Doing something right always takes less time than doing it fast. You’ve been there with home remodeling projects before and we want to help make sure that you avoid some common mistakes and problems when installing a barn door and barn door hardware.
Before you purchase your barn door or barn door hardware consider these things:
1. SpaceConsider the space that you have off to either side of the opening where you would like to install a barn door. There needs to be the same length as the width of your opening off to one side for a standard single door operation, or, half the length of the width of your opening off to either side for a bi parting two door configuration. You will also want to ensure that you have a minimum of 3” of space above your door opening for a low clearance system like https://rustica.com/low-clearance-barn-door-hardware/ or approximately 6-7” for the standard barn door hardware systems like https://rustica.com/industrial-barn-door-hardware/. Often times we see customers wanting to install a barn door over an already finished opening. The beauty about a barn door is that this is not a problem at all. However, when retro-fitting a barn door over an existing/finished opening, there is not likely solid blocking or framing behind the finished wall to which the track can be installed. In these situations, you will need to consider either ordering your track without pre-drilled holes so that you can drill them on site to line up with the wall studs, or, you will want to consider to include an external header board with your order. This is a length of hardwood 1x6 that is ordered 4” longer than your track and gets installed to the studs above your opening and off to the side which the door will slide. Then, your track will get installed to this header board. This allows you to order your track with pre-drilled holes as it will be installed directly to the header board rather than to the wall studs. Also consider the flooring below the area which you will be installing the barn door. If you have carpet below the barn door location, then you will want to consider a wall mounted guide that can be affixed to the baseboard rather than the floor. With carpet, the door needs to be installed just a little higher off the floor to avoid friction with the carpet. With extra thick carpet, this can create a gap that is too significant to allow a floor guide to make contact with the bottom of the door. Also, if you have tile floors, it can be more difficult to install a floor mounted guide through the tile making a wall mounted guide more desirable.
2. SizeThe proper way to measure for a barn door to ensure that you have adequate privacy coverage is as follows; Add 4 inches to the width of your opening to determine the door width and add at least 1/2 inch to the opening height to determine your door height. These are the most common sizing guidelines, however, often times there is a casing trim that you may want to have fully covered by the door when in the closed position. In this case you can take the exact outside dimensions of the casing and use that measurement to size the door. Another convenient aspect of a barn door is that there is some flexibility on door sizing. You will also want to take into consideration any trim, baseboard, lighting switches, or anything affixed to the wall on the side of the opening where the door will slide. Rustica offers the only patented wall offset adjustability so that you can fine tune the space between the back of your door and the wall.
3. Finish/TextureThe look and feel of the other surrounding architectural finishes in your space will either be complementary to your barn door or could clash. It is a real consideration to look at those finishes when ordering your barn door. For example; if you have a light colored, warm, honey finish wood floor that your barn door will hang over, then a light colored barn door that is not the same tones may look conflicting if it does not match exactly. So, a better solution may be a darker tone that has some lighter highlights to tie in the floor but not match. A common misconception is that all the wood should match in your home or in a particular space. A much more natural and authentic approach is to complement wood tones. A painted barn door or even a glass barn door, metal barn door or even leather barn door can also add much character to your space. A good example of a glass, french style door can be seen here.
4. FunctionWhen considering your barn door or barn door hardware it is important to think through how this door will be used? How often? Does it need to latch or lock? Does it need to be accessed from the other side like for a bathroom barn door or an office barn door? If so then a flush pull will be necessary for the back side of the door. If it will be a pantry barn door then you may not want to add a flush pull to the back of the door.
5. QualityWhen considering a barn door, it is easy to find internet energetic entrepreneurs that want to sell you a barn door but have no experience in building doors. The reality is that a common mistake is thinking that a barn door doesn’t need to be engineered and crafted like a regular hinged door because it doesn’t have to fit into an opening. This is where we see customers coming to us and replacing those poorly built doors with one of our USA made and engineered doors by door professionals. If you consider a company other than Rustica to build your barn door or barn door hardware, make sure that company also builds front entry doors and interior hinged doors. A barn door manufacturer that builds front entry doors and interior hinged doors is likely building a high quality door and knows how to craft them to last.
Once you’ve ordered your barn door and barn door hardware and it's ready to be installed, make sure to watch for the following common mistakes: