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When Should You Install Your Barn Door Track On The Ceiling?

Should you install a barn door on the wall, or the ceiling?

Sometimes this question is easy to answer. If you physically can't install it on the wall because there isn't enough space, that answers that. But sometimes the answer isn't as clear cut. When does it make sense to install barn door track on the ceiling, versus on the wall? We're breaking down the pros, cons, and use cases for you in today's blog post.

 When should I install barn door hardware on the wall? 

  • You have plenty of room on the wall above the door opening
  • Your door opening is a conventional shape
  • You want the hangers and track to be a standout design feature
  • You want a traditional "barn door" look

The most common option is wall-mounting, which also happens to be the most versatile. When you mount on the wall, you can choose from a variety of hanger styles that look great and perform well. Wall-mounted barn door hardware becomes more of an obvious design feature because the moving parts are more exposed, including wheels and hangers.

You can install your barn door hardware on the wall as long as you have enough clearance above the door opening. But what if wall-mounting isn't possible?

 When should I install barn door hardware on the ceiling? 

You'll need to install on the ceiling (also called soffit mounted) if you have any of the following limitations:

  • Limited clearance above the door opening
  • Not enough room for a header board
  • An arch-shaped or unusual-shaped door opening

In these cases, you'll need to make sure you have a ceiling or soffit-mounted barn door track. Instead of finding the stud in the wall, you'll use the ceiling studs to hang your door.

And yes, if you're wondering, you can also install a barn door on the ceiling simply because you want to. Even with a conventional shaped door opening and plenty of clearance, sometimes a ceiling-mounted barn door system still looks the best in your space. It can even enhance the features of the space: say you have a sunken living room space or other variation in ceiling heights. Ceiling-mounted barn doors can enhance this variation and visually distinguish the different spaces in your home.

Now that we've gone over when to install on the ceiling, let's talk about a few things you should keep in mind.

Make sure you have enough headroom. This is the space above the door opening, from the top of the door to the ceiling. Even though ceiling-mounted hardware is lower profile, you still have to have enough space to install it. 


You'll need to use a ceiling or soffit-mounted hardware kit. Box rail hardware is an excellent option for mounting on the ceiling. Box rail hardware is simple to install. There are also flush mount options for very large doors or room dividers. These are mounted flush with the ceiling, but that also means the doors have to be large enough to go right from ceiling to floor. For flush mount ceiling barn door hardware, we recommend a professional installer. 

If you're still not sure which option is right for you, contact us and we'll help you figure it out. We know barn doors inside and out, and we're here to help you choose the best option for your space.


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