Top Pros & Cons of UK Aluminium Sliding Doors
For much of the last 10-15 years, bifold doors have been the popular choice with consumers. In the last 5 years there's been a resurgence of sliding patio doors, and for good reason.
Homeowners want light to flood their homes and make their home feel bigger - the modern aluminium sliding door provides that.
Sliding doors used to be very small, often no bigger than 2 metres wide. Generally, they were made from chunky, white UPVC - you could hardly call them inspirational.
Now, that's all changed.
Aluminium sliding door panels can be much larger than the biggest bifold panel, up to 6 sq metres, that’s a lot of glass.
If it's light and uninterrupted views you want, then sliding doors are worth considering.
The frames (sightlines) on sliding doors are now much thinner, usually half the thickness of a bifold door. Bifold door panels butt up to the next panel. Sliding door panels overlap each other, reducing the amount of visible aluminium.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of a sliding patio door.
Advantages of Sliding Doors
- An illusion of space. If you’re looking to open up your home, then sliding doors could be the perfect answer.
- Uninterrupted views - Choosing sliding doors allows you to have bigger doors, meaning bigger panes of glass to bring 'more of the outside in' when the doors are closed.
- Take up less space - Sliding doors don't take up any space inside or outside your home when they're open - unlike bifold doors which open inward or outward. Bifold doors can temporarily block off small parts of your patio when open, or act as an obstacle for young children.
- More glass with thinner frames - Sliding patio doors usually have a thinner frame than bifold doors (depending on the product manufacturer).
- Easy to operate. High tech rolling systems mean even the biggest doors glide using one hand.
- Manoeuvrable - If you go for a 'Lift and Slide' sliding door system you can open the door partially and lock it in place to give you ventilation whilst being in the home.
- Energy-efficient - Sliding doors will often achieve a better U-value as there is more glass and less frame.
- Low maintenance. Like most other windows and glass doors, sliding doors require cleaning regularly with detergent to ensure they stay looking spotless. But as they don’t have multiple panes or frames they’re generally easier to clean than most, and other than that, you can just sit back and enjoy them. There is very little that can go wrong with a sliding door.
Disadvantages of Sliding Doors
- Triple track sliding doors allow you to open two-thirds of the door, but there will always be at least one panel that can’t open.
- There isn’t the option of having a lead door or traffic door with sliding doors. Some people like to have a door that will swing open if needed.
- Track width can be quite large
- The largest sliding doors in exposed areas may need a strengthening bar which can add to the sightlines.