Sliding glass doors consist of two main pieces: the sliding door itself and a second, unmoving panel beside. By design, the pieces are arranged on a track so that the sliding door can go behind the stationary panel. But is it possible to flip sliding glass doors?
You can flip sliding glass doors. However, doing so requires you to uninstall the door, flip the components, and install them again. The new positions will allow you to install the door and panel on opposite sides.
It may sound like a lot of work initially, but don’t worry! This article will show you simple, step-by-step instructions to get the job done. So, let’s get started!
How To Flip a Sliding Glass Door
To flip a sliding glass door, you’ll have to remove all of the components and switch the top and bottom of them.
So, you’ll have to start with the last parts removed and work backward, reinstalling everything so that the door’s bottom becomes the top.
When done correctly, your door and panel will be on opposite sides from where they started.
Here’s a step-by-step explanation on how to uninstall a sliding glass door in order to flip it:
- Remove the screens. Screens are incredibly fragile, so take your time. The metal frame holding each screen together is often very thin, so it could warp or bend if you apply too much pressure.
- Remove the door from the track. Getting the door off the track can be tricky because it has very little room to move on its track and in its frame. Carefully get it off its track, and once you do, you can angle the door out of the frame.
- Remove the rubber stoppers from the frame. I recommend having a box nearby that you can put the stoppers in. Otherwise, they can easily get lost.
- After the stoppers are removed, take the panel from the frame. Since the panel is stationary, it can be harder to remove than the door. Removing part of the frame first can make it easier.
- Remove the track. This is either installed on the top or bottom of the frame.
- Disassemble the remaining frame. Take note of which parts are the top and bottom as you do so, and keep track of them. With that complete, you’re ready to flip the door.
The design of the frame means that the other parts should fall into place easily.
Since the lock receiver is built into the frame, it should align with the door once both are flipped.
If the track and stoppers were previously on the bottom of the frame, make sure they’re up top now.
However, before you start taking your sliding glass door apart to flip, it’s a good idea to understand the components of a sliding glass door, which I’ll go over in the next section.
Understanding the Components of a Sliding Glass Door
Sliding glass doors look suspiciously simple, but they’re actually pretty complex.
Proper installation requires precise measurements for everything to line up correctly.
These measurements must be maintained when reversing the door, but before that, it’s important to take a closer look at the components themselves.
Knowing each part’s role will help you better understand how flipping them will impact their function.
Though your specific brand may have additional parts, the core components are the following:
1. The Doorframe
Four pieces form the frame (the top, bottom, and both sides).
The structure works by keeping the other components in place and preventing outside elements from getting inside.
This is the outermost part of the installation.
2. Rail and Rollers
The rail provides a track for the door to move along, and the rollers rest underneath the door, allowing it to move along the rail.
Whether the stationary panel rests in a rail depends on your model.
Regardless, the stationary panel doesn’t have rollers.
3. Door, Panel, and Screens
These are the most prominent pieces of a sliding glass door.
Because the door and panel contain glass, you should take extra care when installing and removing these pieces.
Otherwise, you’re likely to have a big mess of glass to clean up.
Stoppers are simple but essential pieces. They’re small, usually round pieces of rubber that are installed in the track to prevent the door from sliding too far and too fast.
Without stoppers, your sliding glass door is likely to slam open and closed.
5. Handle and Lock Mechanisms
Again, the number of pieces that make up the lock and handle varies between manufacturers, but they’ll include the handle, the internal lock, and a receiver for the lock, which is installed in one side of the frame.
In addition to these parts, there are also brackets, nails, screws, and other small pieces needed for installation.
I won’t list them here, but as you uninstall the door, be sure not to lose them.
Flipping a sliding glass door is a matter of uninstalling the door, starting with the innermost components and working outward.
Then, re-installing everything upside down.
With that in mind, and with this guide, you should be able to flip any sliding doors, even if they have extra components not listed here.
Cheers, tools owners!