Friday, February 23, 2018

6 Little Known Window Treatments For Sliding Glass Doors

Window Treatments For Sliding Glass Doors

Choosing window treatments for sliding glass or patio doors can be a bit more involved than picking out a treatment for your bathroom window. In bathrooms usually the main concerns are privacy and moisture resistance. On sliders privacy and light control can be issues but also how if functions is important. You may use the door quite a bit and you might want something that’s easy to operate. Or maybe you don’t use it that often and just want something to block out the sun a little. As far as esthetics the sliding glass door is a bigger treatment and is going to make a statement. You want a treatment that is going to go along with your style and decor. What’s out there if I want a soft elegant look, more rustic, comtempory or traditional?

Vertical blinds are by far still the most popular choice for patio doors but people are getting a little tired of them and want more alternatives. The little plastic piece at the top break, the vane falls. In this article you will find six alternative treatments that work out great on a patio door. Some you may be familiar with and some not. But hopefully this article will provide you with the knowledge to choose a treatment that not only looks great but functions great as well. Before we get into the different types of treatments lets first go over some basic measuring specific to sliders.

Few Tips On Measuring

When discussing measuring I am only referring to outside mounts since the majority of this application is outside mounted. Whenever your measuring for sliding glass doors for the width you want to measure from trim to trim and add about 8 inches. The 8 inches is for 4 inches of overlap on each side. The overlap is for privacy and light blocking. The more the overlap the more privacy but of course there are some exceptions to the rule. You may have obstructions that won’t allow that much overlap like a counter top coming right up to your woodwork Or an adjacent wall. But you get the idea if you have the room add the 4 inches to each side. As for the height, measure from the floor to 3 inches above the top trim. The 3 inches is to give you enough room to get the bracket above the trim (don’t mount on the trim). Look for other obstructions such as cabinet doors. When open will they hit the new treatment. Will the treatment prevent the cabinet door from opening all the way? Now on to the six treatments for sliding glass doors.

  • First Up is Vertical Cellular Shades:

A vertical cellular shade is a cellular shade in a vertical position that slides back and forth on a rod that is similiar to drapery rod but on steroids. Many companies make these each one having a little variance. Most popular is the vertiglide made by Hunter Douglas and The Ovation made by Comfortex. I find that there is almost no different between the two except for price and Hunter Douglas puts their name on the handle. Spring Window Fashions, which is the parent company to Bali and Graber make slide-vue and verticell. The distinctive feature for these brands is you can slide either way, left to right or right to left.


-Very energy efficient, thin stack usually about 6 inches so doesn’t cover up much of your view.

-No cords


-material at bottom can get dirty.

-Pets can or will damage material trying to move material out of their way to see squirrels.

  • Second up is Vertical Sheers:

Vertical sheers are vertical blinds with a sheer material attached over them. Most companies have there own version and operates just as a vertical blind. The sheer is one piece that is fabricated so it attaches onto each vane.


-The sheer material can be removed for cleaning.

-Offers a soft look with the function of a vertical blind.


-Because of added thickness of sheer material over vanes, the vanes won’t close as tight. This is true for most brand except for Levelor. Levelors design allows the vanes to close the tighest.

  • Third is Sliding Woven Woods:

This is one of my favorites though not many companies make one. It is a woven wood material in a vertical position that is attached at the top to a rail that allows it to easily slide back and forth. Sometime you will find it grommeted at the top in which it will slide on a wood pole.


-No cords, safe for children.

-Can be lined for more privacy and light control.


-There are either open or closed, cannot control light like a vertical blind.

  • Forth is Panel Tracks:

Panel track blinds are also referred to as sliding panels or elance. Panel tracks are strips of material about 18 to 35 inches wide that hang from a rod and slide like a drapery. There will be several panels depending the width of your patio door. When you slide them to one side they stack over one another. The material these are available in range from woven wood to sun screen. You can find them to fit any decorating scheme. Most companies make there own version and the difference is usually in how the rod is constructed and how the panels attach to the rod ( mostly with Velcro.


-Creates a dramatic look on a larger window like sliding glass doors.

-More pet friendly since they can easily move to panels out of they way to see outside.

-Safe for children


-Panel width can cover a good portion of your glass. To combat this, if you have the wall space make the treatment wider so the stack sits over your wall an not your glass door.

  • Fifth is the Luminette:

The Luminette  is only made by Hunter Douglas. It’s like a very fancy and pricey vertical sheer. It’s kind of hard to describe but I’ll give it a try. Picture this a vertical blind with the vanes made out of a firm but softer material and each vane is connected by sheer to create a continuous treatment the width of your slider. It has two controls, one to draw it to one side and the second to rotate the vanes to control light and privacy.


-Very soft look of a sheer with the functionally of a vertical blind.

-Sleek design


-Hard to install


-Keep the cats away.

  • Last but not least are Roller Shades:

I mention these because I see more people putting them on there sliding glass doors. There’re not using the more traditional solid material over there sliders but sun screen fabric. They want to filter out the sun but still want to see out and this offers a good solution.


-Not too expensive

-Don’t have to tug on it to make it work. It raises and lowers by a beaded chain control.


-They’re either up or down, so every time you want to use the door you have to raise them.

-Drawing them up will take two hands since they will have some weight to them.

Do You Have These Concerns

These are good questions and real concerns that you should take a minute and think about when choosing a treatment. Is energy efficient important to you? Do you have young children? Which are the safest? Which stand up best to pets? Do you have a extra wide slider with 3 or 4 panes of glass, or maybe a transom above, (look for my new article to come on transoms.) do you cover it or leave it open? Which won’t take away from my beautiful view?

Most Popular

Well there you have it, six window treatments for sliding glass doors. All of them will work on either two, three or four panes of glass. The only exception is roller shades. They have limitations on how wide they can be made. They can be made to fit over standard sliders ( 2 panes of glass). As far as popularity I would rate them in this order with the most popular being vertical cellulars, then panel tracks, followed by roller shades, vertical sheers, luminettes and finally sliding woven woods only because they aren’t as available and not too many people know about them yet. Choosing something that is going to make a big statement can be a bit scary. At least now you have some knowledge to make a more informed choice.


2 Responses to “6 Little Known Window Treatments For Sliding Glass Doors”
  1. Lauren says:

    I am recommending a Panel Track system for my client’s sliding door unit because I can utilize the same shade fabric on the windows for Roller Shades. The maximum head rail length will be 16-feet (including the extension over wall space). Due to transportation and installation, I thought about butting two smaller units together to make up the total width. My vendor sells the Velcro attached panel system. If I butt two smaller head rails together, using a Left-Draw and a Right-Draw system, there may be a slight gap at the center because the leading panels would essentially be on the same track preventing an overlap. Is it possible to adjust the placement of the leading panel on each track to have them meet at the center? I will be using a decorative matching Head Rail which will conceal the mechanism.

  2. Robert says:

    No not with a panel track, I would pay the extra money for shipping. Installation should be no problem just need a extra hand lifting the headrail into place.

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