The Best Sliding Door Dimensions: What Size Sliding Glass Doors Do You Need?

The Best Sliding Door Dimensions: What Size Sliding Glass Doors Do You Need?

September 13, 2019
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door

If you want your home to feel more like you’re living on vacation, one of the best features to add is a sliding glass door. These allow in more natural light, and they speak of days spent in luxury laying on tropical beaches.

When you get ready to shop for your sliding doors, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is how big you want them to be. Choosing the right sliding door dimensions will mean the difference between a door that looks like it was crammed in last-minute and a door that looks like it was always meant to be there. Read on to learn how to pick the best sliding door dimensions for your house.

Measuring an Existing Door

If you’re looking to replace an existing sliding door, it’s important that you get exact dimensions on the existing hole. It’s true that most sliding glass doors come in standard sizes, but oftentimes people will get custom-built doors. You need to make sure you get a close fit on your new doors and know if you need your new doors to be customized.

The first thing you’ll need to do to measure your existing door is remove the interior trim. This will give you a better idea of the actual door itself. Make sure you take careful measurements, making them as exact as possible and noting them down for your door vendor.

Two vs. Three Panels

Sliding glass doors typically come in two configurations: those with two doors and those with three. With two-panel doors, one door can slide in front of the other to provide the opening. With three panel doors, the middle panel is usually fixed, and the doors on either side can slide in front of it.

Two-panel doors usually come in one of three standard widths: five feet, six feet, or eight feet. Door panels are usually between three and four feet wide, so three-panel doors come in one of two standard widths. They will be either nine feet or twelve feet wide.


There are a few different standard heights for sliding glass doors. Which one you choose will depend on the height of your ceilings. You want to make sure you make the most of the wall space, but you also don’t want to jam a sliding glass door in under a ceiling that will make it look cramped.

If you have eight-foot ceilings in your home, you’re going to want to go with a door a little under seven feet high. Sliding glass doors offer two options for this height: six feet eight inches and six feet ten inches. If you have ten-foot ceilings, you may want to get eight-foot-high sliding doors.

Bigger Can Be Better

One of the big draws of a sliding glass door is the view it offers onto the world. Whether your house overlooks a stunning cliff-side vista or features gorgeous backyard landscaping, you want to see as much of your view as possible. With that in mind, some sliding door vendors have begun to make doors that are twelve feet tall.

These larger doors can offer a breathtaking sense of airiness and gorgeous views unlike never before. But they do come with their own issues; for one thing, they’re more expensive than the smaller sliding door options. For another, manufacturers have had to do some work to make these doors easy to move, given that they’re so large and heavy.

The Golden Ratio

When you’re deciding what dimensions you want to use on your sliding glass doors, there’s a certain number you should keep in mind: 1.618. You may recognize this as the golden ratio, the most beautiful shape in all of math. The golden ratio shows up in all sorts of places in nature, but it can also help you find the most beautiful size for your sliding glass doors.

If you have an eight-foot ceiling, you should get a three-panel door that’s twelve feet wide and six feet ten inches tall. This will give you the closest dimensions to the golden ratio. If you have ten-foot ceilings, you should get doors eight feet high and twelve feet wide to achieve the same look.

Fitting a Sliding Glass Door to Your Space

The golden ratio is, of course, ideal, but the biggest factor you should consider is how well the sliding door will fit into your space. If you’re adding the doors to a relatively small space, you don’t want it to look cramped. Be realistic about what will fit well in your space.

It’s a good idea to leave at least a foot or two of space around the sides and top of a sliding glass door. It all depends on how much natural light you want to let in and how much wall space you want to sacrifice.

Custom Options

If none of the sizes we’ve mentioned sound like a good fit for your space, you can get custom-built sliding glass doors. These will come at a higher price, so you’ll need to be prepared for that. But given that you’ll be investing in a permanent feature of your home, it may be worth the money to get what you want.

If you do get a custom-made sliding door, make sure to make a note somewhere of the dimensions. When you sell the house or if you ever have to get repair work done on the doors, you’ll need that information.

Find the Right Sliding Door Dimensions

Installing sliding doors in your home can be a great way to allow in more natural light and make your home feel like a resort. Getting the right sliding door dimensions will make sure your new feature fits well in your home.

If you’d like to get the best sliding doors for your home, get in touch with us at US Window and Door. We’ve been your trusted experts in San Diego since 1987. Learn more about our door installation services today.