Sliding doors are modern, sleek and bring an air of sophistication to any home. Due to the fact that they close differently to regular swinging doors, simple bolts aren’t fit for purpose in ensuring their security.
Not to worry, though; there is a wide variety of locking options designed specifically for sliding doors. Here we’ll look at some of the ways you can secure your sliding doors and some of the best options on the market.
Types Of Sliding Door Locks
Sliding door locks come in all shapes and sizes, and you’ll find some are more fit to your specific needs. Let’s check out some of the most popular sliding door lock types and how they work.
Mortise locks are generally considered the most common sliding door lock, and most will come with a built-in mortise lock. They can sit hidden away inside the sliding door’s pocket, therefore maintaining the streamlined look that sliding doors are famous for.
A mortise sliding door lock usually consists of interior and exterior handles, a thumb latch and the mortise lock body. By turning the thumb latch, the position of the hook changes and the door can be opened. Most mortise locks are non-keyed, meaning they can’t be locked or unlocked from the outside.
Keyed locks allow you to lock and unlock your sliding door from the outside. While convenient if regularly using a sliding door as an entrance to your home, keyed locks are particularly susceptible to burglars and should be used in conjunction with another lock.
Double bolt locks
Double bolt locks generally won’t come with the sliding door, but they can be easily installed. They can prevent a sliding door from being lifted out of its track and are very easy to use.
They operate by securing the door to the frame at security points by interlocking bolts, thus preventing it from moving laterally and vertically.
For a hassle free installation without any screwing and drilling, track locks are a good option. These simple devices are fixed to the rail of a sliding door or window and act as a barrier that prevents any movement. This means that they can “lock” a door even if it’s slightly open.
A thumbscrew secures this lock onto the track, and while not as secure as some other options, using multiple track locks on both the upper and lower track can make them more resistant.
Smart locks come with an array of features that make them particularly useful (and a larger price tag, of course).
Keyed entry can be replaced with keypads, fingerprint scanners and smartphone app compatibility. Additionally, some utilize sliding door automation, perfect for pets or accessibility reasons.
Security bars can be easily mounted up against the sliding door frame, thus acting as a door jammer. They can also allow for doors to be locked in a ventilating position, although as a weaker security measure, they should be used alongside other security devices.
Window locks are a cheaper option for sliding door security. While not as strong as other options, and therefore not recommendable for the security-conscious, they do make a good choice as a child safe lock. They can be easily mounted out of reach from small children.
Top 7 Best Sliding Door Locks
PRIME-LINE C 1225
Available from Amazon. From $38.67
The Prime-Line C is an easily installed mortise lock made of a durable alloy steel. Locking and unlocking is as simple as turning its latch up and down. It can be mounted on both left and right handed sliding doors and will naturally compliment white sliding doors. There are multiple internal mortise locks that are compatible with this handle set, meaning a mortise lock component most likely won’t be a necessary additional purchase.
Available from Amazon. From $39.99
Considered a leading brand, the LOCKiT double bolt lock is made from high-grade steel and offers easy DIY installment at any height on the door, allowing it to also remain child-proof. The design prevents your sliding doors from being lifted off their tracks, which is a common break in method for would-be intruders.
Available from AutoSlide. From $475
Autoslide specializes in sliding door automation, with a range of products offering an array of features, from remote locking to full smart home integration. The high price point is indicative of the advanced technology present in these systems, and it’s because of this that installation of these devices should be left to experts. If automation, remote accessibility or smart home integration are what you’re after (and you’ve got the budget to justify it), AutoSlide may be the choice for you.
Ideal Security Sliding Door Lock Bar
Available from Amazon. From $18.29
The Ideal security bar is a low cost, easily installed security option, with the added bonus of acting as a striking visual deterrent for potential intruders. The bar conveniently swings upwards and out of the way when not in use. It allows for the door to be partially open while still being secure, and its Anti-Lift Lock locks the bar in place, protecting it from being tampered with by your children.
Available from Amazon. From $11.95
The Burglabar is a self-locking hinge lock that can add additional security to a sliding door or window. It is easily mounted with adhesive bonds offering weld-like strength, and its crystal clear design blends seamlessly with glass. Although not the sturdiest of sliding door locks, its ease of installation, use, and the option to place it up high on your door make it an excellent choice for child-proof security.
Available from Amazon. From $14.99
The Lion Lock takes merely seconds to install, and without any drilling or tools required, is a great choice for renters. It fastens tightly onto your door’s tracks with two thumbscrews and a rubber grip and prevents the door from sliding far enough for someone to get in or out of your home. Due to its position on the bottom track it can be easily tampered with from the inside.
ULTRALOQ Smart Lock
Available from Amazon. From $179
The ULTRALOQ Smart Lock comes with 6-in-1 keyless entry, including fingerprint ID, smartphone entry, auto unlock and a backup mechanical key. It connects to your smartphone app using bluetooth and even keeps a log of who’s entered and when. It can auto lock and unlock sliding doors once the sensors detect smartphone movement, and via the app, permanent and temporary E-keys can be granted to guests. It’s also suitable for DIY installation.
What kind of lock can you put on a sliding door?
There are a variety of locks that can be applied to sliding doors. Most common are mortise locks, which will often come preinstalled. However, other options that can be purchased and installed include double bolt locks, track locks, security bars and smart locks.
How can I make my sliding door more secure?
Locks will always be the best option for securing any door. Some weaker locks, like track locks and window bars, will often come in multipacks so they can be stacked to produce a higher stopping force. Other measures to secure your home include the use of curtains to hide your valuable goods, or a security camera monitoring your door.
How do you lock a sliding door?
Locking a sliding door varies on the type of lock you have but generally speaking they are operated easily. For example, mortise locks require a thumb latch to be turned up or down, double bolts are pushed into security points, and security bars are lowered into position against the sliding door. Smart locks allow for locks to be activated remotely or by keyless methods (fingerprints etc).
Can you add a lock to a sliding glass door?
Additional locks can usually be easily added to sliding glass doors, and are often suitable for DIY installation. However, some smart locks will require expert installation. We recommend professional installation for more complex locks, like smart locks, to avoid disappointment and, ultimately, get the most out of the product.
Do burglars break sliding glass doors?
Sliding glass doors are often a good target for burglars due to the ease with which glass can be shattered. Sliding doors can also be lifted off their tracks with the use of crowbars. While locks can play their part in securing your door, in these cases additional measures such as cameras and alarms can make a big difference.
How do you lock a sliding door from the outside?
Sliding doors can be locked from the outside using keyed locks. Smart locks are also an option that allows for sliding doors to be locked and unlocked from either side.
While they are a beautiful feature in any home, sliding doors are often a particularly vulnerable part of the house. Luckily, there are a range of locks on the market that can make them more secure, and the variety of features and mechanisms available means your choice can be tailored to your security needs and budget.
Coupling these measures with additional security features like cameras and alarms will maximize the security of your sliding door, and your home as a whole.
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