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Barn Door Buying Guide

How To Choose The Right Barn Door For Your Needs

Barn doors are one of the hottest trends in interior decor. Despite being a classic style, they can add a modern and unique touch to any home.

If you’re looking to dress up the doors in your home, this guide is for you. We’ll cover everything from the benefits, how to choose your perfect barn door, and mistakes you should avoid in the process.

Whether you’re building a new home or replacing a current door, find everything you need in our barn door buying guide below.

What is a barn door?

 First things first. What is a barn door?

Barn doors have been around for a long time. They were initially designed for… you guessed it, barns! They were designed to be easy for farmers to open and close, even on windy days.

Over the last several years, they’ve become a popular decor choice for homes and other interior spaces.

Unlike more traditional doors, barn doors don’t open and close on a hinge. They typically are installed on track above the door frame and slide open against the wall. However, they aren’t quite the same as classic sliding doors or even pocket doors, where the tracks are often hidden.

Tracks for barn doors typically rest outside the door frame, making the hardware a major part of the aesthetic.

What are the benefits of a barn door?

There are many benefits to buying a barn door. With points for both style and utility, it’s no surprise they are a popular choice among homeowners.

Here are some of the top benefits of buying barn doors for your home:

Unique

Barn doors are a great alternative to traditional doors. While more popular than ever before, they are still incredibly unique.  By installing one, you can improve the value of your home and make your home stand out from the others.

Space

Traditional doors require a good amount of space for the door to fully swing open. Barn doors open by sliding against the wall parallel to the doorway, making it a perfect solution for tight and narrow spaces.

Easy to install

Depending on the space you’re working with, a barn door may be easier to install. If the doorway is already finished, you’ll need to add a frame in order to install a traditional door. A traditional door also requires very precise measurements.

On the other hand, a barn door can easily be added on top of any finished drywall doorway. And while it’s ideal to get one that’s perfectly-sized, there is a bit more flexibility since the door doesn’t need to fit perfectly into the existing frame.

Customizable

There are many different options for barn doors. You can mix and match hardware as well as the material and color of the door itself. The endless options for customization mean you’re almost guaranteed to find a door that’s the perfect fit for your space.

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Guide to choosing a barn door for your home

Now that you understand the basics, you’ll need to choose a barn door that works for your home.

While they look pretty simple, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider to get that perfect fit for your space. Here are some of the top things to consider when buying a barn door.

Location

Where you’re putting your door can have a huge impact on what type of door you choose. Every entryway and room has a different size and aesthetic. This is why it’s important to decide on a location before choosing your barn door.

Functionality

Barn doors are functional and beautiful. But depending on where your installing the door, you may need to prioritize function over form.

If your door is more decorative, you can focus on things like design. However, if you’re outfitting a bathroom or bedroom door, you’ll need to make sure that the door filters enough light and sound to offer privacy.

Barn doors can even be used to partition separate rooms into two. These doors will need to be built differently than those used in narrower doorways.

Door size

The benefit of barn doors is that they’re easy to use with doorways of any size. Unlike a traditional door, the way the door is mounted offers more flexibility in the final measurement of your door.

Depending on where you’re putting your door, you may want to go with an oversized look. You may also opt to go for a double door.

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Door style

Barn doors are most commonly found in farmhouse-style homes. However, there are so many styles making them extremely versatile. You’ll find them in everything from rustic to industrial-styled homes. Just make sure to choose a door that fits the look you’re going for.

Design

Barn doors can be simple planks of wood or they can have intricate designs. Pick a style that complements the decor style of the room it’s in. Fortunately, there are so many designs and styles to choose from.

●       Paneled barn doors – these tend to be more classic farmhouse style and have a rustic look.

 ●       Glass barn doors – let the light in with a glass insert. (If you don’t want glass but want to make the room feel bigger, choose a door with a mirror.)

 ●       Industrial barn doors – often featuring metal or bold features, industrial-style barn doors are also a popular choice

 Material

From wood to metal, there are many materials to choose from. Some materials are heavier than others, which can make opening and closing the door more challenging.

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly material, MDF is a great way to achieve the perfect look without breaking the bank.

Color

Many homeowners choose to go for white or natural-colored barn doors. Wood finishes are a classic barn door style, which makes it a popular choice.

However, you can choose a barn door in any color you like! Many barn doors also come unfinished so you can stain or paint the door a custom color.

Finish

Do you want the door to have a rustic, worn-out feel? Or do you want it to be sleek and shiny? The final finish of your door can significantly impact the look of your door. Make sure you’re choosing a finish that complements the rest of your room, including the floor and other furniture pieces.

Hardware

Unlike traditional doors, hardware is a huge part of the design (and function).This is why hardware should be at the top of your list when choosing your barn door.

There are several pieces of hardware that you’ll need to choose throughout the process. Here are some of the hardware you should consider.

Tracks

The tracks are one of the most important pieces of hardware for your barn door. These are installed over your door and on the wall, so your door can slide along the track

Make sure you’re choosing tracks that are rated for the size and weight of the door you’ve chosen.

Hangers

These are installed on the door and hang off the tracks. Make sure your hangers are designed to fit with the tracks you’ve chosen.

Pulls and handles

Fixed onto the door, the handles help you slide the door open and closed. You’ll want to pick a shape that’s easy to hold and handle designed for a heavy door.

For a sleek look, you can also opt for a door that has grooves built in, instead of adding a pull.

Floor guides

These are installed on the floor to help keep the door from swinging off the tracks.

Soft-Close or Soft Stop

These prevent your door from being slammed shut or help make your door quieter

Decorative hardware

Your door might include faux hinges or other decorative elements. Make sure these fit with the other functional hardware choices.

There are a lot of hardware decisions to make when buying a barn door Make sure to choose hardware that is high-quality but also complements the design of your door and room.

Since almost every piece of hardware for a barn door is visible, you want to make sure you’re happy with your choices.

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Top mistakes when buying a barn door

Shopping for a barn door can seem pretty simple. This is especially true when compared to traditional doors that require considerations such as framing and hinges. However, there are a lot of mistakes that can be made along the way. Some mistakes can be costly and others can simply leave you feeling a bit of buyer's remorse.

We know that a barn door is a big investment and a statement piece in your home. You want to feel 100% confident with your choices. To help you avoid any mistakes, we’ve put together some common issues homeowners run into when it comes to barn doors.

Making measurement mistakes

Barn doors can be a bit more forgiving when it comes to sizing, but you still want to aim for perfect measurements. Otherwise, you’ll end up with unexpected issues like gaps or doors that are just way too big.

Make sure to carefully measure the height and width of the door frame. At the minimum your door should be the width of the frame. But if you intend to include overlap with the wall for privacy, include those measurements as well.

Include hardware in your measurements as well. Many handles and other pieces of hardware are designed with specific measurements and sizes.

If your space is narrow make sure to also consider the thickness of your door frame and how the hardware will mount against the walls.

Forgetting about privacy

Barn doors are beautiful, but not every style allows for complete privacy. It’s important to be aware of this before committing one for rooms that require privacy, like bedrooms and bathrooms.

Make sure to choose materials and styles that are relatively soundproof. For example, you may want a thicker door that is made of a solid material versus a hollow door. You’ll also want to choose hardware that allows your door to slide close to the wall to seal out light.

Choosing a slightly larger door that overlaps more with the wall can also help reduce light and noise.

For extra privacy, you can also choose a barn door with a locking mechanism.

Low-quality materials and finishes

The great thing about barn doors is that they come in so many choices so there’s guaranteed to be something that fits your style and budget. But it’s important to make sure you’re still choosing high-quality hardware and materials.

Especially in high-traffic areas of your home, your door will get a lot of use. Choosing materials that are durable and easy to maintain will help your beautiful new door last longer.

Steel is a particularly good choice for hardware since it’s durable and is less prone to rust and corrosion. Avoid aluminum hardware if possible, especially in areas prone to moisture.  Painted hardware can also tend to lose color over time.

Improper maintenance

Like most of your home, your barn door requires a bit of maintenance to stay in top shape. Wipe your doors and hardware down from time to time to avoid dust buildup. Avoid using harsh chemicals or too much water as it can corrode the hardware over time.

Certain finishes are also prone to damage, so make sure you’re using the right cleaner and a soft cloth when cleaning your barn door. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your new door.

Buying your barn door

Choosing a barn door is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Taking the time to consider all the factors will ensure you’ve chosen the perfect door for your needs.

There are a lot of things to consider in the process, but most importantly you want your door to be high-quality, durable, and fit the style of your home. By following this buying guide, you’ll be on the way to buying your dream barn door in no time!

Ready to buy? Browse our selection of barn doors and hardware today!