How To Select and Install Your Sliding Barn Door

How To Select and Install Your Sliding Barn Door

Barn doors are becoming more popular in home decor projects, not only because of their unique aesthetic appeal but also because they are wonderful space savers.  If you are considering a DIY sliding barn door for your home, read on for tips on what you should consider before you purchase the door that is just right for you, and the easy steps for installation.

Size and Clearance

Clearance is one of the first things you must consider when deciding whether this type of door will work in a particular location, and, if it does fit, what size and type of door and hardware to choose. The door will need to be slightly larger than your opening to completely cover the edges, approximately 2 inches over on each side and 1 inch taller. Hardware will need 4-9 inches of clearance above the door, depending on which wheel type you choose. Clearance needed will also depend on whether you are choosing a single sliding door or a bi-parting door.

Be aware of electrical outlets, total space in the room that may need to be used for furniture or appliances, or just total wall space needed to fully open your door. Spacers are available to help remedy some of these situations.


There are a number of choices for barn door hardware, but make sure to keep clearance in mind when choosing. Modern sleek hardware may need about 4” of clearance, or bigger iron wheel hardware, reminiscent of actual barn door hardware, will need a few more inches of space.

You will also need to choose your bottom door guide. A few things to consider are, again, space/clearance. Do you want it hidden or is it ok if your guide is visible, and are you ok to drill into your floor or keep the guide mounted to the wall or baseboard?  Artisan Hardware has 5 door guides to choose from; the Standard L-Guide attaches to the floor and is not visible, the Standard U-Guide has both a back L-guide and a front L-guide and is visible, the Wall Mount Guide eliminates drilling into the floor, the Wall Mount U-Roller or Channel Guide has small rollers the door maneuvers through, and the Stay Roller Guide, that also attaches to the wall and has an adjustable roller.

Traditional hardware kit


Artisan Hardware has pre-hung, fully built or kitted doors, depending on style chosen. Pre-hung doors are fully constructed with the hardware attached so you only need to locate the studs, put up the track, and hang your door. A fully built door is just that, already built for you, without the hardware attached. The kitted sliding barn door is a less expensive option. The pieces are shipped to you, but you will need more tools and time for the assembly, and the door is not warranted because Artisan Hardware did not construct the door for you.

artistan installation 2


Installation of your sliding barn door is probably the quickest step in this whole process.  First gather all of your tools and materials, including the components and hardware needed.

Locate your studs to install your track. Make sure that your track is level to keep the door from drifting open or closed on its own. Drill the necessary holes in the track if you didn’t order a pre-drilled track, place spacers between the wall and the track and then mount the track with screws. Install your bottom door guides per the instructions of the hardware you chose.

With the door laying on a table or the floor, mount your hardware on top of your door, and slide the door on the track and in line with your floor guides.  Install a track stop on each end of the track.

pro barn door installation

For more information on sliding barn doors, visit Artisan Hardware.