Barn doors might be better left on barns. I currently receive about a call a month to question if I can help with a accommodation sliding barn door injury. This is a trend that has continued since hotel designers decided that it would be an excellent concept to install sliding type barn doors to separate bathrooms as well as other areas from the hotel guest bedroom.
The very first time I saw a door with this type installed in a newly renovated hotel room, I immediately thought that it was any sort of accident waiting to take place. It was either going to make a pinch injury, a crush incident, or even the door would just fall off of the hanging rail and smash into someone. I used to be more concerned that unattended children having fun with these doors would get seriously injured.
Sure enough, in a month of seeing this sort of door installation, the calls started coming into work. These calls happen to be ongoing for the past four years.
The peculiar part of these installations is that we now have too many small hardware component pieces that can become loose and ultimately fall off causing detachment in the door. Various manufacturers use different kinds and qualities of materials to make the doors slide, however, most door systems are susceptible to the identical problems. They loosen, collapse, fall away from their track or move from adjustment ultimately causing serious personal injuries of hotel guests as the sliding doors disconnect from their hanging hardware in one way or another.
What Goes Wrong? Defectively operating hotel room barn doors have created injuries in various ways. Hanger bars have grown to be detached through the 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 your door from swinging away from the wall have broken or disconnected completely from the floor. Rust has affected the hardware due to moisture from the bathroom, and parts have seized. Glass doors have shattered due to stresses imparted as the door continues to be pushed into obstructions while 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 claim they may have boxes of replacement parts left from your original installation, and “when we notice something wrong, we go get one of those spare parts”. Many hotels claim that they make routine inspections of the guest rooms, but I haven’t encountered one hotel that pays the appropriate focus on these doors, even though an accident incident occurs.
In most hotels the housekeepers are charged with cleaning and preparing the rooms for first time guests. Those housekeepers would be the only check for room condition prior to a new occupancy. Housekeeping concerns are often restricted to quickly checking to see if the carpet is soiled, trash can liners have been in place, your bed sheets are clean, and toiletries have been in place in the restroom. Housekeepers do not possess the skill set, time in the room or training to evaluate loose hardware on sliding barn doors. Some managers have claimed which they inspect the rooms with other hotel personnel over a routine scheduled cycle, however inspections are often very far apart. Quarterly or even monthly room checks are inadequate to counteract the daily changes that occur using the hardware on many barn style doors. We have never seen any info on specific barn door hardware inspections. Generally speaking, life safety and room security would be the extent for any door inspections, if those issues are even evaluated.
What Kind Of Parts Have A Sliding Barn Door? Installations and hardware of such barn door systems often include approximately 30 separate components. You can find bracket hangers that are connected to the top of some type of a slab door. Doors can weigh over 200 pounds depending upon the doorway width, thickness, and height. The door hangers are attached to a roller of some kind. These rollers can be created from steel, rubber, plastic or aluminum. Glass doors are hung using slots or holes that were precut inside the glass prior to tempering. Glass doors have hardware that must definitely be gasketed with rubber or plastic to maintain metal components from making exposure to the glass directly. All doors using rollers are located in place with an axel or screws. Next, the rod or bar stock that these particular rollers proceed should be properly attached 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 from the adjacent wall. Sometimes, a renovation from the room has not included these backing materials, and 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 created to retain the weight of the door and sliding systems. Deformation from the finished drywall surface, due to the weight of improperly designed systems, has created looseness in the hanging tracks, and ultimately resulted in barn door failures.
Many barn door carriers have only a top-notch roller and rely upon a bar or part of metal to keep the doorway from lifting off of the hanging track. Some more sophisticated systems may have both a top and bottom roller to limit the movement from the door if the door is inadvertently pushed up by usage. Most wooden or metal barn door hardware sets demand a slot cut into the foot of the door in order that a flat plate, screw or t shaped bit of metal can keep the doorway from swinging diagonally out of the opening when used. Glass barn doors usually have L shaped floor guides to direct the travel from the sliding door. Not every barn door system has this bottom bit of hardware and some are extremely weak.
In addition to these basic components, additionally, there are additional stop pieces, limiters, snubbers as well as other regulating pieces that retain the door on the hanging rod or bar stock, based on the program, manufacturer, and design of the door hardware. Some barn doors are simply glass sheets. These doors are generally tempered or manufactured from laminated safety glass. Moving doors made from glass can spontaneously shatter as a result of stresses imparted for the glass as soon as when manufactured. Glass doors used for these otrwje door installations are as with other glass doors. They can be affected by previous use, impact from vacuums or some other normal operational conditions. Sometimes holes or slots prepared inside the glass that are utilized to hang the doors become stressed and also the door shatters without warning. Utilizing a sliding glass door includes increased chance of failure since it is a moving part of glass. Glass is usually not as resilient to stresses as a solid wood or perhaps a metal door and increases the chance of injury.