What Are The Different Types Of Impact Sliding Doors?

By Published On: November 28, 2023Categories: Impact Doors
impact sliding doors

Sliding doors are popular with homeowners, as they create a sense of space while allowing natural light to flood in. However, if you live in a severe-weather area, a regular sliding door isn’t a safe option. Choosing an impact sliding door will keep your family safe, protect the contents of your home, and add value to your property.

Prioritizing safety doesn’t mean you have to limit your style options and settle for something that doesn’t suit the aesthetic of your home. Keep reading to learn more about impact sliding doors, as well as six of the most popular options.

What Is An Impact Sliding Door?

Impact sliding doors are also known as hurricane sliding doors, as they are made from superior materials. They are made to withstand high winds, hurricanes, and the impact of flying debris. Investing in these specially designed doors is essential if you live in a severe weather region, such as Florida.

Regular sliding doors are typically made from tempered glass, which is stronger than untreated glass but can still shatter under impact. Hurricane-proof impact glass is made by sealing two pieces of glass with an interior layer of resin. Should a flying object hit with enough force to break the glass, it won’t shatter. The resin holds all the pieces intact. This not only protects the interior of the building from the elements but also prevents flying glass shards to keep those inside safe.

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6 Types Of Impact Sliding Doors

When it comes to sliding doors, fitting storm-resistant doors doesn’t mean sacrificing style, or settling for a utilitarian design. Within these six types, there’s an ideal door to complement any architectural structure or interior design.

Sliding Patio Door

A sliding patio door offers a seamless flow between a living room and an outdoor patio by creating a strong wall of glass. The doors open by sliding alongside the fixed glass panels, unlike the area taken up by the swing of a hinged door. The mechanism of a sliding door is relatively simple and requires little maintenance. Slinding doors come in many configurations.

Bi-Folding Doors

A bi-folding door typically consists of four panels of glass that fold to the sides when open. Each panel mounts on runners. All panels of a bi-folding door can move, creating a large opening between indoors and outdoors. As bi-fold doors usually have two panels per moving side, they can also be partially opened to allow airflow into a room.

Accordion Doors

Accordion doors work much like bi-fold doors but have more than two panels per side. As each panel is narrower, accordion doors take up less space in the room when folded back to an open position. This makes them well-suited to smaller rooms where space has to be used carefully but still offers a generous opening to the outdoors.

​​​​​​Pocket Sliding Doors

Pocket doors slide into a hidden wall cavity, or “pocket,” when open. This requires a wall thick enough to accommodate the pocket, and long enough for the sliding door to fit into when open. It’s easier to install pocket doors when a house is being built, but retrofitting is also possible.

If the walls are suitable, pocket doors can have single, or bi-parting panels. They can be installed to open from a corner, providing an expansive free flow from indoors to outside.

Lift And Slide Doors

A lift and slide door makes use of advanced technical operating hardware that disengages a locking mechanism and lifts the door onto rollers by simply turning a handle. The built-in sliding technology allows the door to slide open with a light touch. When closed, the door settles into the locking mechanism, creating a highly effective seal.

Lift and slide doors are ideal for extra-large openings. They provide expansive, unobstructed views, and ease of use that are unmatched.

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Sliding Door Options That Enhance Interior Design

Modern impact sliding doors combine safety and style to give you the look and feel you want in your home. Finishes and colors vary depending on the brand you choose, but here is a quick overview of some of the options available to you:

Sliding Door Frames

Frames can be manufactured from metals such as stainless steel or aluminum, crafted from fiberglass, or made using vinyl. Each material offers a range of colors and textures. Some commonly available frame options are:

  • Standard colors: Many sliding door frames are available in silver, bronze, white, crème, clear anodize, or bone.
  • Woodgrain textures and tones: While genuine wood isn’t ideal for storm-resistant frames, you can still have wooden textures and colors, such as embero, nogal, sapely, or teka.
  • Hardware tones: Hardware tones offer a sophisticated industrial edge with finishes such as antique brass, black, and brushed chrome.
  • Custom colors: Design options are endless, as some frames offer a choice of 70 colors and anodized finishes. They can accommodate different internal and external shades.

Impact Glass

There’s a wide range of options available for the impact glass panels of your sliding door. The variations available cover functional and design specifications. They provide you the freedom to create the perfect ambiance for your living space while meeting practical needs.

Different types of impact glass include:

  • High-performance low-E coatings: Low-E coatings are classified as “hard” or “soft.” Hard coatings are applied to molten glass, creating a durable coating that is ideal for impact applications. Soft coatings are a film applied to the glass after manufacture, and are more fragile.
  • Glass tints: Glass tints are a great way to enhance the mood of an indoor space. Some of the colors available include clear, gray, turtle code (dark gray), bronze, solexia green, azuria blue, obscure, white, mist, and rain.
  • Argon glass: Argon glass is created when Argon gas is used to fill the space between the two panes to improve energy efficiency and increase the insulation capacity.

Latches And Handles

Sliding doors aren’t limited to one type of latch or handle, but offer multiple design styles to suit your taste and security preferences. Options include:

  • Unobtrusive flush mount handles
  • Mortise-style patio door handles
  • Lift and slide handles
  • Hook style
  • Clamp style
  • Swing door handles
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Surprizing Benefits Of Hurricane Sliding Doors

While safety is the main reason people opt for storm-resistant sliding doors, they offer other benefits, too. In the debate between storm shutters versus hurricane glass, impact-resistant glass wins on every side. Installing storm-proof sliding doors and windows does away with the need for storm shutters.

The treated glass increases the energy efficiency of a home by regulating the internal temperature and saving on your power bill. The shatter-resistant properties make them an excellent security choice. Sliding door tracks can include a sill to take care of water capillary drainage.

Find An Impact Sliding Door Installer In Florida

Installing an impact sliding door that withstands the rigors of hurricane season is non-negotiable for South Florida homeowners. Finding a sliding door installer who specializes in impact products is simple. With 20 years of experience in the industry, STS Impact Windows & Doors offers a full range of hurricane-proof sliding doors.

We are committed to providing great service. Contact us at 561-600-1018 for a free quote.

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