How to Choose the Right Door Controls for Glass Doors

Choosing the right door closer and pivot for your glass doors can be a daunting task. It starts with determining if the application calls for a manual or automatic operation. Once that decision is made, we can look at the door style, size and weight, as well as ADA requirements, in order to help narrow down the options for door controls. 

If ADA is required, stack pressure in the building must be considered to determine if an ADA closer will accurately control the door. Glass door metal components, such as rails and patches, have very specific inserts and hardware pockets which greatly limit the control options for each specific application.


Manual Closers for Glass Doors 

Most glass doors will be installed with manual closers. They are versatile to work with both rail and patch door styles, and built-in separate closing and latch speeds make them a user-friendly option to get the optimal performance from your glass door. 

Manual closers are compatible with adjustable blocking so that field alignment is easily achieved.


Concealed Door Closers

Concealed closers are the most aesthetically pleasing option for manual door closers. Since glass doors are desired to minimize the metal in the opening, the concealed closer would be the best option. 

The most common closer for glass doors is the overhead concealed variety. These types of closers are mortised in a minimum 1 ¾” x 4” header tube which can be ceiling mounted or floating between two fixed sidelites or two walls or one of each. They are versatile to work with top rails using an arm or an insert in a patch fitting. 

The OHC-609 Medium-Duty Overhead Concealed Glass Door Closer is an ADA closer with a door weight limit of 200 lbs and a maximum door width of 42”. 

The OHC-304 Heavy-Duty Overhead Concealed Door Closer is the glass industry’s only 300 lb overhead concealed closer. It will accommodate a door width of 48” though it does not meet ADA opening force requirements. 

To complete the set, these closers will need a bottom pivot. With a bottom door rail the PV-ENDLOAD (200 lb max.) pairs with the OHC-609 and the PV-FM-300END (the industry’s only 300 lb end load pivot) pairs with the OHC-304. 

It’s important to note that glass doors with bottom rails require end load bottom pivots for ease of installation. For the bottom patch doors, the PF-ADJ-PIVOT (330 lb max.) completes the package for either of the OHC closers. 


These OHC options are best suited for an interior application as are the doors with minimalistic corner patch fittings. These concealed overhead closers are only available for glass door center hung applications.

When it is desired to have a glass door in an exterior application, top and bottom door rails are the best option as they protect the glass edge, especially the bottom. 

There is a different variety of concealed overhead closer with an exposed arm which may be a better choice in this case: the Rixson 73 and 93. These closers have a top track which mortises in the top door rail. This track has a slide arm which can help maintain control of the door when high winds and traffic are a concern. 

This type of closer will have an independent top pivot as well as a bottom pivot, which come with the closer kit. The maximum weight for these closers is 250 lbs with a max. exterior door width of 48” (54” for interior). 

Surface Mounted Closers

If your glass door has corner patches, a surface mounted closer will not be an option, as this closer has an exposed arm which needs to mount to a top door rail. A minimum 4” top door rail will be required and some surface mounts will not be compatible with your glass door. 

With concealed options available for most applications, including exposed arm closers, there is no advantage to using a surface mount. Typically, they are chosen because other storefront or wood doors on the job are using the same closer.


Floor Closers

Heavier doors and exterior applications are better suited for floor closers, as they have a higher weight limit and typically perform better under harsh conditions. Floor closers can be used for both center hung and offset pivot applications. 

The FC-6275 is an ADA closer with a 330 lb weight limit. The FC-6280 is not ADA, but has a 660 lb weight limit. These are both shallow closers with a depth of 2” & 2 3/8” respectively. 


At times, the floor conditions do not allow for a deep closer and these are a perfect option. They are compatible with rails using an arm and patches using an insert. 

The Rixson 28 and Rixson PH-28 (ADA version), with a 350 lb weight limit, offer a positive dead stop to help resist damage from wind and high traffic. With a 4” deep cement box, floor thickness must be considered before choosing this closer. The Rixson 28 is only compatible with rail doors as it requires an arm mortised into the rail. 

To complete the set, floor closers will need a top pivot. The PV-WALKBEAM is a 15mm dia. standard duty pivot. 


When doors approach 350 lbs and over the PV-H340 (5/8” dia. pin) heavy duty pivot should be used, and when doors are 108” tall or over, the PV-H345 extended pin heavy duty is the best option. 

It deserves mentioning that glass doors can flex when pushed against, which could allow tall doors to come off the top pivot, thus the need for extended pins.

Automatic Closers for Glass Doors

If your opening is calling for an automatic closer, ASSA ABLOY has a solution to fit your needs. Automatic closers will connect to your glass door by way of a heavy duty arm and therefore should only be used with rail door applications. 

The force put on a door by the automatic action also makes adjustable blocking a bad idea for these doors as it can be shaken loose over time.


Concealed Automatic Closers

Automatic closers are typically larger closers and will need to be contained into large headers. The Besam SW200i is an ideal choice for an overhead concealed automatic closer. It comes in a 6” x 6” header, which should be taken into consideration when sizing the door. 

In an overhead concealed application, this closer has a 350 lb weight limit.


Surface Mounted Automatic Closers

There are more options for surface mounted automatic closers. The Norton 6300 series is only 2 ¾” tall, making it one of the slimmest profiles available. Both push side and pull side applications are compatible with standard height glass door rails. 

This closer has a 200 lb weight limit and can accommodate a 36” minimum door width; however, it does need a 40” frame width to attach the closer to. 

The Norton Heavy Duty 6061 push side power operator is also well-suited for glass door top rails. It has a 250 lb weight limit and a 48” max door width. It can mount to the face side of a minimum 2” tall header but does have a 5 3/16” overall height. The minimum door width is 36” and requires only 37 ½” frame width.

Floor Automatic Closers

The Besam SW200i-IG can be mounted into the floor. It requires a large 8” wide x 7” deep x 32” long pit in the floor. When used with the Besam center hung rear load arm, this closer can accommodate a 700 lb maximum door weight.

The enclosure is water resistant and powder coated to prevent corrosion. The adaptability to multiple arm configurations allows great flexibility for integration with your design.


Hydraulic Controls  

Hydraulic controls are the newest glass door controls to launch into the industry. They offer control for the door without needing a metal header or digging out the floor.

Hydraulic Bottom Patch

The PFD-HYD Hydraulic Bottom Patch Fitting has a surface mounted floor plate and only needs the PFD-20 top patch and PF-SM-PIVOT surface mounted top pivot to complete the set. 


With a weight limit of 220 lbs and a maximum door width of 39 3/8”, this can accommodate most average sized ½” thick glass doors. 

The ASSA ABLOY version of this patch has an improved 2 5/8” industry standard pivot centerline, which is not offered by other manufacturer’s versions.


Hydraulic Hinges

The HYD-HINGE is conveniently available for both wall mount & glass mount applications. It offers the cleanest aesthetic with no ceiling or floor prep / disturbance. 


The glass mount version has a 220 lb weight limit and a maximum door width of 39”. The wall mount version has a 264 lb weight limit and a maximum door width of 47”. These hinges can accommodate glass thickness from 3/8” – 13/16”.


Get Started With Door Controls for Glass Doors

In order to determine which door controls are best suited for your glass doors, it may be helpful to consult with a professional. Contact our glass door specialists to help you choose the right applications for your glass doors.