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How to Hang a Sliding Barn Door

In this DIY Smarts project, Ask This Old House carpenter Nathan Gilbert travels to Birmingham, Alabama to install a sliding barn door in an open-concept loft apartment.

Steps for installing a sliding barn door:

  1. The door in the kit comes untreated, so start by applying a desired stain/finish to the door with a rag.
  2. Attach the mounting board over the opening with 4 inch structural screws. Keep a level on the board and loosely screw the board in until it’s roughly in the right place. Once the board is mostly attached to the wall and level, secure all the screws.
  3. Attach the mounting hardware to the mounting board. Again, only secure the bolts loosely until the entire rail has been attached. Then secure them all with a wrench.
  4. Slide the stops onto the mounting hardware. This will ensure the door doesn’t slide off the rail.
  5. Attach the door hardware to the door and hang it in place on the rail.
  6. With the door in position, put the floor guide in the correct position on the floor to help guide the door from the bottom. Mark its location with a pencil.
  7. Remove the door and secure the floor guide to the floor with the drill and some screws.
  8. Rehang the door. With it in the correct position, make sure it’s perfectly over the floor guide.
  9. Add the anti-jump blocks that come with the kit onto the railing to prevent the door from sliding off the rail.


Nathan installed the Z-Bar Knotty Alder Wood Interior Sliding Barn Door Slab with Hardware Kit that can be found at The Home Depot. The kit comes with all the materials required to assemble and hang the door, though Nathan choose to add additional 3/4 inch stock in this application because the wall was not plumb and the door would have hit the baseboard otherwise.

For a finish, Nathan and Stephanie stained the door using a water based stain by Minwax. Both the stain and the rags and brushes needed to apply it can be found at home centers.

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