What Size Curtain Rod Do I Need For A Sliding Glass Door?

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone
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what size curtain rod do i need for a sliding glass door

If you have a sliding glass door in your living area, you likely want to add some curtains in order to have control over the amount of light that comes into the room. When it comes to choosing home décor, the process can be a bit overwhelming. This is especially the case with items that are permanently installed, like curtain rods. So, how do you choose the right size curtain rod for a sliding glass door?

Considering the standard sliding glass door width is either five feet (60 inches) or six feet (72 inches), your curtain rod should extend between three and six feet on either side. So, for a five-foot sliding glass door, your curtain rod should be between 66 and 72 inches long. Whereas, for a six-foot sliding glass door, choose a curtain rod that is between 78 and 84 inches long.

With that said, let’s take a deeper look at how to find the appropriate size curtain rod for a sliding glass door, as well as some additional considerations regarding choosing the ideal curtain rod for your living space.

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What Size Curtain Rod for Sliding Glass Door?

When it comes to choosing the right size curtain rod for your sliding glass door, there are two measurements you’ll need to consider: diameter and length.

Curtain Rod Diameter

In terms of diameter, a curtain rod that is at least one inch thick is ideal for the necessary support and aesthetics. Thin curtain rods often look very cheap and can buckle under the weight of your curtains if they are exceptionally heavy.

Curtain Rod Length

To determine the length of the curtain rod, however, you need to measure between three and six inches beyond the door frame. Extending your curtain rod past the frame will make the door appear larger and also allow additional light to enter the space. When the curtains are drawn, they will sit against the wall instead of blocking the glass door.

The standard sliding glass door width is either five feet (60 inches) or six feet (72 inches). With these measurements in mind, the following table outlines the ideal curtain rod length:

Sliding Glass Door WidthCurtain Rod Length
Five feet (60 inches)66 – 72 inches
Six feet (72 inches)79 – 84 inches

Note that while these are the standard sizes for sliding glass doors, you can also find doors that measure eight feet wide (96 inches). Regardless, before purchasing a curtain rod measure your own sliding glass door first in inches and then add six to twelve inches to the measurement. This will account for a three- to six-inch gap on either side of the sliding door.

Keep the following considerations in mind when selecting the appropriate size curtain rod:

  • Some curtain rods are a fixed length, while others are spring-loaded and can be adjusted as needed.
  • If you don’t have enough room on either side of the sliding glass door for the rod to extend an equal distance on both sides, use only one curtain panel instead of two and push it all the way to one side to open it. This will prevent the door from looking too small and still allow enough light in.

What Height Should You Install a Curtain Rod for a Sliding Glass Door?

When it comes to the actual installation of the curtain rod, this is not something you do hastily. In order for everything to function properly, both the height and weight of the curtains must be considered. The height simply refers to the precise position of the rod above the upper frame of the sliding glass door.

A good rule of thumb is that curtains should be hung between four and six inches above the sliding glass door frame. So, your curtain rod should be installed to allow for this placement. If you choose to hang the curtain rod higher, this can make the door appear taller. However, hanging them any higher than eight inches above the frame can make the space appear visually awkward.

Additionally, the curtain rod should be positioned to allow the fabric of the curtain to fall onto the floor, unless you’re going for a café-style look. Some minimal puddling on the ground can be romantic, or if you’re concerned about the fabric getting dirty you can stop it right before the floor – just under an inch or so is ideal.

The Importance of Support Brackets

For ideal curtain rod support, you want to select a rod that has support brackets at least every 50 inches apart. A rod that is longer than 50 inches without support brackets at (at least) this interval will have a difficult time supporting the weight of your curtains. Though, make sure that the brackets are installed in a spot that won’t hinder the closing, opening, and hanging of the curtains.

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Curtain Rod Colors

With all the technical components out of the way, now comes the fun part – choosing the color of the curtain rod. There are a couple of different ways to approach this:

  • Gather inspiration from the dark tones of your furniture. For a designer aesthetic, choose a curtain rod that draws from the darkest tones in your furniture. This can help pull the entire space together and create an appealing contrast.
  • Match the wall color to blend in. If, instead of standing out, you want your curtain rod to visually disappear, opt for a rod that is the same color as your walls.
  • Complement the color of your curtains. For a more matchy-matchy look, choose a rod that is the same color as your curtains. Or, if your curtains have a heavy pattern that serve as a focal point in your space, the curtain rod you choose can help further draw attention to them. To do this, choose a color for your curtain rod that is present in the pattern of your curtains.
  • Match the hardware in the room for a unified look. Examine the door knobs, light fixtures, light switch covers, and other hardware in the space. Then, choose a rod that matches the finish or color of the hardware. That way, the entire space appears more unified.
Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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