There are tints of films out there that have a shiny/mirror like appearance on the outside but are see through from the inside. You can start with the maker of your sliding glass doors. Contact them to ensure that window films are ALLOWED with their product (many glass/window/door makers restrict window films because of damage issues). Once you have the OK from them (and to ensure you are not voiding your warranty) you can then start the search for professionals who deal with window films and tints (which can be the same people who install windows in the first place).
Always check your warranty to ensure you are not voiding it due to the film. This has happened in the past and the homeowners found it VERY upsetting (their glass cracked and the film voided the warranty).
Depending upon the glass/window manufacturer almost anything you do will void the warranty. The good thing is major window film manufacturer’s like the LLumar and Vista brands have a warranty that will match your existing window warranty when film is added to the glass. Window film would not be a billion dollar industry if all we did was break glass and run away. This is a common misconception that is exacerbated by bad businesses who do poor work and change their name every year. Every industry has them. We include the Vista Gold warranty whenever our clients have new windows with a long warranty so they do not lose any protection if something should happen.
It is important to note that when you are looking for privacy with window film, reflective options will give great privacy during the daytime but if the lights are on at night this is reduced. True privacy needs an opaque or frosted film for 24/7 effectiveness. If the lights are not on at night then nobody can see in so you are covered. If you want an extra level of protection against break-ins through the doors or windows, security film is an effective upgrade.
Lastly, sliding glass doors should be made of tempered glass denoted by a watermark in the corner. The tempering process makes is virtually impossible to break the glass due to thermal stress from the addition of window film.
What should you expect from tinted sliding glass doors?
Add to your privacy
One of the main reasons why people forget to consider their sliding glass doors as a candidate for tinting is that these are doors, not windows. However, they are still doors made entirely of glass, and the fact that they form a means of entry into the house makes the additional privacy that comes with window tinting even more advantageous. You can use several tints that allow an unobstructed view from the inside but a blocked view from the outside, just as you would see in a luxury car. You’ll be able to look out, but neighbours and passers-by won’t be able to look in.
Prevents bird strike
A secondary benefit of making your sliding glass doors less transparent from the outside is helping to prevent birds from flying into them. This is a common problem when dealing with larger panes of glass since birds are less able to tell the difference between them and open sky, and it can lead to anything from large smudges to cracked panes.
Of course, the most compelling reason to have your sliding glass doors tinted is that you’ll drastically reduce the amount of UV light that enters the property. Many parts of the country face plenty of sunlight all year round, and that sunlight contains UV rays that can cause skin cancer and age the skin. While outside, you’ll wear sunscreen to protect yourself. While inside, you might forget about the need to cover up.
This can be particularly problematic when dealing with sliding glass doors since they let a lot of light into the home, so it’s a very wise move to have them tinted. As well as protecting your own skin, you’ll protect your furniture and carpets from fading.
Windows are far less energy-efficient than walls, so fitting sliding glass doors can significantly raise your monthly energy bills. However, you can alleviate that issue and reduce your monthly costs by having your sliding glass doors tinted. Heat will be deflected from the glass instead of streaming right through it, so your air conditioning system won’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool.