Barn doors may be better left on barns. I currently receive about a call a month to question if I can sort out a hotel sliding barn door injury. This is a trend that has continued since hotel designers decided that it might be a great concept to install sliding type barn doors to separate bathrooms along with other areas from the hotel guest bedroom.
The first time I saw a door of this type installed in a newly renovated hotel, I immediately thought that it was a car accident waiting to occur. It absolutely was either going to produce a pinch injury, a crush incident, or even the door would certainly 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, inside a month of seeing this type of door installation, the calls started coming into the workplace. These calls happen to be ongoing for the last 4 years.
The peculiar part of these installations is there are too many small hardware component pieces that will become loose and ultimately fall off causing detachment of the door. Various manufacturers use differing types and qualities of materials to help make the doors slide, however, most door systems are susceptible to the identical problems. They loosen, break apart, fall from their track or move out of adjustment leading to serious personal injuries of hotel guests since the sliding doors disconnect off their hanging hardware in one way or another.
What Fails? Defectively operating accommodation barn doors have formulated injuries in several ways. Hanger bars have become detached from the 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 your door from swinging from the wall have broken or disconnected completely through the floor. Rust has affected the hardware due to moisture from your bathroom, and parts have seized. Glass doors have shattered due to stresses imparted as the door has been pushed into obstructions if they are out of alignment.
When depositions of hotel staff are taken and they are generally asked about how exactly the barn door systems are maintained, the normal answer is “we don’t do much”. Sometimes they promise they may have boxes of replacement parts left through the original installation, and “whenever we notice something wrong, we go get one of those spares”. Many hotels claim they make routine inspections of their guest rooms, but I haven’t encountered one hotel that pays the needed awareness of these doors, even though a physical injury incident occurs.
Generally 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 prior to a new occupancy. Housekeeping concerns are generally limited to quickly checking to see if the carpet is soiled, trash can liners will be in place, the bed sheets are clean, and toiletries have been in spot in the restroom. Housekeepers do not have 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 some other hotel personnel on the routine scheduled cycle, but their inspections are often too much apart. Quarterly as well as monthly room checks are inadequate to counteract the daily changes that occur with all the hardware of all barn style doors. We have never seen any information regarding specific barn door hardware inspections. Generally, life safety and room security would be the extent for any door inspections, if those issues are even evaluated.
What Type Of Parts Have A Sliding Barn Door? Installations and hardware of such barn door systems often include approximately 30 separate components. You can find bracket hangers that are attached to the top of some form of a slab door. Doors can weigh over 200 pounds based upon the entrance width, thickness, and height. The door 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 were precut within the glass prior to tempering. Glass doors have hardware that must 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 having an axel or screws. Next, the rod or bar stock that these rollers proceed must be properly linked to the wall.
To make sure that the carrier rods or bars are safely mounted, there has to be steel backing plates or wooden blocking within the appropriate location in the adjacent wall. Sometimes, a renovation from 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 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 in the hanging tracks, and ultimately led to barn door failures.
Many barn door carriers only have a top-notch roller and depend on a bar or piece of metal to maintain the entrance from lifting off of the hanging track. Even more sophisticated systems might have both a high and bottom roller to limit the movement in 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 bottom of the door in order that a flat plate, screw or t shaped part of metal will 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 and some are incredibly weak.
As well as these basic components, there are also additional stop pieces, limiters, snubbers and other regulating pieces that keep up with the door on the hanging rod or bar stock, depending upon the device, manufacturer, and form of the entrance hardware. Some barn doors are simply glass sheets. These doors are often tempered or manufactured from laminated safety glass. Moving doors made of glass can spontaneously shatter due to stresses imparted to the glass around when manufactured. Glass doors used for these otrwje door installations are as with other glass doors. They may be affected by previous use, impact from vacuums or some other normal operational conditions. Sometimes holes or slots prepared in the glass that are employed to hang the doors become stressed as well as the door shatters without warning. Employing a sliding glass door comes along with increased probability of failure as it is a moving part of glass. Glass is generally not as resilient to stresses being a solid wood or perhaps a metal door and adds to the chance of injury.