There are many reasons why you would want to use a sliding door but the main reason I choose to make this door sliding is because it prevents the door from opening into the room which ultimately frees up floor space. The door glides along a pipe track and stays almost flush to the wall.
I actually took the existing door off the hinges and installed the pipe track with casters but you can also build this door fairly easily with just two steps, see down below for detailed plans.
The casters are very forgiving on our uneven wood floors. I used 2″ stationary casters however you can see there is a gap at the bottom of the door, consider smaller casters to lessen the gap.
Before you build this barn door I definitely suggest to measure your doorway and determine how wide your door needs to be. This door above is made from 1×8 tongue and groove pine boards. Tongue and groove boards are available in 1×6 and 1×8 so the number of boards and size will be based on how wide you want your finished door. (And yes you could build this door from straight boards without the tongue and groove as well.) Please note the plans below are based off of my door in the pictures above.
- 4 – 1x8x8’ tongue and groove pine boards
- 2 – 1x5x8’ pine boards
- 1 ¼” wood screws
- wood glue
- 4 – 1×8 @ 78” (main door)
- 3 – 1×5 @ 28 ½” (cross supports)
Step 1: Apply glue at seams and clamp across width of door. Let dry.
Step 2: Glue and attach cross supports with countersunk 1 ¼” wood screws.
Now comes the hardware installation to make the door slide. You will need the hardware pictured above, I used all 1/2″ galvanized steel parts from the plumbing department. Also note the nipple length is key here because that will determine how far away from the wall your door will hang. You don’t want the door banging into the moulding so a longer nipple might be necessary if you have thicker moulding.
Step 1: Attach casters to bottom of door flush on interior. You can see in the picture above from the hall the casters are wider than the door so you may consider attaching a 1×2 at the base of the door.
Step 2: Determine where the pipe track will go by holding the door in place. Attach floor flanges to wall (using anchors and screws) then insert nipples and elbows.
Step 3: Screw eye hooks into top of door and slide onto long pipe. Twist pipe into elbows. You have to do one side at a time and possibly unscrew the nipple, attach the pipe then rescrew the nipple.
Step 4: Add door handle hardware both on the interior and hall side.
Because I used the 1″ nipple my door clears the moulding and I have space for the door handle.
I hope you enjoyed this sliding barn door tutorial, it’s definitely an option to consider when thinking about space savings ideas and room flow plus the farmhouse feel adds so much charm. Happy Building!