Sliding glass doors are a modern convenience that many homeowners enjoy. They provide easy access to the outdoors and can make a home feel more spacious. However, they can also be vulnerable to theft or burglary, which is why it’s important to secure them with a good lock.
There are many different types of sliding glass door locks available on the market, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Keep reading to learn more about 11 of the most popular types of locks for sliding glass doors.
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Mortise Sliding Door Locks
Mortise locks are one of the most common types of locks used on sliding glass doors. They are installed in the door frame and have a bolt that extends into the door itself.
The body of this type of lock sits inside the door frame, which makes it invisible and difficult for someone to tamper with it from the outside.
A sliding door mortise lock is made up of three parts:
- lock body
- strike plate
The lock body is installed on the door frame, while the strike plate is installed on the door itself. The handle is attached to the lock body and can be rotated to engage or disengage the lock.
Mortise locks are available in a variety of security ratings, including Grade 1, 2, and 3. These gradings are given by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) after the locks are put through a series of tests to determine their resistance to tampering and forced entry.
Grade 1 locks offer the highest level of security and are ideal for high-traffic areas. Grade 2 locks are a good choice for most homeowners, and Grade 3 locks are suitable for basic security needs.
Mortise locks are available in both keyed and keyless versions, but most sliding glass door locks of this type are non-keyed. This means that they can only be locked or unlocked from the inside.
This type of lock is very secure and can be difficult to break into. However, they are also expensive and require a lot of installation labor.
Further, not all sliding doors can have a mortise lock installed on them. If you’re unsure, I recommend reaching out to an expert lock installer to see if a mortise lock will work for you.
Keyed Sliding Door Locks
Keyed locks are easy to use and provide a decent level of security. And if you want to lock or unlock your sliding door from outside, you will need a keyed lock.
There are many different types of keyed locks, but the most common type is a cylinder lock.
This type of lock has a cylindrical piece of metal that rotates when the key is turned, which engages or disengages the locking mechanism.
Some sliding door locks will allow you to add a cylinder, but that’s not always the case and you may need to buy a keyed lockset that has a cylinder pre-installed and comes with handles.
Keyed sliding door locks are made up of three parts:
- lock body
The lock body is installed in the door frame, while the cylinder is installed in the door itself. The handle is attached to the lock body and can be rotated to engage or disengage the lock.
Like mortise locks, cylinder locks are available in every security rating.
However, keyed locks tend to be easier to bypass than mortise locks, and an experienced lockpick could get through your sliding glass door quickly if a keyed lock is your only line of defense.
For that reason, I recommend using a keyed lock in conjunction with other security measures, such as security bars (which I’ll talk about later in this article) or a door alarm.
I would also recommend not leaving the house through the sliding glass door because this would make it impossible for you to activate your secondary lock.
Installation of keyed locks is relatively easy and you should be able to do it yourself in a matter of minutes. Be sure to check that the lock you choose will fit your door and keep in mind whether your door is left or right-handed when installing the keyed lock.
Two-Bolt Sliding Glass Door Locks
This popular type of lock has two bolts (hence the name) that slide into the door frame and the door itself to secure the door.
This type of lock is very secure and is difficult to break into. However, they rarely come with the door and can’t be used as primary locks.
Two-bolt locks are available in keyed and keyless versions, but most sliding glass door locks of this type are non-keyed. This means that they can only be locked or unlocked from the inside.
Two-bolt sliding glass door locks are made up of these parts:
- lock body
The lock body is installed in the door frame, while the bolts are installed in the door itself. The handle is attached to the lock body and can be rotated to engage or disengage the lock.
Two-bolt locks are available in every security rating, and they greatly increase the security of your sliding glass door when used with another style of lock.
Here are the benefits of using a two-bolt lock on your sliding glass door:
- they are very secure and difficult to break into
- simple to install and work on most sliding doors
- prevent sliding doors from being lifted off their tracks
Installation of two-bolt locks is relatively easy and doable as a DIY project for most people.
Two-bolt locks make great secondary locks and I recommend using one on top of a mortise lock to increase the security of your sliding glass door.
Loop locks are very popular as secondary locks for sliding glass doors. This type of lock has a metal loop that is inserted into the doorframe and the door. The lock is then engaged by rotating the loop.
The lop lock is made up of these parts:
- locking bar
- mounting plate
The mounting plate is installed on the door jamb and the locking bar is installed on the sliding door.
The keeper is attached to the locking bar and can be rotated to hold the loop in place. Pulling the locking bar up will secure the door and allow you to open it.
These types of locks are usually very durable because they are made of hardened steel, and installation is straightforward and easy.
Loop locks aren’t considered as secure as the two-bolt lock, but they are still an affordable added layer of security for your sliding glass door.
Sliding Door Track Locks
Track locks attach to the top and bottom of the sliding door track and prevent the door from being opened. These simple locks are easily installed without the need for drilling or screwing.
The lock is made up of these parts:
- lock mechanism
Track locks are fixed on the rail of the sliding door to prevent the door from being opened when engaged.
They are very affordable and easy to install (all you need is a thumbscrew), making them a popular choice for added security. They come in both keyed and keyless versions, depending on the level of security you’re looking for.
Some of the biggest benefits of sliding door track locks are:
- very easy to install
- a fast and cheap security solution
Note that track locks are less secure than most other locks and should not be used as your primary lock.
For added security, you can use several track locks on the lower and upper tracks of the door to create more resistance to force.
Surface-Mounted Hook Bolt
These types of locks work with most sliding doors and can be used as secondary locks for added security.
These locks can be mounted above or below your existing lock. They’re made of hardened steel and are available in keyed and keyless versions.
The surface-mounted hook bolt lock is made up of these parts:
- inside lock body
- hook bolt
- outside body
The inside lock body with its hook is installed on the sliding door. The outside body is attached to the door frame. The keypad is on the outside of the door.
When the door is closed, the hook bolt is attached to the inside of the door and locks the door. The keypad can be used to unlock the door with a password that you choose.
One of the biggest benefits of using a hook bolt lock is that they are very affordable and can be installed in minutes without any special tools.
And having a keypad to unlock your sliding glass door is a major benefit if you want a keyless solution for your security needs.
However, this type of lock can be prone to failure and it’s not a smart lock. Thus, it can’t connect to wifi or Bluetooth.
If you’re not in need of a keyless solution, but still want to access your sliding door from the outside, I recommend sticking to a keyed patio door lock over a hook bolt.
Sliding Door Barricades
Sliding door barricades prevent your sliding door from moving by using the strength of your floor to provide resistance.
For this reason, I consider this type of lock to be reliable and a great option for those who are looking for extra security, say for their apartment.
Installation is easy, but it does require the use of tools.
Sliding door barricades are made up of these parts:
- floor bracket
- wall bracket
The barricade is the part that goes in front of your door. The floor bracket attaches to the floor and the wall bracket attaches to the wall.
Once the brackets are attached, you can place the barricade in front of your door and it will prevent your door from moving.
This is a great, affordable option for those who are looking for extra security in their sliding glass door, but it only works for doors that have a sliding panel on the inside track.
This type of lock also doesn’t protect the door from being lifted out of its track, so I recommend having a secondary lock for added protection.
It’s also worth noting that this type of lock requires bending to operate, so it may not be the best option for anyone with mobility issues.
Automatic Sliding Door Locks and Smart Locks
Automatic locks for sliding doors are newer to the market and are operated by a sensor. Some of them can be integrated with smart home features for added convenience.
The lock is made up of these parts:
- control unit
The sensor is mounted on the door frame and the actuator is mounted on the door. The control unit is placed in a location of your choosing that is easily accessible to you.
When you approach the door, the sensor will detect your presence and unlock the door. The actuator will then engage the lock to keep the door secure.
If you want, you can also set up the lock so that it will automatically relock when the door is closed.
This type of lock is a great option for those who are looking for convenience and added security. It’s also a great option for those who want to integrate their sliding door lock with their smart home system.
However, this type of lock is on the expensive side and may not be in everyone’s budget. It’s also best to leave the installation up to an expert, as these locks can be tricky to install.
Electromagnetic Sliding Door Lock
This type of lock is great if you need an electrically powered keyless solution for your sliding door security.
Electromagnetic locks aren’t made specifically for sliding doors. If you go for this option, you might have to get creative when it comes to installing them since they might not fit your door.
For the best results, go for a surface-mounted magnetic lock with a holding force of 1,000 to 3,000 pounds, depending on your security needs.
The lock is made up of these parts:
The base is the part that attaches to your door. The coil goes around the armature and when power is applied, it creates a magnetic field. This magnetic field holds the armature in place and locks your door.
This type of lock is a good, keyless solution that doesn’t cost too much. However, this lock won’t work if the power is cut, which can be a huge security risk.
For this reason, I don’t recommend this type of lock if you need a high level of security. And you should always use it with a secondary lock that doesn’t require electricity.
The security bar is versatile and simple to use. It’s a great option for those who are looking for extra security without spending a lot of money.
A fixed security bar is made up of these parts:
- main body
- pivot points
The main body is the part that goes across your door. The pivot points are located at the ends of the main body and allow the bar to rotate.
This type of lock works by placing the pivot points in the door track and then rotating the main body so that it’s in front of the door. Once the main body is in place, you can use a padlock to secure the bar.
There are also portable models that require no installation. You can simply place the bar in front of your door when you want to use it.
This is a good option for travel or even for securing hinged doors. The cheapest option is a simple wooden dowel, but beware that dowels are less secure because they’re more susceptible to shaking.
Overall, a fixed security bar will be the most secure version of this type of lock for slide door because it has these three advantages:
- allows for secure ventilation
- more convenient
- won’t fall out of place when shaken (therefore more secure)
If you’re looking for the most security with this type of lock, I suggest going for the fixed security bar. It’s a great, affordable option for those who are looking for extra security in their sliding glass doors.
While most child locks won’t keep out burglars, they’re still a great way to secure your sliding glass doors if you have young children in the house.
Most child locks are made up of these parts:
The slide is the part that goes up and down and locks the door. The latch is the part that secures the door in place and the mechanism is what allows you to move the slide up and down.
If you want added security beyond child safety, you can go for a child lock that is more heavy-duty.
These locks usually have a screw that needs to be turned in order to release the slide. This type of lock is more difficult for children to operate, but it’s also more difficult for burglars to get past.
According to the National Safety Council, over a third of child injuries and deaths occur inside the home.
And one of the easiest ways to prevent those injuries is by childproofing your home with devices like child locks. That’s why I recommend child locks for anyone with young children in the house.
How do locks for sliding glass doors work?
Different styles of locks, of course, have different ways of working, but most sliding glass door locks have a similar concept.
The basic way they operate is by a locking mechanism with a spring that is attached to the doorframe and when the door is closed, the locking mechanism slides into place and secures the door.
How do I open a locked sliding door from outside?
If you’re locked out of your house and need to get in through a sliding glass door, there are a few ways you can do it.
The most common way is to use a credit card or something similar to pry the door open. You can also try using a butter knife or hack saw blade to cut the rubber seal around the door.
Be careful to avoid damaging the door if possible, because it can be costly to repair or replace. If all else fails, you can always call a locksmith.
FAQs about Sliding Glass Doors
What are the different types of locks for sliding doors?
The different types of locks for sliding doors include mortise locks, which are commonly preinstalled, as well as additional options that can be bought and installed such as double bolt locks, track locks, security bars, and smart locks.
How do you lock a glass sliding door?
To lock a glass sliding door, the most effective method is to use a sliding door lock. This type of lock is installed at the point where the stationary glass and the sliding glass door intersect, typically at the top of the door. These locks provide an extra layer of security in addition to the door locks and can only be opened by an adult or a taller child.
What is a pin lock on sliding door?
A pin lock on a sliding door is a type of lock that can be found on sliding glass doors. It involves inserting a pin or nail from the inside of the door, opposite the door’s handle, to prevent the door from being opened or lifted.
Are sliding glass door locks safe?
Sliding glass door locks are not safe due to their overly simplistic design and ease of bypassing. The majority of these locks consist of a basic latch that simply hooks into the door frame when the door is closed.
What are the three types of lock?
The three types of locks are knob locks, cam locks, and deadbolt locks.
Can you put a keyed lock on a sliding door?
It is possible to put a keyed lock on a sliding door. Exterior keyed locks for gliding patio doors can be installed as an accessory item after the unit is already installed. To install an exterior keyed lock on your patio door, you will first need to determine the patio door unit Series.
Are sliding glass door locks standard?
Sliding glass door locks are not standard as manufacturers produce universal types of patio door handles with locks that can replace various old handles and locks. However, it should be noted that not all sliding door locks are universal.
What are the safest door lock types?
The safest door lock types are deadbolt locks, which are widely used on exterior house doors for their high level of security. Single and double cylinder locks are categorized by strength, ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 3, with Grade 1 offering the highest level of security.
What is a lever style lock?
A lever style lock, also referred to as a lever tumbler, is a type of lock that utilizes levers to unlock the door it is installed on. These locks consist of several levers, and when a key is inserted and turned, it adjusts the position of each lever accordingly.
What kind of lock is best for a sliding door?
The best type of lock for a sliding door is a two-bolt locking system, which is specifically designed to secure sliding doors. These locks are readily available online or at a reputable hardware store. They are easy to install and can be placed at any desired height on the door.
How do I make my sliding patio door more secure?
To make your sliding patio door more secure, you can employ various measures. Firstly, consider using tracker blocks to ensure smooth horizontal movement of the sliding screen door rollers along both the upper and lower tracks. Secondly, reinforce the glass panels of your sliding glass door to enhance their strength and resistance. Additionally, installing a secondary lock can provide an extra layer of security. Another option is floor mounting, which helps to stabilize the door and prevent it from being easily forced open. Furthermore, you can enhance security by installing alarms and sensors that can detect any unauthorized entry attempts. Lastly, closing the blinds or curtains can help to deter potential intruders by limiting visibility into your home.
Can you put a combination lock on a sliding glass door?
It is possible to put a combination lock on a sliding glass door using the C150 Mechanical Hook Bolt Keyless Digital Combination Lock. This keyless hook lock offers a convenient solution for securing various items such as sliding glass patio doors, cabinets, closets, lockers, and bi-fold doors. With its keyless keypad and customizable passcode, you can easily restrict access to the desired areas.
What is the most secure form of door lock?
The most secure form of door lock is the deadbolt, which is frequently utilized on exterior house doors. Single and double cylinder locks are categorized based on their strength, ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 3. Among these, Grade 1 offers the highest level of security and provides optimal protection.
How do you secure a sliding glass door that doesn’t lock?
To secure a sliding glass door that lacks a lock, you can consider implementing various measures. One option is to incorporate alarm sensors connected to a home security system, which provides a simple means of safeguarding your sliding door. Another alternative is to apply window film to enhance the door’s resistance to forced entry. Additionally, you can insert a rod into the tracks of the door to reinforce its security. Another effective measure is to install a deadbolt lock specifically designed for sliding glass doors. Lastly, you may also consider installing a security camera to monitor and deter any potential intruders.
How do you extra lock a sliding glass door?
To extra lock a sliding glass door, the most effective method is to use a sliding door lock. This type of lock is typically installed at the point where the stationary glass and the sliding glass door intersect, usually at the top of the door. These locks provide an additional layer of security in conjunction with the door locks and can only be opened by an adult or a taller child.
What is a slider lock?
A slider lock is a type of locking mechanism that utilizes wafer-like objects as components. These sliders are often employed as secondary locking systems alongside traditional pins or wafers, particularly in locks with sidebars. However, there are also locks that rely on sliders as their main locking mechanism, such as the EVVA 3KS and EVVA DPI.
What type of patio door is most secure?
The most secure type of patio door is composite, which is reflected in its price. Composite doors offer the advantages of uPVC, aluminium, and wood, making them a popular choice. Among the three commonly used materials, uPVC is the most frequently utilized.
What are the options for locking doors?
The options for locking doors include Kwikset SmartKey door hardware, door lock combo packs, knob handlesets, lever handlesets, entry door knobs, smart locks, deadbolts, and electronic door locks.
What is one of the most popular types of locks?
One of the most popular types of locks is the deadbolt lock, which is widely used to secure most external doors due to its effectiveness, affordability, and common usage. Additionally, other types of locks that are commonly used include combination locks, cam locks, electronic/stealth locks, and glass door locks.
What type of locks are on patio doors?
Patio doors typically have a variety of locks, including a central rail key-operated lock, a key-operated multi-point locking system, and top and bottom key-operated locks.
What are the four major categories of door locks?
The four major categories of door locks include padlocks, deadbolts, knob locks, and levers.
What is the difference between a deadlock and a sashlock?
The difference between a deadlock and a sashlock is that a deadlock remains permanently locked until it is unlocked, without the ability to latch shut or open without a key (unless there is a thumbturn cylinder on the inside). On the other hand, a sashlock includes all of these features but also has a latch and a pair of handles.
What is a sashlock?
A sash lock, also known as a mortice sashlock, is a type of lock that combines a dead bolt and latch within a case. Unlike surface-mounted locks, sash locks are installed into the material of a door and are intended to be used with a pair of door handles.
What is the best way to secure patio doors?
The best way to secure patio doors is by implementing a 3-point door locking system, which significantly enhances the security of your doors compared to other methods.
Can sliding doors be locked from the outside?
Sliding doors cannot be locked from the outside, as it is generally recommended to have locks for sliding glass doors installed on the inside. However, if you prefer to have a lock on the outside, it is advisable to choose one that can only be opened with a key. There are various methods available to secure a sliding glass door from both the outside and inside.
How do burglars open sliding doors?
Burglars can open sliding doors by exploiting the latches typically used instead of locks. Most factory-installed latches can be easily overcome, even by inexperienced burglars. Alternatively, they may opt to lift the door off its track without the need for tools, allowing them to bypass the door’s security measures.
How do you lock a sliding door that slides on the outside?
To lock a sliding door that slides on the outside, you can take the following measures: Firstly, ensure the door remains closed when there is no one present to monitor it. Secondly, replace the latch on the sliding door with a proper lock to enhance security. Thirdly, place a dowel stick between the inside door handle and the frame to prevent the door from sliding open. Lastly, drill self-tapping screws into the upper track of the door for added reinforcement.
Can you put a deadbolt lock on a sliding glass door?
It is possible to install a deadbolt lock on a sliding glass door, and in addition to that, you can also incorporate other security measures.
How to lock a sliding glass door from the outside without a lock?
To lock a sliding glass door from the outside without a lock, you can secure it by placing a stick in the bottom track of the door. The stick should be cut to the appropriate length to prevent the door from sliding open.
Can you open both sides of a sliding door?
Sliding glass doors can indeed open on both sides of the opening.
Can I push a key out from the inside that’s locked on patio door?
The key inside the locked patio door can be pushed out, but it requires a stroke of luck. If the key inside is positioned perfectly vertical, there is a possibility of gently tapping the newly inserted key in the lock to successfully push the inside key out.
Can you replace the locking mechanism on a sliding glass door?
You can replace the locking mechanism on a sliding glass door by following a few simple steps. It is a moderately easy home project that you can do yourself.
Now that you know the different types of sliding glass door locks, it’s time to choose the right one for your needs. Keep in mind the level of security that you need and the way your door is designed, because not all locks will work for every door.
Generally, you can get the best security by combining a mortise lock or surface-mounted key lock with a secondary lock like a security bar or loop lock.
If you’re still not sure which type of lock is right for you, I recommend contacting a locksmith. They will be able to help you choose the right lock for your needs and install it for you if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself.