A Guide To Choosing Barn Door Hardware

A Guide To Choosing Barn Door Hardware

Barns, including barn door hardware, are important features of an agriculture lifestyle. Throughout history, they were used to carry out farming activities like the storage of hay and cattle, or the churning of milk into different dairy products.  Early barn designs in America came from ideas brought over from England by the colonists. In the 1800s, barns were painted red because red paint was the cheapest of all the colors. Red paint contained rust which gave the paint its red color and prevented moss from growing on a wooden barn. They also kept barns warmer in the winter by absorbing the sun's rays. Nowadays, barns come in a variety of colors and designs while retaining the same functions and purposes that they have in history. The barn door has similarly evolved in design and many companies now offer a higher degree of customization to clients who want to pursue a particular design or function for their barn doors. 

What is a Barn Door? 

Borne out of necessity in their earliest use, barn doors have been the epitome of functional art. Barn doors were originally designed for farmers with large barns that needed a door that would allow for cattle and livestock to enter and exit by sliding it away from the path of livestock instead of the cumbersome swinging design. They were originally built without large budgets and with consideration for their aesthetics. The “X” barn door, the “Z” barn door and the “True” barn door were the earliest design styles, made by nailing horizontal slates of lumber and adding a “Z” or “X” for greater stability. Traditional barn doors did not incorporate door stiles and rails as they were expensive and difficult to install in the past. 

Types of Barn Door Hardware to Choose From

With today’s technology and manufacturing possibilities, you no longer have to rely solely on lumber to give function to your barn doors. Today’s barns are strong and can withstand strong winds or harsh weather due to the addition of hardware that reinforces and strengthens the stability of barns. The same goes for barn doors. As an alloy of iron and carbon containing less than 2% carbon and 1% manganese and small amounts of trace minerals, steel is the most important engineering and construction material in the world and one of the strongest hardware materials, forming the material of choice when it comes to barn doors. 

Barn door hardware exists in many forms – from door handles to flush pulls to rolling tracks, as well as door hinges and privacy locks. What’s more, barn door hardware comes in varied styles, finishes, and functions, making the process of choosing barn door hardware a simple, convenient, and fun experience. The amazing characteristic of hardware is that it can be customized to fit your new barn door.

The barn door handle is one of the first consideration when it comes to barn door hardware. They determine the level of comfort you will enjoy every day in its usage and is also an integral aspect of the barn door aesthetic. Barn door handles can come in the form of sliding door handles and door pulls, offering you choices in many themes and finishes including black wrought iron, dark bronze finish, black powder coat and matte bronze powder coat.  

 

The flush pull or finger pull is another aspect of barn door hardware that you have to think about. It has to be of a low profile so that it clears the wall when you pull the sliding barn door back. They are generally located on the side of a barn door closest to the wall and may also be customized to fit the theme of the room you have on the other side of the barn door. Of course, you also have the track hardware that determines the movement of your barn door. 

       

 

Next, you have barn door hinges and locks. While most barn doors function on a sliding system and have a rolling track, some barn doors can swing open as well depending on your needs. When choosing your barn door hinge, consider the door’s load and the weight of the door slab itself and if anything, else will be hanging from it. Heavier doors require heavy duty hinges. Many of these can be kept as they are or painted and stained to your decor preference and color scheme. Choosing the appropriate material involves design choice as well as considerations of longevity, especially if your barn door is exterior. Stainless steel and brass are frequently chosen for exterior hinges since their structure is extremely durable and can outlast both weather and time. Barn door hinges can come in the form of butt hinges, strap hinges, and tee hinges. 

Barn doors may be installed with a locking system for privacy. Next, barn door privacy locks perfectly complement any rolling barn door you are looking to install. They are made of premium quality steel and powder coated for durability, and are available in stainless steel or black finish, and include all screws and parts required for installation. 

If you require barn doors that open up completely with a wide opening for cattle to pass through, you may consider installing two barn doors side by side. For that, installing a double door rail connector will help to elevate the aesthetics of your double barn door by joining two rails seamlessly together, end-to-end. Your 2 rails appear as one continuous track for a more polished look. The double door rail connector is available in stainless steel and black finish. Furthermore, to ensure the smooth running of your sliding barn door, you can also consider installing the interior sliding door double floor guide that will keep your barn door from swinging in or out of the track. This is available in oil rubbed bronze or grey finish that will last for years to come. 

       

How to Choose the Right Barn Door Hardware

Choosing the right hardware for your barn door depends on a variety of factors. Firstly, you should consider the theme of your barn, or how the barn door design can match with the theme of the room that it faces. Whether your theme is rustic, old world, contemporary, country or early American, there are plenty of options filling this niche. 

Clavos and Dummy Hinges are installed mainly for aesthetics and help to reinforce the theme that you have chosen for your barn door. Clavos are essentially nails with decorative heads that are used to add character to your wooden door, bringing about a sense of rugged beauty to rustic woodwork. To start, look at the size of the head. It is important to get clavos that give you the look that you want without detracting attention from the natural beauty of the surfaces that you will be attaching the decorative nails to.

Another thing to consider is the type of design the clavos feature. There are hundreds of different textures and shapes to choose from. Some are square with raised pyramidal designs, others are rounded with divots covering the surface, and still others have insignias and other unique designs pressed into them. Always get the right design for the look that you are going for.

The color is also an important aspect in your clavos selection. Decorative nails range from bright silver to black, and virtually every shade in between. Like the size and particular style of the clavos you want to include in your next project, the color can make a huge impact on how the finished product appears.

Next, you have faux hinges, which are decorative dummy hinges.  They are offered in Colonial, Old World, Western and Contemporary themes, and while they are decorative, they are rendered in the same heavy duty hardware material with quality finishes like other functional hardware on your barn door. Typically made of forged or cast iron with a durable black coating, they suit a wide range of period home styles, including American Colonial, Tudor, French Country, Spanish Colonial and Medieval.

The strap hinge is an example of dummy hinges. Centuries ago, strap hinges were the only available option for hanging doors and gates.  Handcrafted by blacksmiths and metalworkers, they ranged from simple rectangular strips of iron to elaborate and artistic creations spreading across the door.  With the invention of mortise door hinges in the later 19thcentury, however, strap hinges have become obsolete, but they grew in popularity in modern times because of an appreciation of their old world charm. 

Your door size will impact the length and style of your door handles. As a rule, standard height doors (80" or 6' 8") would normally look good with handles that are 10" to 13" in length.  If your door is 7 feet tall, a 14" to 16" will do.  When doors are 8 feet tall, handles in the range of 16" to 22" may be a better choice. Extra large doors with heights of 10 feet to 15 feet would require much longer handles to keep things in proportion.  As such, 24-inch to 48-inch handles are a suggestion for these size doors.

Choosing the right finish can also be a challenge since there are so many variations to choose from. What one vendor calls "Oil Rubbed Bronze finish" can be quite different from other vendors.  Oil rubbed bronze is typically a very dark finish, nearly black in appearance. Some vendors may show this same finish with "highlights" on the edges. Black finishes are very popular and will also have their variations to deal with. For instance, your choice may be a dull black type but see that the barn door handles you like is only offered in a shiny black. The more durable finishes, especially for door handles that are located on the exterior of the barn, will be the powder coat type rather than a "painted" black type. Hence, it is important to choose the best finish for your application. 

It is best to choose a hardware company that has been designing and making barn door handles for many years. These companies usually possess the most experience and would be able to best advise you on the best style and finish to suit your theme and requirement. Hardware and be finished in Matte Bronze powder coat, Black powder coat, Rust (with clear coat) and Natural Metal finish (with clear coat). Furthermore, a reputable company can also offer custom work, should you be unable to find what you like from their vast repertoire of hardware options, so be sure to choose your hardware supplier carefully! 

Why Choose Wild West Hardware for Your Barn Door Needs? 

Wild West Hardware has been busy designing, making and selling a variety of wrought iron rustic hardware and other unique hardware products since 2002.  We offer a collection of products ranging from Rustic, Old World, Arts and Crafts, Tuscan and more.  Much of what you see on our website is the exclusive creations of Wild West Hardware, and found nowhere else. Our distinctive line of products is used to decorate or operate doors, gates, cabinets, shutters, overhead garage doors, carriage house garage doors, furniture and much more. We pride ourselves in offering one of the largest online selections of quality hard-to-find hardware anywhere.   

Much of our rustic hardware is made by the hands of skilled artisans and blacksmiths. Most of our rustic hardware products are hand-made and do take time to be crafted, but we believe in the authenticity of making even small features like clavos and hinges by hand, like the craftsmen of days gone by. We welcome you to visit our photo gallery to view the variety of hardware features that we supply and to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of our hardworking artisans. We are always attentive to your needs, and we will work closely with you to achieve the barn door of your heart’s desire. We would love to hear from you!
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