- What defines the best aluminium sliding patio doors?
- The Sliding Door Systems.
- Sliding Door design, security and weather performance.
- So who makes the best aluminium sliding patio door?
- The Sliding Door Brands
- How to find the best aluminium sliding patio doors.
- Guarantees on aluminium sliding patio doors.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your sliding doors.
- Service levels influence the best aluminium sliding patio doors.
- Maximum and minimum sizes of sliding doors
- The Sliding Door Interlock.
- Sliding door hardware and quality.
- Inline vs lift and slide patio sliding doors.
What defines the best aluminium sliding patio doors?
Despite bifolding doors being the dominant and most desirable product for the home, sliding doors are back. Sliding doors are better than ever. Today’s aluminium sliding doors offer the best aesthetics, superb long-term performance, security and weather resistance. Modern patio doors are thinner and, in the case of the latest minimalist sliding doors, technically excellent.
There is plenty of content on this website about bifolding doors vs sliding doors giving you valid reasons to consider both. If your view through the glass matter most, choose a sliding door. If opening up your home to the outside in the summer is important, choose a bifolding door.
The Sliding Door Systems.
There can be much confusion about who makes the best aluminium sliding patio doors as door suppliers fall into several categories. These are:
- The manufacturer and installer offering one or more systems.
- The exclusive manufacturer with a dealer network of installers. Nobody else makes their doors.
- The manufacturer that takes a widely available system and re-brands them as their own with or without enhancements.
- The local door installers that buy in their doors from the producers.
In many cases, it does not matter who makes your doors or where they have come from. There is a benefit in buying doors from manufacturers that have taken the time and significant investment to bring out their brand of door. These doors are installed by a quality network of Accredited Installers getting a tremendous amount of training and support from their manufacturer.
Origin is an excellent example of such a manufacturer and has introduced their new Inline Sliding Door. Everglade Windows is another with their air 500 inline and air 600 lift and slide doors. There is also Arkway windows with their superb Infiniglide 3 and Infiniglide 6. Infiniglide 3 is the Cortizo Systems. Infiniglide 6 is the Orama product from Greek Systems Company, Exalco.
Express Bifolding Doors, KAT UK, Dekko Windows, CWG choices, Sliders UK and many others are examples of great aluminium manufacturers that use standard systems with minor or significant enhancements sold under different brand names. Other specialist manufacturers work in close collaboration with well-respected European systems and have adapted them for the UK market with great success. Cortizo is a good example of a Spanish company selling their minimal framed sliding doors in the UK under a number of brands.
Another excellent supplier of sliding doors in the UK is Architectural Vision Systems. The company provides an innovative range of patio sliding doors at different price points, specifications and features.
Our advice is, be satisfied with the product, the price and the company providing it. It does not matter if the door is rebranded.
Sliding Door design, security and weather performance.
Virtually all sliding door manufacturers and installers demonstrate safety and weather performance of their doors through published test reports. Ask to see these to establish the security and performance credentials of sliding doors.
So who makes the best aluminium sliding patio door?
There is no ‘bad’ system on the market. All aluminium sliding doors sold in the UK today share four common characteristics.
- The aluminium extrusions produced to recognised British and European Standards for conformity and type.
- Approved applicators apply the powder paint finish to recognised British and European Standards.
- Gaskets, seals and components also meet recognised industry standards.
- Sliding doors are tested to established security and weather tests and standards.
Beyond the paint and materials, doors are designed and engineered differently, hence the various price points. Sliding doors will vary in their technical characteristics, quality of the running gear, components, handles and locking systems. Some doors enable you to customise them to meet your needs. Others are standard doors with only colour choices available.
The Sliding Door Brands
The is no best sliding door on the market because of their design, configuration, the method of opening and intended use.
Available are sliding doors to meet a simple door requirement, right up to specialist doors with structurally bonded glass, supreme strength and sliding door panels nearly 30 square metres each.
What we can tell you is who has the ‘best’ sliding doors by brand perception, reputation and their perception within the door industry. Some sliding doors are very much the choice of builders thanks to their price point. Other systems architects and discerning clients favour for their technical ability and overall quality. Above all the best sliding door is the one that meets the needs of the customer.
This website considers the following Sliding Door Brands to be the market leaders for design, build, quality and service levels. Prices vary as a result.
Also, consider the benefits of using a sliding door supplier with bifolding door expertise. For instance, SUNFLEX UK offers arguably some of the best bifolding doors on the market. SUNFLEX is also one of the best known names in patio doors as well. Their German-engineered, sought-after bifolding doors come in several different types and their sliding patio doors are excellent too.
|Mid-Range Sliding Doors||High-End Sliding Doors|
|Infinium and Lumina by AluK.||Schuco Panorama and ASS70 Systems|
|Smart Systems Visoglide Range||Dutemänn Glide-S|
|Crown Sliding Doors from SAPA Building Systems.||Infiniglide 3 and Infiniglide 6 sliding doors by Arkay Windows.|
|SAPA Building Systems||Infinity Sliding doors by Reynaers Aluminium Systems|
|Senior Architectural Systems||Visione by Fusion Glazing Systems|
|Comar 7P.i sliding doors||Centor Sliding Doors|
|Express Sliding Doors based on Schuco and Smart Systems||Panoramah! Sliding Doors.|
|KAT UK using AluK or Schuco Systems||IQ Glass Minimal Windows System|
|Raum Sliding Doors based on Reynaers Systems||Sieger Sliding Doors|
|Kloëber Sliding Doors||Sliding doors by Luxal Glazing.|
|Optio Sliding Doors by AluK Systems||Air sliding doors by Everglade Windows.|
|Architectural Vision Systems||Origin’s new OS-77 and OS-44 sliding doors|
|Frameless Glass Curtains|
|Sunflex Sliding Doors|
|Architectural Vision Systems Sliding Doors|
How to find the best aluminium sliding patio doors.
Any of the above doors as well as the many others not mentioned will give you peace of mind in being well made and installed. If you have been quoted the above or an alternative brand and need further information on it, contact us.
The above systems include both standard sliding doors and the latest slimline, panoramic and minimalist sliding doors.
Some installers will tell you their sliding door is their own system. We would treat this statement with caution. To produce your own sliding door system requires vast sums of money in design, tooling and aluminium die production. Products need testing with technical/installation manuals creating. Bringing out a new sliding door is a long and expensive process reserved for the aluminium systems companies with Group or Parent Company backing.
Guarantees on aluminium sliding patio doors.
The guarantees on sliding doors vary depending on the system and the manufacturer. Typically you can expect to get ten years on the entire installation, although so manufacturers will only offer five years on the glass.
Origin remains ahead of the game even with their brand new OS-77 and OS-44 inline sliding doors. We recommend you check out these patio doors having excellent running hear and door handles. They also come with the same 20-year guarantee as their bifolding doors. Everglade Windows in another, providing a 25-year guarantee with their air sliding doors when purchased through an authorised retailer.
The fact that some doors do not have the guarantee offered on Origin and Air doors does not make them inferior. The companies that are the sole manufacturers of their product have more control over their processes. Every door is consistent in quality. The availability of their doors through a dealer network also means they have trained their dealers to fit them correctly. A more extended warranty is therefore provided.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your sliding doors.
If who makes and who is behind your new sliding doors matters in your buying decisions you may want to do your research. Ask your supplier where the extrusions come from, what is the name of the system and who extrudes the profiles.
Your sliding door guarantee will also depend on who fits them. Many homeowners choose to leave the sourcing and fitting of a sliding door to their builder. If the door has come from a trade supplier, a limited warranty only is available. If you plan on having your builder fit your doors find out what guarantee you will get. You may find it better to get the doors installed by the door company instead.
Service levels influence the best aluminium sliding patio doors.
As an independent and impartial aluminium website, we can tell you that the best sliding door depends on who makes it and who installs it.
We often hear from homeowners concerned that we have suggested a particular system to them, only for others to tell them it is not good.
At the systems company level, much work is done in designing a sliding door. It is extensively tested and improved before it is launched. Then the network of fabricators has to be trained by the systems company. Most installers buy sliding door systems from this network of manufacturers. If there is a fault with the product and they are not getting the support in putting it right, the perception exists that this is a bad door. There is no bad door on the market.
Maximum and minimum sizes of sliding doors
A sliding door enables bigger door leaves than any hinged or folding door. You benefit from bigger glass panels and more light. With most quality systems you can expect each sliding panel to accommodate 3 metres on the width and the height easily. For most houses, the extra height will not matter, but you have peace of mind that the engineering behind your sliding doors creates impressive spans.
Other sliding door systems are standardised at 1200mm modules on the width and 2500mm on the height. These are again great doors and should not be perceived as inferior because they are not possible as tall. Take a look at impressive products like the Dutemann Glide-S capable of spanning more than six metres with just two panels.
The Sliding Door Interlock.
As you do your research on finding the best aluminium sliding patio doors for you, you may come across the interlock. When sliding doors meet when closed, the back of the inside door meets the front of the outside panel, creating a vertical mullion. This is the interlock.
Sliding doors have slimmed down substantially compared to previous generations, now providing you with interlocks from 35mm right up to 110mm or more.
The latest generation of slimline and minimalist sliding doors offers interlocks from 20mm. The compromise with these thin interlocks is that they need to go very deep, providing structural integrity to the door. Visually a narrow interlock on a sliding door has an aesthetic advantage. Our point of view is that it may matter on a narrow sliding door having two panels but is not so important on wider the doors. The thicker interlocks spaced farther apart appear less obviously on a wider set of doors.
Sliding door hardware and quality.
One of the first signs of quality on a sliding door is the sliding action. Even large and heavy doors owing to size should be easy to open. A positive feel to the door is your first clue that it has quality components.
The design of the door handles, especially on a lift and slide door cleverly lifts the doors away from the frame ready to slide. These should feel precise and with a premium look and feel.
The function of the door handle on some products limits colour choices as a result.
Inline vs lift and slide patio sliding doors.
The two main methods with which sliding doors operate is the inline or lift and slide method. We offer an explanation of inline vs lift and slide to help you understand how these doors operate. As a general rule, the new minimalist sliding doors are inline. Other patio doors available either inline as well as lift and slide. Go try both sets of doors out and you will see how they work and the benefits of each type of sliding door.
We have created this article about the best aluminium sliding patio doors to help you understand the many facets of the door industry. It also helps to understand the products available and what to consider. The sliding door section of our website also offers product and general information. Should you have any questions about sliding doors, please contact us using the form provided or speak to your local installer.
Every year this website helps thousands of consumers and the trade with answers to their aluminium door questions. We help people find the right product and the best suppliers. Therefore, contact us and let us help you. Our service is free.
This article was last updated in July 2018.