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How to Lock a Sliding Barn Door (7 Best Solutions)

How to lock a sliding barn door - seven methods
Last Updated on March 31, 2023
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There are many ways to lock or latch a sliding barn door, but we are here to find the right solution for you. Whether you are looking to secure your sliding barn door from the outside or inside, we have found the best options for you.

We will keep in mind the best choices for convenience indoors, as well as the best options for extra security, as we explore these options together in detail to make this an easy task to knock off the list!

Best Options For Locking Your Sliding Barn Door

1. Hook and Eye Latch
2. 90 Degree Angle Flip Latch
3. 90 Degree Buckle Lock
4. 90 Degree Hasp and Padlock
5. Tear Drop Latch
6. Sliding Bolt Lock With Hasp
7. Cane Bolt Floor Drop Rod

1. Hook and Eye Latch

Easiest to Install

hook and eye lock

While it may not be the most secure option, a hook and eye latch will get the job done pretty much anywhere inside or outside the house for some basic privacy. You could even double up the security and add this to one of the options below.

The hook and eye is one of the easiest to install and can even be a viable solution for bathroom doors. If you are thinking deep about convenience, this one takes a bit more effort to grab and latch than others like the teardrop or 90-degree angle latch.

The main security concern with this one is having a gap between the door and the wall. You don't want someone to be able to slide something between to quickly unhook it, but this is pretty easy to avoid.

Where It Can Be Used:

  • Inside Interior Door
  • Outside Interior Door
  • Inside Exterior Door
  • Outside Exterior Door
  • Double Doors

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE:

You can go cheap with these and generally be safe when using them inside. The simple mounting screw versions work fine, and only cost a few bucks.

However, there is a good chance you might want a more eye-appealing version if this is a new build. There are plenty of options to fit your design preference that only require a few screws.

If the door is heavier or outside and subject to wind, you should go with a choice that requires a few screws on both sides.

Reasons to Use:

  • Usable In Most Situations
  • Easy Installation
  • Low Cost

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Not the Most Secure Option
  • Less Stylish

2. 90-Degree Angle Flip Latch

Quick Latching

90 degree flip door latch

A 90-degree angle latch is my personal favorite interior option, as looks good and is one of the easiest to latch. If installed correctly, it requires very little effort to get it latched, a touch can get it to just fall in place.

It also has a bit more strength being heavier and more tucked into the corner compared to the hook and eye. This one is ideal for high-use areas like the door of a bedroom or bathroom.

This angle latch provides enough privacy without the headache of much more installation effort.

Sliding Barn Door Uses:

  • Inside Interior Door
  • Outside Interior Door
  • Inside Exterior Door
  • Outside Exterior Doors
  • Double Doors (Use Straight Latch)

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE:

These are ideal for the inside, where the sliding door meets the door jam. When choosing the style, I prefer the one featured above. It is sturdy and allows you to use one finger to unlatch it in the middle, but also has a knob on the right.

Reasons to Use:

  • Fast Latching
  • Bit more secure than hook and eye
  • Great design

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Little more installation effort
  • Bulky look

3. 90-Degree Buckle Lock

Versatile & Quick Locking

90 degree buckle privacy lock

A 90-degree angle buckle lock is both easy to install and more secure than a latch. Just a slide of your thumb gets it in place, and it is tougher than it looks for its small size.

This buckle lock is much harder to unlatch from the outside if there happens to be a gap.  This one is a great choice for the door of a bedroom or bathroom.

The switch portion can be installed on the door jam to lock from the top or on the door to lock from the bottom.

Sliding Barn Door Uses:

  • Inside Interior Door
  • Outside Interior Door
  • Inside Exteriors Door
  • Outside Exteriors Doors
  • Double Doors

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE:

This is somewhat unique, and there aren't a ton of other design choices for this style of buckle lock yet.

Reasons to Use:

  • Compact strength
  • More secure than basic latches
  • Easy install

Reasons to Avoid:

  • A bit small

4. 90-degree Hasp and Padlock

Secure Exterior Door Option

90 degree hasp latch for padlock

For a sliding barn door outside or possibly somewhere inside that you don't want those pesky kids to meddle with, a hasp with a padlock is the common go-to. With this 90-degree version, installation is easy, and there is a decent chance you already have a lock lying around.

Hasps cover the screw heads to avoid easy entry and will at least keep honest people honest. The most important aspect of the installation is to ensure both sides are snug to the door jam. Otherwise, a thief may be able to get an easy edge to pry it off.

My only complaint with this as a more secure option is that it should include some longer screws. Consider longer screws if when using this outdoors, if you can, without splitting the wood.

Sliding Barn Door Uses:

  • Inside Interior Door
  • Outside Interior Door
  • Inside Exterior Door
  • Outside Exterior Doors
  • Double Doors  (Use Standard Hasp)

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE: There is a hasp for every situation and door style. You can get a standard master lock hasp without the angle for double doors as well as thicker, heavier-duty options.

Reasons to Use:

  • Extra security
  • Easy installation

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Included screws are short
  • No lock included

5. Teardrop Latch

Stylish Compact Option

tear drop latch

Not only does the teardrop lock add a touch of elegance, but it is a sleek option that is simple to operate. It is also easier to install than it looks, with just two simple parts to attach.

This doesn't advertise require notching a hole in the door itself in the lock plate slit, but it will be necessary in most cases. It can be easy work for an oscillating tool but can be accomplished in a little more time without it.

Take some extra time to get this one right to avoid wiggle play in the door and make it more secure.

Sliding Barn Door Uses:

  • Inside Interior Door
  • Outside Interior Door
  • Inside Exterior Door
  • Outside Exterior Doors
  • Double Doors

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE:

To be honest, this one will do the job, but I wish there were higher-quality versions out there. The teardrop design is yet to be perfected, and all the ones I've found require quite a bit of screw-tuning to get it right. However, if you love the style, it is worth the extra effort.

Reasons to Use:

  • Easy to operate
  • Stylish compact look

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Tougher installation
  • Includes short screws

6. Sliding Bolt Lock With Hasp

Simple Security For Double Doors

sliding bolt lock with hasp

If you want something simple for the inside or outside of your double doors, you can always go with the standard sliding bolt.

This sliding bolt lock with hasp gives you the option to throw on a lock when you choose, as it latches fine without one.

A lock of this style is also a more sturdy option for standard doors when you can attach the left side to the door frame.

Sliding Barn Door Uses:

  • Inside Interior Door
  • Outside Interior Door
  • Inside Exterior Door
  • Outside Exterior Doors
  • Double Doors ✓ 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE:

Sliding bolt locks are common, and there are loads of options. Be sure to consider getting a heavy-duty one for heavier double doors. If you don't need one with a hasp for a padlock, it should be easier to find one that matches the aesthetics of the door.

Reasons to Use:

  • Extra security
  • Latches well with or without lock
  • Simple install

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Includes short screws
  • Higher priced

7. Cane Bolt Floor Drop Rod

Extra Security For Any Sliding Barn Door

heavy duty cane drop bolt

If you are looking for a super secure option for locking an outdoor barn door from the inside, consider installing a cane bolt-style drop rod. The installation is a bit more complicated but worth the effort.

Keep in mind that you will need to drill a hole in the floor that it can drop into. If the floor is dirt, in the case of a fence door, for example, you can dig a hole and use quick cement to make a more secure drop slot.

A cane bolt can also help keep the door in place to protect the door in areas or times of high wind when it is left unlatched. Using this, in addition to an interior latch with a padlock, is one of the most secure choices.

Of course, this can also be installed on the outside of the door if there there is no access from inside, such as a barn or garage attached to the house.

Where It Can Be Used:

  • Inside Interior Door
  • Outside Interior Door
  • Inside Exteriors Door
  • Outside Exteriors Doors
  • Double Doors ✓ 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE:

There are different lengths to consider for different-sized doors. It is nice to be able to secure it to the floor without having to bend over, so keep door height in mind.

Reasons to Use:

  • Extra security
  • Wind damage protection
  • Easy to use

Reasons to Avoid:

  • More installation effort
  • Costs a bit more

How to Install Locks on Sliding Barn Door

Installing any of these latches or lock options is pretty similar in nature. However, to avoid unwanted marks and damage, be sure to do your due diligence.

In this good old modern world, there are plenty of installation tutorials to guide the way, but here are a few things a beginner should definitely know before attempting a DIY install.

Here are basic tips for installing a lock on a sliding barn door:

  • Be sure the door is fully shut before starting
  • Optionally, use a level to get one side straight before marking holes
  • Mark and predrill all holes to avoid splitting the wood
  • Screw on one side and position the other correctly before marking its holes
  • Consider getting better screws because most locks include short, low-quality ones

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