The Buyers Guide to Sliding Doors
Wow! What A View!
That’s the reaction of most visitors to those homes that successfully use sliding doors to maximise their view.
Imagine an entire wall fitted with floor-to-ceiling glass that slides gracefully aside when the weather permits to let the outside in.
Closed, those sliding doors allow us to enjoy our uninterrupted view in comfort.
Sliding doors effortlessly combine state-of-the-art performance with stunning aesthetics.
So what are our options?
Sliding patio doors usually comprise two, three or four panels, of which some will slide and some will normally be fixed.
Panels can incorporate very large panes of glass, to give us the most uninterrupted views.
The three most popular type of variations in terms of operation are as follows:
- Slide – standard operation where the doors slide on tracks.
- Lift and slide – turning the handle through 180° lifts the door by a few millimetres to glide open effortlessly.
- Tilt/slide – the door can be tilted inwards for ventilation or slid across for access.
Bi-Fold or Sliding Patio Doors?
Bi-fold doors have the advantage that they can open up about 90% of the aperture, letting in lots of fresh air and really opening up the room to the garden.
Sliding doors by comparison will typically open up between 50%-75% of the aperture however, the doors themselves consume less space than open bi-folds.
When closed a sliding patio door will most likely command a greater unimpeded view. The wider door leafs with large panes of glass give us a more uninterrupted panorama than a bi-fold door that comprises several narrower door leafs, each with a frame around them.
Sliding patio doors lend themselves to a sleek visually clean design.
What configurations are possible?
Sliding doors are so flexible with configuration possible in almost every way imaginable. This means that we can totally focus on the design and practicality of door to suit our home.
For example two panes on double track that slide allow for opening at either end. Sliding centre panes that slide over fixed end panes. Triple track systems that allow multiple sliding panes to stack on top of one another. We could go on.
See this three track 4 panel 75% opening sliding door system in Manchester.
What are the maximum dimensions?
The maximum dimensions of any one panel is 3m wide with a maximum height of 2.5m. The overall width of the doors should not exceed 6m.
So in a 6m opening we could go for 4x1.5m panels or maximise that panorama with 2 huge sliding 3m glass panes.
Flush threshold options allow us to make a level inside/outside transition without any perceptible change in height giving us fully accessible patios to enjoy.
See our guide to low and flush threshold aluminium sliding doors.
What colours are available?
Powder coating means a huge range of colours and textures are available including stunning anodised finishes and textured paint.
We can mix it up by choosing a different colour on the inside to out.
What about shading?
Commonly blinds are used, these can be integral to the glazing, in other words sealed within the cavity of the double glazed units.
We can opt for manually operated, solar controlled or fully, press of a button, automatic blinds.
Integral blinds were incorporated on this sliding patio door in Wakefield
Tinted or mirror glass can also be used and worthy of consideration is the latest in glazing technology; solar control glass such as that offered by Sunguard which provides solar protection for delicate furnishings and control over the inside temperature.
Will I be warm in winter?
Look for glazing with a U value of 1.8W/m²K or lower. For more energy savings consider triple glazing.
Can they be used in low energy buildings?
Yes. The Reynaers CP155 HI Sliding Door is used in many low energy buildings including passive house systems - the world's leading standard in energy efficient construction.
Will I be secure?
Doors that include a protected locking system, namely the Avocet Break Secure (ABS) lock, incorporate the highest diamond grade ‘sold secure’ lock. A locking system that is incredibly secure which burglars can’t get past.
Made to PAS24 standard - this Police recommended anti snap & bump lock, secure by design, is standard on all Marlin doors and complies with all latest building regulations.
What upkeep do they need?
An incredibly resilient and strong material, powder coated aluminium is one of the most durable finishes available. It won’t discolour, rust or peel, giving it a long-lasting, attractive appearance which can last for decades with virtually no upkeep.
What system should we choose?
Alternatives include Reynaers CP155 HI Sliding Door with it’s narrow meeting style that keeps the frame work to a minimum to maximise that stunning view.