Sliding doors offer beautiful vistas and loads of sunlight. If you’re looking for a way to cover up the glass with a curtain, however, you’ll need a special curtain rod. Unlike traditional curtain rods, sliding-door curtain rods have important design features that let them span greater distances without obstructing your curtain. Which you choose will ultimately depend on your home’s design and your aesthetic.
The top sliding-door curtain rod is Infinette Tekno 40 Melrose Single Traverse Window Curtain Rod Set.
Sliding glass doors are a convenient way to combine egress with loads of daylight. But these large glass fixtures can be huge energy sinks. Unless your window is equipped with high-efficiency glass, you’re likely to suffer from the greenhouse effect in the summer and terrible drafts during the winter.
A curtain is the next best thing to wall insulation and UV coating. Sheer curtains provide light in warmer months while cooling your room, whereas thick drapes can keep the heat in and the cold out during chillier months. An added bonus is the protection they offer against sun damage. A curtain significantly cuts down sun exposure, so you won’t have to worry about faded upholstery and finishes.
The main challenge in selecting the right curtain rod is its length. In order to cover a wide area, your curtain rod will need extra support in the middle so that it doesn’t sag. This quickly gets complicated, because each bracket you introduce in the middle of the rod blocks your curtain from closing. When choosing a curtain rod for your sliding glass door, you’ll want to make sure the rod has the right features to prevent headaches.
The following types of curtain rods will be your best bet when choosing the right length for your sliding rod:
Sliding doors are typically sized in panels. A two-panel door’s total width is usually 60-96 inches (5-8 feet), and a three-panel door 108-144 inches, or 9-12 feet. When sizing your curtain rod, be sure to measure first. In addition to spanning the entire width of your sliding door, you want to be sure you have enough room on either end of the fixture to mount your rod, as well as enough height above. Aim for 3-5 inches extra above and on either side.
Curtain rods are made from all sorts of materials, and which you choose is a matter of aesthetics. Common materials for decorative and traverse rods are metal and wood. Both are sturdy.
When decorating, think about how the material will fit in with your decor. Raw woods are a nice natural element to tone down a modernist or boho interior, or upscale an antique or vintage space. Metal can either be classy or utilitarian. If you don’t want your living room to look like a corporate office, look for decorative rods with a nice finish.
A proper finish can make any structural element in your home shine. Whether it's a stain that adds shine, or a faux patina that adds age, finished metals and woods look great with textured drapes. These can be especially effective at dressing up the rather square and plain look of a sliding glass door.
Finials are the decorative caps that screw on to either end of the curtain rod. These are commonly a ball, square or cylinder shape. Ornamental finials embellish these shapes with low-relief detailing. Finials look best in rustic, classical and boho decors. But if you’re a minimalist or if you’re outfitting your midcentury modern home, a simple brass or steel end cap works too.
Even with the support of extra brackets, a curtain rod can bend when stressed by too much weight. Drapes are the heaviest culprits, weighing in at 25 pounds or more. Be sure to check the weight capacity before hanging your curtains. Standard curtain rods hold 5-20 pounds.
Because they’re longer than traditional curtain rods, sliding-door rods cost more, especially if you go the traverse route. Expect to pay $30-$200.
A. Most curtain rods come with mounting hardware so that you can install the brackets in drywall. This should include anchors, as drywall is too weak to hold more than 1 pound. If you have to get your own hardware, use anchors if you can’t find a stud. You will need a drill to screw in the brackets and a level to make sure your curtain rod is straight.
A. The number of curtains you use depends on the space you have and how many panels your sliding door has. If you have enough room on either end of the sliding door fixture for curtains to rest, then two is great. If not, you’ll want to use a single curtain to span the distance so that you’re not blocking the door when the curtains are drawn.
What you need to know: With decorative finials and a lush line of finishes, this traverse curtain rod is perfect for antique and vintage-inspired decors.
What you’ll love: You won’t have any trouble covering your sliding door with this curtain rod, no matter the size. It’s available in eight different lengths from 48-132 inches. You have your choice of antique silver, black, maroon, sandal and sienna finishes.
What you should consider: Users recommend purchasing the upgraded carrier hooks as the standard ones are a little flimsy.
What you need to know: This decorative curtain rod has an understated look for contemporary interiors.
What you’ll love: Using a single center bracket, the Latitude Run curtain rod is long enough at 48, 86 or 120 inches to cover your sliding door on a budget. Its cylindrical endcaps are chic and modern and you can get everything in a black, bronze or nickel finish.
What you should consider: Users report that this rod can sag with heavy drapes.
Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair
What you need to know: If you’re looking for a high-quality, classically inspired traverse curtain rod, the Rod Desyne Bach offers an elegant fixture for your sophisticated decor.
What you’ll love: Available in four size ranges, this adjustable traverse rod extends out as far as 156 inches. It comes in black, cocoa and satin nickel finishes. The rod is sturdy enough for drapes with a 25-pound weight capacity.
What you should consider: This is significantly more expensive than other options on the market.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
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Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.