6 Types of Sliding Doors
Sliding doors can be a practical choice, when the space for a hinged door is restricted, but they are also increasingly popular as a stylistic addition to the home.
The various types of sliding doors can offer flexibility in how you use and enjoy your living areas, encouraging a flow between rooms or from inside to outside.
Some sliding doors are suspended from a track, while others are mounted on a track at both the top and bottom.
In some configurations, a moving panel slides behind a fixed panel to open, or the door can slide along the adjacent wall.
Space-saving pocket doors slide into a wall cavity when open.
Sliding doors come in single or double configurations, or as multiple combined units for wider openings.
There are many different types of sliding doors on offer, in a wide range of materials, styles and configurations, so it’s important to think about what you want to achieve with your new doors, and the specifications of your space.
How Sliding Doors Enhance Your Space
Sliding doors can maximise your living area as they don’t take up extra floor space when open – unlike a hinged door that swings open into the room.
They are a great way of creating flow between rooms, and even connecting your inside and outside areas.
Internal sliding doors can give you great flexibility in terms of how much of an open plan feel you want between living areas, and many sliding door styles can become a design feature in their own right.
External sliding doors are a great way of opening up your internal living or dining area onto your outside space, such as a patio or decking.
The various types of sliding glass doors uplift your inside space with natural light, and expand your sociable space for hosting and al fresco dining.
Get to know the sliding door types on offer, and the pros and cons of each, so that you can make the right choice for your home.
Internal Sliding Doors
An internal sliding door can be a highly practical choice, for example in tight spaces such as a pantry or en suite bathroom, and they are popular for closets or wardrobes as they don’t take up floor space when open.
If you choose sliding doors with a distinctive style, such as solid timber barn doors, they can become an eye-catching design feature, as well as a functional solution.
Sliding barn doors between your living and dining areas, or as a majestic entrance to the master bedroom, can be an intentional style statement.
Sliding glass doors can enhance the flow of light around your home, while allowing you to close off certain spaces to reduce noise and heat transference.
Sliding or stacking room dividers can be used to separate a large open plan living area into usable zones when it suits you, giving flexibility for the whole family.
There is an extensive range of internal sliding door styles, in a choice of materials and finishes, so you can choose doors that complement your home décor as well as your lifestyle.
Internal Barn Doors
Barn doors have become a popular choice in Australian homes as feature sliding doors that make a style statement.
These solid timber doors are available in a range of different designs, with a choice of tracking systems, so they can add to a sense of rustic charm or complement a chic and contemporary scheme.
Single or double barn doors are hung on an exposed track and slide along the wall when open. Whether open or closed, they make an eye-catching feature in any room.
Pros and Cons
- Choice of designs and finishes
- Multiple track and hardware options
- The exposed tracking system contributes to the overall look
- Easy to remove the door from the track if you need
- Require enough wall space to slide along the wall when open
- Not as well insulated as other types of sliding doors, so sound and air can still flow between rooms when doors are closed
Internal Sliding Glass Doors
Internal sliding glass doors are a great way of keeping your rooms connected, and encouraging light flow between spaces, while still enjoying the privacy of different living areas.
For a home office, for example, sliding glass doors help to keep the room feeling light and airy, and connected to the rest of the home, while maintaining privacy, peace and quiet.
There are various different types of sliding glass doors, including timber, aluminium and MDF options.
The wide range of designs includes half and full glazed styles.
Pros and Cons
- Ideal for smaller or darker areas
- Create a flow and feeling of connection between rooms
- Clear glass for maximum light flow, or frosted glass for both light and privacy
- Less privacy and insulation than solid doors
A pocket or cavity wall door is usually a single sliding panel that slots into a hollow cavity in the wall when open.
These types of sliding doors are particularly suited to small bathrooms, laundries or pantries as they don’t take up any additional space and the door is almost invisible when open.
Even if you know how to install sliding doors, you may need the help of a professional to create your wall cavity and install a pocket door.
Pros and Cons
- Maximise the space in your rooms
- Ideal for smaller rooms or tight spaces
- Almost invisible when open
- Creates a sense of flow
- Additional work to create the cavity in the wall
- Usually requires a professional to install
- Need enough wall space to install a cavity unit
- Certain door styles and finishes will not be suitable, eg. raised moulding
- Not as well sealed or insulated as other types of sliding doors
Interior Doors that Slide and Stack
Internal sliding and stacking doors can be used as wall-to-wall room dividers, giving you the flexibility to enjoy an open plan living area when it suits you, while making it easy to close off smaller spaces when you need.
This means you can increase privacy and insulation between living areas, and create multiple different zones, while still enjoying connected and sociable living.
Pros and Cons
- Flexible open plan living
- Choice of materials, styles and finishes to suit your home
- Double-glazing for privacy and insulation when closed
- Access to the full width of the opening
- Require space for the stacked panels when open
External Sliding Doors
External sliding doors can enhance the look and feel of your home from the inside out, and even transform how you use your internal and external spaces.
Sliding patio doors, or al fresco doors that lead out onto a verandah or decking area, help to bring the outside in – even when closed.
Large glass doors flood your internal living area with natural light and give you uplifting views of your garden or outside space.
When you want to let in the breeze and create a flow between inside and out, you can open up your doors and expand your living and socialising areas.
For external sliding doors, it’s important to think about durability and insulation.
It might be helpful to find out more about how to insulate sliding doors.
Sliding Patio Doors
Sliding patio doors are a very popular choice for letting your living or dining area extend into your outside space.
These usually consist of one fixed panel and one sliding panel, or a double unit for a wider opening.
Large glass panels let in plenty of light and give you the benefit of the view when closed, with the option to open up your home and create a flow from inside to out.
Aluminium sliding patio doors are durable and resilient, with a range of contemporary finish options, while timber patio doors can be stained or left raw for you to finish as you choose.
Pros and Cons
- Bring the outside in, even when closed
- Flexible living, dining, hosting and socialising
- Uplift and transform your inside space, as well as the outside
- Built to withstand the elements
- Require little maintenance
- Double-glazing enhances insulation
- Choice of materials and finishes.
- When open, the fixed panel stays in place so you don’t have access to the full opening
Al Fresco Doors that Slide and Stack
Al fresco doors allow you to open up the full width of the back or side of your home, connecting your inside and outside living areas.
They are ideal for expanding your living, dining and socialising space and creating a seamless flow between the interior and exterior of your home.
Al fresco doors consist of multiple panels that each slide on their own track.
The panels then slide horizontally and stack on top of each other when open.
In either sleek and durable aluminium or rich, solid timber, these external sliding doors can make for a breathtaking transformation.
Pros and Cons
- Seamless flow from inside to outside
- Expands your living and dining areas
- Great control and flexibility over how much you want to open up
- Multiple configuration options
- Custom made to your specifications
- Require more space than sliding patio doors as stacked panels can be quite thick
As you can see, there is a huge range of external and internal sliding door types to explore. Your choice will depend on practical requirements, such as the space you have available, as well as your style preferences and your vision for what you want to achieve with your new doors.
The cost of sliding doors will depend on the material and style you choose, as well as the size and configuration of your opening.
Some installations are more complex than others, and this will add to the overall cost of your renovation.
To find out more about your options, visit your nearest Doors Plus showroom for a one-to-one consultation with one of our door specialists.
We can walk you through the styles, materials and configurations on offer and help you find the right match for your home.