Who makes the best aluminium sliding patio doors?

Aluminium sliding patio doors are widely available in PVCu, aluminium, timber, or Hybrid doors using a combination of aluminium and timber. But who makes the best aluminium sliding patio doors? We look at some of the many aluminium sliding patio door options available and offer some guidance and advice.

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.
air bifolding and sliding doors in london home.
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 Arkay 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.

Everglade Windows, Express Bifolding Doors, Dutemann, Dekko Windows, , Alufold Direct, Sunflex, Arkay Windows, Duration Windows 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 and we’ve reviewed their minimal framed sliding doors in the UK under a number of brands.

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.

Reynaers CP130 and CP155 Sliding doors in new home.

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.

Origin is one of the best known names and now as popular for it’s sliding doors as its bifolding products.  Their latest OS-77 and OS44 patio doors come with high quality components and the legendary Origin manufacturing quality.  Also available is the OS-20 Artisan sliding door with 20mm sightlines and a structurally bonded construction.

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.

Sunparadise Systems provides a unique product proposition with their sliding doors and especially the Thermoslide 80. This excellent sliding door has a European design and has the ability to not only have panels move around a corner but also hide behind a wall or other panel. Do check these doors out – they’re quite different from conventional sliding doors on the market. At the same time they come with a quality build, high-end components and an ideal contemporary door solution.

Also worthy of consideration at the luxury end of the market are the highly distinctive sliding doors by Maxlight based in London. Slim, highly-engineered and with impressive aesthetics. Maxlight has its own sliding door system as well as some impressive pivot doors, box windows and roof glazing in its collection.

The air range of sliding doors are featured on this website and available though a quality dealer network in the South of England. A 25 year warranty and made by Everglade Windows, one of the longest established aluminium manufacturers in the UK.

IQ Glass based in Amersham with their Sieger brands is another standout architectural glazing business offering cutting edge sliding doors in a variety of styles, capabilities and technical performance.

Another outstanding sliding door is the Dutemann Glide-S. A high tech lift and slide door with impressive engineering and made by an award-winning manufacturer. The Glide-S is one of the few doors on the market capable of going over 6m wide with just two panels.

It’s also worth mentioning the sliding door products from Express Bifolds. While these are marketed under different brand names they are made with systems such as Smart Systems, Schuco, Reynaers, Metra and the Alumil system also available as the Dutemann Glide-S

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.

Mid-Range Sliding DoorsHigh-End Sliding Doors
Infinium and Lumina by AluK.Schuco Panorama and ASS70, ASE60 Systems
Smart Systems Visoglide RangeSunparadise Systems
Origin OS-77 sliding door
Origin OS-44 slimline sliding door
Infiniglide 3 and Infiniglide 6 sliding doors by Arkay Windows.
Technal Sliding DoorsSolarlux Cero Sliding Doors
Senior Architectural SystemsVisione by Fusion Glazing Systems
Comar 7P.i sliding doorsCentor Sliding Doors
Express Sliding Doors based on Smart SystemsPanoramah! Sliding Doors
Raum Sliding Doors based on Reynaers SystemsReynaers Hi-Finity Sliding Doors
Optio Sliding Doors by AluK SystemsMaxlight Ltd sliding doors
Architectural Vision SystemsCortizo Cor-Vision and Cor-Vision Plus
Stellar Sliding DoorsAir sliding doors by Everglade Windows.
 Sieger sliding doors
 Dutemann Glide-S
 Sunflex Sliding Doors
 Express Bifolds XP  Slide, using the Metra System

We do not consider any doors on the market budget or low quality.  You get a reliable sliding door regardless of the system when well made and correctly installed.  Where they differ is the performance, the quality of the components and the overall quality of the slide action.

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.

best aluminium sliding patio doors

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 a leader in product warranty with a 20-year guarantee on either the entire product or elements of it. 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.

Schuco ASE 60 sliding door

Summary

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.

Published on July 9, 2017

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Comments

  1. R says

    Hi,

    Great article many thanks for the insights. It has help me narrow my choice down to 2 options for a 4.4m wide by 2.5m 3 panel sliding door. Would you be able to give some input on the brand quality between the following choices:

    – Cortizo 4700 with 42 mm sight lines
    – Origin OS44

    Many thanks