Patio Doors

Chosen well and especially as part of a new extension or property renovation, modern patio doors provide substantial daylight thanks to reduced frame sizes and larger glass sizes. They are a a stylish, secure and energy-efficient addition to any property.

What is a Patio Door?

Patio doors come in different materials, types, and functions. They usually allow access from a room to a paved area or garden. However, nowadays, patio doors also include French doors, frameless doors, stacking doors, and even bifolding doors as garden access doors.

Patio doors can be made of aluminium, timber, PVCu, or a hybrid combination of wood and aluminium. Serving as a fully functional door in the home, patio doors bring in natural daylight and offer a means of ventilation.

Types of patio door

Find out which types of patio doors are best suited for a variety of scenarios. Everything is considered from materials to configuration and use.

Patio door Solutions

Before discussing the different materials that patio doors are made from, it’s worth considering the different design styles that are available.

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Glass door panels that slide to provide access between indoor and outdoor spaces.

reynaers bifold door2


A folding door system with multiple panels that fold together when opened

slide and turn design as alternative to bifolding doors

Slide & Fold

A space-saving solution that allows for easy opening and closing.

alumina french door 1

French Doors

Elegant, double doors with glass panels ideal for a heritage look.

A well-designed, attractive door set improves a living space, enhances the home viewed from the garden side and adds a focal feature in any room. You’ll also find aluminium doors widely used in high-end architectural glazing, featuring expansive glass, floor to ceiling windows and in some of the best house designs.

To choose the right doors as well as the best material, it helps to understand the options available. While doors are important of course, often they need integration with windows, screens and other products.

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Comparing aluminium with PVCu, Timber and other materials

All of these popular patio door materials provide a variety of patio door types and styles. To illustrate the different types of patio doors, our at-a-glance table provides an overview.  Take a look at the different patio door types available in different materials.

Single Door
French Door
Bifolding Door 
Sliding Door  
Slide and Turn Door  
Steel-Look Door    
Doors with windows/screens 
Ultra-slim Sliding Door    
Pivot Door    
Automatic Door     
Open/Moveable Corner  ✓ ✓
Flush/Timber-look Doors     
Special shapes  
Oversize Patio Doors   

Always check with your chosen supplier or contact us with any questions. And remember, if you’re having bifolding doors, there’s no reason why you can’t match your bifolding door profiles to your French Doors. Origin is one of many bifolding door providers creating French Door designs using either their standard or slimline folding door profiles.

All of the current generation of materials used in these types of doors offer the following benefits:

  • Excellent door energy ratings and U-Values thanks to insulated profiles and glass
  • Double and triple glazing with most products
  • Latest security and weather protection from their design and high quality hardware
  • Extensive choice of colours
  • Solutions for lower thresholds, improved access or meeting specific requirements

The choices of doors are substantial for this part of the home. As well as this, some products work better replacing dated patio doors. Others are more suitable in new extensions.

An explanation of each type of material

For anyone looking to replace or provide new patio doors in their home, there is an excellent choice of materials. There is no absolute best material for patio doors.  Budget, house style, door function and personal taste are all important factors.

While we are an aluminium focused website, we do not necessarily say aluminium is entirely the best material for patio doors. There are also many good reasons to consider the other materials too.

Six ways patio door materials differ

  • Price whether by cost or brand.
  • Appearance, such as contemporary or traditional.
  • Specifications and design.
  • Quality of the product and components
  • The capability of the product, such as sizes, strength and integration with other products.
  • Security, weather and other accreditations.

As well as these, patio doors now form an integral part of many contemporary extensions and houses.  As a result, other external elements must complement and often work with patio doors.  For example, cladding, gutters, fascias, corner posts and steelwork, aluminium panels and even integral blinds.  

Consequently, how your patio door works with your other design or structural factors also determines the choice of material or brand.

In aluminium especially there is a big choice when it comes to finding who makes the best bifolding doors.  

For sliding patio doors, there are over fifty aluminium sliding doors to choose from, so invariably it is worth seeking advice on some of the best patio sliding doors on the market today. 

Aluminium patio doors

  • More flexible size options
  • Specialist options such as open corner or pocket sliding doors
  • More opening options such as tilt and slide, slide and stack doors
  • A better choice of frame styles
  • Slimmer frames than most other materials
reynaers bifold door2

PVCu patio doors

  • The most affordable patio door solution
  • PVCu doors provide the best timber-look option without buying real wood
  • The foils and woodgrains in PVCu patio doors are the best
  • The only PVCu door able to also match PVCu windows with most brands
pvcu patio sliding doors

Steel patio doors.

  • The slimmest and most luxurious option
  • Unbeatable sightlines and design detail only available with steel
  • Similar matching internal doors and screens
  • Fire-rated options available
steel-patio doors in black art-deco design

Timber Patio Doors.

  • The best in natural materials
  • Warm to the touch feel
  • Excellent natural thermal insulation
  • Long service life
  • Quality guarantees and minimal maintenance
timber patio doors in a country kitchen

Hybrid or Composite Patio Doors.

  • Best of both materials, quality wood inside, low maintenance durable aluminium outside
  • Excellent U-Values and thermal insulation
  • High-end product and luxurious glazing
  • All types of windows and doors available as hybrid products
  • Distinctive styling creating altogether different looking glazing
solarlux hybrid patio doors in a german house

Frameless Patio Doors.

  • The best product for fewer aluminium profiles and the maximum glass area
  • Creates distinctive and contemporary patio doors in the home
  • Larger sizes than regular French Doors
  • All the security, energy-efficiency and weather protection of framed doors
frameless slide and turn patio doors in a character home

Thresholds options for patio doors

With larger door sets a low level, easy access and even flush threshold such as those found on bifolding doors is also available on sliding doors, pocket doors and open corner designs.

French doors by their nature don’t come with a flush threshold but most door brands do come with a low threshold option such as the type used on front doors.

Getting a low threshold is easier when designing doors as part of a new extension than when replacing dated doors. However, a good installer has the skills to modify an existing opening, allowing the doors to sit lower as a result.