Sliding barn doors have become all the rage in recent years. They’ve long surpassed their original use and moved indoors to serve as everything from creative room dividers to home office doors. But how can you install these doors properly? And more specifically, do they require a bottom track?
Keep reading to learn the answers to all your questions. Plus, you might pick up inspiration on using sliding barn doors to transform your living space, whether you’re going for a rustic sanctuary or an ultra-modern abode.
Do Sliding Barn Doors Need a Bottom Track?
If you’re looking for a “yes” or “no” answer, we’ll have to disappoint you. The answer is a bit more complex than a single word.
Theoretically, siding barn doors don’t need a bottom track. They can be installed without it. This primarily applies to interior sliding barn doors where the upper track does all the heavy lifting.
However, just because a barn door can be installed without a bottom track doesn’t mean it should. Why? Well, if you omit this part, your barn doors will likely swing back and forth against the wall. And that’s definitely not what a sliding door is supposed to do.
Plus, if you’re going old school and installing these doors on an actual barn (or any outdoor space), a bottom track is a must. Sure, it will keep your doors opening and closing securely. But perhaps more importantly, the track will keep them secure and anchored. That’s why most exterior barn door kits contain a bottom track.
How to Install Sliding Barn Doors
Much to the delight of DIY-savvy homeowners, sliding barn doors can be installed independently. Why is this a big deal? Well, because when it comes to doors themselves, this isn’t always the case.
Sure, a traditional door shouldn’t cause you much trouble. But purchase high-quality iron doors, and you’ll probably require professional installation due to the sheer weight, size, and intricacy of this door.
But let’s go back to installing barn doors. As long as you buy these doors from a reliable manufacturer, your barn door kit should contain all the hardware you need to pull off this task. We’ll list all the other items necessary for the installation, so it can go off without a hitch. Other than that, you’ll need some basic mechanical skills and tools, and you’re good to go.
Step 1: Secure the Mounting Board
Technically, the first step to installing a sliding barn door is finding the ideal location. By “ideal,” we mean a location that s both aesthetically pleasing and functional. While the former factor might be vital to style-conscious homeowners, the latter should be crucial to all.
You see, a sliding barn door is typically quite heavy, especially if you go for a material like wrought iron or reclaimed wood. For your wall to support all this extra weight, you’ll need a rock-solid mounting board.
Select a board approximately the same length as your track, just a bit wider. Secure it into place using drywall anchors, spacers, and lag bolts.
Step 2: Install the Track(s)
Now it’s time for the star of the show – the bottom track and its upper counterpart (which must be flush with each other!).
Both tracks require adequate spacing for the doors to operate smoothly. Factor in about six to eight inches of header space and at least half an inch of distance between the floor and the door’s bottom.
To install the tracks, you’ll need to drill holes marking where they will be anchored to the mounting. There are no rules regarding the total number of holes, so you’re free to use your best judgment. Just remember – it’s better to have more than less! Homeowners whose DIY skills don’t include drilling can purchase a pre-drilled track.
Use joint brackets and a level, and the installation of these tracks will be a breeze, provided you’ve chosen the right size. As a rule of thumb, the track should be at least twice as wide as the door. This allows your sliding barn doors to operate freely without getting stuck.
Step 3: Install the Guides
So, your doors will slide along the installed track. But they still need something to guide them. Enter barn door guides. You can buy these handy hardware pieces on Amazon and attach them to the wall or the flooring.
Step 4: Attach the Rollers
Imagine this: you’re showing off your new interior barn doors proudly. You go to slide them open, only for them to wobble uncontrollably to their position. Talk about a bad first impression!
To prevent this unfortunate scenario from happening, you’ll need to attach rollers. These hardware pieces are in charge of making the opening and closing of barn doors smooth and gracious.
Some guides will include rollers in the front. If not, purchase them separately and mount them to the barn doors. The exact location and installation process will depend on the rollers you buy. Read the installation instructions carefully, and you’ll have no issues with this step.
Step 5: Hang the Door
With all the groundwork out of the way, there’s nothing left to do but hang your barn door. You might need an extra hand for this step, as the barn door can get rather heavy. Carefully lift the sliding door and slide its wheels into the upper track while using the guides as a reference for the bottom part. If all the steps are done correctly, the doors should be hung level and square with the tracks.
Installing a Sliding Barn Door: The Best Practices
As you can see, sliding barn doors are relatively easy to install for any DIY-savvy homeowners. Keep these considerations in mind, and this process will roll as smoothly as your new doors.
Choose Adequate Space
A sliding barn door is a major space saver. But just because this door doesn’t swing open, it doesn’t mean you can put it just anywhere.
For starters, you’ll need enough wall space for these doors to slide along their tracks. Installing a single barn door? The wall space must be at least the width of that door. Mounting magnificent double barn doors? You’ll need to account for the width of each door on each side of the doorway.
Besides being the proper size, the wall space should also be clear. This means no light switches, electrical outlets, vents, cooling registers, artwork, windows, or other doors – anything that could snag on the door or damage it as it slides open.
Invest in High-Quality Barn Door Hardware
When mounting a sliding barn door, you’ll have plenty of hardware options. These items will differ in their weight capacity, purpose, length, appearance, and the list can go on and on.
Choosing the barn door hardware boils down to knowing the exact specifications of your doors. For instance, how heavy are they? Do you need a track system with a low weight capacity, like 250 pounds, or something more heavy-duty, like 800 pounds? What length is enough for your chosen doors? These are just some of the questions that dictate your choice.
But whatever hardware you choose, it should share a single characteristic – high quality. From the joint brackets to the track system, every hardware element should be able to perform flawlessly and withstand daily wear and tear hassle-free. Of course, it won’t hurt if it also looks great in the process.
Investing in high-quality hardware means securing durability, smooth operation, and visual appeal for years to come.
Secure Rock-Solid Structural Support
Step 1 of our sliding barn door installation guide is there for a reason. You shouldn’t mount a sliding door without ensuring proper structural support. Otherwise, your doors might sag, come off the tracks, or even collapse altogether.
But what does proper structural support for interior sliding barn doors entail?
We’ve already mentioned the mounting board. You should ensure this board is attached through wall studs above the doorway (far enough to clear the door frame and trim). As for their position, there should be one stud at every interval of the track. Note that only using wall anchors isn’t enough, as they don’t provide sufficient structural support.
Why Install a Sliding Barn Door
So, what is it about a sliding barn door that makes it worth the investment and effort a DIY installation requires? Take a look at all the benefits of this unique door, and you’ll quickly realize why it’s such a great option for any house, office, or property.
Incredible Space Saver
The sliding ability is undoubtedly one of the most appealing features of a barn door. Not only does this look striking, but it’s also crucial for saving space. When opened, these doors take up wall instead of floor space. What does this mean for the room? It means more space for décor, furniture, or simply functionality.
Let’s say you have a tiny bathroom where every inch of space counts. A door that swings open will hardly be a great choice. But with a sliding barn door, you’ll save space yet keep the stylish appearance of the room.
High Aesthetic Appeal
Sliding doors aren’t all about functionality. We can’t neglect their eye-catching appearance that instantly transforms any room into a unique space. Place them wherever you want to make a statement, be it a master bath, the bedroom, or even the pantry.
Style Options Galore
With the sheer number of options and styles sliding doors come in, finding the perfect barn door for your needs will be a breeze.
Are you fond of a contemporary and sleek aesthetic? Look for modern barn doors with clean lines and a minimalist design. Do you prefer cozy, country-inspired spaces? A rustic-style warm-toned barn door should fit right in! Looking for something over the top? Luxurious interior doors with glass panes might do the trick
If, by chance, you can’t find precisely what you’re looking for, consider DIY barn doors. Or even better, let professionals do it for you and order a custom barn door.
Unique Hardware Options
Do you believe your doors look too plain? The solution is simple – add visual interest through the creative use of hardware. Tracks, latches, locks, pulls, and timber plates are just some of the elements you can play with to create the door of your dreams.
Ease of Operation
Some homeowners hesitate to buy a barn door due to a common misconception describing them as bulky, heavy, and hard to operate. The truth? They’re quite the opposite. The material might be heavy, but the sliding system makes it appear as light as air. These doors open and close with little to no effort, making them a great alternative to traditional hinged doors.
The Perfect Solution for Wide Openings
Are you struggling to find a functional yet stylish solution for that wide opening in your house? Consider double sliding barn doors. They will cover the full width of the door frame while making quite a statement in the process. Whether you choose a modern or a rustic style, these doors can become a focal point of your living space.
Sliding Barn Door Ideas: The Many Uses of This Highly Functional Door
When it comes to using a barn door, there’s no shortage of great ideas. Whether you want to save space, separate a room, or improve your interior design, a barn door has got you covered. Check out some of our favorite barn door ideas below.
Space-Saving Pantry Door
Not all kitchens have enough room for a pantry, no matter how practical this storage area is. Even when there is one, it’s typically pretty compact. Replace the pantry door with a sliding barn door, and the situation will already look up. This door will do wonders for the available space, allowing you to store significantly more food and groceries.
Chic Room Divider
Looking for a way to add more privacy without disrupting the flow of an open-plan space? A barn door is calling your name. This handy addition will close off any area you want without making it feel cramped and stuffy. If the sense of freedom and openness is important to you, choose a barn door with glass inserts.
Install barn closet doors, and you get the best of both worlds – easy access to your things and a stylish boost to your bedroom. Not to mention all the space you save that can be used for new clothes and accessories!
Home Office Solution
Working from home has many benefits. But it comes with its fair share of challenges as well. If you have children, you’ll need an office door that allows for sufficient privacy yet maintains accessibility. Use a barn door, and you’ll check both of these boxes.
Laundry Room Entrance
The laundry room is another corner of your house that often overflows with items. To make it as practical and accessible as possible, consider replacing the room’s doors with a barn door. With this simple upgrade, you’ll gain more space to keep the room neat and aesthetically appealing.
Utility Room Solution
Are the washing machine, dryer, and freezer taking up all the space in your utility room? Give them more space to operate (or get some new friends) with a barn door upgrade. With this door, you’ll have easy access to the room whenever necessary while maximizing its efficiency and spacing.
Any bathroom can benefit from a barn door, but a tiny and cramped one simply year for it. Stop allowing traditional swinging doors to take up valuable floor space. Install a barn door, and enjoy all the new space you get. Barn doors with glass panes can have frosted glass to maintain that equilibrium between allowing light in and maintaining privacy.
A barn door is all you need to make a seamless and charming transition between the indoor and outdoor areas of your property. Just imagine sliding this door open to reveal a breathtaking outdoor oasis perfect for summertime gatherings, and you’ll understand why a patio and a barn door are a match made in heaven.
Experience the Wonders of Barn Doors With PINKYS
As you can see, a simple barn door can go a long way toward enhancing the look and functionality of your property, both indoors and outdoors. At PINKYS, we offer a great collection of iron barn doors in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.
Best of all? If you don’t find what you’re looking for, our team can make it for you. That’s right, our barn doors are fully customizable, allowing you the freedom to bring your vision to life. With a custom barn door, you can rest assured knowing you have a genuine one-of-a-kind piece.
Our iron barn doors strike the perfect balance between old-world charm and contemporary appeal, making them perfect for a diverse range of aesthetics. Whether you own a historic home or a modern mansion, these doors can fit right in.
Regardless of your choices, one thing’s for sure – you’ll receive a barn door of superior quality that will likely last you a lifetime.