Barn doors are all the rage in home decor, but what can you do if your much-loved barn door keeps coming off track? In this article, we’ll go into some effective ways to keep your barn doors in place.
What is a Barn Door?
A barn door gets its name from the fact that doors of a similar style are commonly seen in barns that house livestock. A barn door has a rustic aesthetic, which can also work in industrial-style interiors.
It is a sliding door that runs on tracks that are fitted to the surface of a wall so that when it is moved to the open position, it will cover the wall.
Pros and Cons of Barn Doors
They save space
Barn doors don’t swing out into a room when they open as a traditional hinged door would. This means that they are a great solution if you have a tight space because they simply slide over the wall and don’t impede the room.
They are stylish
Many people have barn doors on their ‘wish list’ for a new home because they are very trendy and sought after. Having a barn door in a room can really elevate the style and make it more aesthetically appealing.
They can make a house more saleable
Since barn doors are very on-trend, a house that has barn doors can be easier to sell compared with a house that has regular doors. This is a feature that many potential home buyers will fall in love with, and they may favor your house over alternative options. Having high-quality barn doors can even increase the value of your property.
They can be loud
Barn doors can make a loud thump when they hit one end of their track, which can be problematic if you’re getting up in the night and don’t want to wake other people up.
If this is causing a problem, you can resolve it with door stoppers that can be fitted to the track. These have spring mechanisms that will allow the door to bounce back gently from the end of the track, limiting any noise when opening or closing the barn door.
They don’t block noise
Barn doors are popular additions to master bedrooms because they add a really stylish edge; however, when they are used as an alternative to a traditional bathroom door in a master bedroom, you may encounter problems you hadn’t initially considered, namely a noise issue.
Barn doors do not slot into a door frame like most doors. Instead, they are larger than the door opening and will rest in front of the door opening when moved into the closed position. This means that the door won’t sit flush against the wall, and there will be around a half-inch to an inch of space between the door and the wall it is fitted to.
This means that noise won’t be blocked or muffled by the door, which could lead to some embarrassment for anyone using the bathroom. Since bathrooms are private spaces, traditional doors tend to work much better in these scenarios to help block noise and protect privacy.
They can slide unintentionally
Unless your floors are perfectly level, you will probably find that your barn door has a tendency to slide along its track all on its own. This can be annoying, to say the least, if you want privacy in your bedroom or bathroom and your door keeps sliding open to expose you.
It can also cause other issues; for example, it might slide open while you are sleeping, causing a slither of light to enter your room early in the morning and wake you up. If your children’s rooms have barn doors on them, it may even scare them that the door is seemingly moving by itself.
They can come off their tracks
Like sliding doors, barn doors can come off their tracks and become difficult, and even dangerous, to operate. If your barn door is swinging, then there are several things you can do to help keep it on track.
Ways to Keep a Barn Door on Track
Traditionally, barn doors have their fittings mounted to the wall at the top of the door, and it will glide along these mechanisms. However, you can find that this will cause a barn door to swing unintentionally. The best way to keep a barn door in line is to use a floor guide, which will consist of a track that is fitted along the surface of the floor, which the barn door fits into.
These are the type of tracks you would ordinarily see on sliding closet doors. They can negatively impact the overall look of the barn door, especially when it is left in the open position and the track is clearly visible, but it is a surefire way to prevent the barn door from wobbling.
Door stoppers are installed at the end of the barn door track to prevent the door from banging, but they can also be installed at specific intervals along the track if you don’t want the door to slide past a certain point.
This is ideal if the door has a tendency to slide beyond where you want it to go, but it won’t make much of a difference to doors that come off track.
The best way to ensure a barn door doesn’t inadvertently slide open when you don’t want it to is to only install a barn door on a surface that is perfectly level. This will entail your floor surface being level and the track fittings being level, either on the floor or when mounted to the wall. If the tracks are not level, then the weight of the door will cause it to slide in a particular direction.
Many homes, especially those which are older, have floors and walls that aren’t level. When installing barn doors, you can use wooden shims to raise an area of the floor so that the track is level, which will prevent any sliding.
If your barn door keeps sliding or coming off the track, use latches to keep it in place. A hook and eye latch are easy to install and will work well to prevent any unwanted movement from the door.
Fix the ‘eye’ fitting to the wall and the hook to the door, and slot these together when you want the door to stay still.
Magnets can be put to great use on barn doors to keep the doors on track and prevent them from swinging. Magnets should be installed within the tracks and on the door itself to help ensure the door glides smoothly and is kept in place.
If you buy a cheap barn door kit, then you will be more likely to suffer from the problem of the door coming off its tracks. This will be down to poor workmanship and low-quality materials. If you want to have a barn door that works as it should and is long-lasting, then opt for a reputable company to supply and install the door.
Reliable companies will usually provide a guarantee or warranty to cover the doors against any issues, including problems with tracks and improper movement.