Can hollow core doors be used as barn doors?

Hollow core doors are used widely throughout houses as they are less expensive and lighter than solid core doors. While they are not completely hollow, they are usually filled with a combination of materials or a honeycomb cardboard with a veneer exterior. This makes hollow core doors less dense than solid doors and therefore lighter and normally suited for pantries and wardrobes.

Solid doors are more often preferred in areas where thermal and noise installation is required

using hollow core doors as barn doors

How to tell if a door is solid or hollow core.

Basically, it all comes down to weight. If a standard-sized door is really easy to lift. It's most likely a hollow core door. Another method to determine if your door is solid or hollow core is by tapping or knocking on the door and listening to the sound it makes. As hollow core doors have an internal frame, tapping on the edge will sound very different to the middle of the door where it would be hollow.

Using a hollow core door as a barn door.

Hollow core doors can be used as sliding barn doors and many of our customers have had great success in using or converting a hollow core door into a barn door. Before you go further, there are a few points to consider.

Firstly, as mentioned above, hollow core doors are significantly lighter than solid doors. Because barn door systems are top hung, they do require some weight to keep positive contact between the roller wheels and track rail especially with soft close systems.

Soft close barn door systems use a latch on the top of the door to ‘catch’ the door. On very light doors this catching action can tend to jump the door up off the track. All of Estrada barn door systems use safety features to ensure the door will not jump off the track however the soft close action may not be as positive on extremely light hollow core doors.

Secondly, the rollers on barn doors are attached to the door by bolting through the door. At Estrada we use a very unique system where a threaded insert is fitted into the timber of the door therefore eliminating the use of large bolts and dome nuts which can often interfere with the wall or require extensive packing out to gain the clearance required.

attaching barn door roller to hollow core door

As hollow core doors have framing inside them, the method we uses to attach the rollers can often still be used. If the framing of the door is not wide enough, meaning the fixing of the roller will be through the hollow section of the door, an alternative method of fixing the rollers can be used - just make contact with us first.

Use a hinged hollow core door as a barn door.

If you want to re-purpose a hollow core door as a barn door it may require adding extra panels to make it wider or taller to cover the door opening. This can be an ideal option as it’s a cost-effective alternative to a new barn door and will add solid fixing for the rollers while adding some weight to the door.

If you have any questions about using your original hollow door as a barn sliding door send us an email and we would be happy to help.

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