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6 Unique Sliding Glass Door Alternatives

6 Unique Sliding Glass Door Alternatives

Looking for sliding glass door alternatives? You’re on the right page. We’ll show you 6 unique options to buck the boring sliding glass door trend, tell you what we love about each, and give you some pros and cons to consider.


Disclaimer: The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal, financial, or DIY advice. We highly suggest consulting a professional before attempting any DIY home improvements or repairs.


If you want to experience some out-of-the-box interior design in your life, sliding glass door alternatives offer all that and more. You don’t have to stick to the status quo! You don’t have to install boring old sliding glass doors anymore.

There are plenty of innovative options available instead. Read on to find out six sliding glass door alternatives you can choose from to liven up your space and try something fresh and unique. 

Sliding Glass Bores?

Unless you have been living under a rock since the 1950s, everyone should be pretty well acquainted with these architectural and design staples. Unlike traditional swing doors, sliding glass doors slide horizontally instead of opening and closing only one specific way. 

Sliding glass doors consist of an operating panel and a stationary panel and have a simple yet effective gliding design. You can find sliding glass doors in many shapes and sizes, but they all tend to move horizontally in the same manner.

Many people might find sliding glass doors boring because they are so popular. Even if you like the look of sliding glass doors, there are a few disadvantages to using them in your home:

  • The space between the doors can be a pain to clean, especially in colder weather.
  • Your rollers may wear out quickly and make sliding the door more difficult or cumbersome. 
  • Debris and dirt often accumulate inside the tracks. That will increase friction and might damage your rollers. 
  • Sliding glass doors are minimalistic and include fewer color and design options than other doors.

For Those in a Hurry

Though sliding glass doors are popular in modern architecture, they are far from your only option. You can find several other alternatives to consider before you decide to install sliding glass doors in your home.  

If you don’t have the time to read through this article, you can browse through all 6 of the sliding glass door alternatives below. 

Accordion Doors

  • Also called folding doors or bi-fold doors.
  • The door features two or more folding hinge panels.
  • They offer a wider opening than traditional swing doors.

French Doors

  • One of the more traditional sliding door alternatives. 
  • The door opens and closes like a standard swing door.
  • Aesthetics are the primary focus of French doors.

Glass Roll-Up Doors

  • Best way to lend a sleek, unique style to your space. 
  • The most expensive sliding glass door alternative.

Pivot Doors

  • Pivot doors can come from ANY material.
  • Extremely easy to install 
  • It can handle different measurements than traditional swing doors.

Center Swing Doors

  • Only swing open on one side.
  • Great for those who prefer double swinging doors and don’t have adequate space.

Dutch Doors

  • A traditional but unique choice.
  • Perfect for parents and pet owners too!
  • Dutch doors can provide lots of innocent charm.

The 6 Best Sliding Glass Door Alternatives

For those with a little more time to spare, read on for more in-depth descriptions of these sliding door alternatives. Below you will find a complete rundown on the six best sliding glass door alternatives.

We will discuss how they work and why they make great replacements for standard sliding glass door options. 

1. Accordion Doors

Accordion door, a sliding glass door alternative

Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Accordion doors are named after their famous musical instrument counterparts that “fold” when played. These sliding glass door alternatives have at least two panels hinged together at the ends.

When the doors slide open, these panels fold together seamlessly. They are then pushed off to one side and out of the way.

When you close accordion doors, the panels slide in reverse and straighten out again until they are fully closed. You can use accordion doors to add style and practicality to either your residential or commercial space.

Accordion doors are sleek, easy to use, and fun to show off. You can even include an optional swing door at one end for quick access without folding the accordion doors up. That is very convenient when you need a quick exit and no fuss. 

2. French Doors

Sliding glass door alternative of a French Door

PhotoMavenStock/Shutterstock

Of all the sliding glass alternatives on this list, French doors are likely the most common choice. French doors are a beautiful addition to any home or commercial space.

Many French doors are made of mostly glass and offer spectacular views. These traditional alternatives are called French doors because they were invented in France. They originated in France in the 17th century. 

This was an era of Renaissance in France, one that included the use of novel art and architecture techniques throughout the land. French doors were conceived so that people could open doors and step out onto their balconies instead of climbing out their windows. 

The people of France began to understand that doors made mostly from glass could keep homes well-lit for longer, and soon these doors were all the rage. 

Modern French doors can vary in size, glass panel numbers, and wood types. There are endless combinations for you to choose from so that your French doors match your style down to every last detail. 

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3. Glass Roll-Up Doors

Glass roller door, a sliding glass door alternative

Hans Engbers/Shutterstock

If you want to open up large areas of your home or commercial space to the outdoors at the click of a button, glass roll-up doors are the sliding glass alternatives for you. 

They are also called glass garage doors, and they do resemble traditional garage doors, except they are mostly made from glass and metal.

They roll up the same way a garage door would, but they provide a beautiful view and natural light, even when they are closed. With glass roll-up doors, your home will be warmer, brighter, and more stylish.

They are usually made of tempered glass, which means they are sturdy and secure. You can design your glass roll-up door however you’d like, there are lots of different colors, types, and styles to choose from! 

4. Pivot Doors

Glass and wooden pivot door, a sliding glass door alternative

Chris Haver/Shutterstock

Pivot doors are swinging doors that rotate on a spindle. A spindle is simply a vertical axis. Standard hinge doors have hinges that attach to the side of the door and the adjacent wall. Pivot doors can be used with any design or measurement.

It is made up of a door, a pivot system, a floor plate, and a ceiling plate. The hinges on pivot doors are completely invisible on the finished door and can be placed anywhere.

Pivot doors come equipped with tails that swing inward with outward swinging doors and outward for an inward swinging door. This provides a graceful, elegant range of motion. If you desire, your pivot door can be frameless because of the pivot hardware that comes along with it. 

5. Center Swing Doors

Center swing door, a sliding glass door alternative

Hendrickson Photography/Shutterstock

Center swing doors consist of one active door and one stationary door. The two doors are hinged in the middle instead of the outer frame. This way, the active door can open up and rest against the stationary one.

Center swing doors can provide more room for moving furniture, or they can help open up your floor plan.

Center swing doors can swing either in or out, depending on what you need them to do. These sliding glass door alternatives can fit into any decorating scheme, whether it’s traditional or modern!

6. Dutch Doors

Backyard with a Dutch door, a great sliding glass door alternative

Intreegue Photography/Shutterstock

Dutch doors are unique-looking sliding glass door alternatives that are split right in the middle with a horizontal cut.

These novel doors are sometimes called half doors or double-hung doors. When the bolt is unlatched, only the top half of the door can open. When you secure the bolt, the two halves are held together, and it acts just like a traditional swinging door.

Dutch doors were created in colonial New England, but they were used mainly by Dutch colonists. These colonists’ connection to a sliding glass door alternative has continued into the present day. 

In the colonies, half doors provided a practical solution for Dutch settlers who wanted more wind and sunlight. They worried about small children escaping or animals intruding, but Dutch doors fixed all that. 

You can use Dutch doors for exterior or interior purposes. Either way, it will add a classic charm to your house without looking basic and boring.

Some Things to Consider

If one of these sliding glass door alternatives sounds like the right choice for you, be sure to keep a few things in mind before you install one in your home or place of business.

  • Replacing a sliding glass door may only cost you $400 on the low end.
  • Some sliding door alternatives cannot be installed without professional help.
  • Installing sliding door alternatives can help increase your home’s value.

It’s always smart to weigh all the pros and cons when it comes to home improvements, and though you might want to try a sliding glass door alternative, it might not be the best decision for you right now.

On the other hand, someone else could be in the perfect position to add a touch of unique fun and style to commercial or residential properties. 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have some burning questions about sliding glass door alternatives, read on below to learn what questions fellow Google users asked and find the answers you seek:

How much does it cost to replace sliding glass doors?

It costs about $600 to $2,500 to replace sliding glass doors, depending on which sliding glass door alternative you choose to install. The price could be higher or lower as well. These are just rounded averages.

What can I use instead of a sliding glass door?

Aside from the choices mentioned above, you could also try Shoji sliding doors, sliding barn doors, or a single door with sidelights.

Is it easy to replace a sliding glass door?

That all depends on what you are replacing it with. Some alternatives will be very easy to install, while others can take lots of time and effort.

Can you replace sliding glass doors without removing the frame?

If you want to try a sliding door alternative, chances are you will have to remove or alter the sliding door frame. If you’re replacing it with a new sliding door of the same size, then your old frame should work just as well.

How long does it take to replace a sliding glass door?

Once again this can vary, but for the most part, you should be able to replace a sliding glass door with most of these alternatives in 1 to 2 days. Some sliding glass door alternatives can take longer based on which one you choose and who is installing it.

What’s the Best Sliding Glass Door Alternative?

Now that you know you aren’t stuck with sliding glass doors forever, maybe you should explore some of the exciting alternatives available today.

Whether it’s an elegant French door, a high-tech glass garage, or a quirky Dutch door, you can get out of your aesthetic rut in no time flat. Simply choose one of these sliding glass door alternatives and change the way you look at your world (literally!). 

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