I love a good bard door, especially a salvaged one. What I am not such a big fan of is that extra piece of wood you usually see under the track, the header. This is why I am sharing with you how to install a barn door without a header. It's a personal preference I had for this space, so I am going to walk you through how we accomplished it.
Finding the Perfect Barn Door
The image below is our living room before we made any changes to it. The door you see in this photo leads to the front door, and on either side of the hallway is a bedroom.
The problem we were trying to solve here was a very dark and closed off front entryway hall. Initially, we were just going to remove the door altogether, what stopped us was the convenience it brought with soundproofing.
If one of the girls was napping it was very helpful to shut the door and muffle the noise. Given that we live in a bungalow, sound travels easier than if a child was napping on an upper level.
Our solution to this was to find a glass door, one that would block out noise and still let light pass through. We found this beautiful door, you'll have to use your imagination for a second, at our local thrift store. I forgot to mention, we paid a grand total of $25 for it!!
After hours of sanding, our door turned out like this! We actually turned it on its end so that we could use the larger wood bottom to attach our hardware.
How to Install a Barn Door Without A Header
The header is the slab of wood you apply to the studs, and then the door hardware attaches to the header. The reason for this is because not all wall studs will be in the perfect position to just attach the track right to the wall. The header allows the manufacture to design a track that will work for all homes.
There is no problem with having a header, but in our case, I didn't want one for design purposes. I wanted the shiplap to be the feature and not have to worry about adding an extra slab of wood.
This may look a little intimidating but it was actually super simple. All we did was cut a section of the wall open where the track was going to be installed. After exposing the studs we put in vertical supports that correspond with the holes on the hardware.
Cutting the wall open gave us an opportunity to practice drywalling without concern. Our plan was to shiplap this wall, so we knew our drywall work didn't need to be perfect. A perfect opportunity to practice a new skill!
There you have it, a barn door without a header. This was totally done for cosmetic design and would have taken a lot less time to install if we had gone with a header. But I am so glad we went to all the extra work to avoid a header, the design turned out clean and simple just the way I imagined.