Decorating a home with beautiful sliding door window treatments can seem like a daunting task. With so many options to choose from like sheers, blinds, shades, and curtains, how do you even begin to select the right window covering? By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to confidently pick window treatments that are both functional and fashionable.
An Introduction to Sliding Door Window Options
Sliding glass doors are a wonderful way to open up a space to natural light and connect indoor areas to the outdoors. But being so exposed, they often also require window treatments for privacy, light and UV control, insulation, and to tie in with your interior design aesthetic.
For sliding door windows, you’ll find there are sheer treatments that allow light through while obscuring views, shades that roll up and down or tilt to control light levels, blinds with adjustable slats, and curtains that slide or draw open. Within each category, there is a diverse range of materials like wood, faux wood, aluminum, vinyl, fabric, cellular shades, and solar screen shades. This array of options may seem overwhelming at first. But once you assess your needs, you can zero in on finding the ideal window treatments for your sliding doors.
Sheer Window Treatments for Sliding Doors
Sheer Curtains for Light Filtering and Softness
Sheer curtains are one of the most popular choices to dress up sliding door windows. These lightweight, semi-transparent curtains allow natural light to filter into a room while providing a softening effect. Sheer curtains come in flowing, billowy styles or sleek tiered panels. They are available in a variety of sheer fabrics like polyester, cotton, linen, and silk in solid colors or patterns.
The benefits of sheer curtains include:
- Allow natural light to filter into a room
- Obscure views and provide privacy while still allowing light through
- Come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, styles
- Provide a soft, elegant look and can diffuse harsh light
- Are budget-friendly and easy to install
- Can be layered with other window treatments for added control
Things to keep in mind are that sheer curtains on their own provide minimal insulation and light blocking. They will need to be paired with other window treatments if blackout capabilities or energy efficiency are a priority. Overall, sheer curtains are a great place to start when wanting an elegant, luminous look for sliding doors.
Sheer Shades Offer Light Control Options
Sheer shades offer another option for allowing light into a space while maintaining privacy. Some popular styles of sheer shades include:
- Sheer Vertical Blinds: These feature thin, sheer vanes hanging vertically from a headrail. The vanes can be rotated open and closed to adjust privacy and light.
- Sheer Roller Shades: These raise and lower on a roller mechanism. Choose from light filtering or blackout sheer fabrics.
- Sheer Pleated Shades: Pleated sheer fabrics filter light and can be raised or lowered on cords.
Benefits of sheer shades include the ability to control vanes or raise/lower shades to regulate both light levels and privacy. Cordless sheer shades offer convenient control. Some even come with remote or app control features. Sheer shades provide a nice balance of aesthetics, functionality, and versatility.
Shades for Sliding Glass Doors
Roller Shades Offer Customizable Light Control
Roller shades are a highly versatile and customizable option for sliding glass doors. These shades feature a fabric roller that raises or lowers to cover the window. There are an extensive variety of fabric choices available.
Light filtering fabrics like polyester or cotton linens will allow some daylight to enter. Blackout fabrics with a vinyl backing provide 100% light blockage. Insulated fabrics feature foam or other materials sandwiched between two layers of fabric to provide insulation and energy efficiency. The level of light control or heat retention you desire will dictate your fabric selection.
Other benefits of roller shades include:
- Available in a wide range of colors, patterns, textures to match decor
- Can be motorized or automated for convenience
- Offer insulation and energy efficiency with the right fabrics
- Provide full privacy when lowered
Measure precisely and check that the roller size will fit your sliding door opening when choosing your custom roller shades. Overall, they are one of the most versatile and customizable options for sliding doors.
Solar Shades Reduce Heat and Glare
Solar shades are designed to improve energy efficiency by blocking heat gain from sunlight entering windows. For sliding glass doors facing east or west, choosing solar shades can drastically reduce air conditioning costs.
Solar shades are constructed with special heat-reflective or heat-absorbent fabrics. Common types include:
- Aluminum solar shades: Made of perforated aluminum to reflect heat back outside
- Polyester solar shades: Polyester fibers are treated to absorb and trap heat from sunlight
- Vinyl solar shades: Vinyl coated materials reflect sunlight and insulate
Other benefits of solar shades for sliding doors include:
- Significantly reduce heat, glare, and UV rays entering a home
- Lower air conditioning bills and improve energy efficiency
- Available in many colors and can be raised or lowered like standard roller shades
Just check that the solar shade material allows for sufficient outward visibility for your needs. Solar shades are one of the best options for keeping interiors cool and lowering energy usage.
Blinds for Sliding Glass Doors
Vertical Blinds Are Uniquely Suited for Sliding Doors
Vertical blinds feature long, vertical slats that hang from a track system. The slats can be adjusted side-to-side to control light and privacy. Vertical blinds are specifically designed for large windows and patio doors, making them an excellent choice for sliding glass doors.
Vertical blinds come in vinyl, faux wood, real wood, and other materials. Options include:
- Vinyl vertical blinds: Budget-friendly and easy to clean. Offer good durability.
- Faux wood vertical blinds: Provide the look of real wood with more affordability and less maintenance.
- Real wood vertical blinds: Offer gorgeous aesthetics but require more care. Come in many wood types.
Other benefits of vertical blinds for sliding doors include:
- Light and privacy control by adjusting slats
- Suit large sliding door openings
- Come in many colors to match decor
Vertical blinds are one of the most popular and versatile options for decorating and controlling sliding glass doors. Their ability to stack neatly to the side provides an unobstructed view when fully open.
Aluminum Blinds Offer Durability and Light Control
Aluminum blinds feature thin, aluminum slats that tilt and raise to adjust light coming in. The sleek metal slats come in various colors like black, white, silver, faux-wood finishes, and more to complement your space.
Benefits of aluminum blinds for sliding doors include:
- Lightweight yet extremely durable material
- Resist warping, bending, and damage
- Easy to clean with just a dusting or wipe down
- Offer great light control with tilting slat feature
Things to keep in mind are that aluminum blinds can heat up in direct sunlight and conduct more sound than other materials. Combine them with curtains for insulation and noise reduction. Overall, the durability and style of aluminum makes them a stellar option.
Curtains for Sliding Glass Doors
Sliding Panel Tracks Allow Flexible Coverage
Sliding panel tracks, also called sliding door curtains, enable you to cover sliding glass doors with customized curtains. These systems feature panels that slide back and forth horizontally on a track mechanism. The panels are made of various curtain fabrics from sheer to blackout.
Benefits of sliding panel tracks for sliding doors include:
- Use multiple panels to customize coverage
- Easily control light, temperature, and privacy
- Coordinate color and patterns with other room decor
- Can layer in insulation and blackout linings
Measure track length precisely and allow clearance for stops on the track. With the ability to configure the panels in multiple ways, sliding curtain tracks allow flexibility in decorating sliding doors.
Layering Curtains Creates Depth and Varied Effects
While shades and blinds certainly get the job done, sometimes only lush, elegant curtains can provide that perfect visual impact. Luckily, sliding doors are perfectly suited for hanging curtains in layered looks.
Options for layering sliding door curtains include:
- Sheer + blackout – Sheers for daytime light, blackout inner layer for nighttime
- Sheer + light filtering – Mixing transparent and semi-opaque fabrics
- Curtains + shades – Add softness of drapes with the functionality of blinds
Layering allows you to get the best of all worlds. Draw back the sheer layer during the day to enjoy natural light filtered through. Close the opaque blackout layer at night for total darkness. Utilize different hardware like decorative rods for sheers and functional tracks for room darkening curtains.
Shutters for Sliding Glass Doors
Interior Shutters Offer Light Control and Visual Interest
Interior shutters are a unique alternative to typical window treatments. Louvered, paneled, and specialty shaped shutters control light beautifully while adding architectural detail.
Interior shutters come in materials like:
- Faux wood composite shutters: Offer the look of wood without the maintenance.
- Vinyl shutters: Very affordable and durable synthetic option.
- Basswood shutters: Classic wood shutters with casual, warm aesthetics.
Other benefits include:
- Accordion or bifold traversing options for sliding doors
- Can be painted any color to match decor
- Provide excellent light, UV, and heat control when closed
The layered, dimensional look of shutters adds beauty while controlling light beautifully. Keep in mind they can have higher upfront costs than alternatives.
Exterior Shutters Enhance Curb Appeal
While interior shutters function indoors, exterior shutters provide curbside charm. When properly sized and installed, exterior shutters can also provide protection against intense weather.
Popular styles for exterior sliding door shutters include:
- Hinged shutters: Hinge onto the window frame or wall to swing open and closed.
- Sliding shutters: Mounted on a track to slide back and forth.
- Louvered shutters: Angled slats control airflow and light.
Common exterior shutter materials:
- Wood shutters: Offer traditional charm, require regular upkeep.
- Fiberglass composite shutters: Synthetic alternative with durability, low maintenance.
- Aluminum shutters: Very durable and easily cleaned. Can dent when impacted.
Exterior shutters provide charm while protecting sliding doors. Choose hurricane-rated shutters in storm-prone areas for added security.
Final Considerations for Choosing Sliding Door Treatments
Here are some final tips for choosing the perfect window treatments for your sliding glass doors:
- Consider your needs for privacy, UV blocking, light filtering, insulation, blackout capabilities. This will dictate optimal materials and styles.
- Factor in energy efficiency. Options like solar shades, insulated curtains and shutters can help.
- Measure carefully to ensure proper fit. Check that shades and blinds will clear door handles.
- Choose child/pet safe options like cordless blinds if needed.
- Determine your budget for both materials and installation costs.
- Pick colors, patterns, and textures that coordinate with your overall decor for a cohesive look.
- For rooms with high humidity like baths, avoid real wood which can warp over time.
- Make sure chosen treatments will be easy to operate and clean.
Studying your sliding door space, measuring carefully, and determining priorities will help guide you to the perfect window covering options. Don’t be afraid to mix and match treatments like breezy curtains paired with adjustable wood blinds for the ideal blend of style and function.
When it comes to sliding door window treatments, you now have the knowledge to select options tailored to your specific needs and home decor. Sheer curtains, solar shades, vertical blinds, sliding panels, and shutters all offer their own advantages. Combining complementary styles creates a custom look. With the information in this guide as a resource, you can confidently choose window treatments that are both beautiful and highly functional for your sliding glass doors.