Barn doors grace the indoors of a wide range of home styles, from rustic and farmhouse to modern and contemporary. Installing a barn door is a fairly expedient way to cover a door opening while lending unique flair to your home. Barn doors can be installed indoors by homeowners with only a few simple tools in just a day or two.
Basics of Indoor Barn Door Installation
An indoor barn door slides on a metal track that is installed over the top of the door frame. Hangers with wheels are attached to the top of the barn door, and these hangers rest on top of the metal track.
Indoor barn doors can be installed singly or in pairs. A single barn door will cover one doorway, and the door slides to either the left or right side when open (a side must be chosen prior to installation). Single doorways tend to measure between 36 inches and 42 inches. A pair of barn doors will cover a space of about 84 inches wide, and the two doors slide outward in opposite directions when open.
With either installation type, there must be enough wall space to the side to accommodate the door when it is in an open position.
Codes and Permits
Interior door installation generally does not trigger the need for a building permit. But to be on the safe side, check with your local permitting department. One of the values of a pair of barn doors is the extra width. So if you need to widen an existing doorway or create a new doorway, you may need to apply for a building permit since this may compromise the wall's structural integrity.
When to Install a Barn Door Indoors
Being an indoor project, a barn door can be installed at any time of year. Because the door trim can interfere with the barn door track, it is helpful if the door is installed before the trim is installed. Install the floor covering before the indoor barn door since a floor guide must be screwed on top of the floor covering.
Equipment / Tools
- Cordless drill
- Tape measure
- Stud finder
- Laser level or bubble level
- Full set of drill bits
- Crescent wrench
- Wrench socket set
- Indoor barn door
- Barn door hardware kit
Assemble the Door (Optional)
Some barn door kits require you to assemble the door from individual planks, using included fasteners and predrilled holes. Most unassembled doors will have a strengthening cross-brace that must be installed across the face of the door diagonally.
Add the Hangers to the Top of the Door
With the wrench set, add the sliding hangers to the front face of the top of the door. Usually, bolts must be slid through both the door and the hanger, then finished off on the face with cap nuts. Be sure to use all included washers to help prevent the nuts from loosening over time.
Install the Handle and Other Hardware
If you anticipate that access to the back of the barn door may be hampered once the door is in place, install the handle at this time. Otherwise, you have the option of installing the handle later, once the door is on its track.
Add the Track Sliders to the Top of the Door
At the very top edge of the door, many indoor barn door kits include small plastic or metal sliders that help to prevent the door from accidentally jumping off of its track. Screw these into place, but not all the way. Generally, these sliders will be screwed in the rest of the way after the barn door has been placed on its track.
Install the Barn Door Track
The barn door track must have a small space between itself and the wall for the barn door hanger wheels to move. This is usually accomplished with a three-part system consisting of a backer board, stand-offs (or separators), and the track.
Run a level line on the installation area with the laser level. Locate the studs over the door with the stud finder and attach the backer board to the wall on the studs. Attach the stand-offs to the backer board. Finally, attach the track to the stand-offs.
Attach the Barn Door to the Track
Lift the barn door and set it on the track. The wheels must rest on top of the track.
Indoor barn doors can be heavy and unwieldy. Always work with a partner.
Rotate the Track Sliders
Turn the track sliders installed earlier into place so that they will prevent the door from moving off of its track.
Install the Floor Guide
With the laser level or a bubble level, establish plumb for the door. Have your assistant hold the door in place or use clamps. Screw the floor guide onto the top of your floor covering.
When to Call a Professional
If you need to widen the doorway or create a new doorway in a load-bearing wall, you may wish to hire a contractor to perform the work since additional support must be added. Pulling back and opening walls may also require moving electrical outlets and light switches; you may want to hire an electrician for this work.
Tips For Installing a Barn Door Indoors
- Due to the width of the barn door and track, it is recommended that you use a laser level rather than a bubble level. This will produce a more accurate level line.
- If this is a double door installation, be sure to use a track connector (often included) to join the tracks for stable and smooth movement.
- A door header is required for the type of barn door installation in this project as the metal track needs a solid wall surface for attachment.