Skip to Content Top

Patio Doors: What Are The Window Treatment Options?

Patio doors offer a portal to serenity, inviting the beauty of nature into your home while effortlessly blurring the lines between interior comfort and the captivating world beyond. However, this delightful openness also comes with the desire for privacy, light control, and an added touch of style. That’s where the art of choosing the right window treatment comes into play. At Letters from Luke, we offer expertise that you can use when considering window coverings for your home or business. In our last blog, we explored the best products for covering large or inaccessible windows. Today, we will discuss the best window treatment options for covering patio doors.

When considering window coverings for patio doors, it’s important to consider your desired functionality of this large access point to your home. Several products are up to the task of covering this large and unique opening. However, all operate differently and provide a different experience. Let’s explore the options.

The Old Guard

If you are a customer of a mature age (No shade intended… get it? ‘Shade?’ Ok, back to our regularly scheduled programming!), you likely are familiar with one product that has been used to cover patio doors for years. That product is the Vertical Blind; sometimes referred to simply as “Verticals.” Verticals are relatively inexpensive, provide precise light control, and can provide wide-open easement into your home.

Verticals achieve this through their unique design; individual vinyl or fabric vanes (vertical slats) that hang from a headrail. These vanes can be tilted open or closed and can be traversed all the way to one side which allows for a wide opening. So, they are the best option, right? Not quite (at least in my opinion). Why not? For a couple reasons. The first is a functional reason. While their design is unique, it is also involved. More components mean more chances for something to break. Many readers may be thinking of a vertical blind in their past that had broken vanes or a broken tilt mechanism. The second is an aesthetic reason. I contend that vertical blinds just aren’t very pretty to look at. Both form and function are important.

What other options are there?

Roller Shades (also referred to as Solar Shades) are a simple product that I have highlighted in the past. They consist of a fabric panel that rolls up on a tube. In the ‘down’ position, they completely cover the patio door. In the ‘up’ position, they roll up around the tube and are entirely out of the way. They are easier than most window coverings to mount directly to a wall or wood trim outside and above your patio door opening. They come in multiple opacities which allows varying degrees of light control and visual view through. They are offered in a myriad of fabric types which makes finding an aesthetically pleasing design easy. Lastly, they have very few warranty issues because of their simple design and construction.

Roller Shades do come with one downside. There is no tilt mechanism and, to get out the patio door, the shade has to be all the way in the ‘up’ position. However, our final product suggestion remedies this issue.

Panel Track Shades are a hybrid spin on the two products we have already explored in this blog. They combine the fabric panels from Roller Shades with the traversing headrail aspects of a Vertical. Each Panel Track Shade will typically have 2-6 panels of fabric that can either stack off to one side or can be split to stack on either side of the shade. The panels are attached to individual carriers in the headrail that can be slid back and forth across the track; typically, with a wand. This traversing action means you can open an access point to your patio door much quicker than with Verticals or a Roller Shade. In addition, they preserve the desirable aesthetic element from Roller Shades.

In summary, you have a few options when covering a patio door with window treatments. While Verticals have been the answer for many years, I would challenge you to consider other options that are more aesthetically pleasing and less likely to break. Roller Shades are a serviceable option and provide an aesthetically pleasing presence. However, they must be all the way ‘up’ to allow access to a patio door. Panel Track Shades are the best of both worlds in my opinion. They offer aesthetically pleasing design elements, reliable functionality, and allow quick and easy access to your patio door.

Your local and trusted Bumble Bee Blinds professional can assist you. To find a Bumble Bee Blinds location in your local area, click here.

Luke Schwartz is the Brand President of Bumble Bee Blinds. His family has more than 60 years of experience in the window covering industry. Each month, Luke shares this experience and perspective through informative blogs about the window covering industry to educate our customers about products, features, and questions to consider when buying window treatments. Regular readers hopefully won’t have to ask, “Where do I start?” when in the market for window coverings.