I have a hallway door that is 1 3/4" thick. I'd like to be able to see through the door, what is the best way to go about this?

I see glass panes are available for purchase Here but all that I find say "for steel or fiberglass doors only".

What should be used for wood doors?

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  • Should be able to do it. How easy depends if the 3/4 inch wood section is nail on moulding or the thick wood is routed for design. If removable moulding, just a matter of very carefully removing, take out wood panel, and then replace panel with a clear or frosted pane. I would like plexiglass myself. Expect to maybe buy new moulding(if it breaks) and paint to finish look.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 14:42
  • Very relevant
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 16:24

3 Answers 3


See this very relevant answer for details of what to do to disassemble/reassemble the door.

You'll have to go through a similar process but without being able to cut the door apart, since you don't want to dispose of the bottom panel. Disassembling the door, especially since that appears (based on the door nob) to be an old door, is going to be rather difficult.

If the molding around the central panel is nailed/glued on, you should be able to get one side off and replace the panel with glass, then reinstall the molding. If, however, it's actually cut out of the solid door (which is likely), you will have to disassemble the door.

If you do manage to get the door apart, you'll either want plexiglass (cheaper - except that panicvirus demand has driven prices sky high) and lighter, but susceptible to scratching - or tempered or laminated glass (heavier - but should be OK in an old, solid door like this, possibly comparably priced these days, and scratch/shatter resistant). Plain plate glass will be far too likely to shatter when the door is slammed, and when it does shatter, it will leave large, jagged shards that can cause serious, rapid blood loss.


Glass is heavy and many wood doors are not constructed to bear the weight of the glass. You should look into using Plexiglass. It's third of the weight of glass and most home stores will cut it to size. You'll have to buy the whole sheet.

Try to remove the panel molding off one side of your door and then remove the panel. Get an exact measurement for the Plexiglass, install it and replace the molding.

  • Great answer as usual, +1 Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 14:58
  • Perhaps the OP does not know what the "panel molding" is or how to remove it.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 16:53
  • @AlaskaMan That could very well be. Then the OP would have to ask another question, which is what we want them to do. :-)
    – JACK
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 17:23
  • @JACK - It seems to me that if one is going to advising a course of action then one should explain in detail all the steps, and terms associated with those steps, to accomplish said course of action. Shouldn't the OP be given all the pertinent info without having to POST more questions?
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 18:44
  • @AlaskaMan I gave the OP the basic information requested. All the time on this site people ask how to do something and the response it to break it down into different questions. Many times comments are used to clarify additional steps.
    – JACK
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 19:10

The best way is to buy a new door. Or a used door (you may have to cut it to fit).

  • 1
    Care to add some meat to this answer? With your score, you should know that an answer like this isn't really up to standards 'round here.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 16:35
  • 1
    The question does not need a long answer. Verbiage does not enhance the simple, bald fact that buying a new or used door with a window already in it is by far the easiest and fastest and quite likely cheapest (unless you place no value on your time, and a recycled one will still probably win) way to get the desired result, rather than deconstructing and reconstructing the door you have without a window in it.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 17:17
  • "cut it to fit" ? This site prefers answers that use words to explain how to do something. Once you have written and good answer it may be helpful to add a link that supports the detailed answer you are providing. Please take the tour so you know how to participate here. - diy.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 18:45

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