The latest generation of aluminium sliding patio doors offers sophisticated and technically excellent products that are justifiably gaining renewed awareness with homeowners. Stronger, slimmer, more functional and better designed than ever, sliding doors are best for spectacular views, creating glass walls and a room with a feeling of more light and space.
Why choose a sliding patio door
Whilst a door with a folding operation remains popular, sliding patio doors come with features you won’t find in a bifold. The largest glass panels, the fewest visible mullions, wider and taller doors. The sliding doors now available provide multiple solutions whether as a replacement for a dated door or as part of a new build home or extension.
Other pages In this section
- How to choose sliding patio doors
- What are Inline and lift and slide patio doors?
- Understanding the different types of sliding doors
- Understanding sliding patio door sizes
Who makes the best sliding door
Find out which types of sliding doors are best suited for a variety of scenarios. Everything is considered from materials to configuration and use.
Sliding Patio Door buying guide
Not sure which aluminium sliding patio door is best for your project? Everything you need to know about these and other patio doors.
Buying aluminium for large patio doors remains the most popular material because no other material goes further in terms of sizes, styling options or capability and with numerous benefits over PVCu. Aluminium sliding patio doors meet many requirements. As well as being ideal for smaller spaces, they expand out to sliders for larger sizes, those required in high-level or coastal locations. They’ll also create near-frameless or minimal doors, fixed, glass or open corner designs.
For styling and design, sliding patio doors also meet many customer requirements. From a simple patio door upgrade, to finding sliding doors with the right look and feel for a new build extension. Then there are the models designed with the lightest and smoothest slide action and for the ambitious, grand sliding doors at extreme sizes creating dramatic glass sliding walls.
Advantages of a sliding patio door
Above all, when the largest glass sizes, the best views, maximum light transmission and minimal visible aluminium are required, only sliding doors meet these requirements.
The technical excellence of sliding doors, security, energy efficiency, smooth operation or multi-functional makes these perfect patio doors. They also bring all the colour advantages of powder-coated aluminium with hundreds of colours to choose from.
Sightlines are now even more important when buying patio doors, and nothing is as thin or near-frameless as a slider. Check out who makes the slimmest sliding doors.
It’s also possible to create that desirable transition from inside to outside with a low track and threshold also available on patio sliding doors.
Types of aluminium sliding patio doors
Many of the leading aluminium systems companies in the UK now offer a sophisticated range of sliding doors with a broad spectrum of designs, aesthetics, performance and functions.
Sliding doors will usually feature flat profiles giving a clean appearance on the horizontal and vertical profiles. Ultra high-end sliding patio doors can accommodate glass panels of 9 square metres or more.
Standard sliding patio doors are available from two to six panels. They can be fitted as stand-alone doors or as part of a screen spanning one or more floors. You can even design a modern sliding door to disappear into a wall pocket as well as having a full open corner design.
Many specialist door providers even create aluminium sliding doors with virtually no limitations on the number of sliding panels available. However, when choosing new patio doors, it’s important to understand sliding door sizes, and the role these play in the design of a new extension especially.
In considering a sliding door for the home, there are four types to choose from.
Inline aluminium sliding doors.
Inline sliding patio doors feature the familiar arrangement where doors slide within their frame. Inline doors come with the option of fixed or sliding panels depending on their size and configuration.
Lift and Slide aluminium doors.
Lift and slide aluminium patio doors work with more sophisticated gearing and components. The door handle rotates to lift the entire door panel away from the frame and then sliding as normal. The benefit of lift and slide doors is ventilation and more flexibility as a door set.
Tilt and Slide aluminium doors
Similar to Lift and slide doors, the tilt and slide arrangement offers a tilt facility when the doors are closed for convenient ventilation.
Slimline sliding doors
Slimline aluminium sliding doors are the latest generation of door designed to provide a minimalist or near frameless appearance. Other descriptions for these types of thin patio doors are panoramic sliding doors, ultra-thin sliding doors, floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, frameless sliding doors or minimalist sliding doors.
This new breed of patio door is substantially thinner than other types of doors, yet capable of heights of up to 5 metres or more with some highly specialised products. Slimline sliding doors are even available with an automatic opening and closing action.
Who are the main providers of aluminium sliding patio doors?
All the Aluminium Systems Companies in the UK offer one or more sliding patio door products. There are also European systems available as well as those doors that are standard systems and rebranded. They well-known providers in the UK include:
Aïr Sliding Doors
Aïr sliding doors are exclusively designed and manufactured by Everglade Windows with a 25-year guarantee. The premium suite of Aïr doors comprises the aïr 500 LS inline sliding door as well as the aïr 600 LS lift and slide doors. Everglade has launched a slimline and minimalist sliding patio door with a 20mm interlock, the aïr 20SL.
AluK Sliding Doors
Aluk sliding doors come from one of the UK’s biggest systems companies, comprising the popular Optio BSC94 inline sliding door, the Luminia SC156 Lift and Slide door and the brand new Infinium slimline sliding door.
Anglian Aluminium Sliding Patio Doors
Anglian are a national company serving the UK home improvement market. In their broader range of PVCu products is an inline aluminium sliding door product offering Yale Locking, low thresholds and colour choice.
Arkay Windows Edgeglide and Infiniglide Sliding Doors
Arkay Windows are another company with Bifold Direct to offer the Edgeglide and Infiniglide suite of contemporary sliding doors. This modern range of doors offers slim sightlines, premium design, extensive colour options and high security. Both doors are based on existing systems and not exclusive to Arkay. Infiniglide 3 sliding doors with a 20mm interlock are ideal for standard openings with door panels up to three metres in height. Infiniglide 6 with a 24mm interlock is the ultimate architectural sliding door with heights up to 6 metres possible.
Comar Sliding Doors
Comar sliding doors are extensively specified in the UK, available as the Comar 7P.i lift and slide door and the option of Comar 7P.i Tilt and Slide and Inline sliding patio doors.
Centor Sliding Doors
One of our favourite brands Centor, provides luxurious, expertly-made sliding doors packed with innovation and technology. The Centor name is one of the best and has won design awards for their products. Centor sliding doors are available as the Centor XO Sliding door with a wood interior and aluminium exterior.
Cero Sliding Doors by Solarlux
Cortizo Sliding Doors
The Spanish Cortizo sliding doors are sophisticated products, using the latest structurally bonded technology. With a Cortizo sliding door, you benefit from some of the thinnest sightlines as well as a very well-designed contemporary sliding door. You will find Cortizo patio doors as the most commonly used product where installers offer a sliding door with a 20mm interlock. Many installers and manufacturers choose to rebrand Cortizo doors as their own and some market the doors under the Cortizo name.
Dutemann Sliding Doors
Trade manufacturer Dutemann fabricates and supplies the Glide-S premium sliding door, featuring a 47mm mullion, low threshold and contemporary door furniture. The Dutemann door is an outstanding product using the ultra-premium Alumil aluminium system.
Express Sliding Doors
Based nationwide, Express Bifolding Doors is one of the biggest home improvement companies in the UK. Express provide the XP Glide inline sliding door, XP Glide R Lift and Slide door, XP Slide Panoramic Sliding Door and XP Glide S products, based on existing aluminium systems. Express uses Smart Systems, Schuco, Reynaers and Alumil systems in its range.
Everest is famous for its Fit the Best slogan and one of the big national home improvement companies. Their aluminium sliding door is based on the SAPA Crown product, available in black, grey and white.
Exlabesa KLS Sliding Doors
Exlabesa is a less well-known company in the residential sector, yet you will find their products specified in commercial developments of flats and houses. Their KLS sliding patio door is available as a lift and slide or inline option and offers sliding door panels of 3.3metres wide and 3.2m high, better than most doors on the market. An affordable, quality aluminium sliding door for the home.
System 22 Sliding Doors by Fineline Aluminium
The System 22 Sliding Door by Fineline aluminium is a structurally bonded patio door offering very thin proportions and impressive aesthetics. System 22 sliding doors offer up to five tracks, a 22mm interlock as well as curved on plan sliding door options. 3.5-metre heights are also possible.
Hedgehog Aluminium Systems
Framed and minimalist products by Hedgehog Aluminium Systems come under their Sieger range, also offered by other installers and resellers. Hedgehog provides Passivhaus sliding doors, Sieger 30 glass sliding doors, framed sliding doors, minimal sliding doors and internal sliding doors.
ID Systems Sliding Doors
Based in Norwich and working nationside, ID Systems provide the Edge minimalist sliding door, the Grand Slider II inline patio door as well as being a reseller for the Sunflex SF20 product.
With one of the biggest and best showrooms in the UK, IQ Glass are one of the UK’s best known providers of high-end sliding doors for architectural glazing. IQ Glass provides the Inmotion, Minimalist Windows System and Minimal Windows 4+ range of sliding doors
Kawneer Sliding Doors
Part of Arconic, Kawneer is one of the best known systems companies in the world. The UK market is served with the Kawneer AA3572 Lift and Slide aluminium door.
Keller Sliding Doors
Less known but specialist provider Keller, has sliding doors, windows and Wintergardens, offering the minimal windows® range of frameless sliding doors, minimal windows®4+ and minimal windows® 4+ highline ranges.
Schuco and Smart Systems manufacturer Kloeber provides both aluminium and hybrid sliding doors with their euroslide, kustomslide mono and kustomslide plus products, both based on existing aluminium systems.
London-based Maxlight is a specialist manufacturer of contemporary sliding doors offering minimal framed systems and excellent product quality. A frequent exhibitor at Grand Designs and similar shows, their sliding doors come with a quality installation, experience and the latest modern products. Maxlight also provides contemporary glazing and the desirable pivot door.
Origin Sliding Doors
British company Origin is one of the UK’s best known brands in bifolding doors, aluminium windows and residential front doors. The Origin range now comprises three excellent products. First of all is the Origin Inline Sliding Door with a 20mm interlock and the contemporary OS-77 and OS-44 patio doors.
PanoramaH! Sliding Doors
When it comes to the most innovative architectural glazing, Panoramah! creates structural glass sliding doors with capabilities few systems can match, such as a 27m2 single sliding glass panel.
Reynaers Sliding Doors
The Reynaers CP130, CP155 and Infinity sliding door ranges come from one of the world’s best known aluminium systems companies. Reynaers are renowned for great design and high performance in sliding and lift and slide doors.
SAPA Crown Sliding Doors
Now branded as Technal in the UK, SAPA Building Systems provide a big range of aluminium sliding doors. The range includes Crown models, Confort 160, Comfort 125, Artline and the commercial Hawk Sliding Door for garage showrooms.
Schuco Sliding Doors
Advanced, top-of-the-line Schuco sliding doors are regarded by industry professionals as one of the best doors on the market. The ASS70 sliding door range includes automatic and manual sliding doors, Schuco Panorama sliding door, ASS70 inline, tilt and slide and lift and slide versions.
Smarts Visoglide Sliding Doors
Products by Smart Systems come from the biggest aluminium systems company in the UK. Smarts offer the Ultraglide, Slide 2000 & Visoglide Plus range of inline and lift and slide doors.
Senior Systems Sliding Doors
British brand Senior Architectural Systems offer products renowned for the thermal performance and quality. The PURe SLIDE range and Series 1 Hybrid range of sliding doors are available.
Sieger Sliding Doors
One of the most luxurious names, Sieger Sliding doors are provided by specialist aluminium companies such as Hedgehog Aluminium. The Sieger range comprises the Sieger 30 and Sieger 85 sliding glass doors.
Stayfix Architectural Systems
North London-based Stayfix offers the S3 lift and slide patio door system. The S3 sliding patio door from Stayfix can achieve patio door panel widths of 3300mm and up to 3250mm high.</dd
Manufacturing the Cortizo sliding door system, Skyglaze is the first UK company to offer Corzizo doors in the UK. They are also the only company to have installed all versions of this door. The Cor Vision Sliding Door from Skyglaze provides expansive, minimalist sliding doors up to 4000mm wide and 4000mm high. There’s also the option of a virtually frameless appearance as well as the option of motorized sliding doors subject to sizes.
Sunflex Sliding Doors
Choose a Sunflex product and get one of the premier names in sliding doors. The range comprises the SVG20, SVG30 and SVG83 sliding doors. Other products include the frameless SF20 sliding door and the non-thermal SF42 for internal applications. These doors come in pocket sliding as well as open corner designs. The SVG20 is an excellent alternative to the more costly 20mm sightline slimline doors such as Cortizo, Origin or Infiniglide.
Sunparadise Sliding Doors
Sunparadise offers a range of sliding door and sliding balcony solutions. Thermoslide 80, the Supertherm80 PST and Thermo60 PST parallel-slide-and-tilt system. As well as this, the VG15 internal glass wall and room divider as well as the BAL160 lift and slide door. The Thermoside 80, is an alternative solution to conventional sliding doors. This product has the ability to move around corners and even stack completely out of sight.
Sunvista Sliding Doors
Made in the UK and in our view, better than Cortizo products. Minialist Sunvista doors come with 19mm mullions, better stacking, thresholds and overall design is the range of contemporary slimline doors by Sunvista. You’ll also get an open corner, steel look and pocket sliding version with these expertly crafted doors.
Technal Systems Lumeal
Lumeal patio sliding doors by Technal (part of SAPA Group) is a new slimline sliding door for residential installations. Lumeal offers the option of a visible or a minimalist sliding door with aluminium sight lines of under 80mm. The sliding sash gearing and aluminium is mostly hidden to maximise the amount of glass and light.
Ultraline Sliding Doors
Sliding doors by Ultraline come from Greenways Architectural. These offer a slimline sliding door system that integrates with windows, roofs and folding doors. It features electronic locking and a 20mm interlock.
Üni_Slide panoramic door from Fenster Fabrications
The Üni_Slide panoramic sliding door from Fenster Fabrications is one of the new breed of minimalist, slimline sliding doors. Here you’ll find another door boasting a 20mm mulion. Each sliding door panel comes at 2.2metres wide up to 3 metres in height. Expanses of glass also mean excellent U-Values.
Velfac Sliding Doors
European Velfac products offer a hybrid sliding door under the Velfac 200 brand. The Velfac 200 is a hybrid door consisting of aluminium outside and wood inside.
Warmcore Sliding Doors
The new Warmcore Inline Sliding door complements the existing Warmcore bifolding door and Warmcore window ranges. These doors feature a PVCu core giving excellent U-Values. Read our full review of the Warmcore Sliding Door.
Deciding which sliding door type is best
Aluminium remains the best choice of sliding patio doors needing thin sightlines. Aluminium also creates pleasing steel-styled, heritage or Art-Deco sliders as well as offering an excellent solution for interior sliding doors.
Hybrid materials also provide the same functionality and high quality with an added touch of luxury and even better energy efficiency. These types of doors use low-maintenance and contemporary aluminium outside with high quality woods inside. For properties where only real wood will do, the modern range of sliding doors in full timber and other fine woods is another excellent solution in the right installations.
PVCu patio doors today are better engineered and more reliable than even but still come with more bulky sightlines and smaller size capability, yet are very affordable.
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