Right Hand vs. Left Hand Sliding Door: What’s Better?

Right Hand vs. Left Hand Sliding Door: What’s Better?

April 11, 2024

When it comes to choosing the perfect sliding door for your home, you might want to have an even deeper level of customization: which should you go with when it comes to a right hand vs left-hand sliding door?

Because if you’re already creating some custom solutions in your home, you might as well make the doors exactly as you’d like them! But what’s the best decision to make?

The Benefits of Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are popular home choices for quite a few reasons!

Firstly, they’re space-savers. Unlike traditional swinging doors that need room to swing open, sliding doors glide smoothly along a track, conserving precious space — perfect for cozy apartments or rooms where every inch counts!

As far as lighting goes, sliding doors let in loads of natural light, instantly brightening up your room and giving it a warm, welcoming vibe. (Because who doesn't love a sun-drenched space?)

person installing right hand vs left hand sliding door

How To Choose the Best Patio Sliding Door For You

Now that you’re (hopefully!) sold on sliding doors, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of picking the best one for your patio.

First things first, measure up. You'll want to get precise measurements of your patio space to ensure your sliding door fits like a glove, so you don’t have to deal with stickiness or extra pushing or pulling if you can help it.

Materials matter. Wood, vinyl, aluminum – each material has its own set of pros and cons. Consider factors like durability, maintenance, and how well it matches your home's aesthetic vibe when picking which one is best for you.

When it comes to hardware, you want to make sure you get something quality enough to keep up with the foot traffic you’ll be having. While you’re looking into this, think also about things like security locks and energy-efficient glass to tailor your door to your specific needs.

Right Hand vs Left Hand Sliding Door: Which One’s Better?

And finally, the big question: left hand vs right hand sliding door? Let’s think about some key elements of your patio area that will help you decide:

  • Furniture placement: Think about how the door's orientation will affect furniture placement. Choose the option that allows for the most convenient and practical arrangement — if you know you want a chair on the left hand side, maybe opt for a right-hand sliding door — or vice-versa!
  • Ergonomics: Consider the comfort and ease of use for everyone in the household. Choose a door orientation that feels natural and comfortable to operate. It’s your house, so if you’ve always wished for a left hand sliding door vs right hand, then it’s your call to make!
  • Room configuration: In some cases, the layout of the room may dictate the ideal sliding door orientation. In narrow spaces or rooms with unique layouts, one orientation may offer better functionality or aesthetic appeal than the other.
right hand vs left hand sliding door

Different Types of Sliding Doors

Ready to dive deeper from left hand sliding door vs right hand into the different types of your perfect door? Let’s dive right in! Let’s zoom out a little from patio doors into doors in general, so you can get a sense of how to bring your patio door design into the rest of your house.

1. Pocket Doors

For those with tight spaces, pocket doors are a great choice. These doors fit smoothly into a hidden compartment within the wall, freeing up valuable floor space, without needing to allocate any extra space for swinging.

Pocket doors are also versatile. They come in sleek, modern and charming designs to blend into whatever your home’s design already is.

However, installing pocket doors does require a bit of planning. You'll need to ensure that your walls are thick enough to accommodate the door and sturdy enough to support it.

Specifically, focus on quality tracks and rollers are essential for smooth sliding action. As far as ongoing maintenance goes, you’ll need to keep an eye out for alignment issues or hardware hiccups in your pocket door to make sure they’re always sliding like new.

2. Barn Doors

If you're looking to add a touch of rustic charm to your home, barn doors are the way to go! Many look to them designed with weathered wood and industrial hardware to effortlessly and stylishly reveal or conceal your space.

Some start off their barn doors with DIY sliding closet doors, but before anything, it’s important to keep in mind some practical considerations, like checking your wall clearance and wall space before your commit.

Bonus: French Doors

While these aren’t technically sliding doors, we wanted to make sure you knew about them, they’re a popular option for patios, so we wanted to make sure we included them!

These timeless and elegant doors — often with multiple panels and glass inserts — bring a sense of sophistication to almost any space.

French doors are versatile, customizable (to suit various architectural styles and design preferences), and easy to use. Get one in an intricate grille pattern or a more sleek finish for a modern home, these doors can be tailored to enhance the aesthetic appeal of any home.

Before installing French doors, know that these will require much more width awareness than your other door options. You’ll want to make sure the door opening you’re working with has sufficient width for comfortable passage and provides ample swing space for unobstructed movement.

wooden doors with gold hardware

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Type of Right Hand Sliding Door vs Left

Firstly, assess the available space and layout of your patio area.

Understand the dimensions and configuration of the space so you can determine which type of sliding door will best suit your needs and seamlessly integrate with your outdoor living environment.

Once you’ve decided on your ideal right hand vs left hand sliding glass door, figure out what types of special features you’d want in your sliding door, like double-pane glass or low-E coatings that can enhance energy efficiency. These options will help better insulation and help reduce energy costs, especially if you’re living in an area with extreme weather conditions.

Security is another critical factor to consider, so look for sliding doors with robust locking mechanisms and shatter-resistant glass to ensure the safety and security of your home and loved ones.

And while budget considerations are important, it's essential to strike a balance between upfront costs and long-term durability and maintenance requirements. Investing in a high-quality sliding door may require a slightly higher initial investment, but it can ultimately save you money and hassle in the long run by providing lasting performance and reliability.

Installation Tips for Sliding Doors

If you’re looking to install yourself, know that your priority should be precise measurements.

Once you’re ready to install your sliding door, clear any obstructions and ensure the surface is level and sturdy before proceeding. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines meticulously during installation to ensure everything is done according to their instructions from start to finish.

You’ll need to level and align the tracks, hang and secure the door panels, making any necessary adjustments to guarantee smooth operation. Be prepared to troubleshoot common challenges like uneven floors or tight clearances using shims or other adjustment methods.

With attention to detail and patience, you can achieve a professional-looking installation of your sliding door.

Install a Sliding Door with Closet World!

Can’t decide between a right hand vs left hand sliding door? Closet World is your go-to for expert guidance and professional craftsmanship during your entire process from start to finish!We love helping customize sliding doors based on your needs and desires to make your home a functional haven. Schedule a free in-home consult and transform your space with a door that’s truly yours!