Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Sliding Glass Doors
Home renovations may not be the most interesting actions, but the results are often jaw-dropping. Apart from furniture and appliances, which are commonly included in the renovation process, people also want to change some of the crucial parts of their homes, including doors and windows.
If you plan on changing your patio door, there’s a huge task in front of you. With so many designs, materials, sizes, and colors, it may be difficult to pick one that meets your needs and matches your overall home design. Depending on the room in which you want to replace a sliding glass door, you’ll need to consider some of the crucial factors that will help you choose the best option and get a stunning, breathtaking design.
To help you find the best sliding patio doors, we have prepared the ultimate guide on materials and types of doors to bring a dose of style and freshness to your home. Let’s start.
4 Things to Consider Before Buying Sliding Glass Door
It’s essential to think about certain questions before buying a sliding glass door. That way, you’ll get a clearer image of what you need and what to look for. Pay attention to the following:
Do I Want to Keep the Original Size of My Patio Door or Expand the Opening?
Depending on what you expect from your sliding glass door, you’ll choose the one that matches the original size of your current patio door or one with the expanded opening. The latter solution is convenient if you want to get increased daylight or airflow.
What about Durability and Ongoing Maintenance?
You need to consider the sliding glass doors’ durability and ongoing maintenance before buying a particular model. Although these doors are practical and easy, some problems may impede the door from working properly – glass that can be easily broken and rollers that can get stuck over time.
To prevent this from happening, it’s vital to clean and lubricate the roller tracks from time to time and not to push your sliding door too hard. When you’re not paying attention, you may damage your door and cry over the money you’ve invested in it.
Do I Want a Sliding Glass Door with Increased Energy Efficiency?
Making our homes energy efficient is always a good idea. Apart from keeping and comfortable, energy-efficient homes might help us save money on heating and cooling costs, and besides, it’s eco-friendly.
Energy efficiency depends mostly on the material you choose – wood, vinyl, or fiberglass. You’ll learn more about the materials later in the article.
What Color Do I Want?
It’s also important to think about the color of your sliding glass door. There are plenty of different colors that can match your room’s design perfectly, and the final choice is up to you. Bear in mind that some colors may be more expensive than others.
Once you’ve identified all the important elements, we can move on to the materials and types of sliding doors that may help you make your final decision.
Best Sliding Glass Doors: Materials & Types
Sliding glass doors come in many different materials. You may choose a particular one based on your needs, preferences, and budget, but it’s good to know that you have plenty of options. You may consider some of the following materials:
Vinyl Sliding Glass Doors
No matter whether you want to replace patio doors, or you want new construction, vinyl sliding glass doors are a convenient solution. Vinyl looks beautiful on different architectural home designs, and you can even choose a particular painted frame color that matches your room’s style.
Other advantages of vinyl include the fact that it’s incredibly energy-efficient, durable, and requires little maintenance.
Fiberglass Sliding Glass Doors
Fiberglass sliding glass doors are another great solution for your home since they’re pretty strong and low maintenance. You can also choose a color of the frame so that it pairs with the room in which you’re putting it. Fiberglass doesn’t contract much with temperature changes in the weather, which is why it’s incredibly energy-efficient.
You can enjoy fiberglass patio doors in either swing or sliding styles and be sure that they will last for years.
Aluminum Sliding Glass Doors
Aluminum is an excellent option, primarily since it brings a dose of contemporary style to your home. Their design is often sleek and modern, and best of all, it’s durable and low maintenance. It often comes in three subtle tones – white, clear anodized, and bronze anodized.
Aluminum sliding glass doors are also energy efficient and more budget-friendly than some other materials you may want to consider.
Moving Glass Walls Sliding Patio Doors
Glass walls are becoming more and more popular among homeowners that want to expand their living areas. They bring an additional dose of style to your home, and despite their size, they tend to bring the outside in and expand your space as much as possible.
These doors fill the room with more daylight and fresh air, and they come in three operating styles – stacking, pocket, and bi-fold.
- Stacking: This type is convenient for those who want to fill their rooms with a lot of natural light and fresh air.
- Pocket: Pocket moving glass walls are suitable for those that want perfectly designed sliding doors. Apart from being stylish, pocket sliding doors allow a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors.
- Bi-fold: Bi-fold design represents the innovative and intelligent design that integrates the outdoors with indoor living. It may remind you of the accordion.
Wooden Sliding Patio Doors
To embrace a genuinely traditional and beautiful style, consider wooden sliding patio doors. They can be customized to any paint or stain color. Still, wood is high-maintenance and requires consistent upkeep. It can be damaged by moisture, and sunlight may make it fade.
Steel Sliding Patio Doors
Sliding patio doors made of steel are more durable than some other materials, especially since they can handle different weather conditions without getting damaged. These doors require less maintenance than wooden ones, which is why they are often less expensive.
However, steel doors are prone to rust and dent. Even though weather conditions cannot damage them, they can make them too hot or too cold.
Sliding French Doors
The French door is generally not a sliding door, but the majority of them are bi-fold and made to open and close more traditionally. Still, you may find French doors that use sliding techniques to save space, which is quite convenient.
People often prefer French doors since they look fantastic. They bring a dose of the traditional spirit and enhance the room’s overall style. If you want something like that in your home, don’t hesitate to look for sliding French doors and convert your living space to an appealing palace-like room.
Best Sliding Doors: What Type of Glass to Choose?
The glass that you see on windows, skylights, and other types of doors is often made of different glass types. The most common types that you may find on sliding doors include the following:
- Tempered glass: Also known as “safety glass,” this type is commonly used in sliding doors as it breaks into small pieces instead of leaving more dangerous and larger glass parts that get stuck in the door.
- Reflective glass: This type of glass is mostly used to reduce heat gain into the room as it consists of the coating that helps reflect sunlight away.
- Insulated glass unit: An insulating glass unit consists of two or more panes of glass that are commonly filled with air or a noble glass, such as argon or krypton.
- Hurricane shield glass: This type of glass is created specifically for areas prone to hurricane, making sure no flying debris can damage the door glass.
Depending on your needs, you can choose the glass opacity that will boost your room’s style, maximize natural light, and provide more privacy. Homeowners are encouraged to choose a glass type that’s the best for their climate. That said, Northern US and Canada citizens should go for an insulated glass unit filled with argon, while those who live in coastal areas should consider the glass that’s specifically made to protect from hurricanes and flying debris.
The Best Ideas for Sliding Glass Doors: Enhance Your Kitchen, Living Room, or Patio
The best sliding glass doors can add a significant dose of style to your home. They can make any room look broader and bigger, and since it brings more daylight, you’ll feel more comfortable as you spend time there.
Have a look at the following ideas on how to use sliding glass doors to embellish your home:
Use the Best Quality Sliding Glass Doors to Get More Space in the Narrow Kitchen
When you feel that your kitchen needs more space, it’s time to make some crucial changes. Instead of looking for a new home or doing some additional work, consider adding sliding glass doors and get ready to see the change you’ve been waiting for so long.
Your modern, contemporary kitchen will become cozier as the sunlight flows through the high-quality glass that brings a dose of environmental expansiveness. Apart from you and your family members, who’ll notice the difference, your pets will also enjoy the new area.
Use Sliding Glass Doors to Enhance Your Living Room
A living room is the heart of a home, and we always put a significant dose of effort into making it look great. By adding sliding glass doors to your living room, you have the opportunity to boost its style and make it more contemporary yet cozy.
If you feel that you’re “too exposed” as you’re sitting in your living room, you can always opt for doors with blinds between the glass. These blinds are permanently sealed between the panes of glass, which is why they’ll always be protected from damage and dust, and you can turn on the “private mode” at any time.
Use the Best Exterior Sliding Glass Doors to Create a Beautiful Deck Space
If you want to create a stunning deck space where you’ll spend most of your summer, sliding back doors can help. By setting them up, you will allow quick access to the deck area, which is both stylish and practical.
Who Makes the Best Sliding Glass Doors?
Once you’ve decided to purchase and set up sliding back doors, it’s time you find a reliable company that will do its job adequately. We have prepared a list of the 10 best rated sliding glass doors manufacturers that may be your choice:
- Kolbe & Kolbe
- Weather Shield
Sliding Glass Doors: FAQ
You might have some important questions regarding sliding glass doors, and we are here to answer them. Here are some of the questions people usually ask:
- Q: How to protect my sliding glass door?
- A: There are many ways to protect your glass door. You can use a robust steel hook design that seals the door tightly closed and locked. That way, your door gets more protection and becomes more energy efficient. There is also the interlock system with a built-in feature that prevents door panel removal when locked or closed. Hand locks and foot locks can also be adequate protection.
- Q: What type of glass to choose?
- A: If you want a more durable solution, you should go for the insulated glass that saves energy by reducing heat and cold transfer. It also has a stronger composition, and it will last more than some of its cheaper counterparts.
- Q: How to install my sliding glass door?
- A: Even if you’ve chosen the best product in the class, it won’t serve at all if it’s not installed properly. Make sure you find a certified technician who’ll install the door adequately.