Internal glass doors – a guide to using doors to add light and style to your home

Fancy a change? Internal glass doors are a relatively quick and affordable way to give your interiors a boost

Internal glass doors
(Image credit: Rimadesio)

Internal glass doors are really having a moment; from plain and Crittall to sliding screens and full-on walls of glazing, glass doors not only look slick and sophisticated, but they're practical, too. 

They serve a clear purpose, with the added benefit that they let in more light while still providing a sound barrier. And if you're worried about privacy, there are films and screens for that. Whether it is your windows, an internal door, or a large glass extension, it's important to consider the best way to use glazing to make the most of the natural light streaming into your home. 

In the meantime, here are some internal glass door ideas to start you off...


1. Embrace broken-plan

Internal glass door ideas

(Image credit: Rimadesio)

Internal glass doors, whether sliding, stationary, or even pivot doors offer a stylish alternative to standard interior doors. They allow for more light to flow through the whole space and now that they're available in a wide range of stylish finishes, like metal frames and even rippled glass, they'll really up the chic factor of your home. Move over open-plan design, it's time to embrace a broken plan home.

'Our glass panels are available in the widest range of finishes, encompassing all of the different options Rimadesio offers,' says the Italian design brand Rimadesio's Giulio Malberti. Rimadesio is a company specializing in producing systems for sub-dividing environments and for the architectural definition of interiors. 'The wealth of options allows the sliding panels to be configured to perfectly suit any style of interior décor.'

Adaptability, personalization, sustainability. According to Rimadesio, these are the keywords that are redefining the quality of living: 'open spaces are not gone, but adaptability is getting crucial. For example, an open room can be configured into different spaces with our Velaria and Maxi sliding doors,' Giulio Malberti adds.

When it comes to cleaning all that glass, Giulio Malberti from Rimadesio suggests that 'it is recommended not to spray detergents directly on the panel or structure. Dust with a soft cloth, wash with neutral detergents or specific glass products. Avoid solvent-based, abrasive, or powder products.'

2. Make a statement

Bronze finish internal pivot doors

(Image credit: Porta)

There are so many modern design ideas with glass and sliding and pivot internal glass doors are there to make a statement. Not only do they look incredible and help create a contemporary feel, they maximize light, create a calm sense of flow and help save space compared to traditional doors that open up into a room. Doors are no longer a purely functional item, they can be moments of art in their own right.

Portapivot’s 5730 design comprises a strong anodized aluminum frame with a bronze finish, which has been made to bespoke dimensions with invisible pivot hinges for a streamlined aesthetic. The panel can be opened both ways, making it a highly flexible solution for the wide transition between this home's entrance hallway and kitchen diner.

3. Try smooth sliding doors

Internal glass door ideas

(Image credit: Rimadesio)

Sliding internal doors are fantastic space-saving solutions and if you can replace a whole wall with chic sliding doors it'll make a real, contemporary style statement. Fantastic for breaking up a larger room to create a separate home office idea or playroom. And if you're after privacy, there are plenty of different options to give you just that. Plus, you're not limited to just black and grey, some companies offer a rainbow of colors and finishes to choose from.

'Panels are always custom made with a structural profile in minimum thickness aluminum that makes the most of the exclusive aesthetic features of Rimadesio glass,' says Rimadesio's Giulio Malberti. 'The system is fitted with patented innovative technical solutions to guarantee the utmost freedom of design, along with easy installation and exceptional reliability over the years. The Velaria system’s versatile design uses a sliding rail, which allows a perfect leveling, guaranteeing perfectly smooth movements, even with compositions of big dimensions.'

'The Velaria sliding panel can be highly customized according to the client’s needs: the glass options are available in various versions; mesh, transparent, colored transparent, reflective, satin, colored satin, mirror, and in 46 glossy and mat lacquered colors, purely composed of water-based paints, which guarantee the total absence of harmful substances,' he adds. 'Plus, the aluminum structure is available in scraped aluminum in four finishes and 46 mat lacquered colors.' 

4. Pick a pivot door

Pivot door made of aluminium opening to a white space

(Image credit: IQ glass)

Pivot doors are a fantastic alternative to traditional doors and sliding doors and they are growing in popularity, sure to make a lasting impression. They tend to be streamlined designs with super-slim profiles and modern framing, giving them the edge over more conventional options. Often picked for modern home extensions, pivot systems offer a striking solution for your interiors, too.

Pivot doors rotate around a mechanism that’s positioned at the top and bottom of the door panel rather than being hinged to an adjacent frame at the side and they can often be made bespoke to your particular measurements. 

5. Use internal glass as a room divider

A neutral modern house in south west london filled with sustainable and natural materials

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

Glazed doors with a metal frame (usually aluminum) work beautifully as internal room divider ideas, allowing light to flow freely from one room to the next. 'Internal glass doors allow light to flow more freely between spaces which can help give the illusion of a larger room and create a brighter more airy feel,' explains David Turner, at Leader Doors.

‘If privacy is an issue the glass can be decorative, such as sandblasted, to block visibility without blocking light,’ says Shannon Normoyle at IQ Glass. Aluminum can also be powder-coated and finished in a RAL color of your choice to infuse your design scheme with extra personality. 

6. Consider sustainability

Cambridgeshire modern house designed by Rebecca Wakefield

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

In 2022, sustainable living is as important as ever and we're all trying to make more eco-friendly choices when it comes to our homes and interiors. Luckily, many companies are now on board, so making sustainable decisions is getting easier and easier.

'Many Rimadesio products are made by following the principles of the safeguarding of the environment and its resources, through a production process powered by solar energy, aimed at the creation of long-lasting goods,' explains Giulio Malberti, Rimadesio. 'Products like Velaria are made by using glass and aluminum, which is 100% recyclable and actively recovered in the production cycle, with a view to a circular economy that reduces waste to zero.'

'Ecolorsystem* is the exclusive range of lacquers used and purely composed of water-based paints, which guarantee the total absence of substances harmful to humans and the environment,' he adds. 'Rimadesio packaging is produced just-in-time using only recycled and 100% recyclable cardboard. The minimum waste produced by the packing machine is mechanically compressed and sent to neighboring paper mills for the production of high-quality recycled paper, with a low environmental impact process.'

'The Velaria sliding system can be completely disassembled at the end of its life. This peculiarity ensures the proper recycling of each component, in compliance with international standards on environmental protection.'

Is it worth changing internal doors?

A modern house in London featuring a muted palette and statement art and furniture

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

If you love the look of a glass door and you're considering changing your internal doors then it's worth it if you're interested in creating a completely new, modern look at home. It won't come cheap if you plan to replace them all and it's important to remember privacy for rooms like the bathroom and bedrooms, but there are options for privacy, too.

In terms of installation, it's recommended to get the installation performed by a qualified installer who will check the suitability of the wall on where you want to install the product. 'If the fixing is not carried out properly by a qualified installer, the product could get damaged,' says Rimadesio's Giulio Malberti.

Do internal doors need toughened glass?

a modern kitchen with a copper splashback

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

Interior glass doors should be made of tempered or toughened glass, which maximizes strength and durability. Toughened glass is far less likely to break, but if it does, the resultant pebbles of broken glass are far safer than the razor-sharp shards of standard glass.

'Glazed doors are also great at supplying soundproofing between rooms. The glazing helps to reflect the sound back into the room rather than carrying it through to other rooms,' adds David Turner, Leader Doors.

Can you cover a glass door?

steel pivot doors with glass opening into a room

(Image credit: Frits Jurgens)

Glass doors are fantastic for allowing light to pass through and help to deliver a bright and airy environment, but sometimes we need a bit of privacy, whether that's a bathroom, home office, or from the outside world. 

Window film is one cheap and easy option which is long-lasting and available in a range of finishes and styles, suitable for most types of glass. Or if you'd rather avoid the mess of applying window film, then drape ideas, even on internal doors, add privacy, texture, and color. Plus you can pull them back to show off the clear glass as and when you fancy.

Glass can often also be sandblasted, to block visibility without blocking light and some products come with the option to be transparent, reflective, meshed or finished in a color of your choice. So your new interior glass doors can be as clear or as covered as you like.

Rachel Christie

As the Houses Editor on Livingetc, Rachel has been obsessed with property ever since she was a kid. With a diploma in interior design and more than a decade working on interior magazines under her belt, she feels very at home sourcing the best contemporary houses the world has to offer for Livingetc. It's not just the day job either, she admits she's spent a scary amount of her own time researching schemes for her own renovations - scrolling Instagram, stalking Rightmove and Modern House, flicking through magazines and snooping in other peoples' windows - so she really does live and breathe houses on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Before Livingetc, Rachel had a stint finding homes for Ikea Family magazine where she was lucky enough to gallivant around the world on shoots meeting and interviewing interesting people, all with a very keen eye for blending high-end design with everyday items from Ikea. It inspired her to not be afraid of mixing new and old, expensive and affordable, vintage and modern and so Rachel's current Victorian terrace in north London is very much an updated, contemporary take on a period property; think open-plan modern kitchen with concrete floors, feature fireplaces and her grandmother’s paintings on the walls. Rachel is currently crushing on reeded glass, large gingham prints, squishy curved furniture; like Buchanan Studio’s Studio chair, and vintage wall sconces; she especially adores Retrouvius for sourcing antique finds and feels inspired by Lonika Chande, Beata Heuman and Matilda Goad and already can’t wait to start planning her next home, wherever that might be.