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Barn Door Privacy Sweep: How to Fill a Barn Door Gap

Tuesday October 31st, 2023
Many people love barn doors for their unique style, function, and their ability to close off a large door opening. However, the greatest problem that people run into when considering a barn door is the barn door gap. Considering this, we’ll cover everything you need to know about barn door gaps, and most importantly, how to fill them to add a bit more privacy to your sliding barn door. 

Barn Door Privacy Sweep FAQ

  1. How far does a barn door stick out from the wall?
  2. Why does a barn door have a gap?
  3. Do barn doors give enough privacy?
  4. How to make a barn door more private?
  5. What are the benefits of a barn door privacy sweep?
  6. Where to use a barn door privacy sweep?
  7. What size barn door privacy sweep do I need?
  8. How to install a barn door privacy sweep?

Barn doors don’t seal like traditional hinged doors do, that’s why leave what’s called “a barn door gap.” This can affect privacy and the ability of the door to seal off sounds, smells, and drafts. While this can be a significant deterrent for those interested in adding a barn door to rooms that require privacy, like a bathroom or bedroom, there are solutions to this problem. 

Barn Door Privacy Sweep FAQ

In order to help you understand barn door gaps and how to properly seal them, we’ve compiled the most common questions we’ve received about barn door gaps and barn door privacy sweeps. By reviewing each question and answer, we’re confident you’ll find the clarity you’ve been looking for when it comes to sealing a barn door gap. 

1. How Far Does a Barn Door Stick Out from the Wall? 

How far the door sticks out from the wall depends on whether there is a baseboard and molding on the door frame. The standard minimum space between a barn door and the wall is one inch. That said, with Rustica’s barn door hardware track system, the door gap is about 1¾ inch. 

If the door frame includes a baseboard and molding, you’ll want the door to stick out from the surface of the baseboard and molding at least one inch. In some situations, the door may stick out as far as 3¾ inches to accommodate the baseboard and trim thickness. Spacers can help with this problem, and are available as an add-on purchase.  

The space between the door and the floor should be at least a half ich from the highest point on the floor that the door passes over. 

2. Why Does a Barn Door Have a Gap?

The gap between a barn door and the wall allows the sliding barn door to open and close properly. A barn door functions by sliding along a track that is mounted to a wood header above the door. There needs to be enough space between the wall and the door for the door to slide along its track without scraping the wall or floor. 

Comparatively, a traditional swinging door fits perfectly within the door frame, effectively minimizing any gaps in the door frame. 

Because a barn door is installed outside or in front of the door frame, it needs space to slide along its track without scraping the wall or floor. This creates a slight gap between the wall and door when it is closed. The most noticeable gaps are on the sides of the door, the floor, and the top of the door. 

3. Do Barn Doors Give Enough Privacy?

The answer to this question depends on how much privacy you need and where the barn door is located. Places that require the most privacy typically include bedrooms and bathrooms.  Exterior doors also require more privacy and security than interior doors. 
In short, a sliding barn door will not give the same amount of privacy as a traditional door with hinges. That said, it still offers ample privacy in the sense that it effectively closes off one room from the other. However, because of the door gap, there is less privacy when it comes to smells and noises. The small gap between the wall and the door may also be wide enough for slight visibility when looking at the door from the side, but this should be minimal if the door is properly installed. 

When closing off a private space, such as a bathroom or bedroom, it’s understandable to want the most privacy you can get. While there are ways to increase a barn door’s privacy, it still won’t be the same as a traditional hinged door. 

All that to say, if a sliding door works better for your space than a traditional door, and privacy is a high priority, you might consider a pocket door. These doors slide directly into the wall when opened, hence the name pocket door. Pocket doors still have the rustic charm and style that a barn door does, but with the advantage of additional privacy because it is mounted within the door frame. 

4. How to Make a Barn Door More Private? 

There are several ways to enhance the privacy and security of your barn door. Whether it’s an interior door, such as a bathroom barn door, or an exterior barn door. 
One of the simplest ways to increase barn door privacy and security is to install a barn door lock on the inside of the door. Rustica offers a few different barn door locks that work for both a single barn door and double barn door. These include Rustica’s latch locks, tear drop latches, and hook and eye latches. 

Additionally, you can increase privacy by choosing a solid wood or metal barn door without a glass feature. If you like the aesthetic of glass, you can choose one of Rustica’s obscured glass styles, which distort images in order to enhance privacy. 

Lastly, you can significantly increase your barn door’s privacy by installing a barn door side gap filler, such as Rustica’s barn door privacy sweep. This barn door accessory is perfect for areas where you want to eliminate the viewable space between the wall and door that can sometimes be seen at an angle, such as in a bathroom or bedroom. 

5. What are the Benefits of a Barn Door Privacy Sweep? 

One of the main benefits of a privacy sweep for barn door is that it eliminates the side gap between the wall and door. This not only prevents someone from being able to see in when looking at the gap from an angle, but it also significantly minimizes sounds, smells, and drafts from passing through the door. 

In this way, barn door privacy sweeps are perfect for a bathroom door or bedroom door where you want to increase privacy while still enjoying the rustic charm of a barn door. 

For exterior barn doors, a barn door privacy sweep is essential, as it will prevent outdoor drafts, debris, dust, rodents, and insects from coming into your house, garage, or studio from the side gap. You can also install a weather strip along the door bottom to fill in the floor gap. 

A barn door privacy sweep is made up of a thin metal piece that connects to the edge of the barn door and faces the wall. Thick bristles make up the brush seal, and are connected to the thin metal strip. These bristles are soft enough to smoothly slide along the wall without creating any marks while effectively blocking visibility, noise, smell, and more.  

6. Where to Use a Barn Door Privacy Sweep?

The barn door privacy sweep acts as a barn door gap filler. Therefore, they are installed on the exterior edge of a barn door. They can also be installed on the inside wall rather than the barn door itself. Barn door privacy sweeps can even be installed on the top and bottom of the door to eliminate those gaps as well. 

Door sweeps can be used on an exterior barn door and an interior barn door wherever they’re needed—whether that’s for privacy, insulation, or to keep unwelcomed creatures from coming in. They can be used on bathroom barn doors, bedroom doors, exterior studio doors, or garage doors. 

Privacy sweeps for barn doors can be used on a single or double barn door. They can also be used on cabinet doors, if needed. 

7. What Size Barn Door Privacy Sweep Do I Need?

When create a custom barn door with Rustica, you can add a barn door privacy sweep to your order in the exact size that you need. If you already have a barn door, you can order a door sweep separately to install on your own. 
Rustica offers two privacy barn door sweep sizes: a one-inch brush that comes in eight-foot lengths and a ½-inch brush that comes in seven-foot lengths. If the gap between your door is wider than one inch, you’ll want to go with the one-inch brush. The bristle brush part can also be trimmed if you need it shorter. 

If you want to have privacy sweeps on both sides of your door, you’ll want to order two pieces. These can be cut down to size if your door is shorter than the length ordered. If your door is taller than the seven or eight-foot door sweeps, you’ll want to order an additional sweep, cut it down to size, and install it next to the other sweep on the door.  

8. How to Install a Barn Door Privacy Sweep?

First, you’ll need to know the dimensions of your barn door and how many sides you plan to seal with the privacy sweep (header, bottom, and both sides). That way, you know how many door sweeps you need to complete the project. 

Privacy sweeps are comprised of two separate pieces: it’s a brush that sits inside a separate aluminum holder. The aluminum holder is what you’ll screw into the wall with self-tapping/self-drilling screws. The aluminum can be fastened directly to the wall or pre-dilled with a ⅛” bit. 
If you need to cut your brush seal down to size, it’s best to cut the bush and aluminum holder separately. The brush part cuts best with a bolt cutter or hack saw, as you’ll want to crimp the metal to keep the bristles in place. The aluminum piece can be cut with a hack saw, cut-off disk, or chop saw. 

Once you have your door sweep sections ready, you’ll place it against the inside wall so it covers the gap, or you’ll install it directly on the exterior edge of the barn door. If mounting the door sweep to the inside wall, press the brush up firmly against the door and fasten with screws. If mounting directly to the door, the brush will be facing and touching the exterior wall. Secure with screws. 

Barn Door Privacy Sweeps Add Privacy 

While the barn door gap can deter people from ordering a custom barn door due to a lack of privacy, but there are many ways to seal this gap. A door gap shouldn’t hold you back from buying a beautiful door, and with our barn door privacy sweeps, it doesn’t have to. 

With our one-of-a-kind customization process, you’re in charge of every detail of your door. Ordering a barn door with Rustica is the perfect DIY project—we’ll give you everything you need, including detailed installation instructions, to ensure the process goes smoothly. 

So, what are you waiting for? Start designing your custom barn door with Rustica today!

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