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How to Measure Bypass Barn Door Hardware

Tuesday August 24th, 2021
Whether it’s used in an entryway or as a closet door, a bypass barn door is a great way to add rustic charm and convenience to any room of a house. But, installing a bypass barn door isn’t as simple as it may sound. Correctly choosing and installing the appropriate bypass barn door hardware will not only affect the appearance of your sliding barn door, but also its functionality. This is why it’s important to know how to properly measure before beginning the installation process.

How to Measure Bypass Barn Door Hardware

  1. Measure Left to Right of the Door Opening
  2. Find the Center Point of the Inside Track
  3. Make a Guideline for the Inside Track
  4. Make a Guideline for the Bypass Brackets
  5. Mark the Holes for Mounting the Inside Track
  6. Mark the Holes for Mounting the Bypass Brackets
While the process of measuring and installing your bypass kit takes patience and precision, it isn’t any more difficult than installing a regular door. By properly preparing and following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll find that the process can even be engaging and fun!

What is a Bypass Barn Door?

To better understand how to measure and install bypass barn door hardware, it helps to first understand exactly what a bypass barn door is.

Unlike a standard double barn door, which operates exactly like a double door—opening outward from the center—a bypass barn door is closer to a double sliding door. But, instead of the two panels interlocking like a French door or each closing against the other’s edge, the door panels overlap, so, when opened, one panel can be concealed behind the other. This is due to the unique construction of the bypass barn door’s hardware.

Unlike a pocket door, a bypass barn door does not require any special accommodations, such as a wall compartment or extra side panels. Therefore, bypass barn door hardware can be easily installed over any entryway built to accommodate a standard double door.


Bypass Barn Doors Offer a Unique Appearance

Besides their undeniable functionality, bypass barn doors offer a unique appearance and impart a rustic, yet modern flair to a room. Interior barn doors have become increasingly trendy in recent years, along with the emerging popularity of the modern farmhouse style.

If you’re looking for an easy way to accent an entryway or boost a room’s personality, a bypass barn door kit is an excellent solution.

The addition of modern barn door hardware will take the appearance of a bypass barn door a step further. The bold accent of modern bypass door hardware creates an interesting tension between the old and the new, giving your home a sense of balance and a unique style.

What is a Single Bypass Door?

In simple terms, a single bypass barn door is a bypass door whose hardware is only as wide as the combined width of both bypass door panels. This means that whenever one sliding door panel is opened, it either conceals or is concealed by the other. While most people prefer the look of the single bypass door, this style limits a room’s access by allowing an opening of only one panel’s width at any given time.

What is a Double Bypass Door?

Unlike the single track bypass door hardware, double bypass barn door hardware extends one panel’s length past either side of an entryway. This means that a double bypass door can be opened to reveal the full width of an entryway, allowing for double the access of a single bypass door. This also means that a double bypass door requires a great deal more clearance to install than a single bypass door.

Some prefer the look of single bypass barn doors. But, if you have an abundance of wall space, opening a double bypass barn door so that each panel is on either side of an entryway provides an attractive frame for the entryway while also filling out the space of the wall, lending a greater sense of proportion and balance of design.


How Does a Bypass Barn Door Work?

To understand how a sliding bypass barn door works, let’s break down a typical bypass barn door hardware kit and explain the function of each piece:

1. Bypass Tracks

Every bypass barn door hardware kit consists of two tracks: an inside track and an outside track. These tracks are mounted to a header board above a door frame. The tracks allow the traversal of the hangers, which are used to mount the wooden door panels. The tracks are also used to mount door stoppers. Bypass door tracks are almost always made of metal.

2. Bypass Brackets

While the inside track is mounted directly to the header board, the outside track is suspended parallel to the inside track from the bypass bracket. The bypass brackets are mounted to the header board above the inside track at a precise measurement so that they overlap the inside track. When the outside track is mounted on the bypass bracket, both the inside and outside tracks should be level, so that one sliding door panel doesn’t hang lower than the other.

3. Wheels

The wheels in a bypass door hardware kit allow the panels of the bypass barn door to slide back and forth along the tracks. Two sets of wheels are affixed to the tops of the hangers, the bottoms of which are, in turn, mounted to each door panel. The wheels are commonly made of polymer, allowing for smooth, frictionless traversal of the bypass tracks.

4. Hangers

The hangers are used to attach the door panels to the wheels. Hangers are mounted to the door panels by screws or bolts. Because each hanger is mounted on a separate track, they bypass each other, creating a double sliding door that can open from both the right and left.

5. Door Stoppers

The door stoppers are exactly what they sound like. Often made of metal with a rubber pad, door stoppers are mounted on the bypass racks at the location where the user would like the door panel to stop. When a door panel meets its corresponding door stopper, it ceases to slide.

6. Door Panels

The door panels of a bypass door kit are most likely what you picture when imagining a bypass barn door. These are the two large, typically wooden panels that together form a double sliding door. The door panels are attached to the hangers so that they are allowed to slide left and right along the bypass tracks without bumping into one another.

7. Floor Guide

The floor guide is attached to the floor and slides between a groove routed along the bottom of its corresponding door panel so that the panel doesn’t sway when sliding.

8. Door Handle and Door Lock

While not always included with a bypass barn door hardware kit, barn door handles and locks can provide the functionality to a bypass barn door while also serving as accent pieces that round out the bypass door’s appearance. Often, to accommodate the closeness of the door panels, the door handle is inset, low-profile, or ring-styled.

How to Measure for Bypass Barn Door Hardware

Before you measure your chosen entryway to begin mounting your bypass barn door hardware, there are a few items you will need. They are as follows:
  1. Tape measure
  2. Pencil
  3. eight-foot level
After you have these items, follow these five simple steps below to measure for your bypass barn door hardware:

1. Measure Left to Right on the Door Opening

To get a proper measurement, it’s important to maintain consistency. Always measure from the left of the door opening to the right.

2. Find the Center Point of the Inside Track

Begin by measuring from the floor to the center point on the header board where you plan to mount the inside track. Mark this center point with your pencil on the left edge of the header board. Take the measurement again at the center of the header board, then take the measurement one last time on the right edge of the header board.

3. Make a Guideline for the Inside Track

Align your eight-foot level so that the bottom edge runs along all three of the points you’ve previously marked on the header board. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the points are level. Using the bottom edge of the level as a guide, draw a line with your pencil.

4. Make a Guideline for the Bypass Brackets

Measuring up from the first line, make two more lines with the level, parallel to the first. These lines will be used to mark the position of the bypass brackets.

5. Mark the Holes for Mounting the Inside Track

Holding the inside track to the bottom line, mark the location of the spacer holes with your pencil.

6. Mark the Holes for Mounting the Bypass Brackets

Holding your level vertically, mark the point on the second and third lines directly above each point on the first line.

How to Install Bypass Barn Door Hardware

If you’ve taken the time to measure correctly, installing the bypass barn door hardware won’t be difficult. However, this is not a one-person job. When it comes to tasks such as leveling and mounting the bypass tracks and hanging the large wooden panels, we recommend seeking the help of at least one other person.

If at any point during the installation process you begin to feel overwhelmed or unequipped to finish the job, seek out the assistance of a professional contractor. If installed incorrectly, you’ll not only sacrifice the visual appeal of your bypass barn door, but also its functionality.

While many bypass barn door kits come bundled with bypass barn door hardware and door panels, in some instances, bypass barn door hardware and wood panels are sold separately. So, always take the time and make sure that your kit comes with hardware and wood panels.

Once you have your bypass barn door hardware and wood door panels, you’ll need a few tools to successfully perform the installation. This includes:  
  • Tape measure
  • eight-foot level
  • Speed square
  • Wood clamp
  • Pencil
  • Electric drill or screw runner
  • Socket wrench
Now that you’ve acquired these tools, you’re finally ready to begin the bypass barn door hardware installation!

1. Drill Pilot Holes for Mounting Tracks

Using a ⅛” drill bit, drill pilot holes at the marked point along the pencil lines created in the recent section.

2. Slide Door Stoppers onto the Inside Track

Don’t worry about fixing the door stoppers into place yet. We will do this at the end of the installation.

3. Mount the Inside Track

With the assistance of your installation partner, align the inside track with the first pencil line. Then, place the spacers behind the track. Now, align the spacers with the pilot holes in the track and the pilot holes in the header board.
 
Using either a hexagonal drill head or a socket wrench, screw the bolts through the pilot holes of the track and the spacers, and into the pilot holes in the header board.

4. Mount the First Part of the Bypass Brackets

Align the pilot holes of the first part of the bypass bracket with the corresponding pilot holes in the two pencil lines above the inside track.

5. Connect the Second Part of the Bypass Brackets

Using the socket wrench, attach the second part of the bypass brackets to the first part.

6. Align the bypass brackets and tighten them

Place the speed square against the edge of the bypass brackets and align them so that they are vertically square. Use the socket wrench to tighten the bolts of the bypass brackets.

7. Mount the Outside Track

Using the track screws and spacers, mount the outside track to the bypass brackets. Next, tighten the screws.

8. Mark the Pilot Holes for the Door Hangers

Using your speed square, mark the location of the pilot holes for the door hangers on the corners of the wood door panels.

9. Install the Door Hangers

Align the pilot holes of the door hanger with the pencil marks. Next, secure the door hanger to the door panel with the wood clamp. Drill the pilot holes, and affix the door hanger with the hex bolts; tighten the nuts on the front of the door panel.

10. Hang the Door

With the assistance of your installation partner, hang the wood door panels on the bypass tracks.

11. Tighten Door Stoppers

Move the door stoppers to the position where you wish the door panels to stop, then tighten the door stoppers to fix them into position.

12. Plumb the Door Panels

Use your eight-foot level to plumb the door panels.
 

13. Mount the Floor Guide

Once you’ve plumbed the door panels, use the edge of the eight-foot level to mark the desired location of the floor guide. Now, affix the floor guide to the floor by running screws through the pilot holes located on the flared bottom of the floor guide.

You will receive more in-depth installation instructions specific to your bypass barn door model when you order your bypass barn door hardware from BarnDoorHardware.com. 



How Much Should Bypass Barn Doors Overlap?

When installing a sliding bypass barn door, there are a few general rules to keep in mind.

The most important rule is that the door panels should always overlap when closed. The last thing you want is a large, unsightly gap between your bypass barn door panels.

The door panels should also not be too much wider than the door opening, lest the resulting appearance of the bypass barn door looks odd and uneven. This is why it’s important to measure correctly before purchasing your bypass barn door hardware to ensure that your door panels and hardware are the appropriate sizes.

So, how wide should your bypass barn door be?

As a general rule of thumb, the combined width of the wood door panels should equal the width of the door opening, plus one inch. If this is the case, when the outer edges of the door panels are flush with the inner edges of the door frame, the inner edges of the panels should overlap each other by at least a half-inch. There may be some variation depending on the door manufacturer and the particulars of a home’s construction, but the width of the overlap shouldn’t vary too much.

In addition to the half-inch overlap, the door panels of your bypass barn door should close so that one is concealed perfectly behind the other, without its inner or outer edge remaining visible from the front. Adjusting the position of your door stoppers may be necessary to achieve this effect.

Bypass barn door hardware kits are available for the following opening widths: four, five, six, and eight feet. If your door opening was built to a custom dimension, modifications to the hardware kit can be made.

However, if you need to make modifications to your bypass barn door hardware kit, we recommend seeking the help of a professional contractor. Modifications are fairly easy to perform, but it does require the use of special equipment that most homeowners don’t have laying around the garage.

Do Bypass Barn Doors Need a Bottom Track?

While some bypass barn door kits come without the bottom track or present it as “optional,”  we recommend always purchasing a kit that includes a floor guide or a bottom track. The bottom track or floor guide is an important piece that ensures a bypass barn door’s optimal functionality.

Without a floor guide, there is nothing to hold the door panels in place along the threshold of an entryway or closet. While this isn’t a problem when moving the door panels to the left or right, the panels do tend to sway forward or backward. Even a strong cross draft has the potential to cause the panels to sway. Not only will this sway give your bypass barn door the appearance of cheap material or shoddy craftsmanship, but if the door panels were to swing too far in either direction, they could potentially come off of the tracks, possibly resulting in damage to the door, the floor, or even injury to the user!

So, does a bypass barn door need a bottom track? In our opinion, absolutely! While some consider the bottom track or floor guide an afterthought, we recommend taking the time to install it. Trust us, in the end, you’ll be happy you did. It’ll save you time and money in the long run.

Where to Buy Bypass Door Hardware

Purchasing and installing a bypass door doesn’t need to be complicated. On the contrary, we hope this article has demonstrated that the barn door installation process can be quite easy and fun, as long as you take the time to do a little research, measure properly, and consider what style goes best with your home’s interior before making your purchase.

BarnDoorHardware.com offers a broad range of sliding door hardware for you to choose from, including high-quality hardware for bypass barn doors in a wide range of sizes and styles for single, double, and even triple bypass barn door models. When you order your bypass barn door hardware from BarnDoorHardware.com, we provide additional, detailed installation instructions, so you can install your bypass door with as little hassle as possible.




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