How to Keep People from Walking into a Glass Door

Glass doors are a sought-after architectural element in both commercial and residential buildings because they allow light to stream through a space, creating the feel of a brighter, more open, and airy space. Glass doors also look very modern and minimalist, which can elevate the style of a building.

However, there are a few disadvantages to glass doors, and one of these that you might not expect is that people walk right into them. This can actually cause great damage to the doors, even smashing the glass in extreme cases, and it also typically results in injury to the unfortunate person who did not recognize that a glass door was in front of them.

Pets and wildlife also struggle to decipher whether a glass door or open fresh air is in front of them, and you might find that birds regularly crash into your new glass door or your dog hurtles into the door expecting to leap into the backyard.

Certain types of birds, such as male robins, are quite prolific for this, as they believe that their reflection in a glass door is, in fact, an enemy bird, and they fly right at it at full force in an attempt to defend their territory and defeat their rival. This can be a nuisance, and it is worrying because it can cause expensive damage to your glass door.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can prevent people and animals from crashing into your glass doors. Here we look at the possible options, ranging from inexpensive and temporary solutions to more permanent options.

Window decals

Window decals

Window decals are a great way to alert people to the fact that a glass door is present, therefore preventing them from walking into it. Window decals come in such a huge variety of designs, so you can really personalize your glass doors to create a formal look or sophisticated look, depending on the location of the door and the style you are going for.

For an office glass door, you could have customized window decals made using your business name, or for personal offices, have the occupants’ name and job title made into a decal for the glass door. This will ensure the decals are in keeping with your branding and business style while also fulfilling the objective of keeping people from walking into glass doors.

Exterior glass doors on commercial properties could also benefit from custom-made decals using their company name, or you could opt for more minimalist decals such as a row of squares fixed at around average adult eye level on the glass doors.

If your glass doors are in your home, then you may not have considered decals, but if you select the right design, then these can actually elevate the style of your property while offering the function of preventing accidents.

For a modern style house, minimalist lines of varying widths could be applied in decals going horizontally along the glass, or for a more playful look, choose decals of butterflies and birds so that they blend in with the garden view of the glass doors.

Botanical-style decals are also a good choice for glass doors that look out onto a yard, such as flower or foliage decals. As well as creating an interesting aesthetic and serving the functional purpose of stopping people from walking into glass doors, window decals are a great option because they don’t restrict the level of light coming into the room, and they also don’t block out your view.

You can use a select few decals or use a heavier amount, depending on your taste, to achieve the look and purpose you want.

Window film

Window film

Window film is a good option for ensuring people don’t walk into glass doors, but it can protect the window glass, block the views through the glass and slightly restrict the amount of light that flows through the space.

However, it offers the benefits of creating privacy and a personalized style to windows while also preventing accidents. Window film has come a long way in the last few years, so it is no longer a sticky mess to apply.

You can get window films that adhere to the glass simply using a water spray, which makes them easy to apply and easy to remove. Window films also come in a huge range of designs, from films that give the look of frosted glass to ones with floral prints or geometric designs. Choose a window film that matches your style, and apply it to the entirety of your glass door.

Unlike window decals, which are usually smaller and applied on the upper half of the door, window films will cover the whole door, which can also be helpful for pets that accidentally run into glass doors.

Glass paint

Glass paint

If you have an artistic nature, then you might be interested in the idea of using glass paint as a way to keep people from walking into a glass door.

You could use glass paint to create a small design at around eye level on the door as a subtle way to indicate to people that there is a glass door in front of them. Alternatively, you could cover the entire glass door in the paint for a bolder look. The designs you could create on the door are only limited by your own imagination.

You could create the effect of a stained glass window if this matches the style of your property or opt for a more modern design in a contemporary home.

A variety of glass paints are available; some of them can be removed at a later date if you wish, while some have a bonding component that permanently adheres them to glass.

Etching cream

Etching cream contains a chemical that breaks down the molecular bonds in glass, resulting in a frosted look. The chemical is called hydrofluoric acid, and it creates an effect on the glass that is irreversible, so you need to be sure that you want to permanently alter your glass doors before you use this.

If you would prefer a non-permanent solution for keeping people from walking into glass doors, then window decals or window film might be a better option.

You can use etching cream over the whole of a glass door to create the look that it is frosted, but this will obscure your view and also limit the amount of light that comes into the space through the glass door.

For a less extreme solution, use etching cream and stencils to create a design on your door that will be more subtle while still being obvious enough to alert people to the fact that a door is in front of them.

In a business environment, have a stencil made of your company’s logo and etch that onto a glass door, or in a home environment, you might opt for something more decorative, such as a sun and moon design or your house number.

Window dressings

Window dressings

If you don’t want to alter the look of the glass in your glass doors, then you could instead install window dressings to make a glass door more obvious. This could include blinds, sheer drapes, beaded curtains, or a regular curtain pulled to one side.

Blinds are a good solution in an office or commercial environment because they have a more industrial look compared to curtains and drapes that are softer and more homely.

Hang blinds from the top of a glass door and have them pulled down to eye level to maximize the light coming through the glass while still alerting people to the fact that a glass door is in front of them.

At home, sheer drapes are a nice solution because they create a hazy, breezy aesthetic, which still allows light to flood through to a room.

You could also use curtain tiebacks to gently drape the sheers to one side so that they aren’t entirely obstructing the view out of the glass doors. Sheer drapes will also give you additional privacy if you want to close them and benefit from this.

Beaded curtains are another good choice if you like a more bohemian aesthetic. These will allow light through the glass door while posing a very obvious obstruction to keep people from walking into the door.

Beaded curtains can also be draped to one side using a tie if you want to allow more light into the space or have an open doorway. They offer the added benefit of stopping insects from flying into the house when the glass door is open.

If you like the idea of having a privacy option, then solid fabric curtains can also be used at a glass door. These could be draped to one side during the day to allow light in while also signaling to people that a doorway is in front of them; then, in the evening, you could close the curtains to benefit from privacy.