- Information about buying the best aluminium sliding patio doors
- Some of the prestige sliding doors
- Other reputable sliding door brands
- Sliding Door design, security and weather performance.
- Where all sliding doors are similar.
- Even more about choosing the best sliding patio doors for you
- 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.
Information about buying the best aluminium sliding patio doors
Despite bifolding doors remaining a highly desirable product for the home or a new extension, sliding doors are just as popular. And today, the latest generation of sliding patio doors is better than ever.
The Sliding Door Systems.
There’s no worst or bad product. Most systems today come with aluminium, the powder coated finish, hardware and glass all meeting specific quality, material and industry standards. Where sliding doors differ is in their design, engineering, the fine details, how they look and feel.
Moving a large sliding door and discovering a surprisingly quiet or smooth slide action is one of the best indicators of product quality. However, to help navigate the sheer range of products and help you choose, sliding doors fall into several categories and groups. 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.
Some of the prestige sliding doors
There are some sliding doors in the upper tier of this product category renowned for the quality, build, fine details and overall experience using them. Here are some of the best with a brief explanation of why. You can also find more information throughout our website. When it comes to a prestigious sliding door there are, of course, many high-end products. Importantly some of the best come from just one manufacturer not many as is the case with a lot of systems.
Made in Germany, superbly made and with an incredible sliding action is the Cero sliding door. Any Solarlux product, be it a bifolding door (one of the best and slimmest) a glass extension or a sliding door like Cero gives you a high-end product in your home. They come at a price, but it’s only when you see these doors you appreciate just what goes into them. If there is an overall best sliding door, Cero is one of them.
Panoramah! Sliding doors
For one of the most dramatic in size, few doors beat the capability of Panoramah. Like Cero, these advanced aluminium doors come at some of the most extreme sizes. While many homes won’t need doors 6m high, what they demonstrate is what’s possible with glass and aluminium. It’s one of the standout products for those projects winning architecture awards.
Sunflex sliding doors
Often it’s not about minimal sightlines but more about knowledge, expertise and creating doors with great features. Here, Sunflex doors deliver. First of all, the SVG20 model creates the same thin lines without going to the more complex and costly structurally bonded sliding door type. Sunflex doors also come with a gorgeous and neat stacking arrangement, a great threshold design and excellent product quality.
Made in London and using their own system, Maxlight doors offer all sorts of design options as well as the signature slim lines. It’s a great product from a very capable fabricator and another quality if more expensive sliding door.
Sunvista Sliding Doors
Another UK made door is the slimline door from Sunvista. It’s thinner than the popular Cortizo sliding door with a neater threshold, better looking stack and unlike the Cortizo comes in an open corner design. It’s at the upper end of the market but recommended if you’re considering an Origin OS20, Infiniglide Slider or other sliding door with a 20mm mullion.
European design and made by an excellent manufacturing company, the Dutemann Glide-S isn’t a minimalist sliding door. What you do get is contemporary looks, a wonderful sliding action and a patio door of incredible quality. As you do your research, many of the established sliding door specialists choose Dutemann as their prestige slider or as part of their wider range. It’s signature feature is going over 6m wide with just two panels.
Other reputable sliding door brands
While Origin sliding doors aren’t designed for extreme sizes or the thinnest sightlines, this brand remains an excellent example of more mid-range doors in the OS44 and OS77 inline sliding doors. Available around the UK, Origin doors promise a high-quality sliding door. There’s also the OS20 Artisan using the Cortizo System. Cortizo is widely used by many of the names you’ll come across for the popular 20mm mullion sightline.
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.
Everglade Windows is another with their aïr 500 inline and aïr 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, 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.
Therefore, when it comes to brands or rebrands, our advice is, be satisfied with the product, the price and the company providing it. It does not matter if the door is marketed under other names.
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.
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.
Where all sliding doors are similar.
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.
Even more about choosing the best sliding patio doors for you
Available from two panels up to six or more with multiple tracks. Inline sliding doors, lift and slide doors and the latest slimline doors with structurally bonded glass, supreme strength and sliding door panels nearly 30 square metres each. You can even get an automatic opening and closing sliding door.
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.
Sunparadise also offers a better solution for those looking at slide and turn doors.
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.
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 Doors||High-End Sliding Doors|
|Infinium and Lumina by AluK.||Schuco Panorama and ASS70, ASE60 Systems|
|Smart Systems Visoglide Range||Sunparadise Systems Monoslide 80|
|Origin OS-77 sliding door|
Origin OS-44 slimline sliding door
|Sunvista sliding doors|
|Technal Sliding Doors||Solarlux Cero Sliding Doors|
|Senior Architectural Systems||Visione by Fusion Glazing Systems|
|Comar 7P.i sliding doors||Centor Sliding Doors|
|Express Sliding Doors based on Smart Systems||Panoramah! Sliding Doors|
|Raum Sliding Doors based on Reynaers Systems||Reynaers Hi-Finity Sliding Doors|
|Optio Sliding Doors by AluK Systems||Maxlight sliding doors|
|Architectural Vision Systems||Cortizo Cor-Vision and Cor-Vision Plus|
|Stellar Sliding Doors||Air sliding doors by Everglade Windows.|
|Sieger sliding doors|
|Sunflex Sliding Doors|
|Express Bifolds XP Slide, using the Metra System|
Above all, choose well and 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.
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.
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 using our form and we can help put you in touch with suppliers and installers of sliding doors.