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Use barn style sliding doors to enhance decor, save space

Updated on July 31, 2015
Sliding Door Open
Sliding Door Open
Sliding Door Closed
Sliding Door Closed
Before installing Barn Door
Before installing Barn Door
Raised Panel Rustic Door Example with Horseshoe Trolley
Raised Panel Rustic Door Example with Horseshoe Trolley
Closet, bath, or pantry door example featured with the Strap Style Hardware in Nickle.
Closet, bath, or pantry door example featured with the Strap Style Hardware in Nickle.
Example of using the barn door system on an entertainment center.
Example of using the barn door system on an entertainment center.

Consider using a sliding track mounted door system to section off large spaces.

Trendy sliding barn doors are now being incorporated into many home décor themes from new construction to renovations.

These eye catching sliding doors save space and add a pop to the visual appeal.

Sliding doors quickly open up large areas or section off private spaces making them ideal for all sizes of apartments, homes and businesses.

The doors allow large door openings to be covered without needing the open space for traditional hinged door(s) to swing open into the room.

Most barn door hardware may be used inside or outside. Outside uses can be incorporated into small backyard barns and buildings to sectioning off a hot tub or patio cabana.

Sliding doors are also perfect to quickly secure doors and windows as shutters for seasonal homes and even businesses.

The rolling hangers secured to an overhead track distribute the weight of heavy doors evenly and eliminates the ongoing door sagging problems of a traditional hinged door.

Whether the theme is rustic country or modern industrial, using the various sliding door hardware styles available incorporated with a door design will set functional design tone.

Sliding doors are also being incorporated into entertainment wall mounted systems and cabinet centers.

The term barn door hardware is often associated with these sliding doors as it originated from large barns built to hold hay and livestock.

Sliding doors using the same style hardware have actually been used for decades in warehouse and industrial applications.

Many city condo conversions from old abandon factories will preserve and incorporate these sliding doors into the transformation of living spaces.

Sliding doors can be seen in many home improvement and regular television shows, which seems to be fueling the trend in home renovations.

Doors can be reclaimed or built new. The traditional X or Z trim design is often used in rustic ranch and log cabin homes.

Doors clad in metal sheeting with large nail or bolt patterns resemble the factory industrial look.

Fancy new glass or reclaimed antique doors can be used in a variety of spaces.

Having the doors mounted outside the door opening allows greater flexibility to use reclaimed doors since the door can be taller and wider than the actual opening.

You will find a handful of company’s currently carrying barn door hardware. As the sliding door trend increases more companies will likely jump onto the band wagon. Like many products price drives quality, thus cheaper imports are likely to look the same on the web.

USA made door hardware is available. One particular company Cottage Craft Works .com features Amish hand forged USA barn door hardware.

Amish made products tend to still be made the old fashion way using thicker and stronger materials.

Cottage Craft also has one of the best selections featuring four different trolley styles for either the rustic ranch or the industrial look and in between. Base colors are black or nickel. Custom colors are also available.

A reclaimed rustic barn door
A reclaimed rustic barn door
A new barn door with the X pattern.
A new barn door with the X pattern.
A new barn door with the Z pattern.
A new barn door with the Z pattern.

Installation considerations for barn door hardware

The open area on each side of the doorway or space will need to accommodate the width of the door when they are slid open.

Two doors can be hung to slide to both sides of a doorway to cover larger openings. This requires purchasing two hardware kits as shipping a long track can be rather cost prohibitive for track over 8’.

In other words if you have an 8’ opening two 4’ door kits would be used. The same with a 10’ opening two 5’ kits would be used.

In reality the doors should extend 1”-2” on either side of the door opening. This allows for the doors to stay engaged in the floor or wall mounted bottom door guides. It also covers the side view for privacy.

With this requirement a 48” opening will need to either have a 50” door or the door opening will need to be trimmed inside to bring the opening width down to 46”

Wider doors can be used over door openings if the side space will allow for the door to fully extend past the door opening.

This makes the hardware very friendly for the use of reclaimed antique doors that would not look right cut down to fit into a regular door frame.

Larger doors also allows for a bolder visual appeal when the actual door way being covered is smaller.

The track is what holds all the weight of the doors. The sliding track will need to be lag bolted into a solid wood header above the door.

If the blocking behind drywall is ever in question or doesn't extend high enough for extra tall doors, a surface mounted board across the header space secured directly into the wall studs will provide a solid surface for the track mounting.

That same thickness of the header board would then need to extend down the sides of the door opening to compensate for the additional spacing from the wall or a gap will show on both sides of the door.

Minimum clearance to a ceiling of beam above the door opening ranges from 8" to 10" depending on the trolley style.

Horseshoe Trolley holds the most weight and can be used in all types of installations.
Horseshoe Trolley holds the most weight and can be used in all types of installations.
Enhanced Horseshoe Trolley equipped with decorative horseshoes are perfect for the rustic ranch style.
Enhanced Horseshoe Trolley equipped with decorative horseshoes are perfect for the rustic ranch style.
Pulley Style Trolley
Pulley Style Trolley
Traditional Srap Style Trolley
Traditional Srap Style Trolley
Wagon Wheel Trolley
Wagon Wheel Trolley

Amish Hand Forged Barn Door Hardware Options.

While most companies offer the one style simple strap trolley hardware the Amish hand forged hardware takes it to the next level with four different trolley styles to fit a variety of decorator themes.

They are all available in black or nickle powder coat finish hardware including the track that can be used inside or outside.

The Horseshoe Style Trolley can be used in many different decors for either the rustic or industrial look.

The Horseshoe Style Trolley can be further enhanced for a rustic ranch look by adding optional horseshoes on top of the trolley.

The enclosed Pulley Style will fit in a more upscale decors especially featured in the nickle finish.

The Traditional Strap hardware is a simple and the least expensive trolley set. These will fit into most decors and do well with the more modern retro industrial themes.

The Wagon Wheel Trolley will fit well in most all decor themes providing a classy upscale or rustic look depending on the style of door(s) being used.

The Horseshoe Trolley is rated to hold the most weight at 350 lbs per trolley set. The remaining three trolley styles are rated at 250 lbs which, should be adequate for even heavy reclaimed doors.

Floor guides and door stops keep the doors on the track.

The basic hardware kits come with built in door stops to keep the doors from being pushed off the tracks.

Optional heavy duty floor mounted door stops can be added as an extra measure for commercial, rental property or kids rooms where the likely hood that the doors will be abused and slammed open.

The standard door hardware also come in two different floor guide options with a third optional up grade wall mounted door option.

The bottom door guides keep the door(s) from kicking out on the bottom if they are push up against or subjected to windy areas.

The most typical standard door guide is a "U" shape bracket that bolts to the floor.

The second standard option is a "T" track assembly that is routed into the bottom of the door with a floor bolt down bracket that glides inside an aluminum track inset into the bottom of the door(s)

The third optional bottom door guide bolts to the wall behind the door and incorporates a roller to guide the door.

Shipping of Hardware

The door size will need to be doubled to order the correct hardware kit.

Hardware kits with track up to eight foot, for a 4' door ship UPS.

Hardware kits with a track 10' or over for a 5'+ door will need to ship via truck freight.

Keep in mind the double door option where two kits will make two sliding doors. Meaning two eight foot door kits will handle two 4' doors or cover roughly an 8' opening.

Other custom size options are available.

Hardware Price

Prices range from $350 for a 5' door kit to $450 for a 10' door kit for the basic strap hardware trolley. Additional cost are based on the selection to the trolley style.

Double door options naturally double the cost plus a splice track bar is factored into the price for the double door kits.

Considering the cost of labor to retrofit or install comparable pocket door(s) in a wall; the simplicity of being able to surface mount a door system like this makes it an attractive alternative both in appearance and cost.

Pictures and information courtesy of Cottage Craft Works .com


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