Tips, techniques, & hints for installing pairs of barn doors or long sliding hardware over wide or big openings.
First plan that you need some overlap for doors to be larger than the opening. A sheetrock wrapped opening is easier to work with than a cased opening with trim. If the track needs to mount to the front face of the header trim it will require that to be a flat surface for the full length of the track including the space above the opening and the distance to one side. Don’t count on trim to provide structural support. Whether you have trim or not all of the track’s lag screws need to go into solid support. Our tracks are sold with or without mounting holes predrilled. If you are trying to catch studs in the wall, order the track undrilled. If you have solid blocking or a structural header for the full length of the track then order it predrilled which will have holes evenly spaced the entire length of the track. If you do not mount the track to the front face of the trim then it can be mounted vertically above the trim. Refer to our track installation instructions for a drawing that shows the gap behind the door slab. Be sure to consider what thickness of door you have and consider if there is enough clearance to not rub on your trim. If it is too tight you could countersink the bolts that mount the hanger, adjust axle spacers for our hanger plate and wheel, and/or put a thicker ledger behind track before mounting it to wall. Finally if it is a sheetrock wrapped opening usually you only need to worry about clearing light switches or baseboards. When considering the overlap we usually recommend about 1 1/2″ on both sides and the top. This could change, though, if you have a particular door size that you want to use, you want more privacy, or you want to cover more of the trim on a cased opening. Sometimes it is easier and more cost effective to adjust the size of the opening and order door and track combinations that make sense rather than force the doors to work on the existing size of opening. This is especially true on a sheetrock wrapped openings. For the overlap on a single door you will add 3″ to the inside width to size the door and 1″ to the height from the floor to the top of the opening because there is a 1/2″ gap under the door when installed; this gives the even 1 1/2″ around on all three sides.
Our V track kit requires the least amount of clearance over the top of the door slab. It is ideal for low clearance situations where there is not much room between the opening and the ceiling. After sizing and installing the door it only takes 3″ of room over the top of the door. Our flat track requires 4 1/2″. If you don’t have the room over the top of the opening for the track you could consider reducing the height of the door or opening to make more room for the track. Also our V track cantilevers off the wall. Look at the installation instruction’s drawing to see that you could possibly mount just the top of the track above the opening and let channel come down into the opening, but this will not allow the door to overlap above the opening.
Our specialty is the ability to make unusually large doors and track hardware. Longer track kits must ship by freight and cost more from us than shorter lengths. Remember that all of our stock hardware and reclaimed wood barn door slabs have free shipping! Our low clearance, heavy duty V track hardware kits are stocked up to 8′ lengths. If you need a track that is longer than 8′ for a single door then order the extra stick of track. For example if you need a 14′ of track for one 7′ wide door then order one 7′ track kit with one extra stick of 7′ track. This will require the installer to be particularly careful to align the two sticks of track at the joint splice so the wheel transitions smooth from one to the next. There are no strength concerns, it will function fine, but sometimes the wheel makes a click as it goes over the joint depending on how well the installation went. If you want a seamless, one piece long length track for a single door then order from our flat track kits. We stock up to 15′ lengths and can custom make any size. These are sold as a single bar with no splices, and they have free shipping! Our flat track are also heavier duty than normal with 1/4 x 2″ flatbar and extra strong timber lags supplied to mount it.
When buying doors and track from us it is most cost effective to keep door slab sizes at 4′ or less in width and track lengths at 8′ or less. We specialize in the larger sizes, but they do cost more. If going larger than 4′ wide on doors, you can usually save money by ordering two smaller doors that add up to your required width. In this case if you have room on each side of the opening then have one door of the pair open to the left and one to the right. Pretend that each half of the opening is a separate opening and the two doors just happen to be mounted next to each other. Then order a separate complete track kit for each door. For example, if you have a 69″ opening order two 3′ door slabs and two 6′ track kits. If you do not have 3′ of room on each side of the opening, consider reducing the size of the opening and ordering smaller doors or one wider and one narrower door. If you still want to open all to one side we can machine a groove in the pair of doors so that you can join them together with glue and a spline after receiving the door slabs. They are less to manufacture and ship as the smaller doors. They are also easier for you to handle and get inside the building. Then after you get them finished and glue the each half together, you can install them as one larger door which will function as a single door slab moving all to one side. Now if you want the design and look of a single door slab we are glad to manufacture that and ship as one large door. We regularly custom build and ship oversized doors 10-12′ wide.
We do not recommend bypass track hardware where you try to stack barn door slabs over the top of each other on one side of the opening. The problem is that in order for each consecutive door to clear the previous door slab that requires another couple inches of clearance which pushes it that much further off the wall to the point that it is hardly covering the opening. If you still want a bypass track system we can custom modify our track kits to cantilever mounting brackets off the wall to create a separate track for each door slab, or we can make brackets to mount to the ceiling which allows multiple tracks to be mounted in front of each other.
All of our track kits come with sealed ball bearings in our proprietary custom wheels. Our quiet wheels glide effortlessly since they have glass filled nylon molded over the ball bearings. All of our components are made in the USA. Discover our commitment to heavy duty, long lasting quality.
To summarize key points of this article:
• If you have an opening that requires a door wider than 4′ try to divide in half to have one door open to the left and one to right. Order for each door a separate track kit that is twice the width of the door.
• If you require longer than 8′ of track and you will open all to one side, order a single long length flat track kit or a single v track kit with an extra stick of track.
• If you want a single door slab that is wider than 4′, it is more cost effective to build as two smaller doors that will be joined together to function as a single larger door upon install, but we can custom build any size of door slab that you desire.