Barn Door Buying Guide: Barn Door Accessories
When installing sliding barn doors, accessories are often not a requirement, but they can improve the ease of use and look of your barn doors. We will take a look at some of the most commonly used accessories and discuss how you can use them in your installation:
Soft Close Mechanism
Barn Door Soft Close Mechanism – is designed to bring your barn door to a controlled stop when reaching its final destination on the track, in either the open or closed position. The soft close prevents the door from slamming and can keep it in place when not being used. The soft close is mounted behind the track and an actuator “arm” is mounted to the top of the door. The soft close has a lever on a spring mechanism that extends from the bottom of the soft close. When the door approaches the end of the track, the actuator on the door catches the lever on the soft close and brings the door to a slow, controlled stop. See the installation video for a demonstration of the soft close in action. The soft close mechanism is great for households with children or elderly people because it increases the ease of use and prevents issues such as pinched fingers. The soft close will also make your installation quieter as it prevents the doors from banging against the doorstop or unnecessarily rolling along the track.
Flush Handles – are “pocket” style handles which require the door to be routed so that the handles lie flush with the front of the door when installed. This can be done with an electric router or even a mallet and chisel. Flush handles are a necessity for bypass installations as the space between the bypassing doors is usually too narrow to accommodate a traditional handle. It is recommended that flush handles are used on both sides of the inner bypass door and on the ‘inside’ of the outer bypass door. This prevents the handles from hitting each other or the wall as the doors slide along the track.
Bow Handles – tend to be smaller and have a lower profile as they extend out from the door. As they are smaller and inconspicuous, they are perfect for installations where the attention is meant to be directed at the door itself and not the hardware. Best suited for the ‘outer’ side of single and double door installations. Often used with modern style doors.
Strap Handles – are longer than Bow Handles and have an oversized strap that is easy to hold onto. Perfect for homes with children or elderly people as the handle is easily accessible. With its traditional design, the strap handle is best used on rustic style doors as it is modeled after the old barn door handles used on working farms.
Fin Style – this type of floor guide is included in all barn door hardware kits. Mounted on the floor, the fin style guide requires that a channel be cut lengthwise into the bottom of the door. The fin guide then fits in the channel and prevents the door from swaying from side to side when rolling along the track. This is the simplest and most commonly used floor guide, but it requires some modification to your barn door and installation onto the floor.
Wall Mounted Guides – can be used on single track installations and on the inside door of bypass installations. Most wall mounted guides use either a single wheel or double wheel to keep the door on its path as it rolls along the track. As the guide is mounted to the wall, it’s perfect for installations where the guide can’t be installed on the floor such as hardwood or tile floors. Wheel guides also don’t require a mortise to be cut in the bottom of the door, which can make installation easier.
Cradle or Dual Clip Guides – are perfect for installations where a mortise can’t be cut into the bottom of the door. These guides “cradle” the door and keep it in line when rolling along the track. Although they still need to be mounted into the floor, some people prefer them to the fin guide because of their ease of installation.