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Maximizing Space: Barn Doors For Small Bathrooms

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

A blue barn door in front of a modern bathroom.
Bathroom Barn Door

When it comes to home design, small spaces can present a unique set of challenges. Small bathrooms, in particular, can feel cramped and limited in terms of functionality. However, there are unique solutions that can help you make the most of your space. One such solution is replacing the traditional hinged bathroom door with a barn door for your small bathroom. At times a regular door will hinder the available space in a small bathroom.

In this blog post, we'll explore why some small bathrooms can be facilitated with a barn door rather than a regular door, and the advantages they offer in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

Space-Saving Elegance

Small bathrooms often require innovative design choices to maximize every square inch. A barn door can be an elegant space-saving solution that adds character to your bathroom. Unlike traditional doors that swing open into the room, barn doors slide along a track mounted above the doorway. This means that you don't need to account for the clearance space required by a swinging door, making them ideal for bathrooms with limited square footage.

Aesthetic Appeal

Barn doors come in a variety of styles, materials, and finishes, making it easy to find one that complements your small bathroom's decor. Whether you prefer a rustic, farmhouse look or a sleek, modern design, there's a barn door style to match. The visual impact of a barn door can transform your small bathroom from ordinary to extraordinary, becoming a focal point that adds character and charm.

A nice barn door in front of a bathroom.
Bathroom Barn Door

Space Efficiency

One of the key advantages of barn doors in small bathrooms is their space efficiency. With a traditional hinged door, you need to allocate space for the door's swing, which can be problematic in tight quarters. Barn doors, with their unique hardware, allow the door to slide horizontally, requiring no extra space for clearance. This means you can utilize the area that would have been occupied by a swinging door for other purposes, such as storage or additional fixtures.


Barn doors are also more accessible than traditional doors. Full use of the doorway opening in your small bathrooms can make it easier for people with mobility challenges to enter and exit the bathroom comfortably. This can be especially important if you or a family member have specific accessibility needs or if you're planning for the future when accessibility might become a concern.

DIY Friendly

Installing a barn door can be a DIY project for those with moderate handyman skills. There are many online tutorials and kits available that provide step-by-step instructions. However, if you're not confident in your DIY abilities, it's best to hire a professional to install your barn door in your small bathroom to ensure the door is properly installed and functions smoothly.

Planning Ahead

Before setting plans to install a barn door measure the available space on the wall beside the door. It will have to provide the same width as the width of your door. Ideally you will want a door a few inches wider than your door opening so that it will cover the opening entirely. For example, if your door is 32" wide, a 36" door can be hung as a barn door.

Standard barn doors can range up to 46" wide and, depending upon the structure and material, can be quite heavy. Below are several You Tube videos showing how standard interior doors can be used with barn door hardware and how a barn door can be built from scratch to match the size of door that you require for your particular situation. A favorite brand of ours is SmartStandard which provides multiple lengths of hardware to accommodate the different door widths.

It is always best to plan on installing a 1" x 4" backer board to which the track will be attached. The backer board is attached to the studs and the track is bolted to the board. The board can be approximately 4" longer than the guide track allowing 2" on each end past the end of the track.

Here is one final link you can view which shows a unique way to make a barn door using an existing door!


In the world of small bathroom design, every inch counts. Barn doors offer an elegant and practical solution for making the most of limited space. Their space-saving design, aesthetic appeal, and accessibility benefits make them a popular choice among homeowners looking to maximize the functionality and style of their small bathrooms. So, if you're considering a bathroom renovation or just looking for ways to improve your small bathroom's design, consider replacing your traditional door with a barn door – a decision that can open up a world of possibilities in your bathroom space.

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