Barn doors may be best left on barns. I currently receive about a call a month to inquire about if I can help with a hotel room sliding barn door injury. This is a trend that has continued since hotel designers decided that it would be a great 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 thought that this is any sort of accident waiting to happen. It had been either going to make a pinch injury, a crush incident, or perhaps the door would just fall off of the hanging rail and smash into someone. I was more concerned that unattended children playing with these doors would get seriously injured.
Sure enough, within a month of seeing this sort of door installation, the calls started getting into the workplace. These calls have been ongoing for the last 4 years.
The peculiar part of these installations is there are way too many small hardware component pieces that can become loose and ultimately fall off causing detachment from the door. Various manufacturers use different kinds and qualities of materials to make the doors slide, however, most door systems are subjected to the same problems. They loosen, fall apart, fall off of their track or move away from adjustment leading to serious personal injuries of hotel guests as the sliding doors disconnect using their hanging hardware in one method or another.
What Goes Wrong? Defectively operating hotel room barn doors have formulated injuries in many different ways. Hanger bars have become detached from the wall. Guide rollers and limiters have become disconnected. Screws have gone 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 out of the wall have broken or disconnected completely through the floor. Rust has affected the hardware as a result of moisture from the bathroom, and parts have seized. Glass doors have shattered due to stresses imparted since the door has become pushed into obstructions if they are from alignment.
When depositions of hotel staff are taken plus they are asked about how the barn door systems are maintained, the typical answer is “we don’t do much”. Sometimes they promise that they have boxes of replacement parts left from the original installation, and “once we notice a problem, we go get among those spare parts”. Many hotels claim they make routine inspections of their guest rooms, however i haven’t encountered one hotel that pays the appropriate awareness of these doors, despite an accident incident occurs.
In most hotels the housekeepers are involved in cleaning and preparing the rooms for new guests. Those housekeepers would be the only look for room condition before a new occupancy. Housekeeping concerns are generally confined to quickly checking to determine if the carpet is soiled, trash can liners are in place, your bed sheets are clean, and toiletries will be in devote the toilet. 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 they inspect the rooms with some other hotel personnel on a routine scheduled cycle, however their inspections are frequently very far apart. Quarterly or perhaps monthly room checks are inadequate to counteract the daily changes that occur using the hardware of all barn style doors. I have never seen any information regarding specific barn door hardware inspections. Generally speaking, life safety and room security are definitely 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. There are bracket hangers that are connected to the top of some form of a slab door. Doors can weigh over 200 pounds based on the door width, thickness, and height. The entrance hangers are attached 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 were precut within the glass before tempering. Glass doors have hardware that must definitely be gasketed with rubber or plastic to help keep metal components from making connection with the glass directly. All doors using rollers are held in place with an axel or screws. Next, the rod or bar stock that these rollers proceed has to be properly attached to the wall.
To ensure the carrier rods or bars are safely mounted, there should be steel backing plates or wooden blocking inside the appropriate location in 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 need to be positively located into some formidable blocking materials, and appropriately mounted using proper screws created to maintain the weight from the door and sliding systems. Deformation in the finished drywall surface, due to the weight of improperly designed systems, has created looseness of the hanging tracks, and ultimately triggered barn door failures.
Many barn door carriers have only a high roller and rely upon a bar or piece of metal to help keep the doorway from lifting from the hanging track. More sophisticated systems may have both a high 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 need a slot cut into the foot of the doorway to ensure that a flat plate, screw or t shaped bit of metal will keep the door from swinging diagonally away from the opening when used. Glass barn doors usually have L shaped floor guides to direct the travel from the sliding door. Not all barn door system has this bottom piece of hardware plus some are very weak.
In addition to these basic components, in addition there are additional stop pieces, limiters, snubbers and other regulating pieces that maintain the door on the hanging rod or bar stock, based upon the device, manufacturer, and design of the entrance hardware. Some barn doors are simply glass sheets. These doors are generally tempered or made from laminated safety glass. Moving doors made from glass can spontaneously shatter due to 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 could be affected by previous use, impact from vacuums or any other normal operational conditions. Sometimes holes or slots prepared within the glass that are employed to hang the doors become stressed and the door shatters out of nowhere. Using a sliding glass door includes increased risk of failure since it is a moving part of glass. Glass is usually much less resilient to stresses as a wood or a metal door and adds to the possibility of injury.