Hello friends! A few weeks ago I shared our master bedroom makeover reveal and received tons of comments on the modern barn door. So I decided to write a post about it because we actually hung two! One between our bedroom and bathroom and one between our bathroom and my closet.
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If you missed the beginning of the master suite renovation, you can start here, but to sum it all up, there used to be no door between the bedroom and bathroom. And before you totally freak out, there was a door between the toilet/shower area and the vanity, just not the bedroom and the bathroom. See the layout below.With the master suite renovation our goal was to add a door between the two spaces and to open up the bathroom a bit by eliminating some of the door chaos we had going on. See what I mean?
While the bathroom is not completely done yet, this is the current view.
It seriously feels HUGE now! And we are loving the barn doors. So how did we do it? I like to think of it as the easy barn door method because we did not DIY the doors or the hardware. I have seen people do both, but guys, we have a bathroom that has been under construction for almost a year. We did not need to add anymore DIY projects to the list. Not to mention we plan to replace all the doors in the house eventually and would like them all to match. So we custom ordered our doors because they were not standard widths and normal slab doors are usually only 80″ tall and barn doors should be 84″ if you want your opening to be a standard height. I will warn you, these doors took a LONG time to get in without damage, so I would order them at least 3 months before you actually need them. We ordered two slab doors and a pre-hung door for the bedroom and we sent four doors back before we ended up with 3 in good condition.
Modern Barn Door Installation
We used the following tools:
Step 1 – Measure and order doors. Make sure you measure your opening and allow for at least an inch overhang on each side. For example, the opening to my closet is 24 inches so we ordered a 26 inch wide door.
Door Opening + 2 inches = Minimum Door Size
Step 2 – Measure and order door hardware. This is the hardware we used. It does come in 79 inches and 96 inches if your opening is larger. When determining what size hardware to get, make sure your door will open all the way without blocking the opening. For example, for my closet, the opening is 24 inches and we used a 26 inch door. To accommodate that size we needed at least a 55 inch long track because you need to have room for the stoppers on the ends (about 1 1/2 inches on each end). Additionally, you need to have blank wall space on one side of the door way that is equal to or greater than your minimum door size plus 1 1/2 inches for your stopper. Here are some formulas to help you out.
(Minimum Door Size x 2) + 3 inches = Minimum Track Size
Minimum Door Size + 1.5 inches = Minimum Wall Space
For my closet, this is how these formulas looked.
24 + 2 = 26 inches ———— Minimum Door Size
(26 x 2) + 3 = 55 inches —– Minimum Track Size
26 + 1.5 = 27.5 inches ——- Minimum Wall Space
Step 3 – Paint the doors. We ordered our doors primed only because it was cheaper to paint the doors ourselves and I could pick a custom color. So before we could hang them, they needed to be painted. I chose Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron for the door color and used our paint sprayer to paint them.
Step 4 – Hanging the track. I’m not going to lie, the instructions that came with the hardware we used are not great and they look like they have been copied 100 times making it blurry and difficult to read. Lucky for you, we already figured it out, and in inches! No metric system here. 🙂 These are all the parts that came with the mounting hardware.
I should note, the mounting brackets come put together, and you need to unscrew them before attaching to wall.
First, we measured where the brackets would go for the rail. There were three mounting brackets for our 60″ rail and the instructions said to mount them as follows.So I measured 10 inches from the end of where I wanted the rail to stop and spaced the others out as instructed. Then we measured the height from the ground. This could vary depending on how tall your door is because you need to allow space for the door to clear the floor and sit on the rail once the wheels are attached to the top of the door. We measured it all out and determined 86 3/4 inches was where we needed the screw holes to be for the mounting brackets to sit at the correct height. Again, our door is 84 inches tall.
Once you have marked where your holes need to go, use a stud finder to determine if you will be drilling into studs. The first mounting bracket we hung on the right hand side hit a stud, the others did not so we used Pop-Toggles to ensure the rail could hold the weight of the door. We have used these for a variety of projects including my Ikea mirror hidden jewelry storage, hanging our TV on the wall, and my mom’s open shelving. Note, our doors are solid core doors not hollow so they do weigh more.
To use these you need to drill a sizable hole in the wall for the plastic piece to fit. Measure twice, drill once because this will leave a big hole!
Then gently use a hammer to tap it into the wall.
Once the plastic shaft is in the wall, use the little yellow tool to pop open the sides of the toggle in the wall. These are similar to butterfly anchors if you have ever used those. Note, the yellow piece is only used to pop open the toggle, you do not leave it in the hole.
Then use a screw driver to screw the bracket into the toggle. You can also use a drill or a driver, but you don’t want to over tighten the screw.Once all your mounting brackets are secured to the wall, make sure they are level before you attach the rail. Next, you will want to attach the stoppers to the ends of your rail BEFORE hanging it if any of the sides butt up against a wall. If your door is sandwiched between two walls, attach both stoppers now. We actually forgot to do this and had to go back and loosen all the brackets to attach the stopper to the far right side. To attach the stoppers, just loosen the screws and slide it onto the end. Once it is positioned where you want it, re-tighten the screws.
To hang the rail, position it against the mounting brackets and re-attach the front outer part of the bracket you removed in the beginning. I held the rail while Barry attached the first one. We attached the middle bracket first which allowed the rail to stay in place without holding it while Barry attached the rest and I took pictures 🙂 Once all the brackets are secured to the wall, check again to make sure it’s level before adding the door.
Step 5 – Attaching the wheels to the barn door. This part is a little awkward because the door is so long. We chose to attach the hardware to the door in our guest room so we didn’t have to angle it around a bunch of corners to get it upstairs. We propped up the door on some pillows and towels so we didn’t have to lay on the floor to do this.
NOTE: Depending on the design of the door, there can be a top and a bottom. Our door has a distinct top so make sure you attach the hardware to the correct end.
First, we marked where the holes needed to be drilled for the wheels. I used my chalk pencil so I could see the marks better.
Then we drilled the holes. Tip: When drilling large holes you can get a more precise hole by first drilling on your mark with a small drill bit and then coming back and re-drilling the same hole with a larger bit. We did not do this on the first door we hung and the holes were literally just a hair off which made screwing the hardware in very difficult.
First we drilled the hole with a 1/8 drill bit.
Then came back and drilled the same holes with a 5/16 drill bit.
Next, we screwed the metal anchors into the door.
Then we attached the wheels. To make this part go faster, we used a hex drill bit with our impact driver rather than the Allen Wrench that came with the mounting hardware. It was just too awkward to turn the Allen Wrench around the wheel and it was taking forever. But we did already have this bit, we didn’t buy it just for this.
We did this to mount the wheels to both ends of the door.
Step 6 – Very carefully, move the door into place and lift it onto the rail without hitting the ceiling! Seriously, watch the ceiling! It seems like a no brainer, but if you have 8 foot ceilings, you are a lot closer than you realize. And don’t panic. When we stood the first barn door up in the room and looked at the track, we could have sworn we did it wrong and it wasn’t going to fit. It was just an illusion, thank goodness!
Step 7 – Adding your second stopper. If your door is sandwiched between two walls, you should have completed this step when you were hanging the rail. I even put it in bold for you in case you only look at the pictures. 😉 Our door has an open end so we waited to attach the second stopper until the door was hung so we could better gauge where we wanted the door to stop.
Step 8 – Attaching the door handle. This mounting system comes with a double sided circular handle. The instructions recommend drilling a hole with a spade blade, but I was weary of that looking clean and then there would be no going back and we would have a large hole in our door that took four months to get in. Sounded terrifying! So we chose to drill a hole and surface mount the handle. In my opinion, it worked out just fine. We drilled the hole at 36 inches from the bottom of the door.
Because barn doors sit off the wall a bit, this handle clears the wall with no problem.
I want to point out that we chose not to install the floor track on either door because we didn’t want to risk damaging our new floors. And so far, it’s been working just fine for us.
Now we have two barn doors that save us SO much space!
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and it inspires you to re-think the doors in your house. Know someone who wants to tackle a barn door? Share this post on Facebook or hover over an image and save it to Pinterest for future use! Want more home ideas? Subscribe now so you never miss a project!
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