Guidance for specifying bespoke sliding glass doors
Choosing the right frame finish, glazing option, size and configuration can be difficult, but we’re here to help.
There are many glazing companies who sell off the shelf sliding door systems with a range of designs and framing materials.
At minimal windows, every sliding door system is manufactured completely bespoke. There is no ‘standard’ sliding door, with both the minimal windows sliding door and 4+ sliding door, the designs are extremely flexible and have a range of design options.
minimal windows systems use aluminium framing as it is extremely durable, has natural rust and corrosion resistant properties and by utilising modern thermal break technology this framing material achieves high thermal performance levels.
When it comes to specifying these bespoke, luxury aluminium sliding doors, the choice can seem overwhelming at first. This guide will help ensure that you choose the right system and design for your project.
Double or Triple Glazing
For minimal windows sliding glass doors, there are two framing options, our minimal windows and minimal windows 4+ sliding doors. If triple glazing is required the 4+ framing profile must be used as the deeper frames allows space for the extra glass pane and argon gas cavity.
Triple glazed sliding glass doors incur extra costs, but sometimes it is required depending on the type of project and location. The increased thermal performance that can be achieved through triple glazing is ideal for new build homes which have to meet certain thermal requirements.
Both systems use a polyamide thermal break to ensure heat loss is minimized, but for colder locations such as the Scottish Highlands or countries with extreme climates, the 4+ sliding doors are well worth the extra costs.
Triple glazed sliding glass doors using the 4+ profile can also reach larger sizes, making them a popular choice for projects requiring oversized or double height glazing.
The most popular finishing option for minimal windows aluminium sliding glass doors is Polyester Powder Coating (PPC). minimal windows offer PPC in over 200 RAL colours so the frames can be specified to either work in harmony with a home’s exterior and interior finishes, or contrast to create a striking design feature.
We also offer more unique frame finishes such as anodising, which results in a chrome effect, distinctive finish. This finishing option can be quite unpredictable due to the electric current that is used to create it, which can be an issue for some people but is sought after by others.
By using certain colours of PPC and creating grooves on the frame, these aluminium frames can also be designed to look like timber. This may be useful if the glazing needs to be harmonious with other glazing in a building, or some individuals may just prefer the timber aesthetic.
Actual timber frames require a lot of maintenance and don’t achieve as high thermal performances, so this finishing option is the perfect solution for these projects.
One factor which is often overlooked when specifying bespoke sliding glass doors is the variety of glazing options available. From solar control coatings to low iron glass to electrical glazing solutions, these unique glazing options can be utilised to create sliding doors that are one of a kind.
If the sliding doors are oversized, south-facing, part of a large glazing elevation or in a glass box, minimal windows offer a variety of solar control options.
The first is a solar control coating. This thin metal oxide coating is applied to the internal face of the external pane of glass and prevents the sun’s short wave radiation from entering the home and becoming trapped which leads to overheating.
The other slightly more uncommon solution is to specify electrochromic glass, which uses a conductive coating to tint the glass as and when it’s needed, reducing both solar gain and solar glare. This glazing option is often preferred for commercial buildings such as offices.
Other glazing options for minimal windows luxury sliding doors include but are not limited to; low maintenance coatings, switchable privacy glass, heated glass and decorative glazing.
Open Corner Sliding Glass Doors
Most glaziers have sliding glass doors that can be designed and installed in an open corner configuration but are often limited to only a 90 degree angle. minimal windows corner opening sliding doors can be anywhere between 65 and 177 degrees, allowing the doors to follow the shape of the home and creating impressive sliding glass walls.
minimal windows bespoke aluminium sliding doors can be specified in a pocket door configuration where the sliding glass panels slide into a concealed cavity within the walls leaving a completely open aperture.
This configuration is excellent for creating indoor-outdoor living spaces and can be used with corner opening sliding glass doors, allowing a whole corner of the property to be opened up and merged with the outdoors.
Although there are no limited on the number of sliding panes you can use with the minimal windows 4+ sliding door, it is important to consider the depth of the tracks. If a wide structural opening is to be filled with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, a biparting configuration will help to reduce the depth of the tracks.
A huge advantage of using minimal windows luxury sliding glass doors is that the system can reach impressive sizes, allowing them to be specified as double height sliding doors and fill extremely wide structural openings.
If the sliding doors are being used to create whole glass walls, the slim aluminium head frame can be concealed within the building finishes. This combined with the flush threshold and ultra-slim sightlines can result in striking glass facades that allow natural light and views to be completely unobstructed.
Double height sliding doors are a unique sliding glass door solution that cannot be achieved by all aluminium sliding door systems on the market.
Our team are always looking for ways to push the boundaries of architectural glazing, so if an oversized glass door is required, our skilled design team love the challenge of designing a system that meets large size requirements whilst maintaining the slim aluminium profile and high performance levels.
minimal windows standard base frame is the Flush Threshold Base Frame which is certified for barrier-free accessibility under DIN 18040-1 and DIN 18040-2. This flush base sits below the finished floor level allowing floor to ceiling sliding glass doors to appear frameless at the base.
The other base frame option is the Freeway Base Frame which is a specialist base that offers a level crossing. This base option is recommended if there are a large number of tracks or if the tracks are likely to be walked over in bare feet, or in areas frequented by wheelchair users.
Both of these base frame options can be specified with integrated drainage. Our integrated drainage systems use Neoprene drainage blocks and can take up to 120 litres of water per minute, perfect for the wet English climate or other locations with high rainfall levels.
Other Design Elements
Do the doors need to be hurricane proof?
Our minimal windows 4+ sliding glass door has undergone full hurricane testing and surpassed all requirements. This luxury aluminium sliding door system is approved by the cyclic wind pressure test in accordance with TAS 203 and can stand cyclic wind pressures of up to 3510 Pa.
Do they need a laminated pane?
Laminated panes are not a necessity for most bespoke sliding glass doors, however, there are certain applications where a laminated pane is required. The most common type of project that requires this is when the sliding doors will be located within 5 metres of a swimming pool.
This is so that in the event of a breakage, the shattered glass will be held in place and will not injure anyone in the pool or damage the filtration system. The 4+ framing profile must be used for laminated panes due to the thickness of the glazing.
Do the doors need to be automated?
If the sliding panes exceed 500kg, we recommend specifying a motorised system to ensure the doors can be open easily by the building’s occupants.
Am automated sliding door system from minimal windows has a range of control options available including manual, via a remote or the system can be integrated with smart home automation systems enabling them to be controlled from a phone or a tablet.
Is curved glass required?
Curved glazing is a unique glazing solution that not many glazing manufacturers work with. For our minimal windows sliding glass doors, structural curved glass can be used alongside the system in glass walls or glass facades.
Curved glass can also be integrated into the actual sliding glass door system for a completely unique sliding door that has the ultimate ‘wow’ factor.
Our team of technical sales advisors will be able to assist you in the design process to ensure all specific design requirements are met.
For more information contact the team today.