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A beautiful and comfortable home thanks to sliding glass doors
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A beautiful and comfortable home thanks to sliding glass doors

9 December 2019

The sliding glass door is one of the most appreciated and loved solutions by many families: the advantages of sliding doors and windows are several and all options available on the market make it possible to satisfy every style preference and every architectural need. In order to make your choice easier, we have prepared a detailed guide on the characteristics of sliding patio doors.

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Index of the sliding window guide

  • Style and practicality of a sliding glass door
  • Types of sliding doors
  • Pro Con
  • Sliding doors in PVC, wood and aluminum
  • Sliding patio doors prices
  • Safety of sliding doors and windows

Style and practicality of a sliding glass door

Those who opt for a sliding glass door generally consider the aesthetic factor in the first place: the furnishing trends of recent years favor solutions that create continuity between the external and internal space, highlight the light and expand the spaces, giving the impression that the room is no longer bounded by walls, but is a whole perfectly integrated with the outside, and allow the view to sweep over the surrounding landscape.

However, sliding windows are an excellent choice not only in terms of style, but also from a more exquisitely functional point of view. In fact, these are fixtures that allow spaces to be optimized in the first place, since the doors do not create space for opening and closing, neither inside nor outside. Secondly, they allow you to take full advantage of all the natural light available.

The result: freedom of movement, more livable and comfortable spaces, great aesthetic effect.

Types of sliding doors

  • From a mechanical point of view the possibilities are different.Parallel Slifing or “in line”: these are 2 doors that move on 2 parallel tracks. The movable leaf at the opening makes a translating movement to slide parallel to the other. A functional and adaptable solution in many contexts where there is not enough space to install casement French windows.
    Fold-down sliding door or “sliding door” or “translating sliding door window”: it is a system that allows the double function, the sliding opening of the door and the opening of the same to the flap to favor the exchange of air. It consists of an openable door and a fixed one.
    Lifting slide: it is the optimal system if you want large windows that can be opened on both doors. It allows the handling of the frame in “raise and slide” mode, which makes the maneuver absolutely manageable, thanks to the hardware mechanism that reduces the load of the door, raising it and sliding it along the rail.
    Retractable sliding window door in the wall: it is a variant of the lift-up sliding door in which the door of the French window slides and disappears completely inside the wall leaving it free.

A little extra attention should be focused on the sliding window door threshold: a particularly low threshold improves both the functionality and the aesthetics of the window.
Recessed thresholds in the floor are available, lowered thresholds and thresholds at regular height: it is important to choose the most suitable threshold not only on the basis of practicality and less stumbling, but also to take into account the positioning of the window and the required performance. In principle, higher thresholds offer better sealing performance.

Advantages and disadvantages of the different types of sliding glass doors

Tilting sliding door: the pro is undoubtedly the capacity of isolation, equal in each aspect to those of a traditional swing casement. It has in fact a hinged closure and is therefore hermetic like a standard window. The opposite is represented by the fact that a door is always fixed.

Lifting slide: the pros are the possibility of having very large openings and the aesthetic result. It allows you to create systems with four or more doors and even openings of six meters.
The opposite is the cost: as it is easy to imagine it is on average the most expensive system.

Parallel sliding: this type is thermally the weakest. The two doors slide one over the other, and consequently it does not have a hermetic closure like the other two solutions. The advantage is certainly the price since it is the cheapest type.

Sliding doors in PVC, wood and aluminum

A sliding glass door can be made in a different variants of materials available for modern window and door frames: PVC, wood and aluminum, also in the wood aluminum type.

Sliding aluminum window doors

The frames made of aluminum are extremely durable. To guarantee excellent insulating performance it is necessary that they are made with the so-called “thermal break” and that they are built with quality materials and certified techniques. Aluminum is a very resistant material but also very light: it therefore allows to create a French window with very clean and elegant lines, full glass, luminous, with very large dimensions without creating stability problems and weighing on the structure. The color and finish variations are almost endless and adapt to any style, from the most rustic to the most modern, whether you love the effect of metal or prefer the wood effect. Maintenance is simple: a simple cleaning of dust and dirt from time to time will guarantee you windows that are always perfect for decades. Read more in our article on aluminum frames.

Sliding doors in pvc

The main advantages of PVC windows and doors are represented by the very high thermal insulation performance of this material, which is a natural “thermal break”, and by the excellent quality / price ratio, always provided that we rely on certified companies both for the production of the window that for the installation. In these cases the size of the sliding glass door and the exposure must be assessed: good quality PVC windows are generally very durable and durable but not suitable in all contexts. If you want to know more, we invite you to read our guide to PVC window frames.

Sliding doors in wood and aluminum-wood

Wood is the material that more than any other is synonymous with style, value, elegance and warmth. The wooden frames are frames with high thermal-insulating and durable performance. They need more attention and care with regards to window maintenance, but this can be remedied if aluminum-wood fixtures are chosen, with an aluminum bearing structure and an inner wooden cover.

Sliding patio doors prices

As you can imagine it is difficult to give an indication of price for this type of fixture, which more than any other type of fixture is characterized by a strong need for customization. Surely the price is higher than a fixed French door, and is determined not only by the material with which the profiles are made, but also by the type of opening chosen, by the performance of the glass, by the dimensions, by the color, by the finishes and not least from the “accessories” that you choose to integrate to enhance the security and resistance to intrusions of the window.

Our advice is to rely on qualified and certified companies, which can follow you at all stages of the purchase: advice of the most suitable type, production and installation, because in the case of doors and windows a focus placed exclusively on price is synonymous with bad investment; doors and windows, especially a sliding window, are purchases that are made once or twice in a lifetime, but they affect the comfort and energy costs of your home every day.

Safety of sliding doors and windows

The security of the French windows can be enhanced through a series of anti-burglary measures, depending on the level of security to be implemented: frame with anti-break-in lock, anti-burglary glass, grilles.

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