Sliding doors are those types of doors that open horizontally by a sliding mechanism and are installed along the plane of the wall. These doors could be single shutter or with multiple shutters mounted on a top rail and bottom guide. Although they might look a modern day invention, sliding doors have been around for many centuries. Particularly in Japan, these types of doors have been common as an integral part of their architectural heritage.
Sliding doors are of varying types and with the advancement in hardware manufacturing and space utilization, one can come across numerous such types of such doors. The most common amongst them are
Pocket doors: These doors are single shutter doors and resemble a normal single shutter hinge door. However, unlike the hinge doors, these doors slide on a linear track and when opened stand parallel to the adjoining wall. In case you have a thicker wall, you can also slide these doors in the pocket formed in the cavity of these walls, hence the name pocket doors for these types of doors. Pocket doors are usually installed in places where the conventional hinged door would demand larger space for opening and closing.
Patio doors: These doors are installed in large openings that separate the living/dining area from the outdoor decking or patio space. More than doors, these installations actually act as large windows which allow the users panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Often these doors have three or sometimes an even higher number of shutters that slide one above the other to allow as much opening as possible for the residents.
Bypass doors: These are similar to the patio doors but are primarily installed in the indoors between two spaces or are installed as doors for large closets. Typically, these doors are double panel doors and slide in opposite direction when they are opened. Since they are in the indoors, they are usually mounted on top rails in order to avoid any bottom guides from disturbing the floor level.
Sliding doors are extremely common in Malaysia and are widely installed in all type of residences. In the current scenario, it is very easy to find a manufacturer that will provide you ready made products or in case the opening dimensions and requirements vary, a custom made solution at reasonably affordable prices. Further, you can also find a wide variety of designs involving solid panels, aluminium and glass panels, glass with frosted or etched patterns, etc. without having to spend excessive amounts of money.
Sliding doors can be made from a number of materials; however, panels with a combination of glass and aluminium, or wooden flush panels are the most common types. In the case of panels with glass, you can opt for double or triple glazed units and low-e coating in order to gain sustainability points and reduce the overall cooling costs.
The first thing that you need to consider is the thickness of the door and whether it is a hollow core or solid panel. You will also have to consider the material of door panel, whether it is wood, aluminium, etc. A lot of the modern day sliding doors consist of glass panels fit within aluminium sections. This is with a view of giving the entire setting a sleeker look without a lot of time and financial investment.
Security is one of the key aspects of any door or access point. One of the questions that come to mind is the type of locking system that should be installed. With the advancement in door hardware technology, you can choose to stick with either the conventional type of locking which involves a key or an electronic locking system. In the case of conventional key locks, the locks are installed in the door stile while in the electronic locking system; the doors are usually secured by means of electromagnetic plates that are installed on the top frame. The electronically locked doors are usually accessed by means of an access card or by means of a password that has to be entered in the access panel besides the door.
Sliding doors can be supported on top rollers in which case they could be called as top hung or they can slide on bottom rollers. In both the cases, roller wheels move over a fixed track which assists in the smooth sliding mechanism of the door. Before opting for the rollers it is essential that you consider the weight of your door in order to ensure smooth functioning of the entire mechanism.
When it comes to the grab handles, you can either opt for a sleek minimal design or an ornamented design as per your taste. In the case of internal doors or closet doors, you can also opt for concealed door handles that can give a door a very elegant look. You can also experiment with different materials such as wood, steel, or aluminium depending upon your requirement and budget.
+Ideal for spaces which are small or spaces that offer reduced maneuverability
+They create an illusion of larger space and can give the space a nice sleek look
+Maintenance is fairly easy
-Not ideal for locations with heavy wind or places that are hurricane prone
-They are prone to wear out faster due to relatively complex sliding hardware
-Not the best in terms of security