What are the Best Blinds for Sliding Doors?

best blinds for sliding doors

The Answer… “Some kind of Sliding Blinds“.

Generally speaking, the best blinds for sliding doors are some type of sliding blinds (as opposed to blinds which go up and down). It is more practical (and quick) to be able to quickly slide your blind across to exit through the door, than it is to fully lift the blind up.

There are of course exceptions to this rule. Some customers have their minds set on having roller blinds, and only roller blinds, throughout their homes, even on sliding doors which can cause some drawbacks.

Specialty Custom made window treatments are more expensive than ready-made budget alternatives. For this reason it is important to select the best suited door blinds right from the start. All our Reps are also professional fitters with many years of installation experience. If you would like an in-home consultation offering the best advice, feel free to send us a quote request here.

How Should they be Fitted?

Almost all sliding door blinds are fitted on the face of the architrave (not inside, and not above, but on the actual architrave). Most doors won’t have enough depth inside between the screen or glass and the door handle. Three major advantages of having your blinds installed on the architrave is: greater strength, higher privacy blockage, and better light control.

When face fitted, we use various size installation screws, to make contact with the timber support stud behind the wall. This makes for a stronger installation.

For Vertical blinds and Panel blinds, we measure them slightly wider than the doorway, so that less light seeps in from the sides, but also to maximize privacy.

For Roller blinds, Venetian blinds, Romans, and Plantation Shutters, they would be measured and fitted exactly from outer edge to outer edge, precisely to the width of the doorways’ architrave.

face fitted vertical blind example

Are Roller Blinds Good for Sliding Doors?

Short answer – No.

Sliding blinds work best for sliding doors, but we can see the appeal of keeping all window treatment consistent throughout the house, especially if you have roller blinds on all other windows.

It is our opinion, that roller blinds over doorways look attractive in photos, but fail to address practicality in everyday use.

Many companies will strategically try to convince their customers to choose either roller blinds or panel blinds over doorways, without considering the often overlooked question of “will they be practical in everyday life 6 months from now?”.

Consider the scenario of having a 5m wide doorway. In a roller blind setup, you could have possibly 3 or 4 roller blinds covering the opening, which means 3 or 4 blinds to have to lift up to open up the space. For double blinds, that could be 6 or 8 that would have to be raised.

It’s a lot of work, especially when compared with Vertical blinds or Panel blinds which simply slide across.

What if I Motorize all my Roller Blinds?

If you’re still sold on roller blinds, and your doorway is substantially wide requiring multiple roller blinds, you have the option to motorize all of your blinds. This is becoming a popular choice in new homes which have oversize and extra wide feature rear sliding doors. While the overall cost is higher, you get nice looking, easy to use, fun to “show off” solution to your window treatments.

The Light Gap between 2 Roller Blinds

For smaller “typical size” doorways (2-2.5m wide) sometimes people will choose two blinds side by side for a seamless look. Each roller blind has its own chain on the outer areas of the doorway, and control operation independently. In this setup, we’ve seen that generally people like leave the fixed glass panel roller blind down, and keep the opening section blind up. The downside of this setup is the unfavourable and unavoidable light gap which is created in the middle where the two blinds meet.

What about Sliding Shutters over my Sliding Doors?

If you have shutters on all windows (or are planning to), then you’ll inevitably ask the question “should I also put a plantation shutter over my doorway as well?”. This definitely will keep the aesthetics consistent throughout the whole house, but is it the right solution? It depends.

Shutters over doorways is basically “Louvre Living”, and by installing shutters over sliding glass doors, your aesthetically losing your door in place for horizontal, plantation shutter panels with slats.

Keep in mind that whilst shutters are a great choice to cover windows, they can appear bulky over a doorway as they protrude out significantly more than other types of blinds. Also you may find that the sliding shutters will remain open and fully stacked to one side most of the time.

This raises the follow on question of “If most of the time they’re stacked to one side, are they worth the financial outlay when compared to my alternatives?”. The answer generally is no, unless it is unquestionably the look you are after.

Verticals VS Panel Glide Blinds

The 2 big contenders for best over sliding doors are Verticals and Panel blinds. So how do they compare and which is best over sliding glass doors?

Lets compare them directly.

Price. Verticals are by far the more affordable option. Not all Verticals are cheap and nasty…Our flagship Verti+ system ensures a much longer product life than any other vertical alternative we’ve seen in the Brisbane blinds marketplace. This makes Flower Blinds Verticals a clear winner in this comparison.

By contrast, Panel Glide blinds are considered a more premium product, and come at a premium price point.

Fabric Range. Panel track blinds win by a landslide when it comes to fabric availability. While vertical blind fabrics aren’t limited, the selection for the sliding panel blinds are substantially more diverse. They include every available blind fabric in the window furnishings repertoire; a full selection of:

  • Blockout blinds to block light
  • Light filtering and Translucent fabrics – for a more soft shade effect
  • Sheer and Sunscreen blinds fabrics

Both Verticals and Panels offer effective light control and heat protection against the sun’s rays, though Panel track shades go one step further with its available options, as they also have fabrics for better insulation and energy savings.

Practicality and Visual Effect. The most critical point in this comparison is the visual effect the blind will have in the room. Smaller sliding doors (such as 2m wide doors), will be overpowered as a panel glide blind. The aesthetics of panel glides generally create the “wow” factor on oversize or extra long doorways, but add little effect to regular size doors. Moreover, as the panels stack to one side, they take up approximately a fifth of the doorway blocking some of the view.

So it is important to weight the options from a cost perspective if your doorway is only a standard size.

To Summarize...

Everyone has a different style when it comes to window coverings, and that remains true for blinds to cover sliding doors as well. Different house decors will favour certain window treatments over other types, though the most popular choice amongst most people is in the following order:

  1. Modern Vertical Blinds – being the most practical solution
  2. Panel Glide Blinds – coming in at second place for style and ease of use
  3. Roller Blinds – especially when motorized
  4. Everything Else

Basically our extra durable Verti+ Vertical Blinds have more positives than negatives, compared with any other window furnishings, when it comes to covering sliding doors.

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