Everything You Need to Know About Garage Door Windows

Date: August 8, 2018

With up to a 98.3% return on investment, it’s safe to say that replacing your garage door is a fantastic choice for adding value and curb appeal to your home. Be sure to give your new garage door added style and sophistication by incorporating windows into your design. Let’s take a look at some garage door window basics, the benefits of windows, and the options that are available to you.

Garage Door Window Terminology

garage door windows with graphics pointing to the window, the lite, and the inserts/grillesWhen it comes to garage door windows, there may be a lot of terms you’re unfamiliar with. Here, we list out common phrases with their definitions so you can fully understand the components of your garage door windows.

  • Garage Door Windows — Large areas of glass in a door that may or may not have inserts/grilles.
  • Garage Door Lites — Smaller areas of glass in a single window area that are defined by inserts/grilles.
  • Garage Door Window Inserts/Grilles — Divides a large pane of glass into smaller lites that mimic older, historical window unit styles.
  • True Divided Lite (TDL) Windows — Each piece of glass is separated and has its own structural frame and interior stop. If one lite breaks, only the broken lite will need to be replaced. Because of the number of actual windows, this is a more expensive option.
  • Simulated Divided Lite (SDL) Windows — A large, single pane of glass with decorative, exterior inserts/grilles that visually divide the large area of glass into smaller lites, giving the illusion of True Divided Lites. If there is breakage, the entire piece of window glass will need to be replaced.

Garage Door Window FAQs

What’s the Benefit of Having Garage Door Windows?

Window configurations can be worked into garage door designs to mimic and enhance the existing architecture of your home. The benefits don’t stop there, though! Garage door windows can be customized to suit a home’s unique style. They allow natural light to enter garages, helping to decrease energy bills and increase aesthetic appeal. Plus, you can choose between TDL and SDL windows to meet the needs of your budget.

Are Garage Door Windows Safe?

Yes! There are multiple options that you can choose to maximize garage safety and security. If you’re worried about visibility, textured and opaque specialty glass styles prevent anyone from seeing your garage interior, while still letting natural light in. If you’re worried about durability or potential break-ins, tempered and laminated specialty glass prevent breakage.

Can You Replace Garage Door Windows?

Our garage doors have incorporated stops that hold the window glass in place. These stops can be removed from the back of the door to replace broken glass or upgrade to a specialty glass.

Replacing or adding window inserts/grilles to a door can be complex and will depend on how the door was originally made. If your original garage door design incorporated inserts/grilles, they can be replaced with new ones. If the door was designed without inserts/grilles, it may not be possible to add any to it. You can consult with your door manufacturer to see if it’s a possibility for your door.

Garage Door Window Styles & Configurations

Garage door windows come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. They can be placed in any configuration on your doors that you desire. Take a look at the basic window styles and examples of typical, unique, and custom garage door window configurations.

Basic Garage Door Window Styles

Square Style Windows

This window style describes windows that have 90 degree angles in all corners.

stained garage door with three square window panels

Arched Style Windows

This style describes windows with bottom corners that have 90 degree angles, and top corners with angles that are less than 90 degrees.


arched style wooden carriage house garage door with two arched window panels

Typical Garage Door Window Configurations

If you have a certain door style in mind but aren’t sure about the window configurations, don’t fret! We’ve listed the door styles out for you and provided information on the most popular glass configurations that go with them.

Swing Style Garage Doors

These doors commonly feature two sets of glass. Check out this example from our Symphony line:

white vinyl garage door with decorative hardware handles and straps and two arched window panels

Trifold Style Garage Doors

These doors commonly feature three sets of glass.

trifold style garage door with three square garage door window panels

Bifold Style Garage Doors

These doors commonly feature four sets of glass. Check out this example from our Medallion line:

bifold style garage door with arched style garage door windows in 4 panels

Barn Style Garage Doors

These doors commonly feature minimal glass accents, if any at all. Check out these two examples from our Medallion line:

With Glass

barn style garage door with square style garage door windows

Without Glass

barn style garage door without glass

Unique Garage Door Window Configurations

While they’re not as commonly used, mullioned and prairie window configurations are still great options. Mullioned lites have a wide stile that separates sets of windows, while prairie lites have inserts/grilles that mirror the frame. Check out examples of these below:

Mullioned Lites

garage door with mullioned lites on the garage door windows

Prairie Lites

garage door with beautiful prairie lites on the garage door windows

Custom Style Garage Door Window Configurations

All of our garage doors are completely customizable, and that includes windows configurations! Your garage door can feature any number of glass sets that you desire. Check out some of these examples:

Medallion Custom Door

custom Medallion garage door with one panel arched style garage door windows

Garage Door Window Glass Options

We offer a range of window glass options, allowing you to choose the perfect type that fits your needs. Take a look at our comparison guide to figure out whether standard or specialty glass would work best for your garage door.

standard vs. specialty glass comparison infographic

How to Clean Garage Door Windows & Lites

Keep your garage door looking pristine by cleaning the windows regularly. Simply use this simple procedure!

What you’ll need:

  • Distilled water
  • White vinegar
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Clean, microfiber cloth
  • Cotton swabs or soft toothbrush
  • Newspaper


  1. Mix one part white vinegar with four parts water in the spray bottle.
  2. Spray the mixture on the microfiber cloth.
  3. Start on either the interior or exterior side of the garage door. Rub the glass surface in a circular motion, then wipe vertically and horizontally to remove all spots and leave a clean, streak-free shine.
  4. Spray the end of a cotton swab or soft toothbrush.
  5. Use the swab or toothbrush to remove any dirt or debris at the corners or edges of the windows.
  6. Polish the glass by buffing the surface with a newspaper.
  7. Repeat on the other side of the garage door windows.

If you’re ready to upgrade your garage door, our garage door experts are standing by to help! Request a quote for your garage door design and any glass window upgrades you’re considering.

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