How big should my barn door be?
A prevalent question when buying a sliding barn door is: how tall and wide should my barn door be? What most people do not know is that measuring your door frame for a barn door is different from measuring for a regular swing door.
You will need a different size for a sliding door versus a swinging door in the same size opening. Different from swinging doors, that the door has to perfectly fit the frame in order to close, with barn doors, you will need a door that is slightly larger than the frame. Why? Because if you have a door that is the exact same size as the frame when closing your sliding barn door, you will have light and sound coming through the frame, and it can definitely be a problem if you have a barn door in your restroom.
Now, let's take a look at how to measure for a barn door!
As mentioned before, it is essential to make the door overlap the opening to ensure privacy. It is recommended to add at least one inch overlap on each side of the frame/casing. The more overlap you have, the less light and sound will come through the edges.
To determine the ideal height for your barn door, you will have to measure from the floor to the top of the door frame. If your frame has a casing, measure from the floor to the outside edge of the casing. Finally, add one inch to whatever your final measurement was. Let's take a look at on example:
In this example, the door frame has a casing. From the floor to the outside edge f the casing, we have a total of 80" (eighty inches). For the final measurement, we need to add one extra inch: 80" + 1" = 81" so your barn door should be 81" tall.
Similarly to the height measurement, to find out how wide your barn door should be, you should measure the door frame from one side to the other.
Again, if your door has a casing, you will need to measure the distance between the outside edges of it.
Lastly, you need to add 2" (two inches) to your width measurement. The extra inches will ensure that you will have privacy and no gaps when closing your sliding barn door.
Let's take a look at another example on how to measure your barn door width:
We also have a door casing in this example. The distance between the outside edges of the door casing is 36" and we will add 2" (two inches) to that measurement (one inch for each size): 36" + 2" = 38" in this example, the barn door should be 38" inches wide.
Bonus Tip: How Big Should My Barn Door Hardware Track Be?
Now that we know how to measure for a barn door, another critical question is: how big should your barn door track be?
Different from what some people think, your track should not be the exact same size as your door (unless you want a door that does not slide to any size 👀).
When buying the barn door hardware kit that goes for your door, your track size should be at least double the size of your door width; this will ensure that the door will completely uncover the entrance when open. The correct measurement will also provide a smooth, effective, and safe operation of the door.
Let's take a look at track size example, shall we?
On this example, the door is 38" wide. In order for the door to uncover the entrance when open, we need to make sure the track is at least double the size of the door: 38" + 38" = 76". For a door 38" wide, we will need a 76" long.
What other barn door questions you have? Let us know on the comments!