How to Install Glass Panel Inserts in Bifold Doors

room with white bi-fold closet door and chair
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Circular saw or Router with a straight cutting bit
Decorative molding to match existing wood, no greater than 7/8 inch thick
Finishing nails
Silicon caulking

Bifold doors offer the perfect solution to problem spaces, such as a closet or pantry area where access is restricted. These doors fold completely open to eliminate the need to move furniture, and, unlike sliding doors, you have full access to both sides. Bifold doors are made from a variety of wood species, including Basswood, Cedar, Oak, Maple, and Cherry.

Doors with glass panel inserts can easily be ordered, but if you have existing bifold doors and would like to improve the look by installing glass panels or mirrors, this can be achieved, depending upon the door style. Louvered doors are not the ideal style to install glass or mirror, and the same holds true for tongue and groove. This article deals with a flat panel, solid wood door.The range of difficulty is moderate.

Step 1 - Prepare

empty white room

Remove one door and measure for desired glass size, which should be slightly smaller than your finished opening, around 14 inches is adequate. It is not recommended to install glass on the bottom of the door for safety reasons. Once you have your glass cut to size, you must either remove the existing panel or cut to create one.

Now is a good time to finish your wood molding to match your existing door, if it is not already finished. Doing this before hand eliminates the need for any taping to keep your glass and door clean from stain or paint.

Using your circular saw or router, cut your panel, being careful not to go too far into the corners. Finish this with the hand saw to get clean corners. You can make a jig to hold the door in place to ensure exact cuts. Cut your molding to the desired lengths as well. Now you are ready for the glass.

Step 2 - Install the Glass

Begin by nailing the decorative molding to the outside of the door, making sure it is positioned so the glass will be centered when inserted to the inside. Apply a thin bead of silicone to the inside of the molding. Position the glass over this bead and apply another bead of silicone to the edge of your glass. Your final step is to install molding against the glass.

Step 3 - Finish Up

You are ready to begin on the second door. Adding glass or a mirror to your bifold doors is a great way to give the illusion of depth and expansion to a room. If you have a closet being used to store collectible items, this is a way to show them off without having to bring them out into the open.