How To Hang Curtains On Sliding Glass Doors

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Sliding glass doors let you quickly access fresh air besides bathing your room in natural light. But if they let in too much sunshine, it could lead to glare and fading of floors, textiles, and furniture. Your best bet is to fix these issues with curtains. But how do you hang curtains on sliding glass doors?

Measure your sliding glass door and mark the positions for the mounting brackets. Drill holes for the side brackets and gently tap in drywall anchors. Mount the side brackets first, then mount the center bracket. Attach the curtains to the rod and mount it safely on the holding brackets.

Home decor experts agree curtains on sliding glass doors are crucial elements for a functional home design. They allow privacy, let you control the natural lighting, and give the doors and room a more elegant look. Let’s get started so you know what it takes to hang curtains on sliding glass doors.

Can You Hang Curtains on Sliding Glass Doors?

Empty room with balcony with white curtains and aluminum

You can hang curtains like these (example on Amazon) on over sliding glass doors, just like windows. You can mount a hanging rod a couple of inches above the door frame and hang the curtains from there.

If you choose to go with curtain panels or drapes, ensure they’re wide enough to close in the middle, and to hang over the floor where you’d like after install. They should also have wide-enough rings, pockets, or loops for easy opening and closing. 

Depending on the level of privacy you need, you can choose from sheer curtains to blackout curtains. And if you prefer to conceal your drapery hardware and add a decorative touch, you can use valances like this one (example on Amazon).

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Here’s what you need to hang curtains properly on your sliding glass door:

  • 3 Curtain rod holders (brackets)
  • Long-enough curtain rod
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Drywall anchors
  • Hammer
  • Pencil

Other optional items include a carpenter’s level, finials, and curtain hooks or rings. If you prefer to hang sheers next to the glass followed by heavy curtains in front, you’ll need to mount a double curtain rod. 

Moreover, you should use a step stool or ladder to safely and conveniently reach the mounting height if you aren’t tall enough.

Measuring Your Curtains

Empty room with curtain for background.

While you can use different curtain sizes, you must take the correct measurements, so the curtain dimensions don’t compromise the look you prefer. Here’s how to measure your curtains for sliding glass doors:

  1. First, determine how much area you want to cover with the curtains.
  1. Measure the width of the total area and double it or multiply it by three, depending on how full you want the curtains. You’ll still divide this number by 2 to get the length that goes to both sides of the door frame.

For example, if you find the total width is 120 inches, you can multiply this by 3 to get 360 inches. You then divide 360 inches by 2 to get 180 inches for each side of the door frame. This will help you figure out how many panels you need for each side.

  1. Use a pencil to draw a line from where you’ll mount the curtain rod to about ½ inch above the floor. This line represents the length of your curtain panels. 

For a more custom look, you’ll do great with curtains that can mount at least 4 to 5 inches above the door frame if your wall allows.

How to Hang Your Curtains (Step by Step)

Follow these simple steps to hang curtains on your sliding glass door safely:

Step 1: Measure Your Sliding Glass Door

Find the dimensions of your sliding glass doors, especially taking note of the length parallel to where the curtain rod will hang.

Find the center point along this length and mark it with a pencil 4 inches above the top of the door frame. 

You should also mark out 4-6 inches from each side of the door. This addition will ensure your curtain rod is the proper length, and the marks indicate where you’ll mount the side brackets.

Step 2: Mark the Positions for the Mounting Brackets

Place one of the side mounting brackets at the center of the mark on one side of the sliding doors. Next, carefully mark the screw holes with your pencil and repeat this for the other side of the door. Finally, mark the position for the center mounting bracket. 

Step 3: Drill Holes for the Side Brackets & Mount Them

Drill the holes for the mounting brackets on the three locations using a drill bit whose diameter is slightly smaller than that of the drywall anchors. This will ensure the anchors hold firmly and do not pull out of the wall.

Using your hammer, tap the anchors gently into the holes. Next, line one of the side brackets up with its holes seated over the anchors.

Next, poke the mounting screws through the brackets and anchors, then screw them in with the drill.

You might want to use a carpenter’s level to ensure the bracket is straight before screwing it into position. Repeat these steps to mount the other side bracket. Do not mount the center bracket yet.

Step 4: Mount the Center Bracket & Test the Rod Alignment

Mount the center bracket lightly, careful not to tighten the screws in. Next, fix the curtain rod into the brackets and confirm that it’s straight. Once you’ve ensured the curtain rod is level, firmly fix the center bracket in position.

You must review the product instructions for mounting your curtain rod and brackets. Often, you’ll need to mount the brackets two inches above and 2 to 4 inches on each side of the sliding door. 

If you have a curved rod, you won’t need holding brackets because it features two screw holes on each end of the rod itself.

Step 5: Attach the Curtains on the Rod

Carefully thread your curtains onto the rod if yours feature a pocket top, closed loops, or rings at the top. Next, gently set the curtain rod in position on all three brackets. You can then fit the finials at the ends of the rod if you prefer.

Mistakes to Avoid

If you get things right, curtains can enhance the look of your room in unique ways. But if you make certain mistakes while hanging them, you can end up with a disastrous look. 

Remember, curtains stand out (even in a bad way), and they can quickly turn a stunning room into disarray if you hang them poorly. These are the mistakes to avoid while hanging your curtains on sliding glass doors:

Mounting the Curtain Rod Too Low

Whether you do it deliberately or not, hanging the curtain rod too low will make the curtains stand out badly.

Generally, you want to mount the rod a half to two-thirds the distance from the top of the door frame to the ceiling. This makes the room look taller by lifting the focus to the rod.

Using a Narrow, Short, or Flimsy Curtain Rod

If your curtain rod isn’t long enough on both sides of the sliding door, it makes the curtains look forced, and the room appears smaller than it is.

When choosing your rod length, add up to 6 inches on each side of the sliding door. 

You should also avoid a rod that’s not sturdy enough to support the weight of your curtains, or it will sag oddly. Moreover, it shouldn’t be too narrow, as the curtains will quickly give away the weird fit of the rod.

Using Curtains That are Too Short

Generally, people look for curtains that either “kiss” the floor, float above it, or puddle on it. However, if, for some reason, you end up with short curtains or raise the hanging rod too high, your curtains will appear disproportionate.

Selecting the Wrong Curtain Style

The top finishings on curtains directly relate to how they function, meaning you have to get this right. For example, curtains you’ll want to open and close too often shouldn’t have tight-fitting rod pockets or loops.

Moreover, you don’t want to think about soft furnishings like curtains last when choosing the design of your room. Since you have plenty of paint colors to choose from, you can pick your curtains first and then pull a matching paint color from the fabric pattern.

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