Replacing Closet Doors with Sliding Barn Doors

Published: August 18, 2020

Are you looking to upgrade your current closet doors to a more modern look? Look no further than sliding barn doors.

What are Sliding Barn Doors

Sliding barn doors sit on a track kind of like sliding doors of past with the exception of the rail sitting on the outside of wall above the doors instead of being mounted in the opening above the doors. There are some cases where people mount the metal rail within the opening but leave it exposed, this is usually the case when the opening requires two doors and it is not possible to slide the doors past the opening in both directions.

White Sliding Barn Door

Things to Consider Before you Start

Quality Hardware

Your new barn door will likely be a focal point, so it need to perform well, look good and hold up to everyday wear and tear. Good hardware may cost a little more but it will be worth it in the long run.

The Right Space

Before you get started make sure the space is compatible for a sliding barn door. For a barn door to function properly you will need enough room to one side of the opening so the door can slide completely open.

Oversized Door

The new door must be bigger than the opening for complete coverage and to minimize gaps. So for example if you have a 36-inch opening you will want a 48-inch wide door.

How Do I Replace My Current Closet Door

First you need to remove the existing door and jamb. We suggest replacing the jamb to remove the cutout for the latch and the stop so you have a nice clean look around the opening. If replacing the jamb you’ll want to fill any screws or nail holes in the new boards and then paint them. If your doors are unfinished now is the perfect time to finish those as well.

Once your opening is prepared you can start mounting the top rail, you will want to make sure this is level and at the proper height for your doors so they aren’t catching on the floor and so the slide smoothly and stay in place when opened or closed.

After the rail is properly installed on the wall, you will next want to install the roller hardware on the bottom door first as this door will need to be hung first, once the first door is hung move onto the second door if applicable and repeat the process.

At this point your doors are hung and ready for a handle to help with opening and closing. Depending on which type of handle(s) you are planning on using it may be easier to mark where you want the handle(s) to be while the doors are hanging and then remove the doors and lay them down flat to drill any holes and install the hardware.

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