How to Install a Sliding Patio Door in Concrete Block

By Larry Simmons , last updated March 13, 2012
Successfully installing a sliding patio door into a concrete block wall opening can be a quick and simple process as long as the opening has been properly made. Sliding patio doors come complete with frame and mounting tabs, ready for placement into the opening and attachment to the blocks. Once installed, the blocks hold the door securely in place, giving you decades of trouble-free operation with only a minimal amount of maintenance necessary.
  1. Check that the rough opening for the door in the concrete block is plumb and level using a carpenter's level. Set the level across the base of the opening to check for level. If the base isn’t level, then remove the adhesive backing from a block of adhesive wood shims and then stick the block onto the baseline on the lower side of the opening. Tear layers from the wood block, lowering its height until the base is level across the floor. Repeat the process with each of the walls of the opening, checking that they’re plumb using the carpenter’s level and then shimming them where necessary with the adhesive wooden shim blocks.
  2. Measure the rough opening in the block wall with a tape measure. Order a sliding glass door that will fit the opening with the door’s height and width both 1/2 inch less than the measured space. Make certain that you account for the thickness of any shims used and the size of the doorjambs when making your measurements and ordering the doors.
  3. Remove the vent panel from the top track of the door by tilting it from the bottom of the track and then pulling it from the door.
  4. Set the door into the opening with another person to help you center the door in place. You can check that the door is centered by measuring the distance between the interior face of the door to the interior face of the wall on both door edges. If the distance measured is the same, then then door is centered properly. Set a level onto the base of the door set vertically against the door’s face and then adjust the door so that it's plumb. Have your helper hold the door in position while you place wooden shims into the space at the edges of the door between the door side and the side of the rough opening at the top two anchor hole locations in the door jamb on both sides of the door.
  5. Fasten the door in place using 3-inch-long concrete screws driven through the mounting holes and into the blocks with a drill equipped with a screw bit. You can have your helper let go of the door at this point.
  6. Place shims into the gaps along the doorjamb between the jamb and the blocks at each of the mounting holes. Drive the 3-inch concrete screws through each of the mounting holes on both the interior side of the door as well as the exterior.
  7. Check the operation of the door by moving the sliding section back and forth in its track. The door should slide smoothly. Place jamb plugs into all of the holes to conceal the screws.
  8. Clip the vent panel back into place from the exterior side of the door. Insert the top of the vent panel into the top door track and then push the bottom of the panel toward the door until it sits vertically in place.
  9. Screw the door handles onto the mounting holes of the door.
  10. Seal the exterior gap of the door using a 1/2-inch piece of foam backer rod cut to the height of the door with a utility knife and stuffed into the door gap leaving a 1-inch space along the front of the gap. Fill this space with exterior grade sealant. Seal the interior gap of the door between the door frame and the blocks by filling the gap with expanding insulating foam spray, up to a point that’s 1 inch from the surface of the door. The last inch is to allow for expansion of the foam. Allow the foam and sealant 24 hours curing time.
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