Barn doors may be best left on barns. I currently receive about a call a month to ask 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 install sliding type barn doors to separate bathrooms along with other areas from the hotel guest bedroom.
The 1st time I saw a door of the type installed in a newly renovated hotel room, I immediately considered that this was an accident waiting to take place. It was either going to create a pinch injury, a crush incident, or even the door would likely fall off the hanging rail and smash into someone. I was more concerned that unattended children playing with these doors would get seriously injured.
Sure enough, in a month of seeing this sort of door installation, the calls started coming into the workplace. These calls have already been ongoing for the last 4 years.
The peculiar aspect of these installations is there are a lot of small hardware component pieces that can become loose and ultimately fall off causing detachment from the door. Various manufacturers use different types and qualities of materials to create the doors slide, however, most door systems are susceptible to exactly the same problems. They loosen, fall apart, fall from their track or move away from adjustment resulting in serious personal injuries of hotel guests because the sliding doors disconnect from their hanging hardware in one method or another.
What Goes Wrong? Defectively operating hotel room barn doors have formulated injuries in various ways. Hanger bars have become detached from the wall. Guide rollers and limiters are becoming 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 maintain the door from swinging from the wall have broken or disconnected completely from your floor. Rust has affected the hardware because of moisture from the bathroom, and parts have seized. Glass doors have shattered because of stresses imparted since the door has been pushed into obstructions when they are away from alignment.
When depositions of hotel staff are taken and they are generally asked regarding how the barn door systems are maintained, the normal fact is “we don’t do much”. Sometimes they claim that they have boxes of replacement parts left from the original installation, and “once we notice something wrong, we go get among those spare parts”. Many hotels claim that they make routine inspections of their guest rooms, however i haven’t encountered one hotel that pays the needed attention to these doors, even after a physical injury incident occurs.
In most hotels the housekeepers are involved in cleaning and preparing the rooms for brand new guests. Those housekeepers are the only look for room condition prior to a new occupancy. Housekeeping concerns are generally restricted to quickly checking to determine if the carpet is soiled, trash can liners will be in place, your bed sheets are clean, and toiletries have been in devote the bathroom. Housekeepers do not have the skill set, time in the room or training to examine loose hardware on sliding barn doors. Some managers have claimed which they inspect the rooms along with other hotel personnel over a routine scheduled cycle, however inspections are frequently too much apart. Quarterly or even monthly room checks are inadequate to counteract the daily changes that occur with the hardware on many barn style doors. We have never seen any info about specific barn door hardware inspections. Generally, life safety and room security are definitely the extent of any door inspections, if those issues are even evaluated.
What Sort Of Parts Have A Sliding Barn Door? Installations and hardware of such barn door systems often include up to 30 separate components. There are bracket hangers that are connected to the top of the some form of a slab door. Doors can weigh over 200 pounds based upon the door width, thickness, and height. The doorway hangers are attached to a roller of some kind. These rollers can be produced from steel, rubber, plastic or aluminum. Glass doors are hung using slots or holes that were precut inside the glass prior to tempering. Glass doors have hardware that must definitely be gasketed with rubber or plastic to help keep metal components from making contact with the glass directly. All doors using rollers are located in place with an axel or screws. Next, the rod or bar stock these rollers move ahead must be properly attached to the wall.
To ensure that the carrier rods or bars are safely mounted, there has to be steel backing plates or wooden blocking inside the appropriate location in 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 need to be positively located into some formidable blocking materials, and appropriately mounted using proper screws made to keep up with the weight of the door and sliding systems. Deformation of the finished drywall surface, due to the weight of improperly designed systems, has produced looseness from the hanging tracks, and ultimately resulted in barn door failures.
Many barn door carriers just have a high roller and depend on a bar or part of metal to maintain the entrance from lifting off of the hanging track. Some 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 require a slot cut into the base of the doorway so that a flat plate, screw or t shaped piece of metal can keep the entrance from swinging diagonally out of the opening when used. Glass barn doors frequently have L shaped floor guides to direct the travel of the sliding door. Not every barn door system has this bottom piece of hardware plus some are extremely weak.
Along with these basic components, additionally, there are additional stop pieces, limiters, snubbers and other regulating pieces that retain the door on the hanging rod or bar stock, depending upon the system, manufacturer, and style of the entrance hardware. Some barn doors are simply glass sheets. These doors are usually tempered or manufactured from laminated safety glass. Moving doors made of glass can spontaneously shatter because of stresses imparted for the glass around 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 some other normal operational conditions. Sometimes holes or slots prepared in the glass that are used to hang the doors become stressed and also the door shatters without warning. Employing a sliding glass door includes increased risk of failure as it is a moving part of glass. Glass is usually less resilient to stresses as a solid wood or perhaps a metal door and increases the chance of injury.