You may have heard a number of terms being banded around when looking for your sliding doors. These refer to the different types of operation and result in a variation in both their performance and looks.
In-Line Sliding Doors are the conventional method that we are all familiar with. Normally in two, three or four-panel configurations, the doors sit on rollers, and when you grab the handle, you can pull the door along its track.
These are typically available in the main material types; uPVC, aluminium and timber. The weight capacities are normally up to a maximum of 200kg, and they require a little more effort to move the heavier they get.
Weight is directly related to size, so the bigger the panel, the heavier the door. We would recommend an In-Line Sliding Door not be used for panel sizes over 2400mm in width or 2600mm in height to ensure the best possible performance.
The thermal performance is restricted as the door sits directly on its running gear. You will get a suitable performance to pass standard building regulations but may struggle in situations with larger glass areas where overall u-values may play a factor in SAP calculations.
In-Line Sliders are perfect for replacement doors and smaller openings, up to 3000mm-4000mm.
Lift & Slide Doors are the new method of operation driven by the need for larger panels and increased thermal performance. The doors sit down directly on the track, and the handle must be wheeled around 180° to ‘lift’ the door onto its rollers.
This means that the door is positioned perfectly at all times. It is either fully closed for the best seal or fully lifted on heavy-duty running gear, allowing for a gliding door movement. Due to this operation, you can effectively lock the door in an open position, meaning that they cannot be moved accidentally and allow for an amount of secure ventilation (with internal handles only).
Lift & Slide Doors are also available in all product types, although the slimmest sightlines will be typically available with aluminium options. Composite and timber options can provide improved thermal performance but normally come with a slightly larger profile. uPVC can provide a good cost alternative to aluminium, but the sightline will increase, and the sizes are more limited due to profile strength.
Lift & Slide Doors can carry increased weights, typically up to 200-300kg and certain systems up to 400kg. The advanced running gears mean these doors are much easier to move, regardless of the weight.
If you want to see both In-Line Sliding and Lift & Slide Doors in operation, we have a number on display at our showroom in Bracknell in various material options.
Read our previous post - « Blog: The Re-Birth of the Sliding Door