Glass Doctor Patio Door Buying Guide
Swinging or sliding, wood or fiberglass, patterned or clear, double pane or single pane glass – when you’re shopping for a patio door, the possibilities seem endless!
Don’t let the number of choices cause indecision. Read our patio door-buying guide to learn all you need to know to select your new patio door.
How to Choose a Patio Door
Patio doors are special glass doors that connect the indoors with the outdoors, bring fresh air and light inside and showcase your landscaping, deck or patio outside.
Before you read on, consider these three questions:
- What is the chief purpose of my door?
- What is my personal aesthetic and what is the aesthetic of my home?
- What is most important to me – style, efficiency or longevity?
The Three Main Glass Types of Patio Doors
There are three main types of patio doors. The two most popular are sliding glass doors and swinging French doors. A third type of patio door, called an accordion door, is gaining in popularity but is not ideal for all spaces. Accordion patio doors do slide on a track but they fold open and closed like an accordion.
1. Sliding Glass Doors
Sliding glass patio doors are advantageous for many reasons. Sliding glass patio doors:
- Do not take up any up any additional space when opened, unlike doors that open into the house.
- Are usually easier to adjust than French doors.
- Typically appear more modern and contemporary in appearance than French doors.
- Are typically less expensive than French or accordion doors.
- Now utilize a multipoint locking system that makes them much more secure than previous models.
Disadvantage: If you need an extra-large opening for moving furniture or hosting parties, sliding glass isn’t ideal. A French door or accordion style door may be more suited for this type of use.
2. Glass French Doors
French doors, whether swinging or hinged, are appealing to homeowners for many reasons. French patio doors:
- Are a classic style that fits nicely with traditional homes and homes with striking architectural details.
- Typically have doorframes that are wider than sliding glass doors, allowing more natural light and more breezes into the space.
- Typically have a smaller, less obtrusive threshold than sliding doors or accordion doors because they do not operate on a track.
- May have one door affixed and one that swings, or both may open to create an extra wide opening.
Disadvantage: When selecting a French or hinged glass patio door, keep in mind you’ll need to have floor space for opening and closing that isn’t required with a sliding or accordion style door.
3. Glass Accordion Patio Doors
Accordion patio doors, sometimes referred to as bifold patio doors, open by folding like an accordion. Often designed with the ability to open one single pane or all panes, these doors are the most highly engineered and the most expensive of the three options listed here.
Many homeowners who opt for accordion patio doors choose them because:
- Like sliding glass doors, accordion or bifold patio doors have a relatively small profile when open.
- Accordion or bifold doors are very modern in appearance.
- Bifold doors are versatile and easy to open.
Which style – glass sliding, French or accordion is right for you?
If you have questions about a style of door, contact your local Glass Doctor®. Our technicians are equipped to help you with any questions or concerns.
Types of Patio Door Materials
Glass sliding, French and accordion doors are all available in three frame material types:
- Wood – Elegant, traditional style, more expensive relative to other materials.
- Vinyl – Inexpensive and cost-efficient, but extreme temperature shifts may cause cracking.
- Fiberglass – May be designed to look like wood without the drawbacks.
Further – all these door types come in a variety of colors and finishes and may be outfitted with different types and styles of hardware. The glass used in these doors may be customized to meet your home’s needs or your aesthetic desire.
What About Glass Efficiency and Safety?
Modern patio doors of all shapes and sizes are likely to be equipped with energy efficient insulated glass units (IGUs) or double panes. Tempered or security-rated glass panes are often standard in doors recommended for home security or for installation in hurricane-prone regions.
Looking to retrofit your existing glass door with panes for security or safety? Contact your local Glass Doctor to learn more about pane replacement options for sliding, French and accordion-style sliding doors.
Let Glass Doctor Fix Your Patio Door Panes
Whether you’re looking to install a new patio door or replace an existing one, choose Glass Doctor. Our local technicians are ready to help you through every step, from consultation to installation. Keep our number on speed dial for all your emergency glass needs. Our local teams are available 24/7 service.