The sliding French door is one of the most sought after and loved solutions by many families: the advantages of sliding windows are numerous and the options available on the market allow you to satisfy every style preference and every architectural need. To make your choice easier, we have prepared a detailed guide on the characteristics of sliding French doors.
STYLE AND PRACTICALITY OF A SLIDING WINDOW DOOR
Those who opt for a sliding French door generally evaluate the aesthetic factor in the first place: the furnishing trends of recent years favor solutions that create continuity between external and internal spaces, 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 purely functional point of view. In fact, these are windows that allow you to optimize space 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 available natural light.
The result: freedom of movement, more liveable and comfortable spaces, great aesthetic effect.
TYPES OF SLIDING DOORS
From a mechanical point of view, the possibilities are different.
- Parallel sliding or “in line”: these are 2 leaves that move on 2 parallel tracks. Upon opening, the movable door performs a translating movement to slide parallel to the other. A functional and adaptable solution in many contexts where there is not enough space for the installation of hinged French windows.
- Sliding tilting or “sliding” or “sliding sliding door”: it is a system that allows the double function, the sliding opening of the door and the opening of the same tilt to facilitate the exchange of air. It consists of an opening door and a fixed one.
- Lift and slide: this is the best system if you want large windows that can be opened on both doors. It allows the movement of the frame in “lift and slide” mode, which makes the maneuver absolutely manageable, thanks to the hardware mechanism that reduces the load of the door, lifting it and making it slide on the track.
- Sliding door that disappears into the wall: this is a variant of the lift-up sliding door in which the door window slides and disappears completely inside the wall, leaving it free.
The threshold of the sliding French door requires some extra attention: a particularly low threshold improves both the functionality and the aesthetics of the window.
There are thresholds recessed in the floor, lowered thresholds and thresholds with regular height: it is important to choose the most suitable threshold not only on the basis of practicality and less stumbling, but it is also necessary to take into account the location of the window and the required performance. Generally speaking, higher thresholds offer better sealing performance.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF SLIDING WINDOW DOORS
Flap sliding: the pro is undoubtedly the insulation capacity, equal in all respects to those of a traditional casement window. In fact, it has a hinged closure and is therefore hermetic like a standard window. The downside is represented by the fact that a door is always fixed.
Lift and slide: the pros are the possibility of having very large openings and the aesthetic result. It allows the creation of systems with four or more doors and openings of up to six meters.
The downside is the cost: as you can 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 seal 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 French door can be made in the different variants of materials available for modern windows: pvc, wood and aluminum, also in the aluminum wood type.
ALUMINUM SLIDING FRENCH DOORS
Fixtures made of aluminum are extremely durable. To ensure 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 but also very light material: it therefore allows you to create a French door with very clean and elegant lines, all-glass, bright, even very large in size without creating stability problems and weighing on the structure. The variations of colors and finishes are almost infinite 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 from dust and dirt from time to time will guarantee you always perfect windows for decades. Find out more in our article on aluminum frames.
PVC ALUMINUM SLIDING FRENCH DOORS
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 value for money, always as long as you rely on certified companies both for the production of the window. and for the installation. In these cases, the size of the sliding French door and the exposure should be evaluated: good quality PVC windows are generally very resistant and durable but not suitable in all contexts. If you want to know more, we invite you to read our guide to pvc windows.
SLIDING FRENCH DOORS IN WOOD AND ALUMINUM-WOODO
Wood is the material that more than any other is synonymous with style, value, elegance, warmth. The wooden frames are frames with high thermal insulation and durable performance. They require more attention and care with regard to the maintenance of the window frame, but this can be avoided if you choose aluminum-wood frames, with aluminum supporting structure and internal wooden cover.
PRICES OF SLIDING WINDOW DOORS
As you can imagine, it is difficult to give a price indication for this type of frame, which more than any other type of window 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 last but not least. from the “accessories” that you choose to integrate to enhance the security and resistance to intrusion of the window.
Our advice is to rely on qualified and certified companies, who can follow you in all phases of the purchase: advice on the most suitable type, production and installation, because in the case of doors and windows, attention is paid exclusively to 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 WINDOWS
The security of French windows can be enhanced through a series of anti-burglary measures, depending on the level of security to be implemented: frame with anti-burglary lock, anti-burglary glass, railings.