I have a hallway that leads into a group of bedrooms. I would like to install a sliding barn door to close these rooms off. There is not currently a header of any kind above this opening. I'm fine with leaving it open for air flow. But I need to span about 44" to mount the track. This issue is not about cantilevering into an unsupported space. I have another wall in which to mount, it's just perpendicular... I am debating between something like hollow square steel across the opening with a flush mount to the wall on both ends...
Or building a header by running a 1" x whatever down the wall on both ends and then sandwiching planks between to build up some stoutness. The second image kind of shows what I am trying to describe. Not sure if it's clear. Any ideas would be helpful. I'd rather not build a full height frame in this location. One side has door trim that I would need to remove to do that... not something I want to do. Would rather just span the space.

I could be over thinking it.

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3 Answers 3


You have the right idea on your second drawing, but you will only need 2 pieces of 5/4X6. The first piece will screw to the wall and cover the distance you want the door the travel when it bumps into the wall on the other side. The second piece will be laminated onto the back of the first one, and will be cut between the corner and the wall the door will bump into. about 44" long. After both are screwed together, with 2 screws, 1" from the edges every 16" apart. then toe screw the doubled end into the framing at the corner of the wall that the door will bump. This will give you 2" of material to set the track with their provided lag bolts, but do check the lengths before you start so the points of the lags do not poke through the new header.

This 2"X 5 1/2" thick header will take on the weight of any standard door without any problem

11-24 edit

Use the correct length screws to get into the framing,set the screws far enough from the end of the new beam to insure good shear strength, about an 1 1/2" from the end. Angle 4 screws total so they exit the end of the covered part of the new beam about 1" from the face of the beam through the butt end, countersinking the heads enough to fill the screw heads with filler, this may take a counterbore perhaps as deep as 1/2" on the deepest side since it is angled. To get through the new beam, the drywall and 1"-1 1/2" into the framing, you will need something like 3 1/2"-4" screws to do the task.enter image description here

  • This answer sounds right... I was just nervous about toenailing the end of a header... I didn't know if that would give me enough strength... Nov 24, 2019 at 13:13
  • I edited the answer to address the toe screws.
    – Jack
    Nov 24, 2019 at 16:12

Your "sandwich" idea would work, but here's a simpler design that accomplishes the same thing:

enter image description here


I answered a similar door problem here using a full pull-out drawer slider: Link: Hardware for a barn/sliding door that cantilevers into free space when open Good Luck

  • If the question is a duplicate you should flag it as such, not cross-post answers. Thanks.
    – isherwood
    Nov 24, 2019 at 0:07
  • The answer could be considered a duplicate, but the question isn't. I've voted to leave it open. Nov 24, 2019 at 13:07
  • Close, but no. I have a perpendicular wall to attach on the other side. Do not want to cantilever. Nov 24, 2019 at 13:14

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