HEADER BOARD INSTALLATION METHOD (most common)
Installing a header board when installing a barn door is an important step to ensure that the door is securely mounted and will function properly. Here are the general steps to follow:
Measure and cut your header board to the appropriate length. The board should be at least as long as the rail you are using with your door, and ideally a little bit longer to provide some additional support.
Determine where you want to position the header board above the opening. Typically, it should be positioned so that the top of the board is slightly above the current trim- typically 1”. The header board should be 3.75” wide or wider and 0.75” thick – minimum. It must be wood (finger jointed is fine) not MDF
Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall above the opening. Mark their location on the wall with a pencil.
Hold the header board in place above the opening, making sure it is level. Use a drill to make pilot holes through the board and into the wall studs.
Secure the header board to the wall studs using wood screws. Fill screws with caulking and paint the header board
Once the header board is securely in place, you can install the barn door hardware directly to this header board.
In new construction, particularly flat trim works great. In these cases a 5-¼” header board works well (as in the attached video). If it is done at the time of the rest of the trim it can be painted at the same time and the end result turns out great.
Make sure the trim carpenter uses wood screws and attaches them to the studs. Often they just trim nail it and this is NOT acceptable. The trim board should be the same length or marginally longer than the door rail you plan to use.
NO HEADER BOARD (rare cases)
If you have no trim and want to attach your hardware directly to the drywall there MUST be some form of blocking in the wall where the rail is being attached. Typically a 2×6 flat between each stud. This will allow the hardware to be supported without a header board. But there is another issue often overlooked. The barn door hardware (particularly with a heavy) door attaches with strong lag bolts. These lag bolts often will cause the hardware mounting spacer to crush the drywall and does not look good. The solution is a hard plastic we supply. The process is to cut a round hole thru the drywall wall (this hole is marginally smaller in diameter than the hardware mounting spacer). The drywall disc (which is the same thickness as the drywall) gets inserted into this hole. The plastic disc (which is snug against the blocking in the wall) will not crush like drywall and because this disc is slightly smaller than the mounting spacer it is not visible. Viola.