A Guide to Sliding Glass Doors

When it comes to home improvement projects, one option to consider is installing a sliding door. However, with various types of sliding doors available, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of each before making a decision. 

Sliding glass doors are a popular choice for many homeowners as they provide a convenient way to enter or exit the house while allowing natural light to flood the home. However, like any home improvement project, there are pros and cons to consider before making any decision. 

In order to make an informed decision about whether sliding doors are the right choice for your home.

What is Sliding Door?

A sliding door is a type of door that moves horizontally along a track, typically parallel to a wall. It can be mounted either on the track below or suspended from a track above. Some sliding doors slide into a space in the wall they are parallel to rather than sliding along the outside of the wall.

There are various sliding doors, including pocket, sliding glass, center-opening, and bypass doors. These doors are commonly used in various settings, such as shower enclosures, glass partitions, screen doors, wardrobes, and vehicles.

Exterior doors that slide open and closed are commonly referred to as patio doors or sliders. Interior sliding doors can include pocket doors, barn doors, or closet doors.

Types of Sliding Doors

There are many different options for glass doors available in the market, and factors such as functionality and personal taste may influence your decision on which type to choose. Some of the different types of glass doors include:

Vinyl Sliding Glass Doors

Vinyl doors are ideal for new construction and replacing existing patio doors. Their sliding mechanism is perfect for areas where space is limited or furniture is placed too close to the door. Unlike swing doors, sliding doors do not require additional clearance for opening.

Vinyl sliding glass doors are also an attractive choice for various home styles and can be customised with a painted frame colour for added design appeal. Additionally, vinyl sliding glass doors are energy efficient, durable, and require minimal maintenance.

Fibreglass Sliding Glass Doors

Fibreglass sliding doors are an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a healthy, low-maintenance option. They offer durability and energy efficiency and can enhance the aesthetic of any home. 

Aluminum Sliding Glass Doors

Aluminum sliding patio doors can give your home a modern aesthetic. If you’re undergoing a remodel, consider incorporating sidelights and transoms to allow for more light and ventilation, creating a wall of windows surrounding the patio door.

The slim frames and sleek design allow you to maximise your view, and the strength and durability of aluminium make it an excellent choice for both replacement and new construction projects.

Moving Glass Walls Sliding Patio Doors

Glass walls, also known as stacking, bi-fold, or pocket doors, are becoming increasingly popular for their ability to expand living areas and promote indoor-outdoor living. They come in three different operating styles, each with its own advantages, depending on how you plan to use the space.

For example, a pocket door has panels that disappear from view when the door is fully open because they recede into the wall. Stacking doors have panels that stack on top of each other as you open them.

Bi-fold doors are bottom-loaded, which is a good option for remodelling projects when you don’t want to add a structural header to support the weight of the doors.

Bi-Folding Doors

If you have limited space in the area where you want to install a sliding door, bi-folding doors may be the perfect solution for you. These doors consist of multiple panels that fold on top of each other as the door opens, allowing for maximum usage of space.

The sections where the panels meet are equipped with rollers, allowing for smooth operation. Additionally, when fully opened, the door panels stack at one end of the doorway, freeing up more space for other uses.

Pocket Sliding Doors

Pocket sliding doors are types of door that slide into a hidden compartment, or pocket, in the wall when opened. These doors require a wall that is wide enough to accommodate the pocket and has enough space on one side of the door frame to fit the door when it is fully open.

They are typically installed during the construction of a new home, but it is possible to add one to an existing home if there is enough space.

Stacker Sliding Door

Stacker sliding doors, as the name implies, stack on top of each other when opened. These doors feature multiple panels that are smaller in size compared to regular sliding doors and operate on individual tracks. When fully open, the stack of panels is much thicker than that of a traditional sliding door.

Bypass Siding (Barn) Door

Bypass barn doors, similar to cavity doors, are often used to maximise space. They are unique in the sense that they do not slide on a track that is concealed in the door frame, but the mechanism is visible.

They are favoured by many homeowners and architects because they offer a unique and distinctive design element. The exposed sliding door roller mechanism gives the door and the space a distinct industrial and functional aesthetic.

Pros of Sliding Glass Doors

There are a few advantages to sliding glass doors listed below.

Natural light

One of the biggest advantages of sliding glass doors is that they allow natural light to flood into a room. This can help brighten a space and make it feel more open and airy.


Sliding glass doors are designed to slide open and close, rather than swing outwards like traditional doors. This means that they take up less space and are ideal for small rooms or homes with limited square footage.

Easy access

Sliding glass doors offer easy access to outdoor spaces, such as patios, decks, and gardens. This makes them perfect for entertaining, relaxing, and enjoying the outdoors.    


Many sliding glass doors are designed to be energy-efficient, with features such as double-paned glass and weatherstripping to help keep the heat inside during the winter and the cool air inside during the summer.

Cons of Sliding Glass Doors

There are a few cons to sliding glass doors listed below.


Sliding glass doors can be less secure than traditional doors. They can be quickly forced open or lifted off their tracks, making them vulnerable to break-ins.

Difficult to clean

The tracks on which sliding glass doors slide can become dirty and difficult to clean, especially in areas with a lot of dust.


Sliding glass doors may not be the best choice for homes in areas with extreme weather conditions, such as strong winds or heavy rain. They can become damaged or difficult to open and close in these conditions.


Sliding glass doors can be much more expensive than traditional doors, especially if you choose a high-end option with energy-efficient features.

Compare listings