Throughout any contemporary new build or renovated home, one of the most common and stylish architectural features used by homeowners is the addition of glass doors. While enhancing the interior decor and design, different types of glass doors can open up any room, allowing for a seamless extension to the garden beyond, improving ventilation, and adding a breathtaking showpiece to your home. With a range of different types of glass doors, our guide explains the most common variations and the benefits they can bring to your home.
What are glass doors?
Despite being a beautiful statement piece for your home, glass doors are simply doors that are made of glass. Available in a range of different types with different mechanisms, from hinged and sliding to pivot and bi-fold, and with framed or even frameless options, each can add a stunning mix of style, function, and form to your home.
Why install glass doors?
Installing glass doors in your home can bring significant improvements, both aesthetically and practically. Most types of glass doors go beyond interior design trends to give a classic, contemporary, and timeless finish – but their looks are only part of the story. Installing glass doors will allow your home to be flooded with natural daylight, giving you a more spacious feel inside while letting the exterior garden and further views become part of your home too.
8 types of glass doors
So what are the types of glass doors – and which ones are right for your home? Let’s take a look at 8 of the most common types of glass doors as well as some of their advantages – and disadvantages.
1. Sliding doors
The most common type of door when inside meets outside, opening horizontally, inline sliding doors glide effortlessly alongside other glass panels on a track either above or below the frame. Best used to create seamless living between indoor home and outside space when open and maximise views and daylight even when closed.
Advantages and disadvantages of sliding doors
✔︎ Can be framed or frameless to suit house style and budget
✔︎ Space saving by sliding along the wall rather than opening on hinges
✔︎ Can be recessed into the framework to maximise opening space
✘ Glass can get dirty quickly as it’s more likely to be touched regularly
✘ Dirt and debris can get caught in tracks, causing jams or unsmooth running
✘ Can make your home interior completely visible
2. Lift and slide doors
Similar to sliding doors in looks but with a different operating mechanism. Lift and slide doors feature a handle that can lift the door onto its rollers while remaining flush with the floor and lock the doors. When the handle is pulled down, the door removes itself from the rollers and effectively becomes locked, so you can have it open as much or as little as you like.
Advantages and disadvantages of lift and slide doors
✔︎ Easy to open and close/lock
✔︎ No inward swing, so space-saving
✔︎ Internal mechanism creates a weatherproof and energy-efficient seal
✘ Uses wide areas of glass that can get dirty quickly
✘ The handle can get stuck, leaving the door unable to lock or close properly
✘ Can be a security risk, making your home interior visible
3. Single-folding doors
A popular choice for homeowners, single-folding doors (often called concertina doors) can help maximise your opening space by folding back two panels joined by hinges in the middle. A premium alternative to sliding doors, single-folding doors create a fantastic wow factor which can be used as a smaller and cheaper version of Bi-folding doors.
Advantages and disadvantages of single-folding doors
✔︎ Compact design creates space without a recess
✔︎ Framed or frameless for a contemporary look and feel
✔︎ Lightweight and practical
✘ Can be frustrating to open if used as an access point
✘ Can be expensive
✘ More opportunity for heat loss
4. Bi-folding doors
The bigger, wider brother of single-folding doors, bi-folding doors are a popular alternative for homeowners with larger properties. Maximising space like single-fold doors, bi-folds contain at least two, or even up to six or more, glass panels, each joined by hinges, that fold back on tracks to open fully, creating a completely open room.
Advantages and disadvantages of bi-folding doors
✔︎ Compact design creates wide space without a recess
✔︎ A wow factor for any home with framed or frameless options
✔︎ Can be inward or outward-facing depending on internal space
✘ Being top-hung, they can need structural support
✘ Frameless or framed options can be expensive
✘ Multiple frames can obscure your view
5. Hinged single doors
The most standard and traditional of door designs, the hinged single door is hung on one side of the door frame by two or more hinges to allow for smooth opening inwards, outwards, or potentially both.
Advantages and disadvantages of hinged single doors
✔︎ Can be framed or frameless to suit taste and budget
✔︎ Maximises the space of a narrow opening
✔︎ Low maintenance
✘ Depending on the weight, the door may need structural support
✘ Needs clear space to open fully
6. Pivot doors
A variation on a hinged door, pivot doors are hinged centrally at the top and bottom of the door rather than the side. Installed as either multiple or single doors, each panel moves independently, so it points both inwards and outwards. A series of pivot doors can look similar to bi-folding doors when closed.
Advantages and disadvantages of pivot doors
✔︎ Panels can be angled to deflect breezes
✔︎ Weight-bearing hinges are central rather than side-based
✔︎ Can be a good option for non-standard, wider openings
✘ Needs clear space on either side to open fully
✘ Cannot be fully sealed and can lose heat
7. Stacker doors
While looking very similar to sliding doors, stacker doors have more moveable panels. Usually comprising two or more panels, each panel collects and locks in with the next as they slide on tracks behind the one in front.
Advantages and disadvantages of stacker doors
✔︎ Allows you to control how wide you want to open them up
✔︎ Despite the full opening width, only one ‘stack’ needs to open for access
✔︎ Panels can be wider with fewer frames for a better view out
✘ More moving panels can mean more maintenance and cleaning
✘ Tracks can accumulate dirt and debris, causing jams
8. French doors
As a pair of single-hinged doors, usually floor to ceiling in height, French doors are a more elegant double-door variation that open away from each other, inwards or outwards. Traditionally, each door has multiple glass panels, but they can be used indoors for partitioning rooms or as external doors opening onto balconies or patios.
Advantages and disadvantages of French doors
✔︎ Classic look and feel with easy operation
✔︎ Can fill a wider opening space
✔︎ Can open in or out to work with space available
✘ May not have an energy-efficient seal where the two doors join
✘ Lack of seals means doors may be prone to water leakage
Stunning bespoke glass doors from GlasSpace
With such a range of glass door types, you could be spoilt for choice when renovating your home. This article should give you a lot to think about to help you weigh up the pros and cons of each and make an informed decision when you want to take your project to the next stage.
So when the time’s right for you, talk to the team here at GlasSpace about the design and construction of your choice of glass doors. With over 25 years of experience in creating stunning, bespoke glass doors for people’s homes, our knowledge and experience are second to none. For more information, contact us today for your no-obligation, free quote