How To Lock A Sliding Barn Door From The Outside And Inside

Barn doors are not just meant for farms anymore but have made their way into city homes. With their rugged, natural look, sliding barn doors can add a lovely aesthetic to rooms in the home as well as offices. 

When it comes to security, you can use special locks that are designed specifically for barn doors to be used in a home. Some locks will work on both door sides while some will provide privacy from the inside. 

If you want to know more about locking sliding barn doors from both inside and outside, keep reading this article.

Barn Door Lock

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Can You Lock Sliding Barn Doors From The Outside & Inside?  

Yes, it is absolutely possible to do so.  However, this depends on choosing the right lock type for your particular door. Installing the right lock is essential for making sure the door latches properly and is securely closed.

Which Lock Type Should You Use For Both Sides Of A Sliding Barn Door?

The ability to close a sliding door from both sides gives them an additional advantage over other door types.

One barn door lock that operates using a key and can help you open the door from both sides is a barrel side bolt. This is basically a security lock for sliding doors.

The bolt can be directly installed to the sliding barn door. However, the sliding door must have a frame for the lock hardware to be used.

The barrel side bolt can be used with all types of barn door handles and it offers a great level of security. 

How To Lock The Sliding Barn Door From Outside?

If you wish to lock your barn door from the outside, you have several types of lock hardware to choose from. Lets take a look at the best options:

Keyless Entry:

The modern, high tech solution. This lock type is reliable, easy to use and can add a high level of security to your home or apartment. It is usually a good option for busier families and for houses integrated with smart technologies.

This form of lock does not require a traditional key to be opened or closed. Instead, it works with a keyless entry lock and a passcode for entering the room. Making sure you choose a secure passcode is important for making the system super safe.

Door Lock With Key:

This is a more commonly used locking mechanism for sliding barn doors. To lock the door from outside, you simply need a key and door lock.

This is the type of lock you will find on most doors, but is perfect for barn doors as you can use the key and lock from both sides.

How To Lock A Sliding Barn Door From Inside?

An interior door lock can also be installed on your sliding barn door. There are a number of designs and types you can choose from, depending on the look and purpose of your door.

Lets go through some of the most popular ways to lock a sliding door from inside:

90° Flip Latch

If safety your top priority, you should definitely consider a 90° flip latch for locking a door on one side.

You can fit the latch on the right or left side of your barn door.

Generally, this form of lock is used on the inside rather than the outside however it could be used on the outside if necessary.

The latch is usually made from heavy duty stainless steel which is quite sturdy and secure. To lock the door, all you need to do is lift the swinging bar into the fitted square enclosure.

Hook And Eye Latch

If you have a sliding door in your bedroom or bathroom, a hook and eye latch may be the most suitable option for you. It’s simple and basic, but does the job well.

This design allows for quick and convenient locking of doors while offering adequate privacy.

The latch is usually made from solid iron or steel. This is a popular design for sliding barn doors as it also adds a rustic charm.

You can lock the door by simply placing the hooked side into the latch. You can unlock the door by reversing the same process.

It’s not going to be the strongest and most secure lock in this list, but perfect for rooms like bathrooms and bedrooms.

Cane Floor Bolt

A cane floor bolt is another good option for sliding barn doors. However, it has a different mechanism than most locks as it attaches to the floor instead of the door jamb.

The bolt is attached to the barn door and you can lock the door by moving it into a hole drilled into the floor. This keeps the bolt secure and makes it impossible to pull the door open.

There are many different styles and finishes to choose for this particular hardware.

Teardrop Latch

For a stylish look, the teardrop latch is also a great lock design for interior doors. Essentially, it is a triangle shaped steel piece which drops inside a slot to lock or unlock the door.

The locking process for a teardrop latch is quite simple. One portion of the latch attaches to the door and the other connects to the door jamb. When you close the door, the teardrop portion will slide into the latch and keep the door shut.

This makes it effective as a privacy lock for use in bedrooms and bathrooms. 

Pocket Door Lock With Pull

This locking system is ideal for both left and right handed doors and provides excellent security to bedrooms.

As the name suggests it is often used on pocket doors, but can also be used on sliding barn doors.

The locking and unlocking mechanism is very straightforward. Just slide the knob to one side to lock the door and slide it to the other side to unlock it.

How Can I Make My Barn Door More Secure?

You can secure your barn door even more by utilizing additional methods. Before you work on this, make sure to assess the function and purpose of your door and the level of security actually required.

Installing a locking mechanism is the first step to do so. In addition to this, you can also add a blocking bar for extra security. Basically, you can add a wooden or metal bar along the bottom track of your sliding door. 

In case your latching system has been compromised, this bar will act as a physical barrier and make it almost impossible to slide the door panels open.

Another option is a padlock – this would only generally be used on an actual barn door outside though.

Do You Put A Handle On Both Sides Of A Barn Door?

Like any door, barn doors also need a way for you to pull them open and closed. Handles are a great way to do this and they can be placed on both sides of the door.

Although the door slides on its tracks, you need to have a pulling handle on one side and a recessed handle on the other (a lever style door handle won’t work). Make sure that the handles you install are sturdy enough as barn doors can be quite heavy depending on the construction (hollow core or solid).

It is recommended to place the pull handles on the outside, and the recessed or flush handles on the inner side of a single barn door. Depending on the material and style of your barn door, you should opt for matching handles to keep the look cohesive. 

In the case of double sliding barn doors, both pull handles and flush handles have to be placed on each door. 

Does A Barn Door Leave A Gap?

Yes, a barn door naturally leaves a gap as it is installed on a sliding track installed above the doorframe. There is usually a gap between the sliding barn door and the walls, and also at the bottom. 

If this bothers you, you can seal the gaps and make the door more soundproof. Plus, it also provides added protection from air drafts, pollutants and other natural elements.

There are two main ways to go about this:

1. Use Weatherstrips

Weatherstripping works by sealing the door as the strips have a self-adhesive side to stick to gaps in doors and windows. The size of the gap has to be measured before sticking the strips on a wall or door. 

2. Use Expanding Foam Tape

This is also a strip but it is made from compressed foam with an adhesive on one side.

There are different levels of thickness you can get, depending on the size of the gap. So, you should first measure the exact distance between the wall and your barn door.

Once you stick the strip, it expands itself to fill the gaps. For this method to work, you need to do it fast as the foam expands very quickly. 

Final Words

So, now you know there are many different ways to lock a barn door from both inside and outside that adds to its functionality and security.

It’s important to do some homework on whichever lock style you are interested in and make sure it is a suitable choice for your barn door. 

Some important factors you should assess include the material of the door, how often it is used, how durable the locks should be, and if it requires theft-protection or weather-proofing elements. 

We hope you found this article useful and that you are now equipped with the know-how for finding a locking system that works perfectly for your door.