Guide to Barn Door Buying and Installation - The Hardware Hut
Barn Door, Interior, Track
Barn Door, Interior, Track

Barn Door Installation Buying Guide – All You Need

Hanging barn doors are a great way to save space. Barn doors are perfect for spaces where there’s not enough room to open a hinged door fully or where you want to add some visual interest to a room. Barn door installation is easy, and barn door tracks allow you to hang and wall mount a door in front of an opening and slide it in either direction.

Before purchasing, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the components needed for barn door installation and the optional accessories available. Below is a guide to help make the perfect choice when selecting hanging barn doors.

Barn Door Hardware Essentials

Many of our barn door tracks are sold as track sets with everything you need. However, it’s beneficial to understand the installation purposes of each piece and optional accessories, like soft-close mechanisms.

Barn Door, Track, Buying Guide, Barn Door PartsBarn Door Tracks

The track is the rail that is mounted above the opening of the barn door, which your door hangs from and slides on. Barn door tracks come in flat and round styles, or with a fascia that conceals the entire track mechanism. Barn door tracks are available in multiple sizes and finishes. The most popular sizes are 72” and 96” designed for 36” and 42”-48” openings. The average door is 36” wide, so a 72” track would allow a standard door to slide and fully clear the opening.

Barn Door Hanger

A barn door hanger or roller mounts either to the front or top of the door and allows the door to hang above the track. Hangers attach the door to wheels that move the door along the track and come in multiple styles, finishes, and weight capabilities.

End Stops

Barn door end stops mount to the track and provide a bumper for the hanger to hit when it slides in either direction, preventing the hanger and the door from rolling off the track. The hanger allows the door to hang low enough that the door itself never hits the stop, just the hanger. You’ll need two per track for your single barn door installation. The stops can be installed at different positions on the track to control how far the door rolls in either direction.

Anti-Jump Blocks

Anti-jump blocks are usually plastic or rubber and mount to the top of the door. They sometimes connect to the hanger itself. These blocks prevent the door from moving upward and coming off the track.

Guide

The barn door guide mounts at the bottom to either the floor or wall. The guide prevents the bottom of the door from swinging outward and hitting the wall. For more info on the two different types of barn door guides, check out “An Introduction to Door Guides for Barn Doors.

Barn Door Header

A barn door header is simply a custom-built piece of wood used to anchor your barn door track in place by distributing the door’s weight. A barn door header also improves the door’s stability when in use.

Barn Door Optional Accessories

Beyond the standard track sets, Hardware Hut also offers optional accessories. Accessories include privacy locks and latches, soft-close mechanisms, a connecting adapter to make the track longer or connect 2 sets for a double door application, and brackets for bypass door applications.

Barn Door Privacy Latches

Privacy latches consist of two parts: a latch and a strike plate. The strike plate mounts to the door jamb and the latch to the door’s edge. When the door is closed, the latch can swing into the strike plate on the back, preventing the door from sliding open.

Privacy Locks

Privacy locks mount inside the jamb wall behind the door and are often used to ensure privacy in bathrooms. On the interior side of the door, there’s a thumb-turn mounted to the jamb wall facing the opening. When turned, the thumb-turn engages the door with a tubular drive-in bolt so the door won’t slide. There is an emergency release on the outer side of the door, similar to standard privacy door knobs and levers.

Soft Close Mechanism

We have several different soft close mechanisms currently available that work with correlated barn door track sets. These mechanisms come with specific track sets or in pairs, so the door soft closes in both directions. When the barn door closes forcefully, pistons in the mechanisms engage to slow the door to a soft, quiet close.

Connecting Adapter

Connecting adapters allow you to seamlessly connect two tracks together in the middle such as for double door applications where the 2 doors meet together in the center.

Bypass Brackets

Barn door tracks are also available for bypass applications, where two doors slide past one another. Bypass brackets allow a second track to mount in front of the track closest to the wall. Five brackets are required for a 78” track and six for a 96” track. We also offer a barn door bypass track system with offset hangers that allows the doors to bypass each other utilizing a just single track.

Barn Door Pulls

There are many door pulls, flush pulls, and appliance pulls available for putting the finishing touches on hanging barn doors. It’s important to note that regular cabinet pulls generally do not work as well for barn doors. Cabinet pulls cannot handle the force needed to slide a barn door back and forth. You can, however, use an appliance pull, usually meant for a fridge or dishwasher.

Barn Door Tracks for Cabinets

There is separate barn door track made specifically for cabinets. This track is 70″ long and made to handle the lighter weight and thickness of a cabinet door. The wheels are 1-1/2″ in diameter, rather than the 3″ diameter wheels on normal size barn door tracks, so it is more proportionate to the smaller cabinet door. All the components are the same, but the cabinet track does not yet have the the same accessories available.

Barn Door Installation FAQs

Hanging barn doors differ from regular doors in several important aspects. Below are some of the most common questions our staff receive about hanging door installation. We hope you’ll find them useful.

How Do Barn Doors Work?

Instead of hanging from hinges and swinging open and closed, barn doors sit flush against the wall and slide open and closed on a track system. The track system most commonly installs above the door, and the door attaches to the track with wheeled hangers.

Can You Use Any Door for a Barn Door?

In theory, you can use almost any door for barn door installation. Remember, however, that when the door is closed, it must be at least one inch wider than the wall opening on both sides to cover the opening and trim.

How Thick Can a Barn Door Be?

Hanging barn doors average 1.5 inches in thickness. Doors can be thicker, but if so, tracks, hangers, and other hardware must accommodate the door’s thickness. Hardware is available to support barn doors that are 2.5 to 3.0 inches thick. When installing a barn door that thick, remember to consider the door’s extra weight when choosing a barn door header and track system

How to Measure for a Barn Door?

To determine the door size and hardware you’ll need for barn door installation, take the following measurements:

  • Measure the width of your door opening from side to side, and add two inches to avoid gaps. Your track size should be twice the width of your door width.
  • Measure the height needed for your door by measuring from the floor to the top of the door opening and adding an extra inch.

If you have any additional questions on purchasing door hardware, submit a question below and one of our customer service representatives will be in touch. You can also connect with us on Facebook.

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    About the author
    Austin Stone joined Spokane Hardware Supply, Inc. and The Hardware Hut in 2017. When he is not in the office, he can be found snowboarding at Mt. Spokane or relaxing at the lake.