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How to Install a Barn Door Lock

Thursday May 6th, 2021
Barn doors are ideal for adding rustic décor to your home. Whether your door is a traditional farmhouse-style door or made to reflect the modern tastes of a person living in an urban high-rise, sliding barn doors look amazing. There is only one thing missing from these pieces of functional décor: a lock. Thankfully, installing a barn door lock is relatively simple.

How to Install a Barn Door Lock

  • Select Locking Hardware
  • Measure
  • Gather Supplies
  • Look Over Instructions
  • Begin the Installation
While installing a lock might not be as involved as installing an entire barn door, there are some things to be aware of before you start your project. Thankfully, as long as you’re armed with the proper supplies, the right knowledge, and a few tips and tricks, you’ll be installing your lock in no time. Once you’ve completed your first lock installation, you might just wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

Can You Lock a Barn Door?

When it comes to barn doors, the common thought is that you can't lock them, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth! There are a wide variety of options you can use as a lock for sliding barn door privacy needs. In fact, your barn door can be just as safe and secure as any standard swinging door installed in the home. Whether you need a simple lock to ensure privacy for your bathroom door, encourage small children to stay out of your bedroom, or a heavier-duty option for exterior sliding barn doors, there are locks for every need.

There are numerous kinds of locks for barn doors and each one corresponds to a specific need or security level. Here at BarnDoorHardware.com, we offer options such as a latch lock, teardrop latch, hook and eye latch, and cane floor bolt. The best thing about these locks is the fact that they are customizable and you can craft them to match your current barn door hardware, including your door pulls, barn door handles, and sliding rail.

Types of Barn Door Locks

Latch and Lock system: Provides the ability to lock and unlock your door on either side. This type of lock is ideal for exterior-facing doors such as entry points to your patio, pool house, or sunroom. It can also be used as an interior barn door lock for spaces that need extra security such as a home office. The barn door latch lock can be customized to match your door and modern barn door hardware, as well.

Barn Door Teardrop Latch: One of the most common locks available. With this lock, you can secure the door on one side. This type of latch is ideal for doors that require an extra layer of security or privacy such as bathrooms, bedrooms, and other areas that need to be locked from the inside only. The teardrop latch is a common bathroom barn door lock since it’s so easy to operate.

Hook and Eye Latches: Common and appreciated for their simplicity and ease of installation. A hook and eye latch will secure a barn door and provide a locking mechanism that is rustic. These are ideal for bi-parting double doors or securing your door to a wall while in use. They are common for sliding barn doors in use for closets, bathrooms, bedrooms, and other areas where a bit more privacy is required without a complete locking mechanism.

Cane Floor Bolts: Operate in the same way as many exterior swinging door bolt systems. The primary difference is that the cane floor bolt slides into the floor instead of the door frame. This bolt can be locked and unlocked from only one side of the door making it useful for exterior-facing doors, such as patios and sunrooms, and areas that need extra security, such as wine rooms and offices.
These are just a few barn door lock ideas, but as you can see, a barn door latch or barn door lock ensures your home is private and secure.

6 Instances Where You Want to Install a Barn Door Lock

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to lock a sliding barn door to provide increased security in and around your home. Barn doors are more than artistic pieces of décor; they need to be fully functional. With a sliding door lock in place, you can use them just as you would any other traditional swing door.  Some of the most common areas where you’d want to use a lock include:
  1. Bathroom Barn Doors
  2. Bedroom Barn Doors
  3. Office Barn Doors
  4. Exterior Barn doors
  5. Wine Room Barn Doors
  6. Game Room Barn Doors
Any of these places could merit a lock on the door and with barn door lock hardware so that ultimate privacy and security can be achieved.

1. Bathroom Barn Doors

A bathroom barn door lock or a barn door privacy lock can be used in a variety of situations. Bathrooms that are used to host friends, relatives, and Airbnb guests should all have a lock for guest privacy and security. Thanks to the variety of locking mechanisms provided at BarnDoorHardware.com, ensuring complete privacy for your guests is just a few steps away. A sliding barn door bathroom lock, a barn door latch, or a sliding door latch all work exceptionally well for bathroom sliding barn doors.


2. Bedroom Barn Doors

Bedroom sliding barn doors are another area where locks can come in handy to provide an extra layer of security and privacy. Whether you have small children, are frequently hosting guests, or you rent out part of your home to host travelers from around the world, a lock for a sliding barn bedroom door is critical. Thankfully, you don't have to sacrifice aesthetics and decor when you install a lock. Whether you install a simple hook and eye latch, a full privacy barn door lock, or a teardrop latch, any option can be customized to match your barn door hardware and the overall decor scheme you have created.


3. Office Barn Doors

Offices are another location where an extra layer of privacy is critical. Whether you work onsite with other employees or you have an at-home office, you can ensure that your workspace stays private and secure by installing sliding door locks. Locks are ideal if your main office door is a sliding barn door or if you have shelving with important documents that hide behind a sliding barn door cabinet. In either situation, security can be provided by installing a simple barn door lock that can only be opened with a key.


4. Exterior Barn Doors

Exterior barn doors can complete the look you're going for with an exterior facing sliding patio door, pool room door, or sunroom exit and entrance. It's also important that these doors maintain the same level of security that your family is used to. Exterior sliding barn doors can be just as secure as regular swinging doors installed by your home builder if you use the right type of lock. For exterior areas that are only accessed from the inside of your house such as sunrooms, back yards, pools, and patios, a lock that functions from the inside of the door rather than both sides is ideal.

5.  Wine Room Barn Doors

Wine rooms often house a family's private selection of everyday wines and vintage selections. These rooms are often temperature-controlled and need doors that close, latch, and lock when not in use. If you have a wine room with a sliding barn door and find that the door is frequently left open, accidentally left ajar, or you simply want greater control over who enters and exits your wine room, an interior barn door just might be the answer. The type of lock you'll want to install for this setup is typically one which can be locked or unlocked from one side of the door with a key.

6. Game Room Barn Doors

Game rooms and downstairs basements are two other areas where you might find a locking barn door helpful. Whether you are trying to regulate how much time your children spend in the game room, control the overall flow of people in your house, or simply add an extra layer of security, sliding door locks might be your solution. Locks can also be helpful for areas within the game room, such as doors that hide a security system or other high-tech equipment you want to ensure it stays safe when children are playing in the room unsupervised.

How to Install a Barn Door Lock

1. Select Locking Hardware

When it comes to DIY projects, selecting your barn door and the coordinating hardware might just be one of the most fun parts of the process. When you order a barn door and a barn door hardware kit, you'll receive everything you need to install your barn door and mount it on the sliding track. If requested, your barn door hardware might come with a pull or barn door handle, but it likely did not come with barn door locks. Barn door lock systems often need to be ordered separately.

As you've seen above, there are a number of barn door lock ideas that can provide privacy and security for your home wherever a sliding barn door is in use. Barn door lock hardware can be customized to match the rest of your hardware and compliment your sliding barn door style. When you select a barn door latch or a door lock, it's important to understand which type of lock will work best for your purposes.
When selecting sliding barn door lock hardware, ask yourself several questions including:
  • Do you need increased privacy?
  • Is safety a priority?
  • What kind of sliding barn door are you trying to secure?
Armed with the answers to these questions, you'll be better equipped to choose your sliding door with lock options. Depending on whether you need privacy, safety, or both, you might choose a barn door latch, sliding door locks, a barn door privacy lock, or a barn door with lock and key options.

If you need help deciding which type of lock to order, we can help! Jump on the phone and talk to one of our staff members who will gather information about the type of door you have, where the door is located, and what the door is used for. Based on your answers to these questions, our staff can help narrow down the options and explain the pros and cons of different types of locks for your door. We are proud to say that here at BarnDoorHardware.com we don’t just sell hardware; we provide assistance to our customers in choosing it, too. We are always available to help you choose the best type of lock for your privacy or security needs.

2. Measure

Each locking system will have its own measurement requirements regarding where on the door and your wall the lock gets placed. Have a tape measure on hand for this part of the process, as a ruler will not give you the ability to confidently configure vertical measurements.

When measuring for your lock, you'll need to determine the vertical measurement and place a mark for how high you want the lock to sit. You'll also want to mark the end of your sliding barn door for lock placement in addition to the area on your wall. Always double-check your measurements to ensure accurate placement. If measurements are off, even slightly, you could install the entire system just to find out that the locking mechanism may not work properly. Correct measurements are key in ensuring the proper function of your lock.

If you need help with this part of the process, refer to the instruction manual we send when you order your locks through BarnDoorHardware.com. For further assistance, feel free to give us a call at any time and one of our helpful staff members can provide guidance for the process.

3. Gather Supplies

Once you have ordered and received your barn door lock hardware it's time to get busy with the installation process. But first, you'll need to gather your supplies. In order to install your privacy lock, teardrop latch, or other barn door locks, you want to have several items on hand and within easy reach. Standard installation items include:
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
Depending on the instructions that come with your locking hardware, you might need additional supplies as well. In general, these supplies should be able to get you through to completion on most projects. Though installing a locking system is a fairly quick and simple process, you will likely be using a drill to bore holes for the screws, a screwdriver to attach your locking system to the door and door jam, a measuring tape to ensure you're placing it in the correct spot, and a pencil to mark the areas where drill holes need to be made and where the lock should go.

Installing a lock is very much a one-person job and can be done quickly. If you're looking for a fast DIY project during a rainy day or a free afternoon, installing locking mechanisms on your sliding barn doors is something you can easily mark off your to-do list. If you have more than one lock to install, plan to do them all at the same time since you'll already have your materials handy. Once you've installed one lock, you’ll likely find the installation process on the remaining doors to go much faster than the first lock you installed.

4. Look Over Instructions

When you purchase your privacy lock from BarnDoorHardware.com, we will send a detailed set of instructions for installing your system, whether you purchase a teardrop lock, a double barn door hook and eye latch, or another type of locking hardware kit.

No matter how simple the locking mechanism may seem that you purchased, our instructions will ensure a successful installation process. When installing your sliding door lock, make sure you're familiar with your door measurements, regulations regarding lock placement, door thickness, and the tips, tricks, and suggestions we provide for an easy installation process.

As with traditional swinging doors, locks on a barn door should be placed within easy reach of those using the door. Deadbolts and other locking systems can be placed directly above or below the door pull or handle, depending on the type of lock you purchase.

If your installation process requires any special tools, be sure to round them up before beginning. There is nothing worse than starting a project and having to stop midway to go to the store or rummage through your tool shed to retrieve the missing item.

Always keep in mind that with BarnDoorHardware.com, if you have any questions, concerns, or you're finding installation a difficult process even with our instructions and tips, you can always call us. We have skilled and knowledgeable support personnel available to help with any installation project from setting up barn doors, installing hardware, or attaching your locks.

5. Begin the Installation

Now comes the fun part! Once you've ordered your lock, gathered your supplies, and looked over the instructions we sent, you're ready to start installing your barn door lock. Each type of lock will come with its own specific set of instructions to help with the installation process.

Installation should be a fairly straightforward process. Installing a lock is very much a one-person job, though having another set of hands or eyes to read the instructions can certainly be helpful. Our instructions are formatted in such a way that a single installer can easily read and apply the step-by-step process we lay out. If you work better with a second person, our instructions are also formatted so someone can read it while providing guidance to the person who measures, places drill holes, and installs the lock itself.

If you encounter any problems during this part of the process, we have staff members who are ready and willing to help provide guidance. We can provide help for jobs as simple as a hook and eye latch to complicated setups for those who have ordered a custom barn door with a special locking system.

Enjoy Your Fully Functional Locking Door

We hope you see from this article that your sliding barn door can be every bit as secure and private as a regular traditional swinging door. Door locks can be used in a variety of circumstances to provide increased privacy for bedrooms, bathrooms, and other areas of the house that need to remain separated for guests, friends, and family members.

You can also secure areas in your home where you want to manage the flow of traffic, such as game rooms and wine rooms. Exterior-facing doors can be secured with heavier duty locks to ensure that entry and exit points in places like your patio, back, sunroom, and pool house are all secure, whether you’re home or not.

There is a wide variety of locking options and mechanisms depending on the level of security or privacy you desire. With the ability to customize the look of your lock, you shouldn't have any problem blending it with the rest of your decor and hardware.

When it comes to DIY projects, installing a locking mechanism is one of the simplest and most straightforward projects around. With a set of clear instructions provided for the specific lock you order, you'll soon be installing your locking mechanism—probably faster than you imagined!

Making sure your sliding barn door is just as functional, secure, and private as a traditional swinging door is just a few steps away! With our one-of-a-kind hardware, instructions, and installation support, you should be able to stand back and enjoy your newly secured sliding barn door in no time.


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