Barn doors might be best left on barns. I currently receive about a call a month to inquire about if I can sort out a hotel sliding barn door injury. This is a trend that has continued since hotel designers decided that it would be an excellent concept to set up 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 the type installed in a newly renovated hotel room, I immediately considered that this is an accident waiting to occur. It was either going to create a pinch injury, a crush incident, or the door would just fall from the hanging rail and smash into someone. I was 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 coming into the workplace. These calls have been ongoing during the last four years.
The peculiar aspect of these installations is that there are a lot of small hardware component pieces that may become loose and ultimately fall off causing detachment in the door. Various manufacturers use different kinds and qualities of materials to help make the doors slide, however, most door systems are susceptible to the same problems. They loosen, collapse, fall away from their track or move away from adjustment ultimately causing serious personal injuries of hotel guests since the sliding doors disconnect using their hanging hardware in one method or another.
What Fails? Defectively operating hotel barn doors have created injuries in various ways. Hanger bars are becoming detached through the wall. Guide rollers and limiters are becoming 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 maintain the door from swinging from the wall have broken or disconnected completely from the floor. Rust has affected the hardware due to moisture from your bathroom, and parts have seized. Glass doors have shattered because of stresses imparted since the door has become pushed into obstructions if they are away from alignment.
When depositions of hotel staff are taken plus they are asked about how exactly the barn door systems are maintained, the typical fact is “we don’t do much”. Sometimes they promise they have boxes of replacement parts left from your 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, having said that i haven’t encountered one hotel that pays the needed awareness of these doors, even after a physical injury incident occurs.
Generally in most hotels the housekeepers are charged with cleaning and preparing the rooms for new guests. Those housekeepers would be the only look for room condition prior to a new occupancy. Housekeeping concerns are often limited to quickly checking to determine if the carpet is soiled, trash can liners have been in place, the bed sheets are clean, and toiletries are in devote the toilet. Housekeepers do not possess the skill set, time inside the room or training to judge loose hardware on sliding barn doors. Some managers have claimed they inspect the rooms with other hotel personnel on a routine scheduled cycle, but 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 have never seen any information regarding specific barn door hardware inspections. In general, 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 as much as 30 separate components. There are bracket hangers that are attached to the top of some kind of a slab door. Doors can weigh over 200 pounds depending upon the door width, thickness, and height. The doorway hangers are affixed to a roller of some type. These rollers can be produced from steel, rubber, plastic or aluminum. Glass doors are hung using slots or holes that have been precut within the glass prior to tempering. Glass doors have hardware that must definitely be gasketed with rubber or plastic to maintain metal components from making contact with the glass directly. All doors using rollers are located in place with the axel or screws. Next, the rod or bar stock these rollers proceed has to be properly connected to the wall.
To ensure that the carrier rods or bars are safely mounted, there must be steel backing plates or wooden blocking inside the appropriate location from the adjacent wall. Sometimes, a renovation in the room has not yet included these backing materials, and the hanging rods are founded into drywall alone. The brackets that mount these rods or brackets must be positively located into some formidable blocking materials, and appropriately mounted using proper screws made to keep up with the weight in the door and sliding systems. Deformation in the finished drywall surface, as a result of weight of improperly designed systems, has created looseness of the hanging tracks, and ultimately resulted in barn door failures.
Many barn door carriers only have a high roller and rely upon a bar or bit of metal to help keep the door from lifting from the hanging track. Some more sophisticated systems might have both a top and bottom roller to limit the movement of the door if the door is inadvertently pushed up by usage. Most wooden or metal barn door hardware sets require a slot cut into the foot of the doorway so that a flat plate, screw or t shaped part of metal will keep the doorway from swinging diagonally out of the opening when used. Glass barn doors often have L shaped floor guides to direct the travel in the sliding door. Not all the barn door system has this bottom part of hardware and some are extremely weak.
Along with these basic components, there are also additional stop pieces, limiters, snubbers as well as other regulating pieces that retain the door on the hanging rod or bar stock, based upon the program, manufacturer, and form of the entrance hardware. Some barn doors are basically glass sheets. These doors are usually tempered or manufactured from laminated safety glass. Moving doors manufactured from glass can spontaneously shatter because of stresses imparted towards the glass as early as when manufactured. Glass doors utilized for these otrwje door installations are like all other glass doors. They may be affected by previous use, impact from vacuums or some other normal operational conditions. Sometimes holes or slots prepared inside the glass that are used to hang the doors become stressed and the door shatters without warning. Employing a sliding glass door includes increased risk of failure as it is a moving piece of glass. Glass is generally much less resilient to stresses being a solid wood or a metal door and enhances the potential for injury.