How To Remove A Stationary Sliding Glass Door

Michael Oconnor
by Michael Oconnor

When removing the panels of a sliding glass door for cleaning or other maintenance, you may come across some issues. One problem is that the panel that slides comes out easily, but the stationary one is more difficult. There are a few more steps involved with removing this one.

To remove a stationary sliding glass door, you will first remove the threshold in front of the tracks. Then, remove any screws holding the panel onto the door frame. Finally, you and another person simply lift the panel out.

In this article, we will cover more details and safety tips for doing this job. By doing the right prep and having the right tools, removing a stationary sliding glass door is no problem.

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Tools You Will Need

Phillips Head Screwdriver

Most of the time, the screws that are holding stationary sliding glass door panels in are Phillips head. Having one handy ensures that you will be able to remove any screws that need to come out.

Flathead Screwdriver

Just in case, you should also have a flathead screwdriver available. Sometimes sliding glass doors use a combination of the two. They can also be useful for any light prying that you may need to do.

Moving Blankets or Towels

Once the panel is out of the sliding glass door frame, you will need a place to set it. Glass can be very delicate and can also get dirty easily. Having some thick moving blankets or towels to set it on will keep it safe while you’re working.

Step 1: Remove The Threshold

Before unscrewing anything on the panel, you will have to remove the threshold on the floor. This will sometimes be made of wood or plastic, depending on your flooring. Be careful when taking it off as it can be easily breakable if not properly handled.

To remove the threshold, unscrew the screws that are holding it to the floor. These will usually be located on the inside edge. They are sometimes also located on either outer edge of the threshold ramp.

By removing this, you will allow a space for the stationary panel to move through once it is loose. Make a note of where the threshold was before you take it off. It is where you will want to line up the panel and lift it out.

Step 2: Remove The Screws Holding The Panel in Place

There are going to be quite a few screws located all around the frame and panel holding it in. Go around the panel and remove these screws carefully. Have someone help you hold the door as you unscrew them.

Do not remove any screws that are going into the panel itself. Oftentimes, these screws are holding the glass into place on the panel frame. Unscrewing them could possibly make the glass come loose and fall out.

Having someone help you hold the panel during this step is incredibly important. On the off-chance that you do accidentally unscrew the glass from the panel, someone will be there. It is always a good idea to work in pairs when working with glass.

Step 3: Slide The Panel to The Center of The Frame

After you have unscrewed the panel, you will have to unlatch the L-shaped brackets that hold it in. Make sure you set these aside and save them because you will need them to put the panel back. Keep all screws and brackets in one spot so you don’t lose them.

With your helper, slide the panel to the space that the threshold was in. Do this very carefully and slowly. It is easy to get the panel off-track which presents its own set of problems. By sliding the panel slowly, you can keep it straight in the frame.

You should have clearance where you pulled out the threshold to let the door panel move out of the frame. If there does not seem to be enough room to pull it out, you may have trim panels on your frame. If so, unscrew them and remove them to make enough space.

Step 4: Lift The Panel Out

With your helper, lift and tilt the panel towards you on the bottom. Take the door panel off the track and let it set down on the floor. This should give it enough clearance at the top to pull right out of the frame.

Have some of the moving blankets or towels laid out on a flat surface. There, you will lay the door panel down to prevent it from accidentally falling over or getting bumped into. A new stationary sliding glass door could cost thousands of dollars.

After that, you can do whatever cleaning or maintenance needs to be done. As long as the panel is cushioned by the blankets or towels, you don’t have to worry about it.

Safety Tips

When handling the panels of a sliding glass door, always be sure to wear gloves. These will not only help you grip the panel, they will prevent fingerprints on the glass itself. You may need to do some cleaning on it as it is, there’s no reason to add more work.

When lifting the panel, always be sure that you have all sides of it supported. Because of the uneven weight distribution, it is easy to let the door panel get out of your control. A smashed glass door is no fun for anyone.

If you have put all safety measures in place and have someone to help you lift, you should be fine. This is a relatively safe job to do. At worst, you could end up breaking the panel and paying quite a bit of money to replace it. An ounce of safety will help you keep that from happening.

Replacing The Panel

To put the door panel back, simply repeat the same steps, but in reverse. Make sure that you have cleaned the panel completely before reinstalling it in the door frame. It will be a lot harder to clean once it is locked in there. Taking the time to do it now is the best move.

If you have doubts about how to put it back together, refer to this guide to see the steps again. As long as you followed them thoroughly, you should be able to retrace what you did. Then, you can put back the sliding panel and screen.

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Related Questions

How do you take apart a window to clean it?

To take a window apart for cleaning or anything else, the steps are similar to removing a door panel. Unscrew any trim panels that run along the track to make room to get the window out of the frame. Then tilt it towards yourself to get it out. 

How long do sliding glass doors last?

If properly maintained, a sliding glass door can last up to 30 years. Regular cleanings are a part of this proper maintenance. Follow these steps to pull the door apart for every routine cleaning. 

How can I make my sliding glass door slide better?

If your door is not sliding as well as it used to, you may need to give it a thorough cleaning. If you have done that and it still is not sliding well you can use a lubricant. WD-40 is an excellent lubricant for things like window and door tracks. 

Michael Oconnor
Michael Oconnor

I am a writer and editor from The Bay Area, CA. When I'm not typing, I enjoy hiking, woodworking and gardening. I love sharing tips and discovering new trends in home improvement.

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