Barn Door For Bathroom: The Basics

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Are you undergoing a bathroom renovation and thinking about installing a barn door? If so, great! You're in the right place.

Being something of an expert in the field of home renovations, we have quite a bit of experience with hanging doors, something not everyone does. If you would like to learn about about barn doors and why they're a good fit for your bathroom, then keep reading!

What Is A Barn Door And How Does It Work?

A barn door is a type of sliding door that resembles something one would expect to see on the outside of a farmyard barn. Typically, barn doors are of solid wood construction and add a rustic flair to the area where they're installed.

Instead of swinging open like a traditional door, barn doors slide on a track system and are excellent for areas where space is limited.

What Are Some Advantages And Disadvantages Of Barnyard Doors For Bathroom?

When it comes to bathroom design, every decision will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and barn doors are no exception. Below we will cover some of the most important pros and cons to consider when installing a barn door, allowing you to decide if one will work for you and your bathroom.

Pros of a Barn door

1. Serves As An Excellent Space Saver

The traditional swinging door will take up roughly 11 square feet. If the door opens inwards, as many bathroom doors do, this can make a fair amount of space unusable in a smaller than average bathroom.

By contrast, a barn door takes up no square footage as it doesn't swing open, and slides along a set of rollers instead. Not only does this make a smaller than average bathroom more comfortable, but it can also create some extra space that can be put to better use. If you're undergoing a complete bathroom renovation, take a moment to properly plan out the bathroom layout in such a way that allows you to take advantage of a bard door.

2. Barn Doors Are Easy To Install

Barn door installation is a reasonably straightforward process and can be an easy DIY project for anyone who considers themselves reasonably handy. Some barn door systems come with a single metal track, while other systems come with two (one of the bottom and one of the top).

3. Barn Doors Are Great For Other Rooms As Well

The bathroom isn't the only place where a barn door can be a good fit, and many people have chosen to use them for the master bedroom as well. Furthermore, sliding doors have been put to good use in other ways: covering up shelving units and storage areas as well as doors to other rooms in the house.

4. Barn Doors Come In Many Different Shapes And Styles

A quick google search of ‘sliding barn door for bathroom' will reveal an impressive array of different shapes, sizes, and styles. This means no matter what style, theme, or layout your bathroom has, there is likely a barn door that will be a suitable match.

5. Barn Doors Are Stylish

Regular doors can be boring and don't add much aside from functionality to the space in which they are installed. By contrast, sliding barn doors are an aesthetic statement that adds both style and function. If you're looking for a way to spice up your bathroom or master bedroom, take a moment to look at what different sliding barn door options you have at your disposal.


Cons Of A Barn Door

1. Some Styles Offer Less Privacy

There is no denying that a regular bathroom door offers a high level of privacy. Unfortunately, many models of bathroom barn doors leave space between the door frame and the door itself, meaning a passerby may end up seeing more than you would like them to. That being said, there are many styles of barn doors that do take privacy into account.

2. Barn Doors Don't Offer Good Sound And Odor Protection

A regular door forms a decent seal with the doorway, meaning most bathroom odors and sounds stay trapped. With hanging barn doors, there is usually an open space of a few inches between the bottom of the door and floor, meaning sounds and odors can escape much more easily. Furthermore, even barn doors made of thick wood are not very good at dampening sound.

3. Barn Doors With A Bottom Track Can Be Inconvenient At times

Although not all that common, some barn doors are installed with two tracks, one at the top of the doorway/wall and one that is installed on the floor. These two-track systems can result in people stubbing their toes or tripping on them as they enter and exit the bathroom.

Types Of Barn Doors

As we have mentioned, barn doors come in many different shapes and styles. However, most will fit into one of two design types, top hung and bottom/dual rolling barn doors.

Top Hung Barn Doors

As the name would suggest, top-hung barn doors utilize a single track located at the top of the door space from which the barn door hangs. This design is strongly preferred as it is more visually elegant and removes any chance of an accident that sometimes occurs when a bottom roller is involved.

However, because a top-hung barn door system uses a single roller or track, the door's entire weight is supported by the top of the door frame and associated wall area. While this isn't necessarily an issue, if the track or rollers are not installed securely, it can cause an unstable door and may even result in the door falling off.

Bottom Rolling Barn Doors

Bottom or dual, rolling doors incorporate a track along the top and bottom of the door. This set-up is more stable and allows the door to be opened and closed with greater ease since the weight is distributed evenly. Furthermore, this kind of design allows the barn door to be installed in doorways that don't offer the highest level of structural support.

However, as we have mentioned several times, the presence of a bottom track or roller can be a nuisance and inconvenient for many and pose a tripping hazard. The only way to avoid this is by insetting the track into the flooring, but this takes considerably more work, is not one of the easiest DIY projects, and may require professional help. Moreover, inset tracks or rollers can make maintenance significantly more difficult and costly.

How Does A Barn Door Lock?

Of all the questions we got on this topic, precisely how a barn door locks is one of the more prominent points of confusion we encounter. As a result, it is worth taking some time to go over this question in some detail.


The first thing to point out is that sliding doors don't lock like a regular door. Instead, several different lock types allow users to lock the door from the inside, the most common of which are:

Teardrop Latch: The first, and most common locking system is comprised of two main parts, a slotted piece of hardware and a tear drop-shaped wedge. When the door is fully closed, the tear drop bit, attached to the inside of the doorway, can be slid into its corresponding slot, making it impossible to slide the door one way or another.

Hook and Eye: The hook and eye is one of the simplest and widely used locking mechanisms around, and are commonly found on public washrooms, gates, outhouses, and many other doors. In essence, this system uses a ring that is screwed into the door or doorway. The other part, the hook, is installed in a position where it can be ‘hooked' onto the eye when the door is completely closed.

Floor Bolt: Another practical, albeit less common, locking mechanism is a floor bolt. With this setup, a bolt or metal bar is attached to the bottom of the door. When the door is fully closed, the bolt or bar can be lowered into a hole in the ground, making it so the door cannot be opened until the bolt is removed.

How Much Does A Barn Door Cost?

At first glance, It's easy to think that a barn door would be considerably more costly than a regular door. This is not always true, and entry-level models are usually pretty similar in price. That being said, the price of a barn door can vary widely from one model to the next, and prices can range anywhere from $250 – $2,000 depending on several factors, the most important of which include:

Size: The dimensions of a barn door, including its thickness, will have a marked impact on the price. The larger the door is, the more it is likely to cost.

Material: While wood has been the traditional barn door material, manufacturers have begun to use a wide array of different construction materials. Lightweight materials like pine, vinyl, or composite are the cheapest, and a vinyl sliding door can be purchased for as little as $200. Heavier materials, like solid wood mahogany, oak, and maple, can cost northwards of $1,000.

Hardware Type: Barn door hardware can vary quite a bit depending on the design, door material, and door size. Generally speaking, the larger and heavier the door is, the more expensive the barn door hardware will be.

Locking System: barn door locks, such as those mentioned above, can have a large or marginal impact on the overall price. For example, an eye and hook locking system will only add $15 or so to the price, whereas a large floor bolt lock may be as much as $140 once installation is complete.

Installation: If you choose to pay a professional to install your bathroom door, it can significantly add to the overall cost.

Barn Door FAQS?

Q: Can a barn door be used as a shower door?

A: When made out of the suitable material and properly installed, yes! Alternatively, you could consider a frameless sliding shower door.

Q: Where else can I use a barn door?

A: Aside from the master bathroom, a guest room, storage areas, and guest bathrooms are excellent choices.

Q: Can I paint a barn door?

A: Yes! Assuming the material allows it, many people paint their door to match the hallway or bathroom color




Kevin Farrugia

Kevin Farrugia

Kevin has been a household enthusiast for a long time and loves to follow the latest trends in kitchen and house decoration. He also is an avid writer, who enjoys composing everything from blogs to articles. Kevin has been writing professionally for 5 years now, with numerous topics and niches covered.

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