Integral blinds for sliding patio doors explained

Buying integral blinds for sliding patio doors is more complicated than the glass blinds for bifolding doors, because of the much larger glass sizes. As a result, you may struggle to find integral blinds in the sizes you need. We explain all you need to know about integral blinds for sliding patio doors in aluminium.

integral blinds for sliding patio doors in a lounge

How integral blinds work in sliding doors

Modern aluminium sliding doors do come with the option of integral blinds for standard framed patio doors only. You won’t find them in slimline and frameless patio doors.

Made by glass manufacturers and specialist integral blind suppliers, integral blinds for sliding patio doors glaze with the same method as regular glass units. Permanently sealed these blinds don’t gather dust, won’t blow in the wind and remain protected in the double glazed unit.

Are integral blinds a good idea in sliding doors?

Yes and no as there is an equal number of pros and cons of integral glass systems like this.

We don’t recommend large panels with blinds but you could consider dedicated shading systems that actually work better without the ugly sightlines and the hassle. For smaller doors and windows glass blinds are better.

Why your door design affects integral blinds for sliding patio doors

Sliding patio doors are available from two panels up to six with most systems. They are designed either as an inline sliding door or the latest lift and slide door.

When fitting integral blinds to sliding patio door, the configuration of the doors may affect not only the choice of blind but also how it operates. For manually operated integral blinds, this is of particular importance.

As sliding patio doors typically have an interlock and one panel slides in front or behind another, it is important for the externally located blind mechanism not to foul the opposite sliding door or the interlock. Two panel doors will be more affected than other designs.

To avoid possible conflicts with magnet or cord operation, it may be preferable to opt for automatic integral blinds instead. Your chosen door design in relation to the blinds also depends on the blind product chosen as the external magnets and cords vary with different blind systems.

integral blinds for sliding doors in a large patio door set

Why the width restricts integral blinds for sliding doors.

One of the benefits of patio doors compared with other patio doors, is that the sliding panels enable far bigger panes of glass. There are several sliding doors on the market that are manufactured at 3 metres in width and height.

For those big sized doors, it will not be possible to have an integral blind as one complete unit. It will be necessary so separate the blind for each sliding panel into sets of blinds. The result of this is a vertical aluminium line in your glass that is needed to house the blind slats and the mechanism.

For sliding panels of around 1.5-2m, it should be possible to fit an integral blind as one unit, but any larger and they will need to be separate. Again any size limitations depend on the integral blind brand in question and the minimum/maximum sizes they come in.

In other words, with most integral blind systems there are size limitations and generally these are not suitable for sliding door panels over a certain size.

For instance the Pellini Sliding Magnet is 1500mm, but maximum area is 2 sq metres, so if you wanted 1500 width, maximum height would be 1333mm high. Using a blind system operated by a cord system again the size limits are around 2.4 sq metres, giving you a maximum size of around 1600mm.

Therefore it’s usually the case that many sliding doors won’t suit integral blinds as one blinds unit.

Aside from the size and operation considerations, there is no reason why integral blinds for sliding patio doors won’t work. They will provide all the comfort, aesthetic and other advantages they bring to folding doors.

integral blinds for sliding doors fitted inside a room divider

The different integral blinds operating methods explained

If you want manual integral blinds for sliding patio doors, we suggest the magnet controlled version available from all integral blind manufacturers. We do not recommend a cord-controlled version.

Sliding doors with two panels are quite easy to do, however, integral blinds are possible in three and four panel doors as well. On a two panel door, an additional stopper is positioned slightly forward of where the door panel usually stops. This is so that it does not foul the magnet control.

Some installers will avoid using solar control blinds in sliding doors. Again, an installer that knows what they are doing can position the battery pack provided with these blinds further along than normal position. Door stoppers are again used to stop the sliding panel slightly forward of where it usually stops. This prevents the door from catching the integral blind battery pack.

This arrangement is really no different to when larger architectural pull handles are used on a door as door stops are used in this scenario as well.

Summary

How easy you find integral blinds for sliding patio doors also depends on your chosen supplier and the range they choose to sell. It’s also worth pointing out several suppliers choose not to fit integral blinds to anything other than French Doors, bifolding doors or windows for the reasons explained about sizing and door configurations.

We can hep with details of local suppliers of aluminium patio doors offering integral blinds.