barn doors

How to Make Barn Doors an Open and Shut Case

Barn doors, aka sliding or rolling door systems, add a distinctive style to your space. You can’t watch a home improvement program, like HGTV’s hit show Fixer Upper, or spend time on image-sharing websites such as Pinterest and Houzz, without seeing a favorite design trend: sliding barn doors.

“From master baths to basement bedrooms, barn doors add a unique focal point to any space,” said Andrea Woodall, one of Harrisburg Kitchen and Bath’s Designers.

“In fact, a barn door offers texture and design almost like a piece of artwork,” Andrea added.

It’s easy to understand why stylish sliding doors are in high demand. But before you go to the nearest home improvement store hoping to DIY a beautiful barn door, there are a few things you should consider.

5 Questions to Ask Before Installing a Barn Door

1. Where do you want the barn door installed?

Here are some places you can use barn doors in your home:

2. Do you have enough wall space?


“Because they look great both open and closed, barn doors add more visual interest than pocket doors,” said Andrea. “However, it’s important to remember they need room to slide.”

For example, if you’re installing a single barn door, you’ll need enough space on at least one side of the doorway to completely open the slider.

But, if you want double barn doors, you need the width of one of the doors on either side of the doorway.

Also, the wall should be clear of things such as pictures and possibly light switches.

3. What’s your style?

barn doors

Do you want a rustic barn door with weathered wood and wrought iron accents?

Or is a contemporary look with stainless steel hardware more to your liking?

Maybe an etched glass slider would be perfect for your home.

Whatever your style, the customization options are virtually endless.

“A sliding barn door can enhance a design motif already present in the room or become the space’s focal point,” said Andrea.

In summary, barn doors and their hardware can improve the style of any space. The key is to make sure the materials match the rest of your home or appropriately contrast to make the statement you desire.

4. Do you need the door for privacy?

Barn doors are customarily installed in areas that do not require a lock. However, the inability to secure the door can be a cause for concern if you’re trying to use the barn door to cover a bedroom or guest bath where you’d like privacy.

There are options for adding a lock, such as a hook-and-eye closure, so think about the function of the room and how much privacy you want.

Finally, whenever possible, install a barn door that’s a couple of inches wider than your doorway, so when it’s closed, you eliminate gaps.

5. Is the existing structure adequate?

Most rail systems mount to a header attached to studs in the wall above the doorway.  Essentially, an opening that goes from floor to ceiling may not be suited for a sliding barn door.

Before altering your house, it’s important to make sure you’re not compromising your home’s structure. You can’t tell just by looking whether the door is properly framed under the drywall. Since the track supports the weight of the door, it’s important to check with a professional before you start drilling.

In addition to ensuring the load-bearing capability of the doorframe you’re covering, you also want to make sure the floor and ceiling are sufficiently level.

If the floor and ceiling aren’t level, the rail system will appear crooked. Further, an uneven floor may prevent the door from sliding smoothly.

In conclusion, barn doors are a stylish and functional element that can work in almost any home.

“While there are many barn door styles to choose from, you should choose a door that complements your home’s overall style,” Andrea said. “If you’re not sure whether a barn door will work in your room, a design and installation firm is a great resource to ensure you’re getting a door that will both look great and function properly in your home.”

If you have any questions about how you can incorporate barn doors into your home, we’d be happy to offer professional design and installation assistance!

Contact us today.

See more great ideas on our Pinterest board dedicated to barn doors here or on our Houzz Idea Board here.

Stay up-to-date by following Harrisburg Kitchen & Bath on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Houzz.

Header Photo Source: The chalkboard barn doors shown in this blog’s header photo is a fantastic way to add a relaxed appeal to a family home.

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