Barn doors may be better left on barns. I currently receive about a call a month to ask if I can deal with a hotel room sliding barn door injury. This is a trend that has continued since hotel designers decided that it would be an excellent concept to install sliding type barn doors to separate bathrooms as well as other areas from the hotel guest bedroom.
The very first time I saw a door of this type installed in a newly renovated hotel, I immediately thought that it was any sort of accident waiting to happen. It was either going to make a pinch injury, a crush incident, or the door would likely fall from the hanging rail and smash into someone. I used to be more concerned that unattended children having fun with these doors would get seriously injured.
Sure enough, within a month of seeing this type of door installation, the calls started coming into work. These calls have already been ongoing for the last four years.
The peculiar element of these installations is that there are way too many small hardware component pieces that may become loose and ultimately fall off causing detachment from the door. Various manufacturers use differing types and qualities of materials to make the doors slide, however, most door systems are subject to the identical problems. They loosen, break apart, fall away from their track or move out of adjustment resulting in serious personal injuries of hotel guests since the sliding doors disconnect using their hanging hardware in one method or another.
What Goes Completely Wrong? Defectively operating accommodation barn doors have formulated injuries in several ways. Hanger bars have grown to be detached from your wall. Guide rollers and limiters have grown to be 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 away from the wall have broken or disconnected completely from your floor. Rust has affected the hardware as a result of moisture through the bathroom, and parts have seized. Glass doors have shattered because of stresses imparted because the door continues to be pushed into obstructions while 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 response 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 a problem, we go get one of those spare parts”. Many hotels claim they make routine inspections of their guest rooms, having said that i haven’t encountered one hotel that pays the needed attention to these doors, despite a physical injury incident occurs.
In many hotels the housekeepers are charged with cleaning and preparing the rooms for first time guests. Those housekeepers would be the only look for room condition prior to a new occupancy. Housekeeping concerns are usually limited to quickly checking to determine if the carpet is soiled, trash can liners have been in place, your bed sheets are clean, and toiletries will be in spot in the bathroom. Housekeepers do not possess 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, however inspections are frequently very far apart. Quarterly or perhaps monthly room checks are inadequate to counteract the daily changes that occur using the hardware on most barn style doors. We have never seen any info about specific barn door hardware inspections. In general, life safety and room security are 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 attached to the top of some type 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 sort. These rollers can be made from steel, rubber, plastic or aluminum. Glass doors are hung using slots or holes that were precut inside the glass before tempering. Glass doors have hardware that must be gasketed with rubber or plastic to maintain 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 particular rollers proceed 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 in the appropriate location from 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 designed to maintain the weight from the door and sliding systems. Deformation from the finished drywall surface, because of the weight of improperly designed systems, has created looseness from the hanging tracks, and ultimately resulted in barn door failures.
Many barn door carriers have only a top-notch roller and rely upon a bar or part of metal to help keep the door from lifting off the hanging track. Some more sophisticated systems may have both a high and bottom roller to limit the movement in the door when 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 door in order that a flat plate, screw or t shaped bit of metal can keep the doorway from swinging diagonally away from the opening when used. Glass barn doors frequently have L shaped floor guides to direct the travel in the sliding door. Not all the barn door system has this bottom piece of hardware and some are very 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, based on the device, manufacturer, and design of the doorway hardware. Some barn doors are basically glass sheets. These doors are often tempered or made from laminated safety glass. Moving doors made from glass can spontaneously shatter as a result of stresses imparted towards the glass as soon as when manufactured. Glass doors employed for these otrwje door installations are like all other glass doors. They can be afflicted with previous use, impact from vacuums or any other normal operational conditions. Sometimes holes or slots prepared inside the glass that are used to hang the doors become stressed as well as the door shatters unexpectedly. Utilizing a sliding glass door includes increased chance of failure since it is a moving bit of glass. Glass is normally much less resilient to stresses as being a wood or a metal door and increases the potential for injury.