The trend of bringing rustic and industrial elements into modern living spaces has included unique items not considered “normal” until just a few years ago—take Edison bulbs and shiplap, for example. This industrial chic movement has inarguable aesthetic appeal for those wishing to boldly combine styles, but it can also bring advantages in functionality.

Whether in an urban loft or a cozy country farmhouse, sliding barn doors have also marked this era of interior design and offer several advantages over traditional hinged doors. But while old-fashioned bulbs and wood-planked walls may already be fading from the height of their popularity, barn doors are in demand now more than ever. Let’s explore why.

How Barn Doors Work

First, let’s talk about how barn doors work and how it affects their functionality. It’s easy to understand that they don’t swing on hinges to push into a room, but what’s really going on?

Track System – The most common configuration of a barn door uses a metal track mounted above the door opening. The door hangs from rollers that glide along the track, and often, a corresponding track is installed at the bottom to prevent swaying and tilting.

Rollers & Hangers – Rollers in the track above the door ensure quiet and near-effortless operation. These are connected to the door by hangers, which can be plain or decorative. No matter their design, these components attract attention by offering a bit of drama in the door’s opening and closing.

Door Panels – Barn doors can be single panels that slide from only one side of a door opening, or double panels that slide from either side and meet in the middle. This provides flexibility to suit spaces of just about any size and design style.

Soft-Close Mechanism – To prevent pinching and slamming, a popular addition to sliding barn doors is a soft-close mechanism that ensures it closes gently, quietly, and safely.

Advantages of Barn Doors

Barn doors are an attractive option for designers or homeowners interested in doing things a little differently. Beyond their functionality, what sets them apart?

  1. No-Swing Space Savers – Hinged doors that swing into a room when opened create challenges in tight spaces. With a sliding barn door, all the action happens parallel to the wall, saving valuable floor space.
  2. Aesthetic Appeal – Wooden barn doors offer rustic charm that brings warmth and texture to a space. A well-worn reclaimed door (or one that uses reclaimed wood) also adds visual intrigue to a space, with any nicks, blemishes, or other signs of aging making it a one-of-a-kind piece of functional art.
  3. Ease of Use – Sliding barn doors have an inherent operational advantage over doors hung on vertical hinges, which can make them easier to use for those with mobility issues. In a commercial environment where the public will use the door, this may be an astute solution.
  4. Size Flexibility – Barn doors can be custom-made to fit nonstandard openings, whether oversized or more narrow than usual.
  5. Enhanced Room Flow – When open, barn doors create a simple passageway that invites movement from one space to another. If privacy is desired, the connection can be cut off easily by simply sliding the door closed.
  6. Durability – Solid-wood barn doors and their hardware offer durability and quality that other doors can’t match. They take day-to-day bumps and dings in stride, making them ideal for high-traffic areas.

Have Barn Doors Slid to the Top of Your Wish List?

Whether to save space, make a design statement, or provide ease of movement between rooms, bringing barn doors into residential and commercial spaces has distinctive benefits. If you think a sliding barn door would be perfect for your next project, Vintage Millwork & Restoration would love to help! To get started, contact us today.