Barn doors may be best left on barns. I currently receive about a call a month to question if I can sort out a hotel room sliding barn door injury. This is a trend that has continued since hotel designers decided that it will be a great concept to set up sliding type barn doors to separate bathrooms as well as other areas from the hotel guest bedroom.
The 1st time I saw a door of the type installed in a newly renovated hotel, I immediately believed that this was any sort of accident waiting to happen. It had been either going to make a pinch injury, a crush incident, or the door would just fall off of 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 sort of door installation, the calls started getting into the office. These calls have been ongoing during the last 4 years.
The peculiar aspect of these installations is there are too many small hardware component pieces that can become loose and ultimately fall off causing detachment of the door. Various manufacturers use different kinds and qualities of materials to make the doors slide, however, most door systems are susceptible to the same problems. They loosen, break apart, fall off of their track or move away from adjustment resulting in serious personal injuries of hotel guests since the sliding doors disconnect off their hanging hardware in one way or another.
What Goes Completely Wrong? Defectively operating accommodation barn doors have formulated 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 away from the wall have broken or disconnected completely from your floor. Rust has affected the hardware because of moisture from your bathroom, and parts have seized. Glass doors have shattered as a result of stresses imparted because the door continues to be pushed into obstructions if they are away from alignment.
When depositions of hotel staff are taken plus they are asked regarding how the barn door systems are maintained, the typical fact is “we don’t do much”. Sometimes they claim that they have boxes of replacement parts left from your original installation, and “whenever we notice something wrong, we go get one of those particular spare parts”. Many hotels claim they make routine inspections of their guest rooms, but I haven’t encountered one hotel that pays the needed attention to these doors, despite an injury incident occurs.
In many hotels the housekeepers are responsible for cleaning and preparing the rooms for brand new guests. Those housekeepers are definitely the only search for room condition prior to a new occupancy. Housekeeping concerns are usually limited to quickly checking to see if the carpet is soiled, trash can liners have been in place, your bed sheets are clean, and toiletries will be in devote the restroom. Housekeepers do not have the skill set, time within the room or training to judge loose hardware on sliding barn doors. Some managers have claimed they inspect the rooms with some other hotel personnel over a routine scheduled cycle, however inspections are frequently very far apart. Quarterly or even monthly room checks are inadequate to counteract the daily changes that occur with all the hardware of all 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 of any door inspections, if those issues are even evaluated.
What Type Of Parts Are On A Sliding Barn Door? Installations and hardware of those barn door systems often include as much as 30 separate components. There are bracket hangers that are connected to the top of the some kind of a slab door. Doors can weigh over 200 pounds based on the door width, thickness, and height. The door hangers are attached to a roller of some type. These rollers can be created from steel, rubber, plastic or aluminum. Glass doors are hung using slots or holes which have been precut in the glass before tempering. Glass doors have hardware that really must 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 the axel or screws. Next, the rod or bar stock that these rollers proceed has to be properly linked to the wall.
To ensure the carrier rods or bars are safely mounted, there should be steel backing plates or wooden blocking in the appropriate location from the adjacent wall. Sometimes, a renovation in 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 need to be positively located into some formidable blocking materials, and appropriately mounted using proper screws designed to retain the weight of the door and sliding systems. Deformation in the finished drywall surface, due to the weight of improperly designed systems, has produced looseness of the hanging tracks, and ultimately resulted in barn door failures.
Many barn door carriers have only a high roller and rely upon a bar or part of metal to maintain the entrance from lifting from the hanging track. Some more sophisticated systems could have both a top-notch 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 need a slot cut into the foot of the entrance to ensure that a flat plate, screw or t shaped bit of metal are able to keep the entrance from swinging diagonally away from the opening when used. Glass barn doors usually 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 plus some are incredibly weak.
Along with these basic components, in addition there are additional stop pieces, limiters, snubbers along with other regulating pieces that keep up with the door on the hanging rod or bar stock, depending upon the program, manufacturer, and design of the doorway hardware. Some barn doors are simply glass sheets. These doors are usually tempered or made from laminated safety glass. Moving doors made from glass can spontaneously shatter due to stresses imparted to the glass as early as when manufactured. Glass doors used for these otrwje door installations are like all other glass doors. They could be affected by previous use, impact from vacuums or other normal operational conditions. Sometimes holes or slots prepared in the glass that are utilized to hang the doors become stressed and the door shatters without warning. Employing a sliding glass door comes along with increased probability of failure because it is a moving bit of glass. Glass is generally not as resilient to stresses as being a solid wood or even a metal door and adds to the chance of injury.