Sliding Glass Doors
Whichever Options You Choose, a New Slider Will Light Up Your Life
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New glass and glazing materials, along with advanced weather stripping methods, make sliding glass doors more low-maintenance and eco-friendly than ever before. With available options such as trackless sliders and pocketing panels, they are a practical alternative to traditional doors.
Sliding Glass Door Options
Sliding glass doors are typically built with two panels: a fixed panel, which is fastened in place, and an operator, which slides back and forth. Also common are three and four panel systems, while custom systems with more than four panels are available. In some doors, each panel is an operator.
Common sliding glass door heights are 6' 8" (80") and 6' 11" (83"). Custom heights can be purchased if needed.
Sliding Door Materials
Aluminum: Aluminum's excellent durability makes it a great choice for exterior sliding glass doors. The metal will not warp, swell, or shrink with changes in heat and humidity, and is even appropriate for hurricane prone areas. Aluminum sliding glass doors are available in a wide variety of colors.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass doors are durable, easy to clean, and appropriate for exterior use. Some styles closely resemble natural wood.
Wood: While wood provides a naturally warm and beautiful aesthetic, it is prone to swelling in high heat and humidity, and therefore more appropriate for interior sliding glass doors. Vinyl-clad wood, on the other hand, is very suitable for exterior doors.
Foam Core: With either a vinyl or aluminum shell and a foam filling, these doors have superior insulating properties, making them a popular choice for an exterior slider.
Laminated Glass: Made from layers of glass that are sandwiched together and formed under high pressure and heat, laminated glass will bend and flex before shattering. When broken, it stays together as a sheet.
Tempered Glass: Stronger than laminated glass, tempered glass is often used as safety glass where human impact is a concern. This chemically and thermally bonded product shatters into very small pieces when broken.
Impact-resistant Glass: This is the strongest type of glass available, and tough enough to use in areas that regularly experience high winds and hurricanes. It has a breakage pattern similar to laminated glass but can withstand much more force.
Frosted glass: Also known as privacy glass, frosted glass lets light in and keeps prying eyes out.
Pocketed Sliders: These doors can be "pocketed" inside walls, maximizing the opening size and eliminating the need for a fixed panel.
Trackless Sliders: Not actually "trackless", these doors move on an overhead track, eliminating the need for a threshold (bottom) track and decreasing wear and tear on parts.
High-Performance Glazing: This option increases the door's energy efficiency.
Sliding Glass Door Costs
The cost of sliding glass doors is highly dependent on the type of glass and glazing used, as well as any additional features that are purchased. For example, safety glass and high end glazing can double the door's material cost.
The sliding glass door prices below reflect a 6' 8" system with standard double pane, single-side glazed panels.
- Traditional two-panel, five and six foot wide sliders cost $700 to $1,100 installed.
- Expect an eight foot wide, two-panel slider to cost between $1,000 and $1,500 installed.
- A less common option - a nine foot wide two panel slider - might cost $1,200 to $1,800 installed.
- For openings that require larger three and four panel systems, expect each additional panel to increase costs by $400 to $800.
- Making sliding glass doors pocketed requires extensive labor; expect to pay no less than $1,000 and as much as $4,000 on top of typical installation costs.
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