​Barn Door Pros and Cons: A Guide to Help You Decide

Posted by The Barn Door Hardware Store on Feb 16th 2024

In the domain of interior design, barn doors have recently reentered the style cycle. This could be despite or because of their rustic, agricultural origins (we haven’t quite made our minds up on this!).

These sliding statement pieces tastefully blend form and function, adding a touch of charm while maximizing space extremely efficiently.

However, this isn’t to say that barn doors are entirely without fault, and certain considerations must be made on the function you want your door to play in your space.

With the help of our extensive list of pros and cons in this article, we hope to steer you in the right direction to make an informed decision on your big barn door decision. Let’s get right into it!


The Pros of Barn Doors

Barn doors, as you may have already gathered, are very trendy fittings as of late.

They were initially the preferred door choice for farmers needing to move livestock into or out of a barn but lacked the space to swing open a door.

Nowadays, they are used positively everywhere!

We think there are some good reasons for this widespread adoption of barn doors. Despite their agricultural history, they retain the space-saving qualities they were heralded for back in the day – along with looking pretty stylish.

Here are some of the biggest positives of using barn doors in your home environment:

Space-saving solution

The reason why barn doors exist in the first place (more or less) is because of their space-saving properties.

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve entered a room that only has enough space to allow for a regular door to open and close (think bathrooms or perhaps pantries).

The nature of a barn door means none of its surface area impinges on the space in either of the connected rooms; simply roll the door to the side and enjoy maximizing the space in both!

Aesthetically pleasing

We’ve established why barn doors were invented, so now let's discuss the main reason why they have returned with such aplomb: because they look simply amazing!

Seriously– what's not to love about a good barn door?

The rustic reinforced timbre hung artfully on a sleek track offers a tasteful hit of rustic style, but can just as easily provide a hit of modernity depending on the materials and color combinations you opt for.


Barn doors can be used in a whole range of settings and can be made to suit a wide range of styles.

Whether you’re looking for a sleek indoor fitting or a more faithful reinterpretation of early barn doors on an outhouse or shed, we trust you’ll find a use for a barn door that works uniquely for you!

Easy installation

Another benefit to barn doors is their relatively painless installation compared to other types of doors – so much so that anybody can install their own with the right barn door equipment!

Namely, you’ll likely need the door track kit and a few simple tools.

Variety of designs and materials

The aesthetic nature and versatility of the barn doors mean they can be seamlessly incorporated into a host of different architectural and interior design styles from industrial and traditional to Scandinavian or maximalist!

You’ll be spoilt for choice installing your barn door in a huge range of different contexts.

The Cons of Barn Doors

Now, despite their obvious pros, there are two sides to every barn door – and there are some cons as well. These are as follows:

Limited privacy

Barn doors, by nature, are not the best option if you value privacy – especially if you’re considering your options for a bathroom/toilet!

It isn’t unheard of for a barn door to slide open of its own accord if your floor isn’t completely flat (a bigger issue in older houses) or you don't have a latch of some sort to keep it closed.

Your latch options will be limited for barn doors due to their sliding nature – a key aspect to keep in mind.

Noise pollution

This is another rather large downside to barn doors: their rather non-existent noise-canceling properties!

A couple of potential workarounds for this issue include proper insulation, as well as simply installing a thicker door. Again, if considering a barn door for a bathroom/toilet, this is a big factor to keep in mind.

Limited insulation

While this is a big drawback when considering exterior barn doors (think for an outhouse/shed), it can be just as much of a problem with interior barn doors as well.

The main thing to consider is heat loss, which will have a direct impact on the energy efficiency of your household.

However, noise pollution is another factor affected by a lack of insulation.

Weatherstripping is a common workaround when it comes to barn doors’ insulation drawbacks; we recommend consulting a professional about all possible insulation options before committing to installing a barn door in your home. We have written a guide on Barn Door Insulation; feel free to check that out.


Cost is a factor for almost all of us, whether we like it or not – and barn doors can be expensive, just like any other door!

However, there is a wide variety of styles, hardware, and therefore price points to consider when looking into barn doors.

If you do your research well, we trust you’ll be able to find a great barn door that works within your budget.

Making the Decision

So, you’ve come this far, and you may be seriously tossing up the pros and cons of getting a barn door.

And you’d be right to do so; for all the benefits, there are some potentially significant drawbacks to these doors.

We recommend that if you are considering a barn door for your home, you should check out our barn doors and barn door hardware to see if we have a solution for your door problems. Our range means we may have exactly what you need!

As far as installation goes, there are some factors you are going to want to keep in mind. These are:

Assessing the available space

Barn doors are great options if you’re working with a tight space budget.

However, there are other factors to consider as well such as wall space, the existing door frame, and any furniture positioned nearby.

Determining the desired level of privacy

As has been discussed, barn doors aren’t amazing options when it comes to privacy; stricter latch requirements and noise pollution play a big part in this.

If privacy is something you value strongly and still want to give a barn door a go, we recommend looking into professional insulation options.

Analyzing the existing interior design

Barn doors are extremely versatile. With this being said, the type of door, rollers and track you opt for may depend on the existing interior design of your home/space!

Understanding what will work well with this style is recommended, but also not completely necessary.

If you have your eye on a specific barn door, why not go for it? There are no rules!

Budget considerations for both initial investment and potential long-term maintenance

Like all doors, barn doors can range from relatively cheap to very expensive.

Work within your financial means, and keep in mind that maintenance over time is something that you may also have to factor in (as you would have to with any door)!