Review of Barn Door Flat Track Hardware
We did a video review comparing our flat track barn door hardware to a couple sliding door hardware kits we bought off of Amazon.com.
Our review compares the quality and features that separate our made in America kit vs. the other two sets from Amazon made in China which have fewer options and lower grade components. You will see why made in the USA by Reclaimed Lumber Products where real people make real stuff to a higher standard justifies the extra cost. The Amazon kits cost $38.99 and $61.99 each while ours is $296; all have free shipping if shipped to a commercial address. It is unbelievable that Amazon can sell this product this cheap because for us just the shipping alone or some of the metal components cost as much as what they are charging not counting other components, overhead, packaging, and other business costs.
Our track kits are offered in one-piece lengths in stock up to 20' in length. This flat bar at 1/4" thick and 2" tall is twice as heavy as the competitor options that were 3/16 x 1 1/2". One of the kits came with a warped 6.5' long stick of track. The other had two pieces that would need to be spliced together which will keep the wheel from running smooth. Both had the end holes drilled about 6" in from each end which will cause the ends of the track to be floppy since they are not attached solidly to the wall.
We offer a much higher grade and longer lag screw standard with our kits. In the torture test, their lag screw snapped off. It would sheer off easily if one had to tighten it down. Their standoffs will hold the track off the wall a fixed distance; whereas ours can be adjusted to compensate for walls that are not flat to straighten the track or reduce the gap behind the door by adjusting the clearance behind the barn door.
They have an adjustable end stop that slides over the end of the track. This is a little simpler to install if one is willing to leave the track long and not cut it off. Our kit has a pair of rubber bumpers for stops that are intended to be mounted in a pre-drilled 1/4" hole at the end of the track. If one wants to move the stops they can drill a new hole.
Our kit comes with wood setup blocks that automatically set the height of the wheel over the top of the door and the distance in from the edge of the door. This assures that the edge of the door will match the end of the track. It also eliminates the need to have the anti-jump blocks on our kit which are supplied in the other kits because with ours the door rides close enough to the bottom of the track that the grooved wheel will not come up and off the track.
All kits have nylon wheels with ball bearings. Except ours had two ball bearings and was mounted with much less play and slop on the axle. Ours also has a lot more flexibility to move spacers around on the axle to change the distance from the back of the hanger to the centerline of the wheel. This gives you more flexibility to adjust the gap behind the door and also make it hang more plumb.
The floor guide torture test was probably the most fun. Our floor guide made from heavy-duty nylon has softened, rounded corners to glide easily in the bottom of the door. The first thing one notices is that it considerably larger. At 3" long it will give the installer more flexibility to always have the floor guide under the door as it slides along the track regardless of where the door sits; this extra mass will also lead to more durability because of its strength. The other two guides broke instantly in the test, but we could not get ours to break.
Be sure of how you mount the hangers to the door and the track to the wall that it will be strong enough to be safe. One of the competitor kits offers top mount T shape hangers which are attached to the top of the door with wood screws. These could easily pull out of a heavy door. The face mount hangers that are bolted on will provide greater security. The other kits also offered options that we don't for drywall mounting and drive-in masonry anchors; we don't feel that either of those attachments for the lag screws are as good as solid wood backing in the wall.
Our 9 pages of installation instructions available for download on our website and automatically emailed to you when you order have drawings and dimensions of the components along with lots of installation tips to make sure you achieve excellent results. The T Shape hanger kit had a single page of instructions that had some good detail and dimensions, but the kit with the candy cane hanger set and the two-piece track had poor instructions and all dimensions in metric.
To summarize buy your track hardware from Reclaimed Lumber Products if you care about durability, extra strength, and more flexible installation options.