Sliding Doors vs Hinged Doors

Sliding Doors vs Hinged Doors

Hinged and sliding doors are both capable of making a space more beautiful and functional. Several characteristics set apart sliding doors from hinged ones. These factors make choosing between the two easier.

We'll look at what each of these doors is, their typical characteristics, and the pros and cons you should consider before using them in your home.

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Sliding Door vs Hinged Door

There are a few things you need to consider before choosing exterior doors for your home. Keep the considerations below in mind as you compare your options.

  1. Where will the door be installed? Is it a front door or a back door? Most homeowners use hinged doors for the front entrance and sometimes pivot doors are used in luxury homes. Sliding, hinged, bifolding, and pivot doors are used for secondary entrances to patios, verandas, and sunrooms. 
  2. How much space do you have to work with? Consider the walls to the left, right, and above the location where you want the door installed. The amount of space here can limit your options regarding the size of the door.
  3. How much living space do you have to work with inside the house and outside the house? Consider how the door will open, will you have room to open the door? Are there any obstructions like furniture or appliances?
  4. Will the door be protected by an overhang? With some doors, you'll want to consider how much protection it will have from sun, rain, and wind. The more protection the doors have the longer they will last.

What is a sliding door?

A sliding patio door doesn't open inward or outward, so you don't have to worry about the space surrounding the door being big enough for it to function. Instead, these doors glide horizontally on a track. There is typically one mobile panel and one stationary panel. They fit tightly together when they lock and seal against the two vertical sides. As long as the tracks are installed well, they should be completely sealed along the top and bottom.

Buying Tip: Some doors are top hung which means they slide from the top of the track and some roll along the bottom track. Top hung sliding doors are more durable than bottom roller doors. ProVia makes really great top-hung sliding patio doors.

What is a hinged door?

A hinged door is typically made up of one or two solid panels joined to the wall by two to four hinges. These two panels meet in the middle. Typically, both of the panels can open individually, or you can lock one to remain fixed. These doors need space to open and close. They will have to open either outward or inward to function properly.

In the U.S. we commonly refer to hinged double doors are french doors. French patio doors is the term we usually use to describe hinged double doors that are primarily glass.

Pros and Cons of Sliding Doors

For some people, getting one of these doors might seem like an open-and-shut decision. However, if you are still debating about how they might work in your space, consider the pros and cons of each.

What are the advantages of sliding doors?

There are quite a few advantages of sliding doors for a patio area, in fact, they're the most popular option for active families because they're easy to operate and don't take up a lot of space. 

Pros of Sliding Doors
  • Tons of options! As the most popular style, vendors make multiple variations of sliding doors.
  • Quality sliding doors don't take much effort to open.
  • They give your home a sleek or contemporary style instead of a more traditional one.
  • Sliding doors don't need any exterior space to function.
  • Sliding doors are nearly all-glass meaning you'll get tons of natural light.

What are the disadvantages of sliding doors?

Consider some of the disadvantages of a sliding door before putting all your chips in one basket. You want to make sure that these doors are the right option for your home. 

Cons of Sliding Doors
  • Sliding door tracks need to be cleaned well for them to continue to seal properly.
  • The tracks easily fill up with debris like dirt and leaves.
  • The tracks, panels, and hardware on cheaper options are easily damaged if not handled with care. 
  • If not installed properly, the door will be difficult to open.
  • You can't open a sliding door fully since one side is typically stationary.

Pros and Cons of Hinged Doors

What are the advantages of hinged doors?

Hinged doors have stood the test of time, even with new operating styles hinged doors are and will always be used for openings.

Pros of Hinged Doors
  • They can open fully, giving you full use of the portal.
  • Hinged doors are a traditional option.
  • There are many varieties, sizes, and finishes available of hinged doors.

What are the disadvantages of hinged doors?

As with anything, there is always the other side to consider before committing to a decision.

The Cons of Hinged Doors
  • They need exterior space either on the inside or outside of the house.
  • If not operated with care, people can get their fingers caught when shutting the door.

Ultimately your choice for doors will come down to cost, style, and how soon you can have them installed. Door installations aren't projects most people do more than once in their homes so make sure to the doors that you want. Consider the way the door will look, how you will use it, and its durability before you make your decision. 

Brennan Enterprises is a window and door company in North Texas. We sell and install exterior doors for residential and commercial properties in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. If you're interested in looking at door options please explore our website. We offer doors from ProVia and Andersen, two of the most trusted brands in the industry. 

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