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Barn Doors 101

What are the benefits of sliding barn doors?

  • Sliding doors save space by eliminating the room needed for door swings
  • They create a focal point and can make a statement for a home or office.
  • Unique doors looks great when they’re not in use, so they can be left open and not be in the way
  • They provide a contrast of materials and create interest for a commonly boring and forgotten element of the home
  • The greatest benefit is that a sliding door is so much more than just a door.  It is functional art!
White Modern 4-Panel Barn Door

If you are thinking about installing a barn door, you might wonder – do barn doors need a bottom track? The answer is YES.

The bottom track keeps the barn door from swinging back and forth against the wall. The track should allow about 1/2″ of space between the bottom of the door and the floor for proper clearance.

Custom Made Rustic Wood Barn Door

How do I measure for my barn door?

This is a loaded question and varies based on a few factors.  Do you have a door casing? Do you want the casing hidden or partially exposed when the door is closed?  How much room to do have for the door to slide?  Is there a header or casing above the door that needs to be cleared to mount the rail?

Since the door sits off the wall in order to slide, it must be wider that the opening to fully hide the opening.  We recommend 1-1/2″ to 2″ of overhang on each side.  30″ opening –> 34″ wide door.

The height is a bit trickier based on the casing and header.  For a  sheet rocked opening we recommend the door height be 1/2″ larger than the opening.  Once hung, the door will be another 1/2″ off the floor for a total coverage above the door of 1″.  The center of the rail will mount ~2″ above the door (3″ above the opening) which will be close to the center of 2×8 blocking.

If you have casing and the rail will be mounted above the casing so the door height should be (the opening + the casing + .5″).  Now the center of the rail will be ~2″  above the casing.

Once you’ve established your desired size.  Double check to make sure you still have enough space for the full door to slide out of the way.In some applications, a standard door/rail application won’t work because there is a lack of support above the opening.  

Open Area for Sliding – Sliding doors are great because they save space in a room by eliminating the need for a door swing.  However, the door also needs a place to slide when it is not closed.  The example below shows a pair of bi-parting doors that replace the problematic folding closet doors for a more elegant and functional solution.

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