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The popularity of sliding doors has been growing exponentially in the past couple of years. This can be attributed to their aesthetic appeal and wide range of customization options.
Apart from showcasing the spectacular views of your garden and backyard, these frameless doors significantly enhance ventilation; not to mention they increase natural lighting in your home.
If you’re planning to add an extension or simply want to upgrade your current patio doors, consider investing in one of the best sliding doors.
What’s the Best Sliding Door?
Selecting the perfect sliding doorway for your home has an equally huge impact on the interior as it does on the exterior appearance. As such, there are a couple of things you should pay attention to. These include: the material used, number of panels, level of maintenance required, and ease of installation.
So here my list of The 7 Best Sliding Doors.
1. BELLEZE Barn Wood Door
The Belleze Pine model blends the beauty of wood with a robust construction creating an entryway that is not only visually captivating but also durable. Regardless of where you install this doorway, it’s going to create a focal point in your home.
Measuring 36” by 48”, the Belleze doorway can be used for bathroom, home office, closet, and pantry or laundry room. It’s constructed from unfinished pine, giving you the freedom to paint it in whatever color you prefer.
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2. EaseLife Stainless Steel Sliding Barn Door
For a long time, Easelife has been making high-quality hardware for gliding doorways, and this Stainless Steel model is the perfect case in point. This 6.6ft. single gateway checks all the boxes of essential features that gliding entryways should have.
For starters, it sports heavy-duty construction comprising of stainless steel. This is one of the sturdiest materials used for making these gateways. Secondly, it’s fitted with ultra-quiet wheels that are double-coated and made from nylon. These wheels have been tested for more than 100,000 rolls and proven to slide smoothly and efficiently.
Lastly, the kit includes door stoppers for maximum security. To be specific, these stoppers ensure that the doorway doesn’t roll off the edge of the rail. There’s also a floor guide that prevents the door from swinging.
3. SmartStandard Sliding Door Dividers
For homeowners who are not DIY enthusiasts, the SmartStandard gateway is designed with their needs in mind. This is in the sense that the barn door comes pre-drilled and ready for an install.
Made from natural cypress wood, the 36” by 48” doorway is going to blend perfectly in homes with traditional architectural designs. The benefit of using cypress instead of other types of wood is that it provides durability, sound-and-heat insulation and it does not rot easily. Better yet, you can paint it in different colors to suit your style.
4. CHICOLOGY Adjustable Panels Cut to Sliding Door Blinds
Looking for a gliding door that will complement your contemporary interior décor? If so, the adjustable sliding panels by Chicology are just what you need.
The panels are compatible with an array of interior doors as well as patio doors. You can also use them as room dividers in your bedroom, lounge area or any other room. Alternatively, you can use them as an upgrade for your blinds.
As the name suggests, these panels can be adjusted in both width and height. You can choose width of between 44” to 80” and trim its height up to a maximum of 96”. The package includes 4 panels each with a width of 22” and a height of 96”. You will also find hardware and instructions you’ll need for the installation.
5. WINSOON 5-16FT Single Wood Barn Door Hardware
One of the things you should look for when getting a gliding entryway is whether all the hardware needed for the installation are available. Winsoon has provided an all-inclusive to make a proper gliding doorway.
These include 2- 5ft. rails, each made of ¼-inch thick carbon steel. The good thing is that these rails come with pre-drilled holes with 16-inch spacing to make your work easy. Also, the rails are powder coated to prevent corrosion and rust.
The manufacturer has also ensured that there’s adequate rail support. They have achieved this by providing lag bolts and spacers for attaching the rail securely to the studs. As such, the final doorway can support 230 lbs.
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6. DIYHD Stainless Steel Sliding Door Hardware
At times, it’s easier to buy hardware and door panels separately to save on money. If you prefer this approach, you can get all the hardware parts you need to make a sturdy entryway from DIYHD. Included in this package is an 8-foot. track. Unfortunately, this does not have pre-drilled holes so you’ll need to make the holes on your own. Other items included are rollers, stoppers, ceiling bracket and a floor guide.
7. FaithLand 12FT Double Barn Door Hardware
Whether you’re looking to replace the gateway to your dressing room, kitchen or locker room, the Faithland Double Barn Doorway is a reliable option. There are several features that make this model stand out.
For one, it comes with nylon wheels that have been tested for more than 120,000 rolls to ensure they work effectively. Two, the manufacturer provides 2 types of bolts for a sturdy and secure connection. The lag bolts and carriage bolts help you attach the rail securely to the studs.
Furthermore, the rail and hangers in this kit are made from the heavy-duty carbon steel material which is 1/4” thick. This makes the doorway strong enough to support weights of up to 230 lbs.
Sliding Doors Buying Guide
Common Types of Sliding Doors
These doorways are classified based on different factors as follows:
According to Material
You can choose from several material options for your gliding door. These include:
The entryways made of vinyl are the most common on the market. Not only are they suitable for new construction projects but also remodeling and replacement ones.
What’s more, vinyl material adds an elegant look to the doorway. In fact, this is one of the materials that blends well with any home style. And if you want to match it to specific furniture pieces, all you need to do is order it with a painted frame color.
On the flipside, vinyl is prone to cracking, especially in areas that have radical temperature fluctuations.
If you’re looking for an entryway that brings out that traditional vibe, wooden material is your best bet. What’s exciting about solid wood is that you can paint it in any color so that it matches your current furnishings. Similarly, you can have it designed in a unique style.
However, since wood is a natural material, you’ll need to carry out a bit of maintenance. This will help it to retain its stain, finish and most importantly, paint color. Some manufacturers usually pair the wood with another material like fiberglass on the exterior section. This increases protection from harsh environmental elements.
Aluminum sliding doorways offer two main perks. One, they are sturdy. And two, they’re cheap. To add to that, this material adds a touch of sleekness and modernity to the area where it’s installed. Most aluminum doors have slim profiles that create a somewhat timeless look.
Better yet, they don’t require much in the way of maintenance. That said, there’s one area where this material falls short: it’s too lightweight. This factor means it’s susceptible to denting and scratches. It also has a rather high heat conductivity; hence, vulnerable to heat.
Like aluminum, steel is another sturdy and durable option. Unlike wood which is prone to warping, steel can withstand a variety of weather conditions. Steel is also more economical and it requires less maintenance compared to wood. Unfortunately, doors made of this material are prone to rusting and denting.
According to the System
If you’ve been considering replacing your current patio doorway, there are two main entryway systems that you can pick from: sliding or gliding doors and French style entrances. Here are the key attributes of both types.
These are also known as hinged patio doors. The way these gateways work is that they open from the center. They are opened and closed in a swinging manner, in pretty much the same way that standard doors work.
These types of entries feature a more classic look rather than a contemporary one. As a result, they work best in homes with traditional décor schemes and architectural designs.
The beauty of a French door is that it has wide openings, making it possible to move large pieces of furniture into or out of your home. This is because they have chunkier frames.
Also known as gliding patio doors, these differ from the French type in that they’re made of larger panels of glass. Also, they slide when being opened or closed. Such a glass door can slide either one over the other or glide from the center over fixed panels.
Compared to French entryways, the gliding counterparts have a neater look. This comes from the fact that they slide into each other as opposed to swinging inwards or outwards.
Another benefit of the gliding doorways is that they open smoothly. This makes them suitable for households that have senior citizens or kids.
According to the number of panels
The gliding doorways also come in a number of configurations. In other words, some have 2 panels, others 3 and others 4. So, which is the best design?
Ideally, the number of panels used will depend on how wide each panel is. In general, experts recommend going for a smaller number of panels.
The average width of each panel ranges from 1 to 1.1m. Tall panels have a much smaller width so as to reduce the overall weight of the doorways.
When purchasing gliding doors, especially those with bi-fold mechanism, it’s best to think in odd numbers. With an odd figure, these entryways are able to fold and slide towards the same direction. This leaves a lead door equipped with a multipoint locking system.
Even if you decide to go for an even number of panels, consider splitting the setup into odd operating numbers. For instance, a four-door design can be divided into a three and one configuration. This way, you’ll still end up with a fully functional multipoint lock.
Color – In addition to the number of panels, you also have to consider whether you want your gliding door to have a particular color. If that’s the case, then you should choose one made of wood as it can be painted. Vinyl entryways can also come colored frames.
Maintenance – When it comes to care, evaluate whether you’ll have adequate time to be cleaning and maintaining the doors. The frequency of maintenance will depend on what material the door is made of. For instance, doorways made of self-cleaning glass are easy to maintain. In contrast, wooden ones need to be repainted from time to time to keep them looking good.
Design – It’s also important that you pick a design with a wide doorway. This will give you greater access and an easier connection to your outdoor living space.
Security – Security is not a huge concern with gliding doorways, primarily because most of them have automatic systems. But if you’re installing it in a home that’s used by young children and/or senior citizens, then it’s an essential factor to consider. For that reason, check the quality of frame and hinges if they’re present. Also check whether the entryways are user-friendly.
Ease of Installation – Installing gliding doorways is no walk in the park. As such, this is not a project that can be undertaken by first-time DIYers. Even if you have a bit of experience under your belt, it’s better to hire a professional contractor. For one, these experts will know the best types of sliding entryways that will complement your home’s architecture. Two, they have vast experience moving and installing heavy doors without risking injuries. Three, they can suggest useful hacks you can use to ensure your sliding doorways last
Important Questions to Ask When Getting a Sliding Door
What is the Purpose of Buying a Sliding Door?
The most common reason cited by homeowners is that of using the sliding entryways to access their patios. However, this is not their only application.
Gliding doorways can also be used for closets. In this case, they enable you to access one side of your closet without having to open the whole door. Alternatively, you can go for bypass doors. These ones work by rolling smoothly from one side to the other; hence giving complete access to the closet.
They also provide a chic division between the sleeping area and your closet. Apart from being used as sliding closet doors for bedrooms, they can also serve as shower doors and gateways for your home office.
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Is It Energy Efficient?
When selecting a gliding door, it’s important that you make energy efficiency a priority. Depending on the climate in your area, getting the right entryway can help you save money on electricity bills. To that extent, those made of wood and premium vinyl are the most energy efficient.
Why Choose a Sliding Door?
There are tons of reasons why you should go for a gliding doorway as opposed to the standard types. The most vital reason is that it increases the curb appeal of your home, and subsequently, its value.
When used to separate your home from an outdoor space, this type of gateway helps to enrich your indoor experience. Getting that magnificent view of nature is a bonus! Also, gliding entryways improve the lighting and ventilation within your property, and they blend nicely with sliding windows.
Which is the Best Size?
To determine what size of gliding doorway to get, there are two things you should take into account. These are the size of your wall area and the amount of natural light you want to let in. If you want plenty of sunlight to be getting through, then go for the biggest sliding entrance that can fit in the available space. For instance, 2.1 m glass panels fit well in most homes and allow plenty of natural lighting.
The best sliding doors are a functional and aesthetically pleasing option for your home. That said, there are a few factors to consider when getting one of these doorways. These include the size, operating mechanism, design, and security features.