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Can You Lock a Barn Door? 5 Barn Door Locks to Complete Your Sliding Barn Door

Monday June 1st, 2020
One common misconception about barn doors is that they lack privacy because you cannot lock them. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! Several different types of barn door locks can be used to give you the privacy you desire from your sliding barn door, including:

5 Barn Door Lock Options for Sliding Barn Doors

  1. Hook and Eye Latch
  2. Tear Drop Latch
  3. Barrel Slide Bolt
  4. Surface Mounted Slide Bolt
  5. Cane Floor Bolt
Each of these different types of barn door privacy locks offers their own benefits. Some lock styles allow you to lock the door from both sides, while other styles can only be locked from the inside. Deciding which one is best for you depends on your personal preference, as well as what you are using the barn door for. Once you choose the type of sliding barn door lock you want, simply get the latch hardware kit and install it. The best part is that most come in several different finishes so your privacy lock can match your other decorative hardware.

Can You Put a Lock on a Barn Door?

Whether you have small children that you want to keep out of a room or simply want to have a bit more privacy, a lock is incredibly important. So, can you lock a barn door? The simple answer is yes. Interior barn doors can be locked using a sliding barn door lock. Some barn door privacy locks are only on the inside of the door, while others allow you to lock the sliding barn door from both sides. Being able to lock a barn door makes it a viable solution for any room in the house. The best part is that most of the available latch hardware kits are easy to install. You can install them in just a few minutes.

5 Barn Door Lock Options for Sliding Barn Doors

If you’re wondering how to lock a barn door, you’re in luck. The first step is to decide which style of barn door lock is best suited for your needs. Several different types of barn door locks and latches are available as hardware sets, making it easy to install a lock on your sliding barn door. While there are many different brands on the market, they all generally follow five main styles. It is important to note, however, that some styles are simply privacy locks while others are considered security locks. A privacy lock allows you to undo the latch if needed, whereas a security lock is much harder break into.  

Hook and Eye Latch

A hook and eye latch system is perhaps the easiest locking solution for a sliding barn door. The mechanism is simple enough that anyone can figure it out. The hook and eye latch is ideal for a bathroom barn door lock. The design only allows the door to be locked from the inside, giving the privacy needed for any bathroom. However, should someone get stuck, there are ways to open the latch from the side of the door, making this simply a privacy lock. The simple design of this type of lock for a barn door gives your door a rustic look. Enhance this look by choosing a hook and eye latch in wrought iron or modernize it with stainless steel hardware instead. Either way, this is one of the simplest types of barn door latch locks.

Tear Drop Latch

The tear drop latch is another popular option for locking a sliding barn door. We sell a high-quality tear drop latch that fits all sliding barn doors.

The mechanism of the tear drop latch is relatively simple. One part attaches to the door jamb while the other part attaches to the door. Once the door is closed the ‘tear drop’ part slides into the latch and your sliding bedroom barn door will stay shut. The tear drop latch makes for a good sliding barn door bathroom lock too. However, like the hook and eye latch, it is only a privacy lock and can be opened from the side if needed.

Barrel Slide Bolt

If you are looking for a barn door lock with key, then the barrel slide bolt is a good option. The bolt is installed directly into your sliding barn door. However, to use this sliding barn door lock hardware, you need to have a frame for the door. This is because the bolt will feed into the door frame, locking the door. Because the barrel slide bolt is separate, you can use it with virtually any barn door handle, giving you the privacy you need wherever you need it. The barrel slide bolt does have the option to open the lock from both sides of the door and can be opened with a key. Barrel slide bolt locks are is classified as a security lock.

Surface Mounted Slide Bolt

A more modern privacy lock for your bathroom barn door is the surface-mounted slide bolt. This lock is easy to install and easy to operate. Unlike other locks that require drilling into molding, drywall, or studs in a wall, a surface-mounted slide bolt is simply attached to the inside of the door jamb. Your sliding barn door will continue to operate as it normally does, but, when you want a bit of privacy all you have to do is push down the lever to extend the lock. Like most other sliding barn door locks, it comes in several different finishes including stainless steel, brass, back, or oil rubbed bronze. This means your locking solution can blend in seamlessly with your other sliding door hardware.

Cane Floor Bolt

Another option for your sliding barn door is a cane floor bolt. Unlike the other sliding barn door locks mentioned so far, this type of barn door lock actually attaches to the floor rather than the door jamb. This a privacy lock that only works from the inside, but keeps the door from being pulled open. The mechanism of this type of privacy lock is that the bolt is attached to the door and when it is locked the bolt is moved into a hole in the floor to keep the bolt in place. Hardware kits for this type of lock also come in a variety different styles and finishes.

How To Install Lock for Sliding Barn Door

The reality is that installing a sliding barn door lock is not that different from installing a traditional lock. If you’re still in the planning phase of incorporating a sliding barn door into your space, you can simply add the barn door lock directly when you are installing a barn door. If your sliding barn door is already installed, a barn door lock can be added at any time.

The installation process is quite simple but will vary slightly depending on which style of lock you choose to go with. You must keep in mind the amount of clearance you will need for your sliding barn door to continue moving comfortably along its track. The larger part of the lock will most likely be installed on the door jamb itself. Depending on the style of lock, you may need to drill into your barn door to install the component the lock will extend into, as many are depressed into the door itself. However, with lock styles like the hook and eye style, the ‘eye’ part of the latch will simply screw onto the barn door. The process for installing a cane bolt lock is slightly different though. With this type of lock, you’ll want to drill a hole in the floor, insert the small pipe that comes with the hardware kit, and cover it with a surface plate. The bolt itself will be attached to the bottom of the sliding barn door. When locked, the bolt will slip down into the hole, locking the door in place.

Most barn door lock hardware kits will come with a set of detailed instructions that will guide you on how to install your particular lock style correctly. It should also be noted most locks are installed on the side of the door jamb where the sliding barn door rests when open. This helps minimize any protrusion of the lock into the open area of your door frame, saving your hips and side from bruising with accidental run-ins.

How Do You Lock a Barn Door from the Outside

When you install a locking latch on a barn door, most styles are simply providing privacy by locking from the inside. Many times, for interior barn doors, you simply want the barn door to stay closed so that it can’t be slid open at an inopportune time. However, depending on what you are keeping inside or who you are trying to keep out, locking a barn door from the outside is necessary. So, how do you lock a sliding barn door from the outside?

The first thing to realize is that if you want to lock a barn door from the outside, you need to use a sliding barn door lock with key. That leaves you primarily with the barrel slide bolt locking mechanism. A barrel slide bolt is a security lock for your sliding barn door. This means you can lock your sliding barn door from either side. If you want to lock the barn door from the outside, you can use the key to engage the lock. If you’d rather lock it from the inside, then you can use the bolt portion to engage the lock.

Which Sliding Barn Door Lock is For Me?

Sliding barn doors are a popular design choice for virtually any room in your home including your bathroom, bedroom, and even your closet. If you’ve been hesitant to incorporate the trend into your home because you’re worried about privacy, you can finally take the leap. You can easily turn any sliding barn door into a barn door with lock with some latch hardware. The most important part of deciding which type of lock is for you is to consider why you want the door to be locked. If it is important that you can lock the door with a key, then you’ll want to choose a barrel slide bolt. However, if you simply want to keep your family from barging in on you while you’re going to the bathroom or changing, a privacy lock, such as a tear drop latch or a hook and eye latch will do the trick. It’s worth it to take a few minutes to install one of the many barn door lock options so you can get both the privacy and barn door style you desire.
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