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You chose exterior sliding glass doors for the abundant natural light, panoramic views, and seamless open space between indoors and out. But there may be times when you need instant privacy or want a little less light coming directly into your house.

Fortunately, window coverings for sliding glass doors are plentiful. Just as sliding door systems and patio doors come in all sizes, window treatments run the gamut from sleek contemporary to comfortably classic, and they can be opened and closed manually or be motorized. Best of all, there are enough aesthetic options available to ensure that the sliding glass door coverings you choose will suit your personal taste and complement your interior décor — including treatments used with windows in the same space.

Some Things to Keep in Mind Before You Buy

- No matter which window treatment you choose, you will probably have to mount it on the wall space above the frame of your sliding glass doors. (The door frame will likely not be deep enough to handle the installed treatment.) Look at how much space is available above your doors (especially if you have transom windows above the doors) and make that one of your considerations as you explore options.

- Window treatments for sliding glass doors tend to move by wand, chain, looped pull cord, or a motorized system. If you have a preference, look for that as you consider your choices.

- How do you want the finished window treatment to stack: completely to the left or right? Parting from the middle and moving to either side? Your options depend upon your choice of treatment, of course, but it’s good to have an idea in mind before you start your search.


Photography by Mia Baxter


Sliding glass door curtains or drapes are one of the easiest and most aesthetically versatile solutions. Curtains and drapes for sliding glass doors not only let you make a style statement, with your choice of fabric, color, and pattern, but they also give you plenty of options for getting the balance of privacy and light flow that you prefer.

Aim for grommet-style curtains or pleated drapes with attached rings that can stand up to repeated opening and closing. Add blackout fabric on the reverse to help with light control, or go for solar or energy-efficient curtains with a lining that reflects heat outside in the summer and holds the room’s warmth in the winter. Sheer curtains can also be layered in to allow light while maintaining privacy. Whatever you choose, make sure the curtains extend beyond either side of your sliding glass door area for optimal aesthetics and privacy.

If you go for the classic curtain rod, before you buy, think about how you want your curtains to open and close. Some rods only require brackets at either end, allowing your curtains to move without obstruction across the space. But if the rod you like needs brackets in multiple places, that may impede how your curtains or drapes move. Decide ahead of time if you want your curtains to open to one particular side or from the middle out to either side.

Since you’ll want your sliding glass doors completely unobstructed at times, be sure to have enough rod space to move the curtains clear of the glass area. Keeping the curtains one inch above the floor will help them stay cleaner longer.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds for sliding glass doors feature wide, lightweight slats that hang from and move along a top rail. The slats are available in a wide range of materials, including fabric, wood, faux wood, metal, or vinyl. Like window blinds, they overlap for coverage and may be rotated to open fully or partially or moved out of the way to one side. A valance or cornice at the top of the system finishes the look cleanly.  

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Vertical Sheer Shades

Think of vertical sheer shades for sliding glass doors as a hybrid of curtains and vertical blinds. They are movable blinds that operate within an envelope of sheer fabric. The blinds open and close to let light through or keep it at bay, and the sheer fabric ensures a degree of privacy at all times. If you like the idea of traditional vertical blinds but want a cleaner, more elegant look, vertical sheer shades may be the right solution.

Panel or Track Blinds

Panel blinds for sliding glass doors are panels of fabric or natural materials such as bamboo or woven fibers placed on tracks that allow the panels (typically 8 to 24 inches across) to overlap each other to cover the sliding glass door or retract to one side to reveal the door area. The biggest benefit here is aesthetic: you can coordinate the gliding panels’ fabric or material with elements of the space’s interior design. Add reverse-side fabrics (such as blackout panels) to control the amount of light coming through.

Vertical Cellular Shades

You’ve likely seen these honeycomb-pocket shades on windows. On sliding glass doors, the shade pleats run vertically instead of horizontally and, depending on the manufacturer, the shades may be available in a variety of colors.

Vertical cell shades offer top-notch privacy when closed. They’re great for helping maintain the inside temperature; the honeycomb construction acts as a barrier that keeps the space cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. And because they retract completely, closing in on themselves as they move to the side, you can still enjoy full access to your sliding glass doors.

Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters for sliding glass doors are among the more costly solutions for covering the glass. However, if you have window shutter treatments throughout your space and want your sliding glass patio doors to look consistent, you will find options that work.

Plantation shutters (sometimes called track shutters) are installed on panels that move along tracks much in the same way your exterior sliding doors do. Tilt the shutters to let in light and views; move them out of the way when you want full view of the glass or the open space. Shutter panels for sliding glass doors are ideal when you want air to flow but need to reduce the sunlight coming in or maintain privacy; simply open your exterior sliding glass doors and then close your shutter panels.

LaCantina sliding glass doors open your home to a healthier way of living, with fresh air and plenty of natural light. We also offer folding and swing systems that elevate homes of any size and style.

See how other homeowners are using their LaCantina sliding glass door systems here.