Content of the material
- How to Hang Double Barn Doors
- Finding the Right Fit
- Before Installing your Barn Doors
- Barn Door Leveling Tips
- Barn Door Centering Tips
- Know your Space
- Call in Reinforcements
- Get Organized
- Mirror Image
- Header or No Header?
- 3.Barn Door Hardware DIY
- 16.Barn Door Rollers How-To
- How to Install a Barn Door Over Existing Trim
- How to Install a Barn Door Header
- Preparing to Install a Barn Door
- Hang Your Barn Door
- Install a Barn Door FAQs
- How much does it cost to install barn doors?
- Do you remove trim when installing a barn door?
- Can you hang a barn door on drywall?
- Do you need a header for a barn door?
How to Hang Double Barn Doors
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Finding the Right Fit
While we were looking for the perfect doors, we found plenty of double barn door sets, but they were out of our price range. Then we realized we could just buy two separate door kits and hang them together. It took one extra step, but wasn’t difficult at all, and didn’t require any additional hardware.
By expanding our search to single door sets, we were able to find the style we wanted at a price we could afford.
Keep in mind when you’re picking a barn door to cover an existing door frame, the door slab will probably need to be 84″ tall to cover the door and trim. Your door slab should also be at least an inch wider than the opening.
You can’t take an off-the-shelf 80″ door slab and convert it to a barn door unless you reduce your opening from its standard size or create a new opening from scratch.
Before Installing your Barn Doors
I recommend doing this installation in two separate parts, first to allow the door slabs to acclimate to their new surroundings before attaching them, and secondly to give yourself a little breathing room as you go through the project.
When we started this project, I thought, “How hard can it be? It’s just like hanging really heavy curtains!” Well, yes and no. The idea is the same, but it turns out to be a lot harder hanging really heavy objects! Thankfully my husband was the voice of reason (as usual) and made me take it slow.
So give yourself an evening to open your hardware package, make sure you have all the pieces, set the doors in the space to acclimate, and make the initial measurements and markings. This will make it a lot easier to hang the doors on the second day.
I’m not going to take you step-by-step through the instructions, as yours may vary depending on the hardware and doors you buy. Instead I’ll give you the tips that we found helpful along the way, and everything I wished we knew before we started.
Barn Door Leveling Tips
Get a good laser level that can be hung on the wall while you’re working. It’s so important to get everything level in this project, that you don’t want to rely on a small level if you can avoid it, and you don’t want to move your level around while making measurements.
After measuring, according to your instructions, for the center height of header board (if you’re installing on drywall) or rail, mark that spot on the wall and attach your laser level there. Leave it in this spot for the duration of the header and rail installation.
Work from the far side of the wall towards your laser level. If your level is attached at the left end of the wall, like mine, you’ll want to start by hanging the right side of the header and track. This just keeps your work from getting in the way of your level’s beam.
Barn Door Centering Tips
Center your barn door installation on the middle of your door opening, which will not necessarily be the middle of your wall. Measure and clearly mark the middle of your door opening so you can keep track of this as you install both headers and rails.
You do not need any additional hardware if your doors will meet in the middle of the opening. You can get a track joiner if you want your doors to slide from side to side, but this isn’t necessary for a centered installation like mine. The track joiner just allows the wheels to make it over the junction between rails smoothly.
If you want the doors to stop in the middle, like mine, you’ll need to apply the door stops that should be included in your hardware kit. However, these door stops are meant to keep the doors from rolling off the ends of the rail, and we found that they’re not sized correctly to allow the doors to meet in the middle.
When we set both stops in place, there was a big gap between the doors, but we couldn’t use just one because the back end of it ran into the wheels on the other door. So my handy hubby simply used his Saws-All (reciprocating saw) to cut off the extra metal on the flat end of one of the stops.
This allowed them to butt up together, for just the right amount of space between the hanging straps.
Now the doors close smoothly and stop with the tiniest gap between them, which is perfect to prevent slamming and pinched fingers.
Know your Space
Be sure you have room for barn doors. That sounds kind of obvious, but it bears mentioning. You’ll need at least 6″ above the door frame to hang the header and rail. And you’ll need at least twice the width of the door opening on each side of the door.
My door opening was a total of 65″, so I needed two sets of 80″ wide headers, which meant my track turned out to be almost 14 feet long!
Call in Reinforcements
This is a DIY project, but not for the faint of heart or limb. These doors are heavy, and the hardware can be a little tricky to maneuver around, especially if you have tight spaces in your house.
Get a buddy, sweet-talk your husband, or hire a handyman, but don’t attempt to install these bad boys by yourself. Even reading the instructions will go better if you put two brains together!
Gather your supplies first. You don’t want to be hanging out on top of a ladder with an iron rail half-attached to the wall and realize you need the 3/8″ drill bit from your workbench in the garage.
Keep in mind that when you’re installing double barn doors, one set of hardware will be the mirror image of the other. This can get a little confusing when reading the installation instructions, so consider starting with the door on the same side as the one in your instruction diagrams first.
Then once you get the hang of it, it’ll be easier to do the necessary conversion in your head for the opposite side.
Header or No Header?
Do you need a header? That depends on your walls. If you’re attaching to drywall, you need a header board. This allows you to anchor into the studs first and then the rail attaches to the board.
If you’re installing on concrete block, your kit should come with concrete anchors and you can just attach the rail directly to the wall.
Personally, I like the look of the header board, which ties in to all my white trim. Also, if your door opening already has trim around it, using the header board will ensure that the door clears the trim when it’s sliding.
3.Barn Door Hardware DIY
Here’s another budget-friendly plan for barn door hardware, but this time it’s for cabinet doors. We love the photos in this blog – they really give you an idea of the kind of things you can create if you put your mind to it. There are also some clear instructions to follow and even a video, meaning this is a plan that should be easy to replicate at home.
16.Barn Door Rollers How-To
If you prefer a no-frills kind of video that just gives you the info you need, you will do well to check this one out. This YouTuber takes you through everything you need to know, explaining clearly and in detail. He also demonstrates how to do it, making it easy to copy if you want to try yourself.
How to Install a Barn Door Over Existing Trim
Installing barn door hardware isn’t difficult, but it can be a little different from installing other types of hardware. The trick is to understand the logistics involved before you get started with the project.
All hardware is a little different so you will need to refer to the instructions provided for measurements. If you are installing a barn door over existing trim, we recommend installing a header first.
How to Install a Barn Door Header
You can mount the rail directly to the wall, but we recommend using a 1×2 header for two reasons. First, it gives extra clearance so the bolts or hardware on the door don’t hit your trim.
Second, it gives you more points to mount to the studs in the wall. Then you don’t have to worry as much about the lug bolts on the rail hitting studs, they can just go straight into the 1X2.
Start by measuring the length of your rail, this is how long you need to cut the header. If you’re planning on painting or staining your header, you’ll want to do that before attaching the header to the wall.
Line the header up with the end of your trim on the side the door will be closed on. Locate the studs in the wall above your door and using screws attach the header directly above your existing trim. Now you’re ready to mount the rail! Again, refer to your specific hardware on how to mount the railing.
PRO TIP: When mounting both the 1X2 and the rail be sure to use a level. The door will roll open or closed on its own if it isn’t level.
After mounting the rail securely to the wall, you will want to add the bumpers on each end by sliding them on and tightening the hex bolts. Now you can move to your door.
Preparing to Install a Barn Door
Check the hardware directions on where and how to drill the bolt holes that attach the wheel hardware to the door. Use a carpenter’s square to ensure accuracy. The wheels will hang towards the back of the door.
Drill the holes with the appropriate size drill bit and tighten the bolts. If it’s provided, attach the “anti-jump” bumper to the top of the door so it won’t accidentally jump off the rail. Now you’re ready to hang your door!
Hang Your Barn Door
Carry your door inside and gently hang it on the rail and position the “anti-jump” bumper so it won’t come off. Make sure the door is hanging straight and then mount the door guide onto the floor, to help guide the door on the bottom.
Congratulations, you’ve just installed a barn door! Step back and admire your work!
Install a Barn Door FAQs
How much does it cost to install barn doors?
According to Home Advisor, the average cost of paying someone to install barn doors is around $600. You’ll pay $200 on the low end and as much as $1,000 on the high end.
Do you remove trim when installing a barn door?
Not necessarily. You can install a header over the trim of your door to allow for clearance and this way you don’t have to remove the trim. If you don’t want to use a header you will need to remove the trim.
Can you hang a barn door on drywall?
Yes, but we recommend using a header and attaching it to the studs.
Do you need a header for a barn door?
Not necessarily, but it helps if you’re hanging a barn door on drywall and it’s needed if you’re wanting to keep your existing trim in place so there’s enough clearance for the door to open and close.
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