Monday November 05, 2018

How to Find the Best Sliding Glass Doors

Do the patio doors you have in your home fit your needs? When you purchased your home, you may not have given a lot of thought to the style and type of doors you had, but, there are a number of things to consider if it’s time for replacement patio doors.

This article will focus specifically on sliding glass patio doors and how to find the best one to suit your home. From wood to aluminum, fiberglass and vinyl, each material type can help provide a grand entrance to your patio and help you achieve your goals for outdoor living.

New Sliding Glass Doors

New Sliding Glass Door Considerations

When thinking about which sliding patio door is best for you, we recommend asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I want to retain the original size of my current patio door or expand the opening for increased daylight or air flow?
  2. How important is durability and ongoing maintenance?
  3. Am I looking for increased energy efficiency?
  4. Is color important to me?

Identifying the elements that are important to you is an important first step. Now, let’s look closer at patio door materials to help you narrow down your options.

1) Vinyl Sliding Glass Doors

Vinyl sliding glass doors are a great solution for either replacement patio doors, or new construction. Sliding doors work well in tight spaces or situations where your furniture is close to the door, whereas swing doors need the area clear for the door to open to the inside or exterior. Vinyl looks beautiful on a variety of architectural home styles and can even be ordered with a painted frame color for additional design flair. Vinyl is also exceptionally energy efficient, durable and requires very little maintenance.

Vinyl Sliding Glass Doors

2) Wood Sliding Glass Doors

Wood sliding patio doors provide a traditional design style, due to their wide frame profiles. The interior wood color can be stained to match your existing furnishings or you can paint them any color you choose. Because wood is a natural material, some ongoing maintenance will be required to retain the stain, finish or paint color you choose. Milgard wood patio doors actually have a fiberglass exterior, paired with the wood interior, for great protection against weather elements. In addition, there are 16 exterior colors available from Black Bean to Evening Sky.

Wood sliding glass patio doors

3) Fiberglass Sliding Glass Doors

Fiberglass sliding patio doors are extremely strong and low maintenance. They are durable, energy efficient and can add a touch of elegance to any home. Milgard offers a fiberglass French-style sliding patio door in seven exterior frame colors to match your home beautifully. The interior colors are white, or, choose to match the interior and exterior frame colors when you select Black Bean, Bark or Harmony (shown in photo).

Fiberglass sliding glass doors

4) Aluminum Sliding Glass Doors

Aluminum sliding glass patio doors can give your home a contemporary feeling. If you are remodeling, consider adding sidelights and transoms for additional light and ventilation to create a wall of windows around your patio door (see photo). The narrow frames and clean lines help you maximize your view and the strength and stability of aluminum make it a great choice for replacement or new construction projects.

Aluminum Sliding Glass Doors

5) Moving Glass Walls Sliding Patio Doors

Glass walls are really stunning and have been gaining in popularity due to their ability to help expand living areas. They come in three operating styles: Bi-Fold, Pocket, Stacking, and each has its benefits, depending on how you plan to use the space. For example, the panels of a pocket door completely disappear from view when the door is fully open, because they tuck into the wall itself. Bi-Fold doors are bottom, instead of top loaded, which works well for remodeling projects when you don’t want to add a structural header to carry the doors weight.

Moving Glass Walls Sliding Patio Doors

We would love to know more about your project and which sliding glass patio door is your favorite. Leave us a comment below. If you need more inspiration, download our free guide with “6 Essential Tips for Choosing New Patio Doors”.

6 Essential Tips for Choosing New Patio Doors

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Sashes + Glass is a blog developed to guide you through the window and patio door buying process. From frame style to color, we want to help you set the tone for your house with beautiful windows in the hope that it will bring joy to your living space.

Joann Whetstine
Brand Manager


Joan Custer
Marketing Specialist


Lois Jones
Senior Marketing Specialist