Easy to operate sliding door systems are a classic feature of every more sophisticated architecture and transform the sliding French door to a style-defining design element of any modern home. Exploiting the new sliding French doors allows one to effectively use the extra space which becomes available and to profit from the more open living space and enjoy its ambience. The sliding door connects the living room with garden or conservatory and reduces the arbitrary borders between inside and outside.
Seen merely as a window system the sliding door has a wide range of advantages over the conventional window with turn-and-tilt technology. The modern sliding French door allows one to incorporate especially large format window fronts, which complement the latest architectural trends to a tee.
The modern sliding door systems trace their roots to the Japanese room designs and were incorporated by some of the most famous architects such as Richard Neutra as stylistic elements into a great number of buildings constructed in a more modern classic style in southern California for example. Today the sliding opening system is more popular than ever as a design detail in modern architecture and combines rigid glazing structures with the maximum amount of transparency. In contrast to the classic turn-and-tilt technology, patio and balcony doors which slide require no supplementary space and can be fitted absolutely flush thus avoiding any danger of tripping.
The latest sliding systems are easy to open and close, requiring very little force.
Modern French sliding doors are also characterised by their especially narrow width and impressive design.
French Sliding Door Designs
Beautifully designed French doors for patio or balcony can be obtained in a variety of forms and as lift and slide doors or as slide and tilt doors. The lift-and-slide French door is first raised marginally then opened or closed to the side. These smooth-running sliding systems are extremely suited to large-format door openings in residential properties. An extension of the lift-and-slide is the slide and tilt door which, using an additional lever, can be brought into a tilt position.
This sliding system has the added advantage that the window can be opened at a tilt occasionally for airing without having to open the complete window frontage. This type of slide-and-tilt door is perfectly suitable for ground floors where windows should not be open for longer periods, and for house-holds with small children or pets.
Another design which is attracting more followers where large-format glazing is desired is the folding and sliding door, which works in effect like a paravent or folding screen which can be pulled opened or folded together as required.
These modern folding systems of sliding door have a very elegant look and have the advantage that the complete window front can be opened during periods of fine weather.
Hence, when choosing your sliding French door you have three different designs to select from as well as the opportunity to apply a number of different qualities of material.
Materials for French Sliding Doors
Modern French sliding doors are available in materials such as aluminium, wood, wood with aluminium and in uPVC. Aluminium is characterised by the excellent weather-proof properties and an ultra-modern design matching every contemporary facade. In combination with wooden window profiles the composite aluminium-wood French sliding doors bring together the warm ambience of real wood and a weatherproof external shell. The classic wood sliding patio door, on the other hand, consists of a purely wooden profile and therefore requires surface treatment every few years. One of the major advantages of the wooden sliding door must surely be its more exclusive design with its wood surface finish on both sides which is then maintained in the exterior of the house and contributes to a particularly elegant overall facade appearance.
An economical and virtually maintenance-free solution is the sliding door system of uPVC, and this is available in an extremely wide range of colours.
Energy Efficiency of French Sliding Doors
Large format French sliding doors must be made to exacting requirements in order to achieve any effective thermal insulation. Modern sliding door systems equipped with thermal insulation glazing can, however, attain U-values of up to 0.8 W.