Vallee. Patio Doors. October 15th , 2017.
It is now easier to choose the style for your door because homeowners now have more choices. In the old days, most patios can do with any kind of door. Some even think that any door is good enough just as long as it closes and opens when you please it. Of course, if you want your home to be in style then you also have to make sure that the patio door style you choose should not go against your homes general theme.
In the mid-20th century, sliding doors became very popular - two or three panels of glass that slide along grooves in the floor. To distinguish them from traditional French doors, they were marketed with the thoroughly modern name of Patio Doors and this is often the image people have today when that term is used. Easily installed in place of a window, the immediate advantages were additional natural light and access to the garden. They also became a popular option to use where a pivot door opening space was limited or where the aperture was wider than a pair of French doors. Older installations were typically single-glazed, prone to warping and usually became difficult to slide open and closed. Still available today but in a developed form with double glazing and rollers for easier sliding, the popularity of sliding doors during this century has declined as bifolding doors gained market share.
Most people are familiar with the sliding glass patio doors. Usually, this is two doors with big, open space windows that allow a lot of light into the home. The doors use a sliding track system that has little round discs sitting inside a mechanism providing traction. Sliding glass doors made out of wood can be plain or very dramatic in design. It really depends on what you envision for your particular home decor.
Because slide-and-pivot doors have no hinges, there is no requirement for a sturdy side frame; its only purpose is to cover the gasket that seals the double glazed unit. This means that the views afforded through the expanse of patio doors have minimal interruptions. At the time of writing, there are two versions of frame-less glass doors available in the UK, both using the slide-and-pivot technique: one manufacturer supplies their frameless glass doors with kite-marked double glazed units which have a visible seal, the other uses an almost transparent method of sealing their double glazing. Contemporary by design, the absence of visible characteristics makes frameless glass doors a viable option for period properties.
Arguably, French doors could be considered as retractable as each door can be pulled back. The advantage of retractable doors is that maximum access is possible between the two sides of the aperture whereas sliding panel doors generally overlap unless built to retract into a recess.
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