How to Make a Modern Sliding Door

Written by cheryl munson
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How to Make a Modern Sliding Door
Sliding doors can be used to transition between indoor and outdoor living spaces. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Sliding doors have evolved in their use and design. Old School sliding doors were most commonly used to allow people to exit the interior of a home space through sliding glass doors to a back yard or other outdoor space. That was then, and this is now. Modern sliding doors are much more versatile in their use. They can be designed to serve as a gateway to enter different rooms inside the home, or to separate large, open spaces. Doors leading to the exterior are often designed in a way that allows you to "bring the outside in."

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Design plan
  • Sliding door panels based on choice of wood or glass
  • Floor and ceiling tracks
  • Stencils or kits for frosting glass (optional)
  • Staple gun
  • Fabrics (optional)
  • Paint (optional)

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Consider your sliding door needs. Figure out whether you need an "exit" door from a kitchen to the backyard, a slider to separate a dining room from a living room space, an office space from a bedroom, or even a wall to separate kids who share a bedroom. Sliding doors can also be used to lessen noise from a room used for audio and video entertainment.

  2. 2

    Determine the type of sliding door panels you'd like to use. You can choose from wood, glass or even mirrors. Be creative and versatile in how you use glass for sliding doors, whether the goal is to create a see-through look from one room to another or to serve as a "gateway" from interior to exterior outdoor spaces. Use wood to create and define a more secluded or private look to separate and define indoor living rooms and areas. Wood doors are often used to define living spaces, give open or loft-style spaces definition, and separate living room areas from dining room, kitchen, or office and work space areas.

  3. 3

    If you are using an indoor sliding door to dampen noise between a kitchen and dining area, or an entertainment or media room and an office, you may want to soundproof the doors. You can do this yourself by using plywood covered with acoustic-quality fabrics and materials, including egg crates or foams made for soundproofing. Install the floor track for the sliding door so that it is flush with the top of the floor (whether wood, tiled or carpeted) so that you can create a "seamless" sliding door wall.

  4. 4

    If you choose to use glass door inside the home to separate living spaces, consider having the glass door frosted or embellished with graphics. You can also add frosted botanical graphics for doors that exit onto a backyard. Allow visibility for glass doors leading to backyards so that children taking part in outdoor activities can be monitored.

  5. 5

    Incorporate contemporary graphics for interior glass or wooden doors that divide rooms for an office or entertainment. Use modern graphics such as circles, squares and other iconic elements on frosted glass for a contemporary look. Or stencil your own designs onto wood.

  6. 6

    There are a number of materials used in sliding door panels, in addition, if you're a more experienced DIYer, you can create your own panels. Consider using wood combined with fabric, cushioned with foam core board to create privacy and soundproofing for a sliding door divider between a living room and dining room space, for example.

  7. 7

    Create a special area for relaxing, reading or meditating by using Japanese shogi screens as the main material to form indoor sliding doors.

  8. 8

    Make a "secret wall" by using drywall sheets. Paint the drywall in the same colours of the room. Add moulding and recessed floor tracks. Use the sliding doors to seclude large screen televisions, your entertainment centre, artwork, collectibles or even to create an expansive closet space. Consider electronic, remote controls to make the walls slide from left to right to reveal what's behind the sliding doors.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider adding drapes behind the sliding glass doors to add an element of colour, define separate areas and create a sense of privacy.
  • Add a large piece of artwork, an aquarium or a large potted plant to add drama and serve as a focal point once interior sliding doors are drawn back.
  • Re-purpose garage doors to serve as an alternative to sliding doors inside of a loft setting to complement the industrial look of a space with exposed pipes and beams.
  • Give serious consideration to hiring an experienced consultant or contractor for the project. Take on the project as a do-it-yourself job only if you are highly confident in your capabilities. Check with local building code enforcement agencies to find out about applicable licenses, permits and inspections.

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