Sliding glass doors can be a great addition to your home, allowing easy access to the outside and letting in lots of natural light. Generally, these curtains are chosen based on aesthetic appeal, but there are a few things to know when purchasing them for sliding glass doors.

To buy curtains for sliding glass doors, you should consider the size of the panel, rod, and door. You should also look at the style of the curtain, and how they are supposed to be hung. Do not be afraid to get creative with curtain styles, however.

Below is a more detailed guide on buying curtains for your sliding glass doors. I’ll also touch on a couple of questions you may have, like whether you can use regular curtains and how you can hang curtains over sliding glass walls. There will also be tips on how to hang your curtains to achieve the best look possible, so keep reading.

1. Measure Your Sliding Door’s Dimensions

The first thing you should do is measure the height and width of your sliding door using any reliable ruler/tape measure you have on hand. Knowing these dimensions will make it easier for you to choose the right size and number of panels, as well as the right rod length.

2. Choose the Right Curtain Panels

When deciding which and how many curtain panels you need for your sliding glass doors, there are a few things to consider.

The Dimensions of Your Sliding Glass Door

Of course, the size of your curtain panel(s) depends on the size of your sliding glass door.

Specifically, your curtain panel should be 3 inches longer than your door height. This is because, with the rod attached to the wall above the door, extra inches are needed on the bottom to cover the door fully. On the other hand, make sure your curtains aren’t too long or they’ll get caught in the door.

If your door has a standard width of 84 inches, two panels should cover it. If your door is 96 inches, three regular panels will give you the needed coverage, or two wider ones. 

The Thickness of Your Curtain Fabric

The thicker your curtain, the more privacy you can have, and the less light that can get in when the curtains are closed. Thicker curtains can also help keep out warm or cold air depending on the season. This can help to lower your energy bills significantly. 

The Aesthetics of Your Room

You want your curtains to match the feel and look of your room. For example, sheers can add pizzazz to a beachy or traditional room. On the other hand, if your room is more modern, a grommet-style straight panel can blend in well with that kind of look.

3. Pick the Right Curtain Style

You can use several different styles of curtains on sliding glass doors. The best one for you depends on factors such as the amount of light and privacy you wish to have, the most comfortable temperature for that room under different weather conditions, and the room’s aesthetics.

Some options for panel curtains include:

  • Sheers. These let in the most amount of light during the daytime, though privacy can be an issue. If you want to use sheers and still maintain some semblance of privacy, you can layer these curtains over one another using a second rod.
  • Vertical curtains. These are the standard panel curtains that hang from the top to the bottom of the door.
  • Blackout curtains. These block the most amount of light and are particularly useful in rooms where the sunlight can otherwise reflect off of TV screens and computer monitors.
  • Blinds. Specifically made for sliding doors, these are usually vertical blinds that open from right to left and block light like your regular window blinds.

Can Regular Curtains Be Used?

If you don’t want to buy curtains specially for sliding glass doors, you can use regular curtains as long as they meet the following criteria:

  • The panels are wide enough to cover the doors all the way across when closed.
  • The curtains should be easy to open, so grommets or tabbed curtains are ideal.
  • They can easily slide across the curtain rod bar.

4. Choose the Correct Rod for Your Curtains

Rods are a great way to spice up your window treatment as they can add a bit of interest to your design.

Here are a few tips for choosing curtain rods:

  • Pick the right size. The rod you choose should be 8 inches wider than the door, leaving 4 inches of the rod on either side. This allows your panel to cover the entire doorway, giving you maximum privacy and blocking as much light as possible. At the same time, if you want to let in more light, the curtains can be pushed out of the way when the doors are in use.
  • Choose an appropriate style. For example, if you want to place the rod outside, you should choose the wall-mounted type. If you need to place the rod inside the door casing, a telescoping or tension rod will be more suitable.
  • Use a smooth rod with no grooves. This way, your curtain can easily slide when you open and close it.
  • Use the right mounts. You may want to use a center mount to ensure the stability and strength of your rod. If your door is near or over 96 inches, such as a glass wall, you may need two additional mounts evenly spaced in the middle.
  • Pick your material. Rods can be wood, plastic, or metal. Metal rods can be made of wrought iron, chrome, stainless steel, and even brass. These rods can have different finishes, such as brushed nickel, matte black, or rubbed bronze.
  • Match your rod with the other hardware in the room. For example, If your door knobs, drawer, and cabinet hardware are brushed nickel, you’ll want your rod to be the same.

How to Hang Curtains for Sliding Glass Doors

I’ve already given you tips on how to choose curtains for your sliding glass doors. Now, let’s move on to actually hanging them.

Make Sure Your Curtain Moves Smoothly With the Doors

Your curtains should move side to side with a sliding glass door, not up and down like blinds on a window. The reasons for this are:

  • To improve your ease of access. You can slide the curtain completely out of the way when the door is in use.
  • To prevent damage to the curtain or blind. Otherwise, the curtains can get stuck on the door hardware while it’s in operation, jamming it.

Place Your Curtains As High as Possible

If you opt for longer curtains, you can use brackets to place your rod near the ceiling. This gives the illusion of more space, making your room seem taller and more grand. The only downside is that, if you’re not a particularly tall person, you’ll have to use a stool to remove or adjust the curtains accordingly. 

Place Your Mounts Properly

It would be best to never mount any hardware directly to the door. This can cause issues such as:

  • the curtains getting caught in handles; and
  • your door being unable to open or close correctly.

The hardware should be located outside the door casing and at least two inches (5 centimeters) above the top of the door.

Get Creative

Tension rods are a great way to add to your room’s look as well as privacy. Specifically, these rods add layers inset from the rod mounted to the wall.

If you have vertical blinds, you can take each individual strip down, making sure to band them together for storage. With regular curtain hooks, hook them into the curtain and into the hole where the individual vertical strip hung.

The same basic principles for hanging curtains on sliding glass doors apply to sliding glass walls as well. For example, you need to keep the hardware above the door, make sure the curtains move in the same direction as the door, etc.

The only difference here is when the sliding glass wall accordions out. With this style of door, you need to make sure the curtain can be tucked to the side and out of the way of the door completely.

In Conclusion

Sliding glass doors are a great way to add natural light to any room. When you hang curtains over them, you can further improve their aesthetics and privacy.

Here are a few tips on hanging curtains over sliding glass doors or walls:

  • Hang rods outside the door frames to prevent the curtain from snagging.
  • Layer curtains to achieve the look you want or to add even more privacy.
  • Make sure your rod is longer than your door’s width to give room to tuck the curtains away when using the door or to enjoy a full view of the outside.

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