Install the Backer Board and Metal Track

The first step in how to install a barn door is to install the metal track. You may also need to install a backer board for the metal track, since a barn door requires one inch of space between it and the wall. A backer board beneath the track will create the  gap you need. If you have concrete walls, no backer board is needed. 

First, prepare the backer board if you need one:

  • If you need a backer board, use a piece of pressure-treated lumber that is 1-inch thick. Cut it to the length and width needed to accommodate your barn door’s track. 
  • Paint the backer board to match either your wall or trim color. It’s easiest to paint the board when it’s lying on a flat work surface or on a sawhorse.  

Find and mark the wall studs, then use a drill to pre-drill the screw holes in the backer board:

  • Locate the wall studs using a stud finder. Mark the studs above the doorway. For single doors, start about 3 or 4 inches up on the hinge side of the door opening and continue for the length of the backer board. For double doors, locate the studs on both sides of the door opening. 
  • Hold the backer board level and transfer the stud locations to the board. The position of the board is usually indicated in the hardware directions. It should account for the height of the door, with extra space to allow for small gaps between the door and backer board, and the bottom of the door and the floor. 
  • Pre-drill holes at the marked stud locations on the backer board. Use a countersink bit to drill two holes at each stud location.  
  • Clamp the metal track to the backer board, per the manufacturer’s instructions. Drill starter holes at each hole in the track. Set the track aside for now. 

Attach the backer board to the wall:

  • Working with a partner, screw one end of the board to the studs using a wood screw. The screw heads should be just below the surface of the wood. 
  • Making sure the board stays level, screw in the remaining wood screws. 
  • Cover screw heads with wood filler and touch up with paint, if necessary. 

Attach the metal track to the backer board or the concrete wall: 

  • Align the metal track with the holes you drilled in the backer board. Attach the track to the backer board using the provided spaces, lag bolts and washers. Use a wrench to tighten the lag bolts. 
  • If you’re installing the metal track directly onto a concrete wall and didn’t use a backer board, level the track in the desired location. Mark the mounting holes on the concrete surface. Use a masonry bit to pre-drill the fastener holes. A barn door hardware kit should contain masonry anchors and lag bolts to install the track. 
  • Whether you used a backer board or not, install stoppers on the metal track. Slide the door stoppers onto each end of the track. Tighten the set screw or tighten using the hex key provided with your kit.