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Ultimate Guide to Motorised Sliding Doors

Leading the way in modern advances in architectural glazing, minimal windows glazing solutions push the boundaries of size and design, with the minimal windows 4+ having the ability to reach 12m2 per sliding pane 

Exceptional engineering means these panes glide effortlessly over the sliding tracks; however, we recommend automation if the sliding panes are over 500kg. 

When specifying motorised sliding doors, you need to consider the control options, safety integrations, frame finishes, glazing options and more. 

These motorised sliding doors can be controlled manually, via remote, app or alternatively all electrical elements of the minimal windows systems can be easily integrated with any smart home automation system. 

There are multiple safety integrations and design options including a wide range of frame finishes available, allowing the systems to be manufactured to meet specific project requirements.  

three automated vertical sliding sash windows - double height glazing
minimal windows motorised slim sliding glass doors

Electric Motors for Motorised Sliding Doors

Even with smooth sliding actions aided by high quality, stainless steel rollers, heavy doors can be strenuous to push and by integrating motors into the systems they can be opened or closed with the push of a button. 

The specially developed locking and automation systems are extremely durable and achieve outstanding values regarding operating convenience and security. 

Concealed electric drives and locking mechanisms can be integrated into almost all configurations of the minimal windows to create automated sliding glass doors. 

The compact linear drive is located to the inside of the head frame, housed in an aluminium case and mounted flush with the internal ceiling finishes. This housing effectively ‘merges’ the motor into the internal ceiling structure, maintaining a minimal architectural design. 

The automated sliding panes are moved linearly by a chrome-plated aluminium driver at a variably adjustable speed. Extremely powerful electric motors can move multiple sliding panels of glass weighing up to 2,000 kg silently via timing belts. Several panes can be moved in telescopic fashion with just one motor. 

slim framed mototrised sliding doors

Operation of Motorised Glazing Systems

Operation of motorised sliding doors can be conducted in a wide variety of ways, for example via pushbuttons in the room, radio remote control, app control or home automation systems as required. 

Smart home automation is a growing trend for luxury residential homes and with modern technological advances being able to control everything from one app, it has never been easier. 

Home automation integrations are fully possible with the minimal window’s motor. A control cable must be connected between the motor for the doors and the home automation system. The home automation system can then be controlled via Smartphones and apps depending on the manufacturer. 

When specifying automated systems consideration must be given to the possibility of the inhabitant locking themselves out whilst the remote control is inside. For that reason, number code switches or fingerprint scanners are available to be installed on the outside of the doors. 

floor to ceiling sliding glass doors - oversized sliding glass doors

Safety of Motorised Glazing Systems

Motorised sliding doors must conform to the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. Due to the risk analysis of these large-format sliding doors the below are the two options for operation and control:

Deadman control

The sliding door moves only when the pushbutton is pressed and stops immediately when it is released. The operator must watch the doors as they are closed to determine and ensure safety.

Automatic Operation

The sliding doors are activated by a short impulse (pushbutton / remote control/building management system). Using this type of operation safety regulations demand the integration of infrared sensors to stop the sliding doors automatically should something come into the path of the moving doors. Additionally, the sliding doors can be stopped in any place by pressing a separate stop button.


For improved performance of the automation arrangement, laser sensors are an optional improvement to the safety system. In some cases winds/air shimmers/airborne particles can activate infrared sensors, causing the sliding doors to stop movement for no reason.

Laser sensors offer an improved detection of even the smallest of particles but are less likely to be disturbed unnecessarily, improving the automated movement.

In the event of a power failure, an emergency backup battery ensures operation for a short time. Emergency locking and release is also possible by manual access

floor to ceiling motorised sliding doors
triple glazed motorised sliding doors

Design Options for Motorised Sliding Glass Doors

As with all our systems, they are manufactured completely bespoke to suit the project. This includes a wide variety of frame finishing options from a polyester powder coating in over 200 RAL colours, dual colours, anodising and more 

The head and base frames can be concealed within the building finishes for a floor to ceiling glass finish, offering a nearly frameless design for the e motorised sliding glass doors, with only the minimal sightline visible. 

Glazing options for motorised sliding doors include low maintenance glass, a popular option for coastal areas, and solar control glass which is often recommended for south facing or large elevations of glazing. 

Our motorised sliding glass doors can also be specified with technical glazing solutions such as low iron glass, heated glass or decorative glazing options 

Having this much flexibility in design means that the motorised glazing system can be specified to meet the needs of each individual project, from preventing overheating to achieving the perfect aesthetic. 

double height automated glazing in glazing showroom UK
double height motorised sliding door pane

Other Motorised Glazing Sytems From minimal windows®

The minimal windows vertical sliding sash window can also be motorised for ease of opening and closing.  

Our vertical sash window is often specified as a double height system, as the possibility of such large sizes makes it the ideal solution for maximising natural light and views in double height living spaces.  

A perfect example of this is our Camlet Way project, which used three double height, motorised vertical sash windows to maximise natural light in the main living space of the luxury home. 

What Next?

If you would like to see our motorized sliding door and motorized vertical sash window in person, then book your visit to the IQ Glass showroom.  

As the sole UK suppliers of minimal windows, the IQ showroom has a double height motorized sliding door pane and double height motorized vertical sash window, both of which reach nearly 6.5m tall and are easily operated by the touch of a button.  

For more information on motorised sliding doors or to see them in person, contact the team today.