Sliding patio doors are available in many different brands, systems, types and styles meaning different types of sliding doors are now available. With renewed interest in sliding doors, we take a look at some of the different products available and give some guidance and information on what the different styles mean, terminology and other information about the different types of sliding doors.
If your perception of sliding doors is that they are white or silver, with wooden handles and a wooden subframe, the different types of sliding doors you can buy today are vastly different.
Previous generations of sliding patio doors were largely limited by their sliding action, their size limitations and suitability. Old patio sliding doors were ideal for new build properties or flats in simple two pane design with one fixed and one sliding leaf. It was common for doors to be available either as a direct fix or within a hardwood subframe. Normally only two, three or four-panel doors were possible, with a single track with heights rarely exceeding 2.4 metres high.
Features of modern aluminium patio sliding doors.
There are several different types of sliding doors you can now buy providing a great modern door to suit any type of property and customer requirement. A modern aluminium sliding patio door will give you many great features.
- Bigger sliding door sizes at more than 9 square metres with most products.
- Flexible opening with half or two-thirds clear opening or more, depending on the design of the product.
- Slimmer door profiles thanks to the latest generation of thin sliding doors.
- A very contemporary appearance
- Exceptional design, quality, security and weather resistance.
- An extensive choice of colours.
Understanding the different types of sliding doors available.
Two areas will quite likely determine the sliding door that will be suitable for your home. The first is sliding doors to replace existing doors; the second is a sliding door into new extensions or renovations.
When replacing old doors with sliding doors, the size of the opening will primarily govern the type of sliding door you can have. With most openings, inline or lift and slide doors are possible as well as the new generation of slimline sliding doors.
New structural openings give far more flexibility. This then enables you to look at the different types of sliding doors and how they can work in your home.
Inline Sliding Doors.
Inline sliding doors work on the conventional method of the door panel sliding within its frame. Inline sliding doors are now excellent. The Dutemann Glide-S can go to more than 6 metres with just two panels. The new Alumen Cor-Slide Plus can go to 8 metres with just a 25mm mullion in the middle. Such is the engineering behind inline sliding doors.
Inline sliding doors are available in two, three and four panel designs in various sizes. You can also have inline doors with single, double or triple tracks to enable all panels to slide to the left or right. For those looking for multi-panel doors, Reynaers doors are one example available with multiple tracks that stack together to create up to 8 sliding door panels, all on separate tracks.
Lift and Slide Doors.
Lift and Slide doors operate just like the description suggests. Inline sliding doors slide by pulling on the handle. On Lift and Slide doors, it is the handle that controls a complex set of gearing around the door sash.
A turn of the handle operates the lift and slide gearing to move the door away from the frame and then ready to slide to the desired position. Lift and slide doors can be used in place of inline doors where a two panel door is required and right up to six panels.
Tilt and Slide Doors
Tilt and slide patio doors work on the principle of a slide door and a tilt and turn window combined. When ventilation only is required, the tilt facility of the door enables the panel to lean back opening the top portion and the sliding door panel hinged along the bottom. The tilt and slide facility is controlled from the patio door handle. Comar sliding doors, Schuco as well as other well-designed systems are available as a tilt and slide option.
Slimline sliding patio doors.
There are now different types of sliding doors designed to provide a minimalist appearance, maximum glass area and the least amount of visible aluminium. Many unique features of slimline sliding doors set them apart from conventional sliding doors.
Slimline sliding doors are available in sizes covering standard domestic openings right up to impressive 27m2 sliding panels such as those on the Panoramah! system.
Pocket aluminium sliding doors.
If you are thinking of building a new extension, why not consider sliding doors that slide into the wall pocket, disappearing from view.
Pocket sliding doors should be designed from the outset as part of the new extension and building work, but they can create a dramatic door opening in the modern home. The big advantage of pocket aluminium sliding doors is their ability to open up the opening better than a bifolding door can.
Open Corner sliding doors.
Just like bifolding door systems, sliding doors can now be designed to meet in the corner on two elevations. Slide the doors back to reveal an open corner arrangement with no visible corner post (although you can choose a static corner post as well). You can even design open corner sliding doors to slide into a wall as a pocket aluminium sliding door system.
Automatic sliding patio doors.
Reynaers, Schuco, Luxal Glazing, Panoramah! and other systems offer automatic sliding doors opening and closing at the touch of a button.
The fitting of automatic sliding doors will require a specialist installer as well as the installation and commissioning of the powered operator.
Who makes the different types of aluminium sliding doors?
There is an enormous amount of choice in sliding doors, but it need not be complicated to find the right product. Our sliding door section illustrates just some of the many sliding door providers on the market. We can simplify the huge amount of choice by offering a few tips and insight into the sliding door market.
- It is the aluminium systems companies that mostly offer their own brands of sliding doors. Others take these names and sell them either under the same name or rebrand them to suit their business.
- There are no substandard or bad sliding doors on the market. Where they differ is in engineering, capability, aesthetics, warranties and quality of hardware.
- It is poor installation and manufacturing that is primarily responsible for problems, rarely is it the design of the product.
- Ask to see the security and weather performance testing of the product. A good installer will provide this information.
- Sliding doors will require a more complicated installation owing to their large size and glass panels. Here’s what you should know about how sliding doors are fitted.
If you would like help in choosing your next sliding door or need further information on where to buy, contact us.