Sliding doors: design ideas, inspiration & pictures

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Modern living often has us looking at minimal spaces, bachelor pads, rooftop rooms and open  planned areas, and finding ways in which we can use space as effectively as possible. Sliding doors are an amazing way to save space since they don’t have the same needs for expansive spaces in passageways or rooms which are required for swing doors. Before you go looking to add some of these little marvels of architecture into your space, have a look at what we can tell you about them.

Different designs of sliding doors

Pocket doors: Pocket doors look exactly the same as normal doors, with one major difference. They have a small recess in the wall which they’re attached to, which they slide into. They might not be the cheapest to install, since you need to create that hole in the wall for them to fit into, but they are possible the greatest space-saving door available today.

Patio doors: Patio doors are definitely a winner when it comes to showing off a beautiful garden out outside area. They normally come equipped as large glass doors which give an almost unparalleled view of the outside works from the comfort of a kitchen or living room. Be aware though, the large panes make them a little bit bigger than other sliding doors, which means they don't always save as much space.

Bypass doors: Bypass doors are usually quite big and heavy. While they don’t outwardly require as much space as a traditional wooden or glass door, they do need some extra hardware, in terms of a riel (a large metal rail with runners) which allows the door to move smoothly. They often come as doubles and are great for dividing rooms closets.

The pros and cons of sliding doors

Space saving is fantastic, but remember, there are always pros and cons to consider when thinking about adding new doors to your home.

PROS      

- As previously mentioned, they provide a great way to save on space giving you more area to play with.

- More floor area creates the illusion of larger rooms, even in smaller apartments. 

- Sliding doors are easy to maintain, and do not require too much effort to keep in top shape.

- They should not require any effort on the part of the user, meaning they move smoothly and easily, making them a pleasure to use.

CONS

- These doors aren’t as sturdy as wood doors or bigger traditional doors, making them unsuitable if you live in hurricane or tornado alley, or anywhere that high winds are the norm. 

- Corrosion can make a sliding door harder to open and close, meaning that while care is minimal, it’s still a must.

- Security features on sliding doors aren’t as effective as those on traditional doors, making them a little less secure.

- Sliding doors can jump off rails and break easily, so they need to be treated with care.

Security and hardware: Locks, knobs and handles

Door hardware 101: Each door type has it’s accompanying hardware, and sliding doors are no different. So if you, for instance, choose a hollow core door then you should look at getting the type of security measures which work best for that door type. Remember however, that sliding doors also have specific do’s and dont’s when it comes to attaching and using security measures.

Lockset eyed vs electronic: If you lose keys regularly, then a electronic keypad is for you. It simply requires you to remember a combination, which can be far easier than always remembering your keys or where you put them. 

Keyed door knobs: Where sliding doors are at their best is in their simplicity. A standard keyed lock is usually the best thing since they are simple to use and don’t require too much work to install or use. 

Best places to put a slider?

Sliding doors aren’t going to require the space you require for a traditional door, but they still need to be able to open and close effectively, so having a wall are large enough is key. Also make sure that the wall is wife enough so that the door can open fully, otherwise you’ll have a door which only opens partially and doesn't give you space to move. Patio and deck areas are fantastic candidates for sliding doors, as are connective areas of the home. Remember that sliding doors are always going to be inside doors, since they don’t offer great security.

Sliding doors are best suited to these places:

Patios: Patio doors with large windows allow you to use interior lighting to light the outside on evenings when you have friends at the barbeque or for evening drinks and down time.

Decks: A deck onto a large or even a small garden can be made far more interesting with the addition of a set of large sliding doors with windows to allow the area to look larger. This is amplified even more if you have an open plan kitchen/living room arrangement.

Living Rooms: Great for living rooms, sliding doors create a source of outside light during daylight hours with large windows to the outside world. In the evening an outside light can amplify a beautiful garden, be it large or small, bringing in natural color.

Closets: One of the best uses, sliding doors in closets make the best space saving door available. Walk in closets are especially suited to this type of door.

Business Studios: Fashion, film and sound studios can benefit greatly from having sliders as they are easy to move and they can be made large enough to fit equipment through easily. 

What is the cost of buying ad installing a new sliding door?

To install a sliding door it is best to consult a professional, as installation is not as simple as that of a traditional door, and can take time. 

With a sliding door you will be putting finances down on the door itself as well as the sliding rail mechanism, which can start between $500.00—$700.00 per linear foot.