Which Way Should A Sliding Door Open?

Sliding doors are a super convenient type of door to have installed in your home. But deciding which way to install your doors can prove to be difficult sometimes. Do you want to put in sliding doors but don’t know how they are supposed to open? We have done our research to find you the answer.

Sliding doors should open on the same side as their handle. This essentially means that if your door has a right-sided handle, it needs to open to the right, and vice versa. That said, sliding doors come in various designs, so not every door will open in the same direction.

As we begin, we will cover all things sliding doors and discuss which way they should open. Whether you want to install a slider in your bedroom, kitchen, or living room, placement is key. With that said, let’s dive right into this topic!

roof top patio with open space kitchen, sliding doors and decking on upper floor. Which Way Should A Sliding Door Open?

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Should A Sliding Door Open Left Or Right?

When it comes to which way a sliding door should open, this depends on your preference. Generally, you will see sliding doors open to the right, but this doesn’t mean a left opening option is wrong.

Most people are right-handed, so many door designs choose to have their handle on the right side. That said, if you are left-handed and prefer your door to open on your dominant side, that is completely fine too.

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open plan living area with sliding door and garden

Can You Reverse The Way A Sliding Door Opens?

For anyone wanting to reverse the way their sliding door opens, you’re in luck. This is possible. Typically, a sliding door consists of one stable side and then another side that slides back and forth.

To reverse your slider’s direction, you will need to move your door’s current stable side and replace it with the sliding one. Although this is doable, replacing a sliding door can be costly and risky for your glass, so we wouldn’t recommend it unless it is necessary.

Can A Sliding Door Open Both Ways?

Although a standard sliding door will only open one way, you can design your doors to open in both directions. According to Continuing Education Center, multi-side glass sliding doors can be stacked to one or two sides, allowing them to open in both directions.

This essentially works by having your sliding doors stack into each other, usually meeting in the middle or to the left or right side.

Are All Sliding Glass Doors Reversible?

When it comes to all-glass sliding doors being reversible, technically, this is true. Like we covered earlier, sliding doors will usually have one stable, unmovable side, while the other can slide open and close.

Reversing your glass sliders is generally as easy as switching them out, although we recommend having a professional take a look. According to Hunker, you will need to completely disassemble your current sliders to reverse them, so that’s something to consider.

How Do You Reverse A Pella Sliding Glass Door?

sliding glass door detail and rail embed in wooden floor

For those with Pella sliding glass doors, reversing them should be relatively simple. First, you want to check your doors to see if they have blinds between their glass, and if they do, you can’t reverse them.

If your Pella sliding doors don’t have in-glass blinds:

  1. Remove their still and screen tracks
  2. Rotate their primary frame 180 degrees
  3. Extend their lock hook and clamp it in its new place
  4. Remove your door’s handle and attachment screws
  5. Remove the mortise lock from your sliders
  6. Rotate your mortise lock and handle 180 degrees
  7. Remove your door’s bottom roller and reinstall it to the other side

Pella also offers an online reversing tutorial, which you can find here.

Are Andersen Sliding Doors Reversible?

Now for anybody with an Andersen sliding glass door, you can reverse them, but only certain models. Similar to Pella, Andersen sliding doors with in-glass blinds are not able to be reversed.

That said, according to their online help guide, you can return your Andersen sliding doors and switch them out for a reversed option, so you’re not completely out of luck.

Can You Replace Sliding Glass Doors Without Replacing The Frame?

When it comes to replacing sliding glass doors without replacing their frame, this is very common. Generally, removing your sliding doors from their frame and replacing them shouldn’t take too much time and will usually cost between $700 and $ 2,400 to get done.

That said, we recommend looking at your frame before installing your new doors, seeing if it is in good shape, and replacing it if it looks worn/damaged. Doing this can ensure your new sliding doors will be sturdy and won’t fall out of place or shatter.

Is It Hard To Replace A Sliding Glass Door?

Difficulty-wise, replacing a sliding glass door can be somewhat tedious and shouldn’t be done by an amateur. Generally, you want to hire a professional to replace your sliding doors because removing them can be difficult.

That said, if you have access to a product replacement guide or work with sliding doors often, we don’t see why you can’t try to do it yourself.

Are French Doors Or Sliding Doors More Efficient?

The light shines on the white door. When look outside, there is a green tree.

Between French and sliding doors, we would say that French doors are the more efficient choice overall. French doors, in general, do a better job of keeping outdoor temperatures from seeping into your home and also aren’t as easy to get into, making them a bit safer.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, French doors have a tighter seal than sliding options, making them better for overly hot or cold climates. That said, sliding doors are still rated well for their efficiency as long as you insulate them well, so don’t count them out just yet.

How Much Does It Cost To Change Sliding Doors To French Doors?

If you are in the market for new doors and want to switch your current sliders for a French option, this will cost you. Typically, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,300 to over $5,000 to replace your doors, so this is a financial commitment.

French doors range in price, but for a standard design, you should budget for around $1,000 for your new doors. And if you want to get snazzy, French doors can cost you upwards of $10,000 if you decide to customize them.

Should A Sliding Patio Door Be On The Inside Or Outside?

Location-wise, you want your patio sliding door to be inside rather than out. Typically, patio doors will slide inside to keep their track protected from outside elements and debris.

Of course, there are exterior sliding patio door designs, but they will require more maintenance than an inside sliding option. 

How Do I Know If My Patio Door Is Left Or Right?

For those trying to figure out which way their patio slider opens, you can determine this by looking at it from the outside. A left-handed door will open to your outdoor left, while a right-handed one will slide to your outdoor right.

According to Andersen Windows, you can also tell your door’s position by looking at which of its panels move from the outside, whether left or right.

Are Sliding Glass Doors Out Of Style?

roof top patio with open space kitchen, sliding doors and decking on upper floor

When it comes to sliding glass doors being out of style, we have to disagree. Although this door design isn’t anything new, sliding glass doors will always be a staple in home design and construction.

If you are looking for something more modern, sliding doors with in-glass blinds are currently very popular, so you might want to check out those options. Regardless, having sliding glass doors in your home is a timeless option and doesn’t seem to be falling out of style anytime soon.

Are Sliding Doors Easy To Maintain?

Generally, we would agree that sliding doors will be easy to maintain. Most often, keeping your glass sliding door’s tracks clean and debris-free is the best way to maintain them and keep them working smoothly.

Another way to maintain sliding doors is to keep their tracks lubricated, using either WD-40 or a silicone-based product. Doing this will prevent your doors from going off their track or being hard to open and close.

WD-40 Specialist Heavy Duty Multi-Purpose Grease

This heavy-duty grease has long-lasting corrosion protection, extends the life of your equipment, is formulated with calcium sulfonate, and comes in a 14-ounce can.

Follow this link to see it on Amazon here.

To Wrap Everything Up

Whether you have sliding doors or want to get them, it is essential to know which way they should open. From what we found, a sliding door should open to the same side as its handle, which is usually to the right.

When it comes to reversing a sliding door, this is usually possible, depending on its design. Replacement-wise, we found that you can replace your sliding doors and not their frame, as long as it’s in good condition. Regardless of which way your sliding door opens, remember to clean its track regularly, and don’t forget to contact a professional before reversing/replacing it.

Want to know more about sliding doors? Check out these helpful home posts below!

Can You Add A Screen Door To Sliding Doors?

What Curtains To Choose For Sliding Glass Doors?

How Many Curtain Panels For A Sliding Glass Door?

Interior of a modern white painted living room with a huge sliding door leading to a balcony, Which Way Should A Sliding Door Open?

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