Are Shutters Good for Patio Doors? 6 Designer Suggestions

Sliding glass doors and patio doors are popular features for many homes, to be able to easily transition between the indoor living area and the back patio or deck. They can also let in plenty of natural light, the larger the windows are. Effectively covering such a potentially large, high-traffic passageway, considering privacy and light management, can be trickier than it might sound. 

And what about all-year ‘round coziness? Another consideration you might need to take into account for your patio doors is insulation. Do you want your sliding glass or patio door windows to be able to keep the sun’s glare out in the summer and the heat in during the winter?

There are many options for sliding glass doors and patio door windows, though not all of them are the best choice for what your home might need. You also need to keep your interior décor in mind.

Do Shutters Work on Patio Doors?

Louvered shutters offer excellent light blockage for room darkening, they provide privacy, they provide an easy view outward, and they can also help insulate against the elements. Unfortunately, they are not the most practical solution for sliding glass doors or windowed patio doors. For sliding glass doors, expensive attachments are likely required for the custom-sized shutters. For windowed patio doors, shutters can possibly be exterior mounted around the windows, assuming there is enough surface area between the edge of the windows and the edge of the door itself. Possible, but not necessarily the most cost-effective solution available.

Let’s discuss different types of patio doors, and what window covering solutions might work best.

What Are Different Styles of Patio Doors?

There are essentially two types of patio doors: hinged and sliding. Hinged patio doors (e.g., French doors) typically feature some sort of window or windows. Sliding doors can be made of solid material without windows (e.g., “barn”-style sliding doors), but more often than not, they are made mostly of transparent glass.

Sliding (Glass) Doors

Sliding glass doors slide back and forth on a track to open and close, and are typically “all glass window.”

French (or Farmhouse) Patio Doors

French doors, sometimes referred to as Farmhouse doors, are a traditional patio door choice. These doors typically feature one or more glass panels, can be single or double doors, and can open by swinging inward or outward. While windowed French doors may offer an impressive view outside, sometimes you’ll need privacy.

What Should I Cover my Sliding Glass Doors With?

Here are some helpful suggestions for what works best with sliding glass patio doors:

Vertical Blinds

Looking for a trendy look for your patio doors and sliding glass doors? Try the versatility of vertical blinds, available in updated colors, fabrics, and textures to complement other window treatments anywhere in your home. They also look amazing all by themselves! Especially great for covering wider sizes of glass doors or windows.

Vertical Cellular Shades

One excellent solution for your sliding glass doors is a vertical cellular shade. Vertical cellulars feature an energy-efficient “honeycomb” design, that keeps heat and light out when it’s hot, but then traps heat inside when it’s cold. The honeycomb pockets trap heat inside them to create the insulation effect. These cellulars also help control light and privacy, and serve to buffer against exterior noise. 

Sliding Panel Track Blinds

A modern solution for window treatments for those sliding glass doors is panel track blinds. These are large panels of varying widths and overlap for coverage that slide back and forth on a track. They can also be used as room dividers. These panel tracks feature a large selection of fabrics and color to complement your décor.


Stylish curtains are one solution for covering your sliding glass door for which you don’t need to worry about obstructing your door’s operation or your ability to pass through while going out and coming back in. Cover your door completely, or use matching tiebacks to pull your drapery to the side. You’ll have a wide selection of colors, fabrics, prints, and patterns to choose from.

What Do You Put on French Doors For Privacy?

Here are some suggestions for windowed French and Farmhouse patio doors:

Cellular/Honeycomb Shades

Keep your interior well-covered, comfortable, and quiet with energy-efficient cellular shades. Try them with Kid-friendly cordless lifts, a unique Top Down Bottom Up design, or with motorization or WiFi hub automation for convenience.

Roller Shades

Roller shades are nice for windowed doors in that they lay up close to the glass to minimize side gaps and provide maximum privacy. They feature a familiar and traditional design, they’re easy to use, and you’ll have your choice of fabrics and colors. Convenient motorization and automation are also available options.

Roman Shades

Trendy and traditional, Roman shades never seem to go out of style. They provide maximum coverage and light blockage, and they complement even the trendiest interiors. They look great from outside, too.

Some Things to Keep in Mind When Covering Your French Doors:

Mount on the Outside of the Windows

Unlike regular windows, French door windows have no depth. It’s critical that you be able to mount whatever window coverings you choose “around” the window(s).

Door Handles

Your door’s handles can potentially get in the way of your window treatment’s operation, so make sure there is ample space between your windows and the door’s handles. Most roller shades and honeycomb shades should be able to hang flat behind a door’s handles if needed, assuming there is at least an inch or so of clearance. 

Hold-down Brackets

When your window treatment is extended downward, it may rustle and flap when the door opens and closes. Hold-down brackets can keep the bottom of the blind or shade locked in place.

You *Can* DIY Design

Just because you need functional window treatments for your sliding glass or windowed patio doors doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! Here at Select Blinds, you can choose the look you want and make it a perfect fit for your patio traffic needs.

Go window shopping for patio door solutions >>

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