can you lock barn door

How to Lock Barn Door | Best Locks, Installation & Tips

Love the look of barn doors, but need privacy? In this article, we share options for how to lock barn door and explain the different styles of locks suitable for sliding barn doors.

With the growing popularity of the rustic style, more and more people are looking to install barn doors into their homes. These sliding fixtures are a great way to create a unique style in any room. The only issue is that they don’t lock like a regular door. This may not be an issue if it’s used for a closet or a kitchen, but what about a bedroom? Or a toilet?

So, if you’re wondering how to lock barn door, here is an extensive guide to locking your barn door along with a few of the best locks on the market right now. We’ll explain the different types of locks for barn doors, how to install a barn door lock, and share recommendations for a few quality barn door locks.

can you lock barn door
Can you lock barn door? Yes, and in this article we explain how.

How to Lock Barn Door | Types of Locks

When considering options for how to lock a barn door, there are a couple of different designs you can go with. Some of the most common are listed below. You can see more images of the different lock types in the reviews further down.

90 Degree Lock

This type of lock utilizes the space between the sliding door and your wall. Installation usually takes just a few screws and you’re done! Note that these don’t really work when you have 2 barn doors that open like French doors, in which case, you’ll want to look at the lock below instead.

90 degree barn door lock
90 Degree Lock. Image Source: AliExpress.com on Pinterest

Hook and Eye Latch

While it seems like this would be a flimsy way to lock a door, a really thick hook and eye latch can work as a pretty effective lock. These are great if you have French door styled barn doors. You can use them with just one sliding door, but you’ll have to attach part of the hook to the wall. The neat hook and eye latch you see here is available online from Barn Door Outlet in Melbourne, Australia.

lock sliding barn door
Hook and Eye Latch. Image Source: Barn Door Outlet
Privacy Latch

This is probably my least favorite of the locks mentioned. The idea is that you slide a little disk of metal or plastic into a notch and that keeps the door from opening. This sounds like a good idea in theory, but unless you carve out your own notch into the door, this lock isn’t all that effective. A little fiddling with the door will just knock it out of place.

Barn Door Lock | How to Choose?

When deciding which lock type to use, consider the type of barn door you have and how you will use the lock. Here are some questions to keep in mind as you are weighing up different sliding barn door lock ideas.

  • Do you have the French door style mentioned above, or a singular sliding door?
  • Will this lock be used inside or outside? Some locks are only suitable for indoor use.
  • Do you want a latch that locks with a key?
  • Do you have a pocket door? That is, does your door slide into a ‘pocket’ inside the wall, rather than along the outside of the wall. If so, what’s the clearance when it’s within the wall? If you don’t have much room between the door and wall, you don’t want a lock that sticks out a lot or your door might not close.

If you want to learn a bit more about the different types of barn doors, check out our article on barn door hardware here.

THE BEST SLIDING BARN DOOR LOCKS

Best sliding door lockBest sliding door lock with key
Raswik Privacy Hook LatchAlise 3 Inch Keyed Clasp
— Easy installation
— Durable design
— Classic Design
— Simple Installation
— Comes in several colors
— Low Profile
Buy on Amazon

Read Review
Buy on Amazon

Read Review

Alise 3 Inch Keyed Clasp

sliding barn door lock with key

Alise 3 inch Clasp – Buy on Amazon

The Alise Clasp is interesting because it sort of combines the designs of both the hook and eye latch and the 90-degree lock. This means you can use it with a single door by screwing the lock into the wall, or on a double door by screwing it into one of the doors. Installation was pretty easy and I liked that it came in different colors. That way you can choose the one that will look the best in your room.

The only issue is that this isn’t the best lock to use outdoors. It’s just not really made to be used like that.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Comes in several colors
  • Can be used with single or double doors

Cons:

  • Not suitable for outside use

KAFENDA Stainless Steel Door Lock

Kafenda Stainless Steel Door Lock – Buy on Amazon

While this lock looks tiny, it sure is mighty! This look looks more like a door hinge and is about half the size of one, too. But this doesn’t affect its strength much. The latch will keep out just about anyone who is a little too nosy for their own good.

The only issue is that due to its small size, the screws are tiny, too. This can make installation a bit difficult, especially if you have trouble seeing or have unsteady hands. If that’s the case, I’d recommend having someone help you install it or move on to a different latch.

Pros:

  • Super small
  • Strong

Cons:

  • Small size can make installation difficult

Raswik 4″ Privacy Hook and Latch

Raswik 4″ Privacy Hook & Eye Latch – Buy on Amazon

This is the surprise star of the group. This hook and latch is so sturdy that it can withstand 100 pounds of force exerted on it. That’s sure to keep out the kids or any nosy pets! While this latch works best for double barn doors, it can still be attached to the wall to lock a single door. Just make sure you measure out the distance correctly or you’ll have to drill some extra holes!

The biggest issue with this latch doesn’t even have much to do with the product itself. The issue being, it doesn’t come with any screws which is a really weird decision on the seller’s part. So, if you decide to purchase this latch, make sure you have some extra screws on hand.

Pros:

  • Sturdy Design
  • Easy installation
  • Old-fashioned look

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with screws

Kakuru 2Pcs Barn Door Lock

lock sliding barn door

Kakuru 2pcs Barn Door Lock – Buy on Amazon

The Kakuru Barn Door Lock is another 90-degree latch. Like most of the latches on this list, installation is pretty easy (just a few screws). Although, I did notice that the screws included were a little too short. I had to use my own which required a lot of trial and error. It’s not a huge deal once the door’s installed, but it added a bit of a headache.

I like the design overall. It’s sleek and while pretty big, doesn’t look too bulky or out of place.

Pros:

  • Easy Installation
  • Sleek Design
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Screws included are a bit short

Apuxon Sliding Latch

Apuxon Stainless Steel Door Lock – Buy on Amazon

Finally, we have the Apuxon sliding latch. The design is pretty nondescript so you don’t really notice it unless you’re opening the door. It’s small like the KAFENDA lock but doesn’t suffer from tiny screws which is nice. The only issue I’ve noticed is that there’s a part of the latch that sticks out a bit too much for my liking. I don’t have a pocket door so it’s not too much of a problem, but it’s something to keep in mind when making a purchasing decision.

Pros:

  • Smaller Design
  • Easy to Install

Cons:

  • Lock sticks out a little too much

OTHER SLIDING BARN DOOR LOCK IDEAS

Aside from the products mentioned above, there are also a couple of other latches I’ve found that will work nicely as a lock for your barn door. Here are a couple of my favorite, less-conventional sliding barn door lock ideas:

The Buckle Type Lock

This type of lock has a little handle that you turn that slides a piece of plastic or metal into a small box on the other door. This specific lock requires a bit more measuring than other locks in this article, so make sure there isn’t too much distance between the two pieces, or the lock won’t work at all.

Here’s a buckle-type lock from Kafenda along these lines, which is specifically designed for barn doors. If you’re curious about this style of locking mechanism, be sure to check it out.

The Handle Lock

This is a lock that is installed directly into the door and functions a bit like a doorknob. Because of this, it requires a lot more installation than the other latches in this article. You’ll have to drill out a hole for the handle part of the lock along with the lock mechanism. These are especially great for pocket doors, as well as sliding barn doors. If you’re looking for a lock that will still allow your door to close all the way, this is a good choice for you.

Here’s a neat handle-lock from CCJH designed for barn doors that is worth having a look at. A great thing about this model is that it has keys, so you can be assured of extra privacy. Sure, the handle lock will take more work to install, but if you want a sliding barn door lock with key, this style is going to be one of your best options for achieving that.

BARN DOOR LOCK | HOW TO INSTALL

Now that you’ve chosen your lock, you need to install it. Installing a lock typically involves drilling some holes, so make sure you have a pencil and a drill nearby. Always read the instructions for the lock you have purchased, and follow their steps, as each lock will vary slightly.

Here are the general steps for how to install a barn door lock:

Step 1: Mark the Lock Position. First, you’re going to want to position your lock where you want it and then mark where you want to drill the holes. The positioning of the latch is really important, so make sure you take your time with this step.

Step 2: Drill the Holes. Once you’ve marked where the screws are going to go, drill the holes.

Step 3: Screw in the Lock/Latch. Now you can begin screwing the latch into place. This is typically a fairly easy process. There are usually only about four or so screws.

Step 4: Test the Lock. Once your lock is in place, test it to make sure it’s functioning correctly. If it is, then you’re done! Nice work!

Extra Tips for How to Install Barn Door Lock:

  • Most of the latches on Amazon include an installation video, consider watching that to get an idea of how the lock should be installed
  • If you purchased a hook and latch type lock, make sure both halves of it are properly aligned. Taking your time at this part will save you a lot of staring in the future

HOW TO LOCK BARN DOOR FAQS

Can you lock barn door?

Yes! There are latch mechanisms that keep the door from being able to open along with actual locks that can be installed into the door.

Is it possible to buy a sliding barn door lock with key?

Also yes! Above are a few examples of sliding barn door locks that come with a key.

WRAPPING UP!

We shouldn’t have to sacrifice style for security (or vice-versa), and just because you want a few privacy doors doesn’t mean you need to dismiss. While barn doors aren’t normally locking, in fact there are so many different barn door locks to choose from that you’re bound to find one that fits your needs. The options we’ve shared here are some of the best ones on the market today, and will hopefully stop you wondering how to lock barn door of yours. Pick one up and get installing!

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