Introduction: DIY Rolling Barn Door Hardware
How to inexpensively create rolling barn door hardware with plumbing pipe. Total cost of hardware was around $60 and the doors were $50. Tip I learned the hard way after this project: My town doesn’t sell very much pipe or hardware and almost NONE of it is black. So I finally just started ordering it all from Amazon. It is a little more expensive but once I factored in how many times my local stores didn’t have in stock what I needed… It just made more sense. Moving back to completing our basement: the bathroom and storage closet down here needed doors! As most everyone knows nowadays rolling barn door hardware isn’t cheap and the very old school look I wanted was the most expensive of all. I had already seen black pipe used just like this so I knew it would work!
My biggest apprehension with the diy rolling barn door hardware I’ve seen other bloggers make online was getting the eyehooks (on the tops of the doors) threaded around the pipe and THEN attaching the pipe to the wall… somehow keeping the doors from falling over in the meantime etc… It just seemed like a pain in the butt situation to me. And we don’t have a ton of room to move around down here so it seemed pretty obvious how to make the entire situation a lot easier on us when building our own version of rolling barn door hardware. Open hooks. Turns out the perfect hooks for us were heavy duty bike hanging hooks that most use for hanging pedal bikes (or whatever) in their garage. I grabbed four of them at our local fleet farm one day along with the rest of the hardware we needed:
Two 1/2″ floor flanges
Two 1/2″ elbows
Two 6″ nipples (these were too long – we used 1″ nipples instead)
Two 4ft pieces of pipe One 1/2″ Coupling
Four (non swivel) Castors Four open hooks
Before we assembled any of our rolling barn door hardware we tackled the doors.
Step 1: Dealing With Unlevel Floors...
We were so lucky to find two matching old doors for this space! (Read my post all about it here, we didn’t just find these two but all FOUR doors we wanted that day – it was some kind of miracle!)
They’re a little bit narrow which meant I will have to make the bathroom doorway narrower as well – no big deal. The closet door entrance is already narrow enough.
The doors are only two feet wide but I was willing to give up a regular width doorway to the bathroom to have these two door(way)s matching. We attached the straight castors (that don’t swivel) to the bases and the bike hooks to the tops. This is where we cheated a little bit. You can’t really tell but there’s a 1/2″ difference in the height of these doors. We made up for that by sinking the bike hooks half an inch deeper into the taller of the two doors to make them even. (We predrilled everything first.) I don’t feel its noticeable to “normal” people… Of course it will always bug me lol.
Now we could hang our pipe. These doors are standing on their own two wheels so the rolling barn door hardware here, in this case, would not be supporting any kind of weight at all. The pipe is just a guide and keeps the doors from falling over. I opted for particularly big bike hooks for this reason: it made the doors SO EASY to put up by giving us a good inch of forgiveness on where exactly we hung the pipe.
The hooks are coated in plastic so we made sure they weren’t touching the top of the pipe at all so there would be no drag. To install we lifted each door’s hooks up over the pipe and set it down. They roll easily and the pipe keeps them where they’re supposed to be! And then we sat down and gazed upon the true horror of how unlevel our basement floors are. The doors are straight lol! It was SO bad I wasn’t even bummed out we just sat down and had a good laugh about it. This is just how things go in old houses. I HAD to share the photos with you guys!
Step 2: Final Completion and Use
I picked up a couple more things at the hardware store. The 6″ long nipples really brought our rolling barn door hardware out way too far from the wall so I picked up two 1″ long nipples instead. I also picked up a pack of door shims.
We took the doors down, removed the castors and shimmed them as much as we needed to so they would at least “look” level. It worked and I don’t think anyone will notice once we get them painted. Because we needed to connect the two pipes in the middle there was a little sag in the center.
In this case it would have looked better to replace the center coupling with a T pipe plus a floor flange etc. However then we would have had the problem of the pipe being too long by a couple of inches (right now its perfect to each end of the door trim) so I chose instead to just add an L bracket to support the center. Next up we painted out the doors and our diy rolling barn door hardware completely in a couple of coats of gloss black Rustoleum. The L bracket I painted out in white to match the wall. (You can’t really tell in the pictures but there is a little original door in the back of the bathroom that opens on to our utility room that I went ahead and painted too.) For the door pulls I ordered:
Four 1/2″ floor flanges
Four 1/2″ Elbows
Two 1″ long 1/2″ nipples
Two 2″ long 1/2″ nipples
It covered the old hardware holes perfectly! We didn’t add hardware to the inside of either door because the old hardware holes actually work fine to grab and pull the doors open. You can tell by the pics that the doors can’t both be completely open at the same time.
We have no problem with this at all. The closet is long term storage that we rarely access so it doesn’t bother us to have to close the bathroom door to open the closet door. If you notice we put the bike hooks well inside of the top of the doors – 8 inches from either edge in fact – I did this on purpose. Because we needed to use a coupling to span the whole 8 feet with two 4 foot pieces of pipe I were concerned the coupling would stop the doors from rolling all the way open. So, just moving the bike hooks in totally eliminated that problem. To narrow the doorway to the bathroom so everything would match up a little better I used 2x8s that I also painted out entirely in black Rustoleum. I did not adjust the trim at the time because I think it looks fine but it may bug me enough in the future to want to move our trim in to cover the additional wood we added to narrow the doorway. We’ll see – the basement has all kinds of character and I don’t think that oddness there is distracting or bothersome. We’re VERY happy with how they turned out!