Are you trying to pick out a design scheme for your home? If so, then one of the more popular options these days is to use a more rustic, country-inspired aesthetic that harkens back to a simpler time. Although there are a few ways to go about doing this, one of the easiest and most effective is to use barn doors.
Rather than having traditional entrances and exits to your home, sliding barn doors add a lot of character and style to your living spaces without being too invasive. If you’re interested in installing them, however, then you need the best barn door hardware. Without these crucial pieces, you won’t be able to get them ready to go.
Today we’re going to be looking at the top hardware sets that will make installation a breeze. No matter what kind of barn doors you are going to get, having the right hardware is necessary to ensure a smooth transition.
Comparison of Barn Door Hardware
1.38 to 1.77 inch
U-MAX 6.6 FT Sliding Barn Door Hardware Kit (Editor's Choice)
1 ⅜ & 1 ¾ inch
SMARTSTANDARD 6.6 FT Barn Door Hardware (Editor's Choice)
1 ⅜ to 1 ¾ inch
1 ¼ to 1 ¾ inch
1 ⅜ & 1 ¾ inch
1 ⅜ & 1 ¾ inch
When picking out the right barn door system, it’s imperative that you start with your tracks and hardware first. This is because you can swap out different doors easily, but once the track is in place, it’s difficult to get a new system installed. As such, you have to make sure that you have the right size and width for your space.
In this case, the J-style beams from Erfect are built for single or double doors. The 6.6-foot long option is perfect for most standard doorways, but you can upgrade to 13 feet instead if you need two doors. The multiple size options are great to have, just in case. As such, be sure to measure your doorway opening before purchasing one of the barn door hardware kits from our reviews.
What we like about this set is that it’s both minimalist and durable. The heavy-duty carbon steel construction ensures that this track will last for years to come, and the J-shaped pieces allow you to work with a wide variety of doors.
This hardware is relatively easy to set up. You just follow the step-by-step instructions provided and get it installed. As far as door options go, you can attach any models that are up to 220 pounds and up to 1 ¾ inches thick. If you get a more extended track system, then you can buy two doors of the same dimensions.
Another thing that we appreciate about this hardware is that it comes with a door guide and stoppers. This ensures that your new door won’t swing outward, damaging the materials and the door itself. Overall, this is an all-in-one system (minus the door).
The one issue we had with installing is that the pre-drilled holes in the track didn’t match exactly to the studs. After checking to see if the holes were drilled to be 16 inches on center, we discovered they were slightly off. Be sure that you check, and measure everything before you install to keep from having a costly mistake.
One of the more aesthetically-centered features that you can find on most barn door hardware systems is the shape and style of the hangars. Above, we saw what I-beams could look like when you attach them to your door, but in this case, the Basic Sliding Track Hardware Kit from U-Max has a few different options from which to choose.
The standard model is a J-shaped hangar, which we sometimes prefer because it is stronger and holds more weight. For comparison, this hardware setup can support up to 200 pounds, even with a single door. However, if you want to add a bit of flair to your system, you can opt for a rhombus-shaped hanger instead. These units will give your door some extra zest and make it stand out even more.
What we like about this hardware setup is that it comes with some additional pieces to make your door operate a lot smoother. The guides and stoppers that come with it are easier to install, and they don’t require as much expertise to set up. Not only that but the system comes with anti-jump guides to keep your door on the track at all times.
When it comes to finding the right barn door, this system can work with any single model that’s up to 36 inches wide and either 1 ⅜ or 1 ¾ inches thick. This hardware also comes with a money-back guarantee and a limited lifetime warranty against defects or damage. Overall, if you want something a bit more sturdy and reliable, this is an excellent set.
As we will see, one of the best brands making barn door hardware these days is SmartStandard. We’ve already looked at the I-shaped hangers for single doors, but now we can see how their J-shaped models can hold up as well.
Besides the shape of the hanger, the other thing that sets this hardware apart is the fact that it comes with a single track piece. When installing your new barn door, having one track is so much easier than mounting two side by side. This way, you don’t have to make sure that both halves are perfectly level, and you can reduce the overall time it takes to mount the system.
The other thing that we appreciate about this hardware setup is that you can choose from three different finishes. Besides the traditional black matte option, you can have either a bronzed or a nickel-plated look to your hardware. These versions can add some elegance and class to your system without any additional cost or setup.
As far as dimensions go, this hardware can support up to 170 pounds, and it fits doors between 36 and 40 inches. It comes with high-quality door guides and stops, and it even includes an end cap. As with all SmartStandard products, you can expect to have a limited lifetime warranty against defects, as well as a money-back guarantee.
Also, installation is a breeze, thanks to the step-by-step instructions provided by the manufacturer. Even if you’re not technically proficient, you should be able to install your new barn door in no time.
Although we’ve been looking at some high-quality barn door hardware systems so far, this next option is something of an upgrade. If you’re looking to get a setup that is more durable and easier to install, then you will love this unit from Industrial by Design. It has a few critical features that make it an ideal choice over some of the other systems we’ve seen.
First of all, the width is better if you want options as far as the width of your door. At eight feet, you aren’t as limited as with 6.6-foot models. Not only that but this system comes with a single rail piece, which makes installation so much easier. You don’t have to make sure that both sides are level, nor do you have to add a connector piece to ensure that the door doesn’t jump in between them.
The next feature that we like is the nylon rollers. These are better than standard plastic options, although they are not as durable as any metal ones. The benefit of nylon is that they are much quieter and they are built to last longer. Since you don’t have to worry about rust or imperfections in the material, these rollers will keep your door running smoothly. In fact, they are rated for up to 10,000 rolls.
Industrial by Design is also committed to making the install process easy to follow. To that end, the company has included a DVD that outlines the steps you have to take to get your hardware set up correctly. Even if you’re not handy with a hammer, you should be able to follow these instructions.
When comparing the details of this system, it can hold barn doors up to 225 pounds and 40 inches wide. The maximum thickness of the door can be 1 ¼ inches. Thankfully, if you want to install a model that is thicker than that, the instructions outline how to adjust the hardware accordingly.
Other pieces that come with this system include door stoppers and a floor guide to ensure that the door doesn’t swing out and do any damage.
Considering that adding barn doors to your home creates a more rustic, old-fashioned vibe, you might want to get a hardware system that adds some extra character and personality to that aesthetic. When you buy a set from Penson & Co., you are getting an authentic handmade system that will help you create the best results for your home.
What we like about this hardware is that it is made with more care and attention. Rather than being produced on a factory floor, you can tell that the makers have a passion for their work. Best of all, even though they are handcrafted, these sets don’t cost any more than a standard system.
The other great thing about this setup is that it can support much more massive doors. In some cases, rustic wood pieces can be exceptionally heavy, which will bend or break most of the other hardware we’ve seen. However, the Penson & Co. system can support up to 270 pounds. As far as thickness and width go, you can have a door that is up to 36 inches wide and 1 ¾ inches thick.
Another unique element of this hardware is that you can mount it to either wood or concrete. This makes it a viable option for both residential and commercial locations. The only downsides are that the rail comes in two pieces, and the handmade quality can lead to imperfections. However, the system does come with anti-jump parts and a floor guide to ensure that your door works properly every time.
We started this list with a hardware set from SmartStandard, so it only fits that we would end with this company as well. In this case, we have another eight-foot system, which enables you to work with a broader variety of doors. Although the weight capacity is still the same (170 pounds), you can have a door that is up to 48 inches wide, which is a nice option to have.
Unfortunately, this setup comes in two pieces, but that shouldn't be a deal breaker. As long as you can follow the detailed step-by-step instructions, you should be able to get your hardware installed without any significant issues.
As with other units we’ve seen, the SmartStandard hardware is made of high-quality steel parts. It has a sleek matte black finish, and it uses I-shaped hangers. It comes with everything you need to get your door installed correctly, including a floor guide, anti-jumpers for the rails, and door stoppers.
To make things even better for you, the company offers its standard 100% money-back guarantee, as well as its limited lifetime warranty against defects and pre-existing damage. No matter what kind of barn door you want, this hardware makes it easy to install.
A bigger home will require bigger barn doors. Many examples of barn door hardware are capable of bearing a decent amount of weight. Still, the Bypass Sliding Barn Hardware from Penson & Co. stands out from the pack because of its increased weight-bearing capacity.
To be more specific, this hardware is capable of holding up doors that weigh up to 270 lbs. That accounts for many of the options on the market. If you’ve always wanted heavier, more authentic barn doors in your home, this is the hardware that you’ll likely need.
Aside from its load-bearing capacity, we also like this Penson & Co. creation for how it operates. Once assembled and installed, the rollers will fly down the track with minimal resistance. The quiet operation is most welcome especially if you’re installing this hardware in a rest home.
The hardware itself is quite durable. The pieces are fire and water proof and they will also not succumb easily to rusting. You don’t want to constantly have to replace your door hardware, so the durability of this item is highly valuable.
It’s up to you to decide how far the barn doors slide into the hardware. The door stoppers included in this kit allow you to determine that. They too are designed to work for a long time without producing much noise.
Should you find that the rail included is a tad too long, you can alter it to fit your door.
There is an issue with the rail however. For some reason, the rail comes pre-cut into two pieces. They still align well, but cutting the rail was an unnecessary step.
Working with the divided rail also makes an already tricky installation even more challenging.
Most examples of barn door hardware are better left unseen. The functionality they bring is obviously welcome, but they also often stand out in an unwanted way inside the home. The Sliding Barn Door Hardware from TMS aims to be the exception to that though.
What you’ll notice right away about this TMS product is its distinctive look. It’s fashioned out of stainless steel and the look it features is quite striking.
This is the kind of item that will fit into any home regardless of design scheme. If you’re going for something more rustic, the stainless steel hardware will offer nice contrast. Obviously, it has no trouble fitting inside a more modern home as well.
You won’t be able to use all kinds of barn doors with this example of hardware however. Its load-bearing capacity tops out at 150 lbs. Ideally, you want that number closer to 200 lbs just so you can use more options.
The rail is suitably long at 79 inches and you can cut it to better fit your doorway. The end caps are also removable. That may come in handy if you need to make some quick tweaks in the future.
Unfortunately, this hardware is not compatible with all doorways. If you use it for your bathroom, there will likely be a gap that shows up. Check how it fits with the doorway carefully before you move forward with installation.
Before you even start looking at anything else, the first features to pay attention to when picking out the best barn door hardware is the size and aspects of the materials. When looking at all of the specifications, here are a few key things to remember.
Single vs. Double Door: for the most part, if the rail is 6.6 or 8 feet long, then it’s meant for a single barn door. Also, there will only be two hangers provided. Thus, if you want to have double doors, you have to choose a more comprehensive model.
Door Width: having a longer track allows you to pick out doors that are wider than average. On the low end, most hardware will be compatible with 36-inch doors. However, if you upgrade to an 8-foot track, you can usually get a door up to 48 inches instead.
Weight Capacity: in some cases, barn doors can be really heavy. As such, it’s imperative that you check the capacity before buying. Usually, hardware can support between 170 and 270 pounds.
Installing your barn door hardware can be a bit tricky for some people, which is why most manufacturers include a comprehensive set of instructions. However, if you want to make things even easier on yourself, then you have to get a system with a single-piece track. The reason that this make installation a snap is that you don’t have to worry about syncing two sides together.
Many manufacturers provide you with two-piece tracks, which can be difficult to make level. Even though they come with joining pieces designed to keep the door from jumping off, it still takes a lot longer to get the installation right.
Since rustic and old-fashioned are the aesthetics that you’re going for by adding barn doors to your space, you want hardware that’s going to reflect that. As such, you want to pick out materials that have a finish that will enhance the overall appearance of the final result.
When picking out hardware, you can usually find pieces that are one of the following.
Also, the shape of the hangers can make an impact as well. The most common varieties are either I or J-shaped, but you can also find rhombus or flouted models as well. These hangers are ideal if you’re trying to add some additional flair to your doors without drawing too much attention to them.
When it comes to stability, having the right hanger can make all the difference. The shape of the piece refers to whether it curves over the roller or attaches on the side. I-shaped hangers are easier to install and require less clearance above the door. However, because they don’t wrap around the roller, they cannot hold as much weight.
J-shaped units, on the other hand, are perfect for when you have a thick, heavy barn door. These models can support a lot more weight (up to 100 pounds more in some cases), and ensure that you get the best performance. However, if you have limited space above your doorway, then you might not be able to use these hangers. Thus, be sure to measure your area beforehand.
Even though the most prevalent brand we looked at was SmartStandard, the hardware systems offered by the company are somewhat lacking. Part of the reason is the fact that they usually come in two pieces, as well as the limited weight capacity.
Todd Davis is a DIY enthusiast, traveler and writer for a long time. He has a deep understanding of all types of paint sprayers, chairs, vacuums and door hardware.