How to Install Barn Door hardware
Let me be right upfront and say this is not at all a sponsored post. We just happened to have found, what we think, is exceptional barn door hardware and want to share our experience and also provide comprehensive instructions. We love the look of ours and know it can be the perfect solution for so many problem entries.
Modern Stainless Steel Interior Sliding Barn Wooden Door Hardware Track Set.
(The links found in the post are affiliate links. Please look for the complete shopping list at end of post.)
The construction and materials are high-quality stainless steel, but most noteworthy is the relatively inexpensive price, it’s now around $90 with free shipping! Many of the hardware options from other companies were at least double or triple the price of this hardware!
They have provided the perfect solution for our awkward entries in our master ensuite area. Read more about that here.
You may be asking, “Why didn’t you choose to DIY the barn door hardware?” The answer is simple; we needed the slides to be completely quiet because it is the entrance to our master ensuite. We don’t always keep the same morning schedules and the whole point of replacing the existing awkward doors was to gain some peace and quiet. Y’all know that means I wanted to be able to sleep in, right?
And now I must confess a bit of ignorance when it comes to barn door hardware.
It’s been brought to my attention through several questions/comments I received since the initial reveal, that most barn door hardware requires either a removal of the existing door trim or an extra piece of wood to allow for a clearance between the door and the trim. I chose a top-mounted barn door hardware, purely because of the modern aesthetic, but the top-mounted barn door hardware is the only reason we were able to keep the existing trim.
I’m sure that door trim varies in thickness, but our trim is only about 9/16″ thick and has just enough clearance for the door to slide without touching at the top. I’ll address the bottom of the door later.
The one thing we both agreed this hardware lacked was detailed instructions. The barn door hardware is not exceptionally difficult to hang. In fact, the second and third door went up extremely fast.
So we thought if we were going to tout this barn door hardware we ought to share a few helpful tips and things we learned during the hanging of our three doors. Because honestly, this little sheet of instructions was painfully inadequate for our installation.
The tools you will need to hang your doors and hardware are:
A level, stud finder, drill, screwdriver, tape measure with millimeters.
Here are some key takeaway points after you’ve “read” the instructions.
Instructions & Tips for Installing Barn Door Hardware
1. Do some thinking up front about where your studs fall in correlation to where the barn door will sit when open and closed. Thankfully before we had gone too far in our installation, we realized we were about to hang the bar too far to the left of the opening.
As you can start to see from the photo above, each bracket has 3 pieces. One that screws into the stud and outer piece that screws in the first bracket to form a cup for the bar to sit. Additionally, each cup has a rubber spacer that fits in between the two metal brackets.
2. Make a rough estimate & get a measurement on where your included door stops will need to be placed in order to stop your door from going too far on the rod.
Instinctively, when we were hanging the first door, we put the stop at the end of the rod. But the stop is meant to hit the door hanging hardware which is centered over the door like below.
If you have to move the door stops past one of the brackets, you will essentially need to unscrew all of the brackets, remove the rubber spacer and take the steel rod off to move the doorstop to the proper place. Not hard, just tedious, trust me.
3. Constantly check for level. When you mark your studs, when you hang the bar, make sure your rod is level. If it is off, your door will want to slide on its own.
This barn door hardware is solidly built with the wheels that are meant to glide quietly over the bar. The hardware attaches to the top of the door with the brackets shown below.
They attach to the door with heavy-duty screws.
4. The holes in your doors need to be perfectly straight as they go into the door top to hang properly. Because we had concerns over this issue, we performed a test run on scrap plywood nailed and glued together just as our doors are.
We discovered that if you went in with a drill bit the size needed for the screw, the drill tended to hop around. In order to keep the hole straight and level, we incrementally increased the diameter of the drill bit.
If you want plans to build a door, like we did from one sheet of plywood for under $50, check out this post, click here. Note: This figure is for one door under 32″ wide. Our large door took two sheets of plywood.
5. The kit comes with door “knobs”, but we decided to upgrade to a pull on the main entry door.
For a full description of how we attached the doorknobs and countersunk them into the doors, we built, click here.
6. Lastly, we needed to address the tiny bit of sway that is created from the weight of the door. The hardware comes with a bottom door guide which is super handy.
But it was not wide enough for the door we built and the glides were too short. Or we made our door too short, depends on how you look at it, I guess. We also had carpet under the door, so mounting it to the floor wasn’t ideal.
This simple mechanism uses the plastic “wheels” that spin on the little rods to allow the door to roll along, keeping it from swaying ever so slightly towards the door frame.
Below are links to hardware we used as well as other
Edited: When this tutorial was written there were very few products available for solving this problem. Now there are a plethora of styles of door guides. See above for suggestions of what I would purchase now.
It took us a little while to figure out our solution, but we ended up removing the glide screw/rods from the metal as they came (using an Allen wrench to unscrew them) and attaching them to a block of wood. The block of wood is attached to the base molding with a simple “L” bracket.
That left only one little, but one troublesome problem to solve. While the wheels at the top of the door slide nearly inaudibly over the steel rod, the little plastic wheel guide at the bottom grated noisily along the backside of the door. (I also provide a link to an alternative below.)
After much deliberation over what type of rubber wheel or little toy piece could be used for a more quiet opening than the original, Richard recalled the small rubber gaskets (also called “o” rings) used on the faucets he installed in our phase 1 of the bathroom remodel.
Here’s what our package looked like.
For just a few dollars in rubber gaskets, we had a perfectly quiet door again! And I was super happy.
While I love the look of rustic barn doors, many of us don’t live in homes where this look is in keeping with the style of the rest of the house. I think the design we chose is the perfect solution in those cases where a clean-lined look is needed, while still adding the functionality of a sliding door for a traditional to transitional style home.
So are you ready to embrace the function and ease of barn door living? I’d love to hear about it!