By Megan Kriss | Dog Q&A
Thinking of installing a dog door in a glass door, but aren’t sure how? You’ve come to the right place!
Read on to find out exactly what tools you need for installation, the steps you need to take and when to call a pro.
Note: We’re going to assume you’ve already bought a door that’s the appropriate size, can be used in a glass door, and has your desired locking mechanism. If not, check out our page on the best doggie doors here. You should also have decided where the door is going to be placed.
Ideally, you’ll have done this before you purchased your door or flap, but it’s vitally important to check your glass is suitable. Either talk with the manufacturer of your door, or ask a professional glazier if your glass can be cut.
If the glass in your door is double-paned, or is tempered, it may not be able to be cut. Tempered glass won’t cut – it shatters instead- which is obviously not what we want!
If your glass can be cut, either by you or your new glazier friend, it’s time to move forward.
Assuming the glass isn’t going to shatter, it’s time to remove the pane from the frame. You’ll want to attach some sort of handle to the glass, either a professional pane moving handle or one of those shower suction cup handles. To be safe, make sure the tool you use is rated to at least twice the weight of the glass pane.
Be very careful when you do this. You’re probably going to need help, so enlist a friend or a spouse to hold the pane of glass by the suction handle while you carefully remove the pieces of the frame holding the glass in place. This should allow the glass pane to slide free.
Now you have the glass free, it’s time to mark the area you’re going to be removing. Use masking tape to clearly delineate the shape of the dog door according to the dimensions the manufacturer recommends. You may need to take your own measurements of the width and length between the lips on each side of the door.
This is the point where we have two different paths to take. I strongly recommend you just take your glass to a professional glazier at this point and have them cut it. Unless you’ve got a lot of experience with this, you’re probably just going to end up with a lot of broken glass everywhere, and could seriously hurt yourself.
Glass needs to be scored before it can be cut.
If you’re cutting the glass yourself, and you only need to remove glass in one dimension (in other words, you’re just shortening the length of the main piece of glass, not cutting a square out of the bottom middle) then score the glass with a glass cutting tool.
If you need a complex shape cut out of the glass, don’t trust your own DIY skills, or just want to make sure you stay safe, skip this step and go straight to a professional glazier for both scoring and cutting. I promise, they’re more common than you think, and cheaper than replacing a door, or a trip to the hospital.
If you’re just taking off some length, carefully break the glass along the line you scored earlier. Follow the instructions of the glass cutting tool you’re using carefully.
If you’re taking the safer approach, carefully wrap the glass in many layers of industrial bubble wrap (saving some for yourself to pop later) and take it to the local glazier. Ask them to cut it to the shape you marked with tape.
Install the dog door according the manufacturer’s instructions. This is going to vary, so just make sure you read the instructions correctly, and take everything step by step.
In most cases, installation simply requires you to push the door into the correct position. Make sure the door is properly latched and secured, otherwise it could be dangerous for your pet.
Reverse the previous process for taking the glass out of the frame, paying special attention to the new doggie door you just installed, and you’re done!
Fitting a dog door into a glass door can be challenging, but if you pick a quality door and get the glass professionally cut, it’s certainly doable.
As with any procedure involving glass, the key is safety. If you don’t feel confident at any point in the process, pay a professional who knows what they are doing. This might cost more, but saves a lot of hassle and potential danger.
Thinking of putting a dog door in your glass door? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!