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What to Watch Out For When buying Barn Doors

Wednesday July 3rd, 2019

Every Home Needs One

You want/need a barn door to complete that aesthetic as well as save space in your home but....what is the difference in all the choices out there??? It can be overwhelming to select your barn door and barn door hardware. Sometimes when the selection is too vast, then you need to start looking for what you don't want.

What You Don't Want

Barn doors and barn door hardware is not all created equal. On the internet, anyone from their garage can make their offering look pretty legit. However, there are a few key factors that you should consider when searching for the best quality with a warranty behind it. Most of what you find even on BIG BOX retailer websites is not solid wood and has likely been imported from China.

Here is what you don't want:
  1. MDF
    Most of the barn doors you see on the internet are made of this stuff and it is super heavy, very absorbent and prone to warping with its lack of structural integrity. MDF stands for "Medium-Density Fiberboard. It is basically sawdust and glue pressed together with steam. There is no long strand fibers that hold it together in its entirety. It is super dense and brittle. When screwing into MDF, there is a huge risk of the screw or drill crumbling the fibers and creating a weak point in the door. You do not want, for any reason, an MDF barn door.

  2. Fiber Glass/Hollow Core
    Most of the barn doors you will find from big box stores are either fiber glass "skins" or hollow core "skins" with a very meager stick of soft wood in the middle doing its best to hold everything in. These doors are a disgrace to the barn door heritage and trust me, you do not want one of these.

  3. Imitations
    There are "barn door companies" that have sprung up like excitable puppies that claim to build barn doors. The only barn doors that will be around 100 years from now are the ones that are built the same way that they built doors 100 years ago–with real door parts. You do not want a door that is not built with stiles and rails/cope and stick/ mortise and tenon. Blah, blah, blah you say? Ok, so those are just fancy words for real joints. When you put together a door, its weakest point is at the joints. So, when you put together a joint it needs to be done the right way where the two door parts being put together are interlocked and then locked again with anther piece of wood running from one into another. This is what makes a door last a very long time. The other thing is layering. You do not want a door that only has one or two layers. A real door needs to be layered and cross grain layered at least 6 times.

  4. Imported Hardware
    You do not want imported hardware as the quality of the steel is not held to the same standard as domestic steel. There is an old saying that best describes why you do not want imported hardware–"you get what you pay for". Does that ring a bell? When you are putting something as rich in American tradition and heritage as a barn door, you should consider supporting the well being of the ground that you stand on. When you spend the money for higher quality American made goods, it comes back around to you two-fold. You put money back into your country at the same time you put heirloom into your home.
At Rustica, we build doors the hard way; which is the right way. We build hardware the American way–to last for generations to come. Click here to buy a quality piece of Made in the USA door.

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