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The ultimate guide to choosing
your sliding door

24 June 2024 | General

Are you looking to upgrade your living space with a stylish and functional sliding door? These can be the perfect solution to opening up your living space with an abundance of natural light. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. This ultimate guide will walk you through everything you need to consider when selecting the perfect sliding door for your home.

Why choose a sliding door?

aluminium sliding doors leading out into patio area

Sliding doors offer a range of benefits that make them an attractive choice for modern homes. Here are a few key advantages:

Easy access

Unlike traditional hinged doors, sliding doors glide smoothly along a track, providing seamless entry and exit without the need to swing the door open. This makes them the perfect practical solution for smaller spaces or areas with limited clearance.

Natural light

One of the biggest draws of sliding doors is the abundance of natural light they allow into your living space. With large clear glass panes and sleek frames, sliding doors can transform a room, making it feel brighter and more open.

Indoor-outdoor flow

Sliding doors can create a seamless transition between your interior and outdoor areas, blurring the lines between inside and out. This makes them an excellent choice for homes with patios, decks, or balconies.

Material options for sliding doors

AluSpace Sliding Door Kitchen

When it comes to sliding doors, there are several material options to consider, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.

Aluminium sliding doors

Aluminium sliding doors are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, low maintenance, and sleek appearance. At Direct Trade Windows, we offer a wide range of aluminium sliding door systems from Cortizo, a leading manufacturer known for their high-quality products.

Some of the key benefits of aluminium sliding doors include:

  • Strength and durability: Aluminium is a robust material that can withstand harsh weather conditions and daily wear and tear.
  • Slimline frames: Aluminium frames are typically slimmer than other materials, allowing for maximum glass area and increased natural light.
  • Low maintenance: Aluminium is resistant to corrosion and requires minimal upkeep, making it a low-maintenance option.
  • Thermal efficiency: Many aluminium sliding door systems, like those offered by Direct Trade Windows, are designed with thermal breaks to improve energy efficiency.

Timber sliding doors

For those seeking a more traditional look, timber sliding doors can provide warmth and character to a space. While they may require more maintenance than aluminium, timber doors offer a unique aesthetic that can complement certain architectural styles.

uPVC sliding doors

uPVC sliding doors are a cost-effective option that offers decent insulation and low maintenance. However, they may not have the same sleek appearance as aluminium or the natural beauty of timber.

Features to look for in a sliding door

4700 sliding Cortizo doors

When choosing your sliding door, there are several key features to consider:

Thermal performance

Energy efficiency is an important factor, especially in colder climates. Look for sliding door systems with good U-values (a measure of heat transfer), which can help reduce energy costs and improve comfort levels within your home.


Safety should be a top priority when selecting a sliding door. Look for systems with multi-point locking mechanisms, robust frames, and shatter-resistant glass to ensure the security of your home.

Weather resistance

Depending on your location, you may need to consider sliding doors that can withstand extreme weather conditions, such as high winds, heavy rain, or snow. Opt for systems with weather-resistant seals and durable materials.

Ease of operation

Smooth operation is essential for any sliding door. Look for systems with high-quality rollers and tracks that allow the door to glide effortlessly, even for larger sashes.

Customisation options

Many sliding door manufacturers, including Direct Trade Windows, offer a range of customisation options to suit your specific needs and preferences and to match your existing decor. These may include different frame colours, glass types (e.g., clear, tinted, decorative), and various configurations (e.g., bi-parting, multi-track). These can also include different hardware fittings such as handles, to truly customise your new door.

Preparing your space for a sliding door

Before having a new sliding door installed, it’s essential to prepare your space properly. Here are a few tips:

  • Measure accurately: Ensure you have precise measurements of the door opening to ensure a proper fit. It’s best to have a professional measure the space.
  • Consider structural integrity: If you’re replacing an existing door or creating a new opening, make sure the surrounding structure can support the weight and size of the sliding door system.
  • Plan for access: Sliding doors can be heavy and bulky, so make sure there’s enough clearance for the installation process.
  • Prepare for finishing touches: Decide on any additional features you may want, such as blinds, curtains, or decorative glazing, and plan accordingly.

How can Direct Trade Windows help you?

Choosing the right sliding door can transform your living space, adding style, functionality, and value to your home. At Direct Trade Windows, we offer a wide range of aluminium sliding door systems from Cortizo, designed to meet the highest standards of quality, performance, and aesthetics.

Whether you’re looking for a slimline sliding door, lift and slide system, or a corner solution, our expert team can guide you through the selection process and help you find the perfect fit for your needs and budget. With in-house manufacturing facilities and highly automated software, we can deliver your sliding door with minimal lead times and free delivery across the UK.

Ready to transform your home with a stunning sliding door? Get in touch with Direct Trade Windows today, and let us help you create the indoor-outdoor living experience you’ve been dreaming of.

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