Barn doors may be better left on barns. I currently receive about a call a month to ask if I can sort out a hotel sliding barn door injury. This is a trend that has continued since hotel designers decided that it might be an excellent concept to install sliding type barn doors to separate bathrooms along with other areas from the hotel guest bedroom.
The very first time I saw a door of this type installed in a newly renovated accommodation, I immediately considered that this was a car accident waiting to take place. It was either going to produce a pinch injury, a crush incident, or perhaps the door would just fall off the hanging rail and smash into someone. I used to be more concerned that unattended children messing around with these doors would get seriously injured.
Sure enough, in a month of seeing this type of door installation, the calls started getting into the office. These calls happen to be ongoing for the last 4 years.
The peculiar element of these installations is that we now have a lot of small hardware component pieces that can become loose and ultimately fall off causing detachment from the door. Various manufacturers use differing types and qualities of materials to create the doors slide, however, most door systems are subject to the same problems. They loosen, break apart, fall from their track or move out of adjustment ultimately causing serious personal injuries of hotel guests because the sliding doors disconnect using their hanging hardware in one method or another.
What Goes Wrong? Defectively operating accommodation barn doors have created injuries in many different ways. Hanger bars are becoming detached from your wall. Guide rollers and limiters have become disconnected. Screws go missing and were unchecked. Door hangers have lost their grip. Rollers have cracked and broken. Rubber stops have disappeared. The base plates and screws that keep the door from swinging from the wall have broken or disconnected completely from your floor. Rust has affected the hardware due to moisture from your bathroom, and parts have seized. Glass doors have shattered as a result of stresses imparted because the door has been pushed into obstructions if they are from alignment.
When depositions of hotel staff are taken and they are generally asked regarding how the barn door systems are maintained, the typical fact is “we don’t do much”. Sometimes they promise that they have boxes of replacement parts left from the original installation, and “whenever we notice something wrong, we go get one of those spare parts”. Many hotels claim they make routine inspections with their guest rooms, but I haven’t encountered one hotel that pays the needed focus on these doors, despite an accident incident occurs.
Generally in most hotels the housekeepers are responsible for cleaning and preparing the rooms for brand new guests. Those housekeepers are the only check for room condition before a new occupancy. Housekeeping concerns are generally restricted to quickly checking to find out if the carpet is soiled, trash can liners have been in place, your bed sheets are clean, and toiletries have been in devote the bathroom. Housekeepers do not possess the skill set, time within the room or training to examine loose hardware on sliding barn doors. Some managers have claimed which they inspect the rooms with some other hotel personnel on a routine scheduled cycle, however their inspections are often too far apart. Quarterly as well as monthly room checks are inadequate to counteract the daily changes that occur with all the hardware on most barn style doors. I actually have never seen any information regarding specific barn door hardware inspections. Generally, life safety and room security are the extent of any door inspections, if those issues are even evaluated.
What Type Of Parts Have A Sliding Barn Door? Installations and hardware of those barn door systems often include approximately 30 separate components. You will find bracket hangers that are affixed to the top of some type of a slab door. Doors can weigh over 200 pounds based on the door width, thickness, and height. The entrance hangers are connected to a roller of some kind. These rollers can be made from steel, rubber, plastic or aluminum. Glass doors are hung using slots or holes that were precut in the glass prior to tempering. Glass doors have hardware that must definitely be gasketed with rubber or plastic to keep metal components from making contact with the glass directly. All doors using rollers are locked in place with an axel or screws. Next, the rod or bar stock these rollers move ahead must be properly linked to the wall.
To ensure that the carrier rods or bars are safely mounted, there has to be steel backing plates or wooden blocking in the appropriate location of the adjacent wall. Sometimes, a renovation from the room has not yet included these backing materials, and also the hanging rods are founded into drywall alone. The brackets that mount these rods or brackets have to be positively located into some formidable blocking materials, and appropriately mounted using proper screws made to keep up with the weight from the door and sliding systems. Deformation in the finished drywall surface, because of the weight of improperly designed systems, has created looseness of the hanging tracks, and ultimately resulted in barn door failures.
Many barn door carriers have only a high roller and depend on a bar or part of metal to maintain the entrance from lifting off of the hanging track. More sophisticated systems could have both a top-notch and bottom roller to limit the movement of the door once the door is inadvertently pushed up by usage. Most wooden or metal barn door hardware sets require a slot cut into the base of the door so that a flat plate, screw or t shaped part of metal will keep the doorway from swinging diagonally from the opening when used. Glass barn doors usually have L shaped floor guides to direct the travel of the sliding door. Not all the barn door system has this bottom part of hardware plus some are incredibly weak.
As well as these basic components, there are also additional stop pieces, limiters, snubbers and other regulating pieces that retain the door on the hanging rod or bar stock, based upon the device, manufacturer, and style of the door hardware. Some barn doors are just glass sheets. These doors are generally tempered or manufactured from laminated safety glass. Moving doors made of glass can spontaneously shatter because of stresses imparted for the glass as soon as when manufactured. Glass doors employed for these otrwje door installations are like all other glass doors. They may be affected by previous use, impact from vacuums or any other normal operational conditions. Sometimes holes or slots prepared inside the glass that are used to hang the doors become stressed and also the door shatters without warning. Utilizing a sliding glass door includes increased chance of failure as it is a moving bit of glass. Glass is generally not as resilient to stresses as a solid wood or a metal door and adds to the potential for injury.