Guide to Replacing Your Door Glass

Guide to Replacing Your Door Glass


Whether you are interested in replacing the glass in your door as an upgrade for a low E replacement glass option or because of a broken pane, you need to know what you are getting into before you start this possibly extensive project. 

If you are dealing with a broken glass front door you should replace the broken glass in your front door as soon as you can to protect the security of your home. 

Also, leaving the broken glass exposed will negatively impact the energy efficiency of your home as well. 

Here is a guide to everything you need to know when considering replacing glass in a door.

Determine if Replacement is Worth it

If the glass is broken the logical choice would be to replace the glass immediately due to the safety issue it poses. 

However, if the glass on your door is an unusual shape (front door oval glass) it may be out of your skillset making things more strenuous and not worth the effort.

It may be cheaper to replace the door completely or have a skilled provider do the replacement for you.

Often a project may look like something you are capable of — until you get into it. 

Front Door Glass Replacement- Put safety first!

The first thing to remember with glass replacement is that safety should always come first. 

Take extra time to laminate the window with duct or packing tape to prevent it from shattering if it were to fall. 

For previously broken glass be sure to wear protective gloves when retrieving the pieces. Also, take caution not to dump the glass directly into the trash can. Take it to the dump or recycling for safer disposal. 

Use the Proper Equipment

Be sure you have the correct tools for the type of door you are working with.

If you are working with a uPVC door you are going to need a mallet-style hammer. With timber beaded doors you will need a chisel and hammer for glass removal. Be sure to look up the door type and get the tools you need for that specific door. 

Other tools you should have on hand would be:

  • putty and a putty knife
  • tape to secure the piece you are removing
  • safety items such as safety glasses and gloves 

You may want to ask for a second pair of hands to hold the glass to prevent breakage. 

Replacing Front Door Glass Step-by-Step:

Now that you have decided if the replacement is worth it (and have the proper tools and safety measures in place) it’s time to replace the glass.

1. Prep the Exterior Door

Prepare the door by removing it from the hinges and removing any exterior pieces from the door for easy access. Lay the door across some sawhorses.

2. Remove the Glass

Take extra care when removing the old glass. Scrap putty surrounding the glass cautiously with a putty knife or chisel.

For some doors, you may need to remove surrounding molding/trim. Do so with a Stanley knife if needed. This task may be a painstaking job but take your time. The glass should fall out easily after putty removal so it may be best to have someone near to hold the glass on one side. 

Once the glass has been properly removed, clean any leftover glue or putty from the door to provide a clean space for the new glass to be fitted. (A light sanding may be needed).

3. Replace the Glass

Now gently slide the new glass into place and push the putty firmly against the edge of the glass into the area between the glass and the frame snugly. 

Smooth down the edges with a putty knife and remove excess putty if needed. 

4. Attach Interior Frame

If any trim or molding of the interior frame has been removed, reattach before reinstalling the door.

5. Re-install the Door

Remember to allow the putty to dry completely before reinstalling the door.

Reattach the door by placing back on the hinges and maybe shimmering up your new glass with some window cleaner for a quick new shine to your new piece!

Replacing the glass in your front door doesn’t have to be a complicated project and we are here to help.

Since 1981, Dream Doors and Windows has been providing the highest quality of customer service and the best value possible on decorative exterior doors and windows.

If you are in the Jacksonville area and are looking for door or window solutions, contact us at