First of all, we really like to get a round of applause for not titling this post, “Fifty Shades of Flat Track.” … C’mon! (lone clapping from Content Strategist in the audience) Thank you! Thank you! On to the whole topic of flat track hardware.
What is flat track hardware? Flat track hardware for all intents and purposes is barn door hardware. In fact, many of our competitors and vendors simply call their hardware “Something Something Barn Door Hardware”. In a certain sense, barn door hardware is synonymous with flat track hardware. We mean that the same way Obi Wan did in ‘Return of the Jedi’ when he tells Luke he lied about Darth Vader being his Father. Anything that has a rail and set of hangers and that slides back and forth can be called “barn door hardware”, but flat track hardware is very much its own thing.
First of all flat track hardware is flat. The track itself is a solid, flat piece of steel.
The rollers sit on top of that flat track and the hangers attached to the rollers often feature a flat strap that bolt to a door.
Flat track hardware is the most popular type of barn door hardware, and the more you shop the more you often discover that there are literally hundreds of options. Possibly 1000s if you want standard black flat track barn door hardware. Today’s goal is to help unpack those options so you can buy the best barn door hardware kit for you.
We have already run through the basics of picking the right barn door hardware kit for you. You want to start with your look and your budget, and work from there. For the sake of speed, I am going to assume you read that post. You didn’t? Well, okay. I’ll go make some coffee. You go read that post. Mmmhmm. Over here. Making coffee waiting you to finish reading. No pressure.
Alright. You have the look you want (something in the flat track category) and you have your budget. Now let’s broaden out our search and consider the topic of door weight. How big a door you plan to hang will have a direct impact on your budget.
Let’s take a look at some real-life examples from Barndoorhardware.com’s stock of flat track hardware.
The Urban Barn Door Hardware Kit
The Urban Barn Door Hardware Kit is one of our best sellers. The reason is obvious. The Urban Barn Door Hardware kit is a great starter kit, excellent for DYI’ers and perfect for Interior Designers who have clients on a tight budget.
The Urban has a weight capacity of 200lbs. That capacity is more than ample for your average interior door.
However, a 200lb weight capacity is not ideal if you are planning to install a heavy door made from reclaimed or all natural hard wood, or a door that is particularly large.
The Vintage Loop Strap
The Vintage Loop Strap remains one of our best sellers in the 3/16th inch category. It comes in Black, Oil Rubbed Bronze and the always popular Raw Steel. The Vintage Loop Strap kit is incredibly versatile and can give you a rustic look, an industrial look, or a look somewhere in between.
The Vintage Loop Strap has a weight capacity clocks in at 300lbs. Right around 300lbs is a nice sweet spot that allows you to broaden your door horizon and possibly incorporate different materials into your door choice.
The Huxley Heavy Duty Barn Door Hardware Kit
The Huxley Heavy Duty Barn Door Hardware Kit is expensive and its pricey for a reason. The Huxley is designed to handle big doors. No, we mean Big Doors.
The Huxley Heavy Duty Barn Door Hardware Kit has a weight capacity of up to 800lbs. So if you have a door that is over 400lbs a heavy duty flat track kit is really your only option.
That is all great but … how do you tell the weight of a door? If you buy from a hardware store or lumber yard, the weight should be clearly listed somewhere. If you buy a sliding door online the weight should be listed on the site, or contact the company for an exact weight. If you are working with a contractor who is custom building a door for you, ask him for advice.
Now the Eternal Question … What the Heck is Track Thickness?
We offer two distinct styles of track. 3/16th inch track, like the Vintage Large Straight Strap Barn Door Hardware kit, and ¼” inch track, like the venerable 402 Flat Track Hardware Kit.
For a long time ¼” steel track was the default standard for barn door hardware. It’s provides a nice slide surface and gives a big, beefy appearance. However, 3/16th” track has grown in popularity and often provides as smooth a glide as ¼”.
Of the two … 3/16th tends to be the most popular. Contractors, however, still tend to favor ¼”. Either works well as long as you factor in a suitable weight capacity.
Are You Finished Yet?
Finish is the last piece of the flat track hardware equation. Black is undoubtedly the most popular finish. A few of the barn door hardware kits we sell, like the Large Spoked Strap Hardware Kit, are only available in black.
Of course, one size does not fit all and not everyone wants black hardware, which is why most of our flat track hardware kits come in a selection of finishes … Raw Steel and Bronze being two of the most popular.
And we have a something brand new for your consideration. Stainless Steel flat track hardware. Barndoorhardware.com is proud to offer Artisan Hardware’s complete line-up of stainless steel flat track barn door hardware. And we now offer the Pinnacle Flat Track Hardware kit … the first chrome finish barn door hardware kit.
When it comes to selecting a finish the question goes back to the question of Look. Your look will determine your finish for you.
And now … we are finished.
Stayed tuned next month when we dive into stainless steel sliding door hardware.