/8 inch thick, which means that an anchor that protrudes less than 5/8" cannot scratch the door and that a screw that is no longer than 1 1/8 inches (not counting the thickness of the towel bar mounting plate) cannot protrude past the door frame and hence scratch the door. An anchor such as a threaded drywall anchor can be found (your big box home improvement store should have them in stock) that will not protrude past 5/8 inch (shorter than 1 1/8 inches in total), then it is just a matter of choosing the correct length of screw.
If he would prefer he can use an expansion or hollow wall anchor, although he will have to use a long screw to set the anchor, remove the screw once the anchor is locked in position and then cut the screw or use a shorter screw to ensure it is not longer than the depth of the anchor on the backside of the drywall.
I hope this helps!
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