Sliding Door Window Treatment Ideas

sliding glass door

Why are Sliding door window treatments so important?

Glass sliding doors, also known as patio doors, open up our living space bringing in the sunlight and natural beauty of the outdoors.

But like with every good thing it has its drawbacks, the big glass area lets in some things that are not so appreciated, too. For example the large amount of sunlight it lets in causes eye squinting and higher energy bills.

On the other hand since glass does not offer the same amount of insulation as walls there is a lot of heat loss in the winter. Even though we like to bring the outdoors in, we are not so sure about the other way around; after all we value our privacy.

However with the right sliding door window treatment we can enjoy the virtues of the glass sliding doors without losing more than we gain.

When choosing window treatments for glass sliding doors, there are some important things to keep in mind.

  • Sliding doors like all other doors are usually high traffic areas therefore extra consideration is needed so that the window treatment does not hamper the ability to go in and out of the door.
  • Since the door slides open vertically it is recommended that the patio window treatment should open same direction as the door itself. This enables you to open the shade only as much as needed, allowing increased flexibility.
  • If you have other windows in the room it is a good idea to choose a window treatment that you can get a matching one for a window.

Shoji Screens

shoji sliding doors

Sliding shoji screens will add privacy and warmth to your patio door. Shoji screens are those wooden grids with rice paper inserted and they are now used as a unique window treatment.

The benefits of shoji window treatments also include insulation from the outdoor cold and heat and privacy while allowing in natural light. It is also very beautiful because the patterns in the paper and grid change along with the changes in outside sunlight.

Shoji sliding door window treatments are a refreshing and different option and can be coordinated with other shoji decor like lighting and wall hangings.

Sliding Panels

sliding panels

As a stylish alternative to vertical blinds sliding panels are quickly becoming the standard for patio and sliding door window treatments in modern and contemporary homes. This versatile window treatment is made of vertical panels ranging from 11 to 24 inches. They feature a sleek aluminum track system with panels that glide easily into place. This window treatment can be opened gradually like a sliding door exposing only what’s needed. When fully opened panels are piled into a neat stack the width of one panel only.

Sliding panels are available in a wide range of materials like solar screens, fabric, and woven woods. These materials come in varying degrees of privacy and light control so everybody can choose according to their needs. The other windows in the room can be perfectly matched with roller shades, solar shades, roman shades, and woven woods which are made from the same fabrics.

For a unique and personalized look match panels with different styles and colors on one track.



Cellular shades have also found their place with sliding doors. This energy efficient sliding door window treatment is also available with a vertical pleat system making it an ideal choice for side-to-side openings like sliding glass doors — while coordinating perfectly with other cellular shades in the room.

No need for cords, chains, or wands in this high traffic area for enhanced safety.

Cellular shades come in varying degrees of light control and privacy, But with glass sliding doors many people are asking for more. With Vertiglide DuoLite you can get two types of patio window treatments in one; the sheer kind that filters the light but provides UV ray protection by day, and the opaque one that doesn't let in light and provides complete privacy.

Vertiglide Duolite

It works like this: It is built similarly to a center opening Vertiglide with a different fabric on each side; just each fabric is wide enough to span the entire width of the opening. Depending on your needs you can go from privacy to sheer to completely open in a matter of seconds.

Curtains and Draperies

If you need something more formal or traditional try curtains or drapery or both. The opening of the curtains or draperies should be on the same side of as the door opening so that the stacking will be at the other end and not block the access in and out of the door.

For curtains a traverse rod is highly recommended due to its smooth operation, since it needs to be opened often.

By draperies choose drapery hardware that slides open easily, and when open keep it in place with a matching holdback.

These unique decorative traverse rods are great for both curtains and draperies. They are adjustable and available in sizes up to 156". The traverse mechanism operates smoothly while the decorative rods adding style to the sliding door covering.

Sheer Verticals

sheer verticals

Combine the traditional look of sheer draperies and the functionality of vertical blinds with sheer verticals. This sliding door window treatment is made with vertical vanes that have sheer fabric billowing between them. Simply rotate the vanes from completely open to completely closed, and you can easily change from a light-filtered view to complete privacy.


Shutters are a beautiful and practical way to dress glass sliding doors. They combine the timeless beauty of a shutter along with durability - a must for such a high traffic area.

sliding shutters

They can be specially designed to open just like a sliding door so they don't protrude into the room. An extended overhead track will allow the shutters to slide completely past the door for full view.

Or you can choose one with a fold-able track that the panels fold like a fan as you open it.

Vertical Blinds

Before dismissing vertical blinds for your sliding door window treatment as dated, look at the new alternatives to ugly, plastic verticals.

  • Wood Verticals - ideal in a room that has wood blinds on the windows. Now the sliding door is no longer an eyesore; all window treatments in the room will blend together.
  • Fabric Verticals - for a soft light filtering solution. It is made from fabrics like jacquard, chenille, and linen-look. Insert fabric vanes into channel panels for enhanced room darkening.
  • Cellular Verticals - soft fabric vanes with an elliptical "pocket cell" to accommodate a light filtering or room darkening insert. When closed, the "pocket cell" vanes form an insulating layer that helps boost energy efficiency making them 20% more efficient than standard verticals.

How did YOU cover your sliding glass door?

After you cover your sliding glass door come back here to tell us about it!

Ask the Expert!

Still unsure which window treatment to use for your sliding door? You can simply Ask the Expert!

Sliding Door Window Treatment FAQs

Click below to see our answers to other Ask the Expert questions about sliding glass or patio doors.

Double Sliding Glass Doors 
Question Two sliding doors, 3 panes and 12 feet each. Two 12-foot doors meet at a corner, connect glass to glass. No post or wall on outside corner. …

Sliding Door Drapery Ideas 
Question I have a sliding door next to a window. I don't really need window coverings as the apt is on the 27th floor, but I am looking to hang some …

Sliding Door Window Treatments that are not Vertical Blinds Not rated yet
Question I just had my kitchen redone and I had a pantry put in in the corner next to the sliding door. The vertical blinds that I had on the window …

Room Darkening Sliding Door Window Treatments Not rated yet
Question I love Plantation Shutters and wondering if it is possible for them to be installed on sliding glass doors? Thank you for your help. …

Sliding Windows in Living Room Not rated yet
Question I am looking for something that will work with sliding windows (we replaced crank outs) that is still elegant looking and lets light in or …

Large Windows Facing the Street in a 10 Floor Not rated yet
Question Hi, I live in an apartment located in a 10th floor, with the living room and the master room facing the street. Both of these rooms have …

Sliding Door Cornice Alternative Not rated yet
Question We live in Florida and our exterior walls are all glass sliding doors. I had fabric covered cornices made and the larger door is 14' across. …

Sliding Glass Door Window Treatments Not rated yet
Question We just moved into a new house, and the previous owners had mounted their sliding glass door window treatments at around 96" high or so. …

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What to put onto casement windows near sliding door . . .

Do have any other options besides verticals that will give me a peaceful, functional, and coordinated look between the slider and the windows?

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Specialty Shapes

Do you have an odd shaped window and are wondering how to cover it?

Check out our window treatment ideas for specialty shaped windows.

You will find:

  • Separate pages for each shape window ex. arch, trapezoid, etc.
  • Ideas that allow you to get the most use out of your window
  • How not to lose the unique architectural look of your window
  • How to protect your window's view while protecting your privacy

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