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5 Unconventional Sliding Glass Door Alternatives

All-white interior with French doors lending a peak to the garden.

Sliding glass doors are typically installed as patio doors. They consist of two glass panels and a screen that glide along tracks when you open or close them. They’re environment-friendly, space-saving, and give homes a smart and modern look which makes it a popular choice in home decor.

With all its attractive features, installing sliding glass doors to a home doesn’t come cheap. It’s more expensive than regular doors, not to mention more high-maintenance, less durable, and less secure. On the other hand, it’s also not wise to skimp on the quality of the glass.

So if you love how sliding glass doors look but can’t deal with the drawbacks it comes with, you need to scroll through the list below for some unconventional alternatives to a sliding glass door.

Related: Sliding Door Dimensions | Types of Locks for Sliding Doors | Different Types of Sliding Doors | Stacker Door vs. Sliding Door | Door Dimensions

1. Accordion Doors

Traditional accordion doors in a classic Sino-Portuguese interior.

Accordion doors are something that you see fairly often in closets, but they can also make for good patio doors. You will be able to purchase a glass accordion door to stand in for a sliding glass door if you so choose. It will be able to work nicely to provide you with a functional patio entrance. They make it very easy to get in and out of your home.

Doors such as this are popular for many reasons. They are able to open up and can give you a lot of space to move things in. If you need to bring a new table inside of your home or a couch, then doing so through this entrance should be simple. It has a lot of convenience to it and will definitely be worthwhile to install.

The look of an accordion door is pretty nice, too. These doors may not be as ornate as some of the other options on this list, but they are still quite appealing. If you want a door that is going to be both practical and pretty, then this option is for you. You’ll have a good time installing this door and you will be able to make use of it right away.


Accordion doors are really practical for you to use. You’ll be able to easily take things in and out of your home with these doors. They are simple to install and look really nice. You’ll be happy with this door and everything that it brings to the table.


Some people don’t think that these accordion doors look classy enough. It really depends on your personal preferences. Some accordion doors do have ornate qualities and others have a more subdued design. They might be more practical than they are impressive, though.

2. Center Swing Patio Doors

Center swing doors leading to the patio.

If you want to buy a door that is going to look really nice but doesn’t cost a whole lot of money, then you should consider purchasing a center swing patio door. These doors are kind of like French doors except they have one important distinction. One of the doors will stay closed while the other is opened. This works out just fine and it offers a similar aesthetic appeal to the French doors that many people love.

The big reason that people choose to install center swing patio doors is that they are cost effective. This is going to be an easy door for you to purchase and install. It will look really nice overall and you’ll be able to be proud of it. It will function well for you and is durable enough to last for a long time.

People generally use these doors as patio entrances. Sometimes doors such as this even have mesh sliding screens so that you can enjoy some fresh air in your home. This really is a suitable alternative to the sliding glass door. If you need a new door and don’t want to spend a lot of money, then this should work out just great.


This door is very affordable and will be able to be purchased on most budgets. Despite being low in cost, the door itself looks very fancy. You’ll be able to enjoy the look of something such as French doors, without having to pay the high price. Installation is easy and you’ll be able to enjoy many of the conveniences that sliding glass doors can offer you.


Some people are going to see only being able to open one of the doors as a negative. These doors may not be as practical in some ways due to this limitation. It isn’t a big deal, though, and many people like these doors for what they are. It’s a cost-effective alternative to both a sliding glass door and a French door.

3. French Doors

French doors flanked by rattan chairs with throw pillows.

French doors are among the most famous type of door that people use in their homes. Aside from sliding glass doors, these are probably the most common types of doors that lead out to a patio area. French doors are very ornate and look quite fancy. This also means that they can be pretty expensive, so you’ll have to be prepared to pay a bit of money to get a nice french door.

Once you have the door that you need, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get things going. These doors are different from a sliding glass door, so if you are replacing one of those, you may need to make some modifications. French doors open and close on a hinge, and you should be able to customize things properly to fit your specific door frame. It shouldn’t pose a big problem for you as installing French doors is actually a relatively simple process.

You will be able to enjoy good insulation when you choose French doors, too. These doors typically make use of double-glazed glass, and these are fantastic for insulation. It will be an energy-efficient solution that can help to keep your house warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. French doors are both practical and indulgent due to how nice they look.


French doors will look amazing and will be fairly simple for you to install. You may have to customize things a bit to get everything to fit your frame properly, but it should work out nicely. There are many gorgeous French doors on the market and you should be able to find one that will appeal to your particular sensibilities. This is a perfect door to install for anyone who cares about the aesthetic appeal of their home.


French doors are not going to be the most cost-effective solution, in all likelihood. They aren’t unreasonably priced, but they may be a bit too expensive for certain people to want to pull the trigger. Regardless, this option is very popular among many people. French doors are high quality and will definitely make you happy.

4. Glass Roll-up Doors

Glass Roll-up Doors

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Glass roll-up doors are really fun to own, but they won’t be easy to install. If you haven’t seen this type of door before, then it is basically like a garage door. You roll the door up into the frame itself. The nature of this type of door means that your door frame is going to need to be modified to make use of it.

Also, you are going to need to make some changes to your home itself to be able to install this door. You’ll have to create housing for the door inside of the walls. This is going to involve taking on a small home improvement project. This is a lot more involved than simply installing a door on an existing frame, so you’ll need to be prepared for that ahead of time.

Being able to lift up the glass door to get to the outside of your home is really interesting. It has a similar level of convenience to the sliding glass door and is actually more useful in some ways. You’ll be able to lift the door to make carrying large items into the house easier. Many people use entrances such as this to carry furniture in and out of the house.


This door will look very nice in your home and it will also be quite practical. If you want a door that is going to look impressive while being very functional, then this is a great option. It will provide you with a great view of the outside of your home and you’ll always be able to easily roll the door up to leave your house. Securing these doors is easy too, so you won’t have to worry about it being safe.


Installing a door such as this is difficult and it will involve making some significant changes. Having to alter your home just to house the door may be a bit much. There are a lot of people who will not want to go to this amount of effort just to install a door. The door is going to be visually appealing, but the amount of time you have to pour into this project may not feel worth it.

5. Pivoting Glass Door

Pivoting Glass Shower Door

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If you want to install something that is very unique in your home, then you could decide to go with a pivoting glass door. This isn’t a very common door option because it isn’t very easy to install. Making a door such as this one work in your home is going to require quite a bit of work. It looks really interesting, though, and many people find these doors to be fantastic additions to their properties.

You are going to have to make some changes to the frame of your door to make this work. It’s going to be quite the home improvement project, but if you can make it work, you’ll have a visually stunning door to enjoy. These doors pivot when they open, so you push it to the left or the right. It can definitely make your home stand out if you decide to install one of these.

The work that goes into installing this door might turn some people off. The doors themselves aren’t necessarily inexpensive either. This is going to be an option that appeals to people who like to have fresh design choices in their home. It may be worthwhile if you want something nice that is completely different than what everyone else is doing.


This type of door is going to provide your home with a unique look. The aesthetic appeal of a pivoting glass door is undeniable. These doors look really nice and will certainly impress anyone who visits your home. It can be a lot of work to get it installed, but once it is ready, you’ll be able to enjoy having an interesting door.


This door may not be worth the effort for some people. It can take a lot of work just to get the door frame ready for this type of door. The door itself won’t be inexpensive either. It may turn into more of a project than you are willing to take on. Take everything into consideration ahead of time so that you can avoid taking on more work than you are prepared to handle.