Using Barn doors for Privacy Settings

There’s no doubt that a decorative barn door can be the perfect accent to a space, adding interest and style. I get asked all the time if a surface-mounted barn door can be used in privacy applications, like bathrooms or bedrooms. Fortunately, using barn doors for privacy is fairly easy, with the right hardware.

The challenge most people consider is that a barn door is not on hinges and doesn’t set into a jamb where a normal handle and strike plate would allow for locking. We have to treat barn doors in much the same way that we treat pocket doors for locking scenarios. Standard door thumb-operated pocket door latches can be mortised into the leading edge of the door. These latches require a catch plate to latch onto. Where a barn door is free-floating this causes a slight challenge. In order to use this style of lock, you need to have square casing or a jamb that the leading edge of the barn door butts into when fully closed. For the best look, the face of this jamb should be flush with the face of the door. The catch plate is then mortised into the matching edge of the jamb where the latch will meet it. To ensure privacy, the edge of the jamb should be set back at least ¾” from the opening, allowing the leading edge of the door to travel past the opening. Be sure the door is oversized so that the trailing edge also has plenty of overlap. Most barn door hardware has between a ¼” to 3/8” gap between the back of the door and the wall.  We recommend an overlap of 1 ½- 2” of the trailing edge of the door past the opening to ensure privacy.

Another, perhaps more simply option, uses a tilt-out latch at the back of the door. When the door is fully closed, the latch simply tilts out, preventing the door from opening. A metal strike plate is attached at the point of contact to prevent damage to the jamb.  Again, the same overlaps are recommended in this case to ensure privacy.

Decorative Barn Door Advantages

  • Save space
  • Add privacy to open concept areas
  • Create architectural interest

If you are ready to add a trendy decorative barn door to your home or commercial space call us!  We offer more than hardware (brackets and track) and we can help create your perfect look.   Visit our showroom to try some of the models or contact us for assistance.  We have years of experience making homes look beautiful.  Contact us with your design inspiration and we’ll help you source and fit your new decorative barn door.


Decorative Wood Barn Door Image


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