Everything You Need To Know About Sliding Doors

Sliding doors boast of being one of the most popular types of doors today. They’re popular due to their functionality and attractive designs. They don’t use traditional hinges.

Instead, they slide open or close along a track, making them ideal for installation in areas with limited space. The doors have a glass panel extending along the height of the door. The glass panel allows natural light into the room to make the space look brighter.

Installing sliding doors in strategic locations will improve the elegance and functionality of your home. Besides, they have a practical but simple design.

Having plans to install sliding doors on your property? Read on through this updated guide to find out more about their components, repairing common problems associated with sliding doors, and reducing the chances of developing problems.

Sliding doors within open courtyard

Considerations to Make Before Installing Sliding Doors

Before settling on sliding doors, there are certain considerations you should make. These considerations include:

  1. The Types Available

Sliding doors come in several types. The most common option are those that come with special curtain rods. They’re advantageous in that they don’t take any space along the wall. They feature two glass panels.

One panel is operable whereas the other panel is fixed. The operable panel slides open to overlap the fixed panel. They’re most suitable for installation in patios and to connect the kitchen to the outdoors.

A hanging sliding door is another common option. This type of sliding door is fixed on a rail set at the top section of the door. The door slides open along the wall. Installing a hanging sliding door requires some wall space that’s enough to allow the door to slide open.

You can also consider the wall sliding type of doors. These doors slide open into a pocket with the wall. They’re ideal for installations in locations that lack enough wall space for other types of doors.

Also, they’re ideal for anyone who wants a minimalist look in their home. These doors are also great for installation in wardrobes since the sliding panel disappears inside a wall pocket when open.

  1. The Sizes Available

Sliding doors are available in several sizes to choose from. However, you should note that installing interior sliding doors will take up some space on the wall when opening them.

Thus, take measurements of the wall space and consider the door sizes carefully. Confirm whether there’s enough wall space to install the door. In case the space is insufficient, consider other types of doors.

  1. The Materials Available

Sliding doors feature a glass panel fitted in a frame. The frame is made of materials such as fiberglass, vinyl, wood, or aluminium.

Sliding doors with wooden frames enhance the overall look of a home. They’re available in several color options including rustic, dark, and light wood. You can also choose from several styles, motives, and the number of panels.

However, wood cracks and warps easily. Thus, wooden frames are not ideal for use in outdoor sliding doors or wet areas such as bathrooms since moisture can easily damage the frames.

Sliding doors with aluminium frames are available in several styles and colors. Aluminium is stronger and more durable than wood. They resist all weather conditions, making them ideal for use in wet areas and outside doors.

Vinyl door frames are also stronger and more durable than wood. However, they’re available in few color options and often look like a low-quality option.

  1. Best locations for installing sliding doors

One of the best locations to install sliding doors is the interior. They’re perfect for use as interior doors for bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. You can also install them in the bathroom. Just ensure the type you choose won’t affect your privacy.

You can also use them outdoors, especially in the garden, patio, and terraces. Just ensure they won’t compromise your home’s security. Most sliding doors come with a glass panel. Thus, avoid installing them in areas where they’re easily visible such as the front door.


Tips for Maintaining Sliding Doors

In case you’ve settled on installing sliding doors, it’ll help to keep them in their best condition to enhance their durability for a longer period. If you want to install the door in the exterior space, ensure the outside frame is kept clean and free from dirt and dust.

That way, it’ll remain functional for many years. You can wipe and vacuum the door hardware and frame to keep them clean. Also, lubricate the sliding and locking mechanism twice annually to keep them working smoothly.


Sliding Door Components

Some parts of sliding doors differ from those of traditional doors. You should know these components properly to understand whether they’re working properly at all times.

  1. Door handles

The door handles of sliding doors feature a different working mechanism than that of traditional doors. In sliding doors, you pull the handle top open the door. Some styles of door handles in sliding doors feature a clamp that’s built within the door. The clamp is connected to the frame and offers extra security.

  1. Door locks

Also, door locks that come with sliding doors differ from those on traditional types of doors. They feature latches that work by locking into each other upon closing the door. Some of the locks are twisted to lock them while others are locked with a key.

  1. Door stopper

Sliding doors have stoppers made of metallic rods. Stoppers work by preventing the sliding door from being opened from the exterior side. They vary in size and feature different decorative finishes. They’re easy to mount. You just place a stopper within the track and use the right tool to tighten it for a secure installation.

  1. Door track

The door track is a system along which the rollers of a sliding door move when opening or closing the door. The tracks are mounted onto the frame. You can adjust them as needed to allow the door to slide more easily.

  1. Door rollers

The rollers of a sliding door comprise wheels fitted on the door. The wheels slide along the track. They make it effortless to open or close the door.


Tips for Repairing Common Problems Associated With Sliding Doors

It can be quite tricky to fix a problematic sliding door. In case the door is challenging to open or close, it’s important to fix it as soon as possible. Essentially, you should locate and fix the issue.

Tip #1: How to remove your sliding door

Removing most sliding doors tends to be more challenging than removing traditional doors. Generally, you should lift the sliding door upward and detach it from the track at the bottom.

You should remove it carefully since it’s relatively heavier than a traditional door. Upon detaching it from the track at the bottom, angle the door from the bottom and detach it from the door track at the top.

Note that some types of sliding doors come with a removable moulding attached to the upper frame. It ensures the door doesn’t fall out of place. In case your door comes with a moulding, remove it first before trying to remove the door. Simply unscrew the moulding to remove it.

Tip #2: Repairing door rollers

Sometimes, it can be difficult to open or close the door despite the track working properly and free from dirt and debris. In this case, the rollers might be worn out due to constant rubbing and friction against the door track.

Also, the issue might be a result of damaged top rollers. If the top rollers aren’t working properly, the door can exact its weight on the rollers at the bottom, thereby making it more challenging to slide the door open or close.

You can repair the door rollers by first removing the door off the track. Lay the door on a clean, flat surface. Next, examine all the rollers to check whether they’re loose, bent, or broken.

In case the rollers are loose, tighten all the screws. In case tightening the screws doesn’t tighten the rollers, you’ll need to replace the screws with new ones. If any roller is bent or broken, replace it with a new one.

In most instances, issues with rollers are a result of pet hair getting stuck around the wheels or accumulated debris and dirt. Clean the door rollers regularly to prevent this problem.

Tip #3: Fixing a faulty door track

In case the track is broken or damaged in any way, you’ll need to fix it immediately. A damaged track will prevent the door from opening or closing.

In most cases, a sticking sliding door is a result of dirty tracks. Accumulated debris and dust can clog up the track. As a result, the door won’t slide smoothly along the track. Clean the door track with a sturdy wire brush regularly to prevent this problem from recurring.

Maintain the door track by keeping it well lubricated. You can lubricate it with paraffin, oil, or silicone spray. That way, it’ll slide smoothly.

In case the door track is worn out or bent, you can try to fix it with a hammer. To do this, start with removing the door. Next, check whether the door track is level with the help of a spirit level.

In case it’s not level, locate the screws holding the track in place and tighten them. Next, use a piece of wood and a hammer to tap the bent surfaces lightly. Once done, reattach the door in place.

Tip #4: Fixing the catch

Sometimes, the door may fail to close properly. If the problem isn’t resulting from the track or rollers, then it’s likely that the catch is bent and preventing the door from working properly. A fully functional catch clicks upon closing the door. Similarly, the catch gets pressed upon opening the door.

To check whether the door catch is fully functional, start with removing the door. Tap the catch gently with a hammer until it is set in the right position. In case you’re dealing with a damaged or broken catch, replace it to fix the issue. Reach out to Scope Glass for professional assistance on sliding door repairs in the Brisbane Northside and Moreton Bay regions.


Disadvantages of Sliding Doors

  1. They’re easily broken

While sliding doors allow for maximum natural light into a room and look elegant, they’re less sturdy than traditional solid wooden doors. The glass on sliding doors can be broken quite easily.

This makes it easier for burglars to gain entry into a property, especially when the doors are used as the main entry doors. Also, the door can be removed in case it’s not screwed in place properly.

  1. They’re insecure

Another disadvantage of sliding doors is that they’re insecure. The large glass panels on the doors expose your valuables to curious passersby.  Even though you can lock the door, thieves can break the glass panels. Also, the latches making up some types of locks on sliding doors can be detached.

  1. Sliding doors aren’t very durable

With time, sliding doors may jam and cause other problems due to dirt buildup and rust within the hardware components. Also, the door may fall off the track and demand reinstallation. Also, the catch, track, and rollers may demand replacement over time.


Related: How Do You Know it’s Time to Repair Your Sliding Doors?