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Barn Door Installation & Common Questions

Thursday April 25th, 2019

What is a barn door header and why do I need one?

Almost daily we get questions about what exactly a barn door header is and why it is needed. Let’s learn all about the barn door header.

There are two basic scenarios or starting points for barn door installations.

  1. Remodel or post-drywall/finished wall scenario
  2. New build or pre-drywall scenario
For #1, if you are remodeling, adding, or taking off an existing door you most likely already have finished drywall. You also most likely have studs behind that finished wall that are approximately 16” on center. The goal for installing a barn door securely is to be able to hang the barn door from the barn door track lagged into those studs. A barn door header acts as the “exposed“ secure blocking you need for this. The barn door header installs onto the finished wall and into the pre-existing studs found no matter where they are located, behind that finished wall. You now have a secure solid block of wood or a “header” to secure your barn door track to.

For #2, if you are starting to frame out the space for new construction or a new addition of a barn door you have the luxury of installing your header inside of or behind your finished wall simply by adding solid wood blocking between all of the studs and spanning the area’s length for which the barn door track will need to cover. This is the most preferred method as it is easiest for installation and is a more desired aesthetic. It also allows for a tighter gap between the barn door and the wall.

Tips for choosing a barn door header:

  1. We recommend adding a minimum of 2–3” to each end of your header. This means if your barn door track is 6’ because your door opening is 3’, the header is recommended to be 6’6” to prevent splitting or cracking near the ends.
  2. White is the most commonly ordered barn door header finish color.
  3. An unfinished header allows you to finish the header the same finish as the door, the wall, the track or the trim. It's your choice!

Any of our barn doors can be ordered with a header. Select your favorite barn door style and add a header as you choose your options. Click here for a list of our barn doors with headers and if you need help with your header, watch this useful video.

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