Apr 11 , 2022

What’s the Best Wood for a Barn Door?


What’s the Best Wood for a Barn Door?

The barn door is a stylish sliding door with a versatile design. On the one hand, the barn door is contemporary yet rustic; on the other hand, it is a different door with great aesthetics, adding a unique style to your home. Barns doors are not one of those door types with energy efficiency or privacy-provider, but they are stylish with a taste of a farmhouse, which is good to offer the house owners a feeling of old-time comfort in modern houses. Even two of the most common designs for barn doors, Z-style and K-style, are in various ways to represent their beautiful design for the house. What’s more, barn doors are easy to operate and install, with the sliding panels hung on the track mounted on the wall. You certainly deserve to spend your time and energy before you get beautiful and times-tested barn doors.

Factors to consider before making your decision

You need to consider your budget. Budget is always the No.1 factor you need to consider in any buying activity. Barn doors require higher prices than swing doors and wooden doors cost more than aluminum doors or vinyl doors. Therefore, it’s good to know a wooden barn door is not going to be very cheap, at least not the same price as non-wooden doors. It’s necessary to compare your expected budget and the actual cost you will pay for the barn door providers so that you can have a clear idea of the cost for your barn doors.

You need to consider the design of the barn doors. Barn doors come in a variety of designs, which make them beautiful door types. You need to make sure the design style matches your interior housing styles, which involves the wood type, the finishing, and the design style. Your preferences do matter. Choosing a beautiful barn door and satisfying your preferences are equally important.

You need to consider the location. Barn doors sliding on the track hung above, not on the bottom, and it can’t be locked unless you install something like latches. They are simply not good choices for bedrooms, because they can neither provide sound insulation nor privacy. You don’t see them in bathrooms, for they cannot provide privacy and wood can be reduced its lifespan with long-hour exposure to space with huge moisture. Barn doors are good for space dividers between the living room and dining room, or for the kitchen or rooms where sound insulation and privacy are not so important.

Softwood & Hardwood

There are many materials to make doors, and so it is for a barn door. However, not every material for general doors is good for a barn door. As most homeowners like more about barn door design than its energy efficiency, you will mostly see barn doors for interior doors and in wooden materials. If you think it will be easy to get a barn door in this case, then you have to think again, as there are many kinds of wooden barn doors for you to choose from.

Generally speaking, wood can be classified into softwoods and hardwoods. Most of the time, you can see hardwoods with needles and cones while hardwoods with broad leaves. For the wood grain, softwoods usually have darker grain. For the growth cycle and colors, softwoods grow fast and have bright colors while hardwoods take longer years to grow and have darker colors. For weight, softwoods are usually lighter than hardwoods. Last not but least, softwoods tend to be cheaper than hardwoods. Most of the time, softwoods are good for windows while hardwoods are for doors. Similarly, softwoods for interior doors while hardwoods for exterior doors. Softwoods are pine, redwood, poplar, larch, fir, cedar, etc. Hardwood is like oak, mahogany, birch, teak, alder, walnut, maple, beech, etc.

Pine/Knotty Pine

Pine is commonly made into windows and doors. Pine has a bright light color and a varied broad wood grain, a good choice for barn doors. Its natural line is fluent and smooth, the door made of it giving you a feeling of a modern touch and a peaceful element. Besides, pinewood can last for years and years if fewer exposures to less amount of sunshine and moisture. What’s more, pinewood is relatively cheaper than other wood. That’s also why many homeowners like pinewood barn doors.

Some people would prefer pine with knots. Knotty pine looks more unique, as the knots are adding different characters to the barn doors. Some of the knots are in certain styles, while some are irregular or in random order, which is exactly what makes knotty pine natural and more attractive.


Firwood is another type of softwood, stable and reliable. You can see many furniture made of fir. It has straight close wood grain. Fir is usually reddish brown, but it can be easily finished in diversified colors. Both pine and fir are softwoods, but fir is stronger than pine. Unlike pine, fir usually doesn’t have knots. Fir can be easily available in the furniture market. Most fir barn doors offer reasonable and budget-friendly prices.

White Cedar

White cedar is another frequently used softwood for doors. White cedar has broad light grain, similar to other softwood. Cedar is known for its spicy aroma and versatility. It’s yellow. White cedar is good for making barn doors because it is good to finish with architectural designs. Although white cedar is softwood, not only is it durable, but it is also weather-resistant, which is also why it is good for furniture. White cedar is easy to get, therefore the cost is budget-friendly. If you decide on softwood, white cedar can be on your list to choose.


Poplar is a wood that is commonly used for cabinets and wooden toys. Although poplar is hardwood, it is easy to operate as softwood. Poplar wood is usually white and light green or brown with straight grain. Since poplar is easy to finish, you can have good color options on the finishing. As for price, poplar wood is one of the economical hardwoods. If hardwood is your choice for barn doors, then you can consider poplar woods.


Many wooden doors are made of oak. Oak is a very popular choice for doors. Oak is one of the hardwoods that makes great interior and exterior doors. Oak is with deep systematical grain that remains pretty in the coming years. Oak is durable, easy to finish, and has good resistance to insects, making it a good barn door. There aren’t certain colors for oak, as there are many types of oaks, which explains why the grain is different. The most commonly seen oak type is white oak and red oak. Among many hardwoods, oak is one of the most cost-effective wood with beautiful wood grain. Although oak costs more, it stands the test of time, even for the entrance door, not even mention interior doors. Solid oak wood is heavy, therefore you will also need good quality for your barn door, especially for the track.

Knotty Alder

Alder has smooth and dark grain and it is preferred for furniture, including kitchen cabins and interior doors. Alder is reddish, similar to cherry wood. It can also be finished in many colors. Alder is a lightweight yet strong hardwood with a beautiful grain. Alder is economical and not easy to warp or crack, and easily available.

Knotty alder is good to make a barn door. Wood with knots looks unique and close to nature, which is popular among many house owners who love wooden furniture. Different from the bright color of softwood, knotty alder is darker and with intensive grain. Those knots make the door look more natural and unique. Some knots can look like leaves or small images, bringing more cozy and nature to the home.

What’s the Best Wood for a Barn Door?

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