5 Best Sliding/Patio Doors In 2023: Buying Guide
Patios, decks, backyards, and balconies are great spaces around the home to enjoy the outdoors. And easy-to-use patio doors are ideal for granting access to these relaxation areas while keeping your home safe from the elements, pests, and burglary attempts.
Patio doors/sliding doors come in many different types, sizes, materials, and even color options, so you can find products to suit your needs and preferences. The best sliding doors will fit perfectly into your door frame to help protect your home from the elements and keep mice and insects out.
Impact-resistant glass is also a smart safety measure. Energy-efficient materials will help insulate the home to reduce utility bills. Use this guide to learn what other factors and features to consider when shopping, and then check out a host of products that are considered among the best patio doors you can buy.
Buying Guide For The Best Sliding/Patio Door
The energy efficiency of patio doors refers to their ability to prevent heat transfer through the material or around the door and through the frame. High-efficiency products have very little heat transfer, so an air-conditioned home will stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Low-efficiency products can add to the cost of heating and cooling bills.
Solid wood is a better insulator than metal. While glass can be susceptible to heat transfer, many sliding glass doors have two panes of glass in a frame. This creates an air cushion that helps slow heat transfer and insulates the door. Look for the Energy Star logo on products to indicate high efficiency.
The weatherstrip is an integral part of exterior doors of all types, including car doors. These strips run along the edges of the door frame so that when the door is closed, it abuts the weatherstrip to form a seal, blocking airflow, moisture, dust, dirt, and pests.
Sliding doors use a particular type of weather stripping. These doors have a solid frame that they slide into, so thin pieces of weatherstrip are applied to the inside of the frame. When the door is closed, it slides between two thin pieces of weatherstripping for a tight seal.
To keep your home safe, patio doors should include one or more built-in locking systems. French doors will generally have a simple door lock that prevents the handle from being turned, although there may also be a deadbolt to further secure the door.
Sliding doors, multi-slip doors, and folding doors will have a simple lock that connects to the door frame, preventing the door from opening. They may also have a rail lock that locks the rail so the door cannot slide.
Impact resistant glass can help prevent thieves from breaking through the panel to gain access. Door and window alarms are a smart security measure that will alert you if someone tries to enter your home.
Color And Finish
Door color and finish are largely subjective decisions based on personal decorating preferences. The door color should stand out from the house as a focal point or blend in to blend in seamlessly.
A popular option is to match the door color to nearby windows and window frames for cohesion. Keep in mind that, like exterior doors, they are likely to get dirty, so consider a color and finish that are easy to clean.
In addition, some doors have decorative accessories, such as blinds built into the panes to provide privacy and block out light.
Frame And Fit
The first thing to do before shopping for a new patio door is to measure the old door. Take measurements of the width and height of the door and then take the measurements of the door frame.
If you are installing a new sliding door, also measure the rough opening of the driveway so you can find a frame that can fit the stiles.
Common patio door sizes include:
72 by 80 inches
60 by 80 inches
72 by 96 inches
96 by 81 inches
Tip: Door width and height measurements are rounded. For example, a door measurement of 71.5 by 79.25 inches should be rounded to 72 by 80 inches. This practice is an industry standard for doors and should in no way be adopted for other projects.
The patio door installation process depends on the type of door. French doors hang on hinges on the door frame. They should be measured to make sure that the doors are in the middle and remain tightly closed.
These doors must also be supported from the bottom during installation to prevent their weight from breaking through the frame screws before the entire door can be secured.
5 Best Sliding/Patio Doors In 2023
1. Andersen 70-1/2 in.x79-1/2 in. 200 Series White
Andersen’s sliding patio doors include one fixed door and one sliding door with a stainless steel frame and tracks. Each door is constructed with two panes of glass to create an insulating air pocket between the panes. Inside the air pocket are built-in privacy blinds that can’t become tangled and never need dusting. The blinds operate via the slider mechanism located on each door.
The sliding patio door opens to the right-hand side, though left-handed options are available. It measures 70.5 by 79.5 inches and comes with a simple door latch lock located right above the handle.
2. JELD-WEN 72-in x 80-in Primed Steel Left-Hand
The well-priced JELD-WEN French patio doors have a left-hand inswing that’s ideal for left-handed individuals. There are holes to install a handle and lock on the left-hand door, making it easier to operate the door with the left hand. The doors each have a five-by-three grid of energy-efficient dual-layer glass windowpanes to help insulate the home.
These glass panes sit in the center of the durable and rust-resistant galvanized steel doors, which come in a neutral white color and can be painted. The doors measure 72 by 80 inches, but only the left door opens. The right door remains stationary, similar to the stationary panel on a standard sliding door.
3. MP Doors 60 in. x 80 in. Fiberglass Smooth White
This MP Doors product is a good option for those who prefer a hinged door to a sliding model. Each door has two panes of glass, forming an insulating air pocket to help reduce heat transmission. The panes are held in place by the lightweight, durable fiberglass frame in a neutral white color.
These French doors are resistant to moisture, corrosion, and temperature fluctuations. While the handle and lock are on the right-hand side, left-handed options are available. Choose between 60-by-80-inch and 72-by-80-inch sizes.
4. MP Doors 72 in. x 80 in. Smooth White Left-Hand
Sliding doors tend to be more durable than French doors, and these are a particularly solid choice. They’re made with lightweight, durable fiberglass that’s resistant to rain, sleet, snow, dirt, dust, wind, and pests. Fiberglass is also energy efficient, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs.
These doors come in 60-by-80-inch and 72-by-80-inch sizes and are available with a left- or right-handed design. They each feature two panes of insulating glass with an air pocket between to slow the transfer of heat through the door. This air gap also contains built-in blinds that can be raised, lowered, and tilted with ease and are not vulnerable to tangles, dirt, or damage.
5. National Door Company Z001657R Steel, Right-Hand Inswing
Actual unit dimension is 71 inch x 81.75 inch. Fits rough opening of 71.5 inch x 82.25 inch. Internal white blinds are encased in clear, tempered, Low-E glass. Blinds are controlled by a single operator
24-gauge galvanized steel door is resistant to rust and corrosion.
Prehung on 4-9/16 inch wide primed wood frame. Right Hand Center In-Swing Door Handing – Standing on the inside of your home, if your knob is on the right door, you have a Right Hand Center In-Swing. Comes primed, ready to paint
FAQS: 5 Best Sliding/Patio Doors In 2023: Buying Guide
Why Choose A Sliding Door?
There are many reasons why you should go for a sliding door over the standard types. The most important reason is that it increases the curb appeal of your home and subsequently its value.
When used to separate your home from an outdoor space, this type of gateway helps enrich your indoor experience. Getting that magnificent view of nature is a bonus! In addition, sliding entrances improve the lighting and ventilation within your property, and they pair very well with sliding windows.
How Many Types Of Patio Doors Are There?
The best sliding glass doors can help create a feeling of bringing the outdoors in by providing an easy transition from inside the home to the outside deck or patio. These doors open and close horizontally, making them an ideal choice in tight spaces, as they don’t take up space inside the room like a hinged door does when opened.
And, thanks to the glass panels, the sliding doors can provide expansive views of the exterior and plenty of natural light. Energy-saving glass can also be installed on the door. This will not only provide more comfort to the occupants but can also help reduce energy bills.
Sliding doors can also be easier to adjust compared to French doors and have a contemporary look that works well with a modern-themed home. Multi-point locking hardware is also an option for increased security.
Remember, you will want to select a door that complements the look and overall style of your home. Sliding glass doors may not fit the aesthetics of, for example, an older home or one that has a more traditional design.
Swing or hinged doors are also known as French doors and can open outward or inward. They are typically seen in homes that have more traditional than contemporary architecture. Usually, one panel can be operated and the other is locked in place. Remember, since these are swing doors, you will want to make sure you have the necessary space for the doors to open.
French doors offer a classic look and feel and may also come with multi-point locking hardware for added security. This door option can also be easily customized to match the unique look of your home.
What Is The Difference Between French Doors And Sliding Patio Doors?
French doors are typically two hanging doors that are secured to opposite sides of a large entryway and close together in the center. Each door is supported by two or three hinges that connect to the door frame. These doors are typically made of wood, vinyl, or fiberglass with multiple glass panels to see through and allow more light into the home.
Sliding patio doors fit into a full-frame with two sets of rails at the top and bottom of the frame. These doors slide on the track to open or close and are generally made of glass with steel, aluminum, vinyl, or wood frames.
How Do You Lock The Sliding Glass Door From Outside?
It is better to install a sliding door lock indoors, but it is better to install a lock that opens with a key if you need it outside as well.
Sliding glass door locks offer sturdy support and security when attached to your patio doors. Also, they are one of the best devices to baby-proof your house and keep your pets indoors. There are many types of locks available on the market and they have different uses and mechanisms.
You can buy a suitable lock from our extensive list of the best locks for sliding doors according to your needs, the aesthetics of the home, the type of door, and other parameters.
How do I maintain my sliding patio doors?
To maintain your sliding patio doors, you should:
Wipe them down with a damp cloth regularly: This will remove dirt and debris that can build up and damage the doors.
Lubricate the tracks regularly: This will help the doors to slide smoothly.
Check the seals regularly: The seals around the doors should be in good condition to prevent air and water leaks.
Have the doors professionally cleaned and inspected every few years: This will help to extend the lifespan of your doors.
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