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Can sliding glass doors open on both sides

When selecting a glass sliding door system, you want to ensure that the system itself is as versatile and adaptable as possible. Whether the glass sliding doors are being used as rear patio doors, or they are providing access from a restaurant to a patio seating area, ensuring that the sliding glass panes can have that flexibility can be important for some specifiers and their clients.

So, can sliding glass doors open on both sides?

The answer is yes. Sliding glass doors can be designed to open on both sides of the opening. You will have to specify this at the design stage of your project so that the glazier will design the sliding door interlocks to allow for this freedom of movement.

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dezeen awards 2022

Why would I specify a glass sliding door that opens on both sides ?

There are many reasons why you might want to specify a glass sliding door that opens on both sides.

The main one is flexibility of use.

A rear glass extension might have a living area on one side of the glass sliding door and a kitchen on the other. Having a sliding glass door that opened on both sides would mean the occupiers could choose which side was open (or open both!).

This methodology of creating a flexible glass door opening can be especially useful when you are creating a large elevation of sliding glass. The ability to open a sliding glass façade in multiple directions will help with the segmenting of the large interior space. The same thought process is the same in reverse – if different areas of the garden or patio outside are used for different activities, you may require that the sliding glass doors open on both sides to allow for this.

Another popular design option for glass sliding doors is to create a sliding pocket door design to fully open the aperture.

By creating a sliding glass door that opens in both directions you increase the usability of both the door system itself, the interior space and the exterior areas.

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What changes to the door design when glass sliding doors open on both sides?

A glass sliding door system has vertical interlockers that connect each sliding glass door panel together. These differ in thickness depending on the system (for minimal windows they are 21mm wide and for minimal windows 4+ they are 26mm wide). They may also differ in depth for a high wind load location for additional strength.

These interlockers provide the weather seal for each panel. When a glass sliding door is designed to open on both sides, the direction of these connections are slightly different. The good thing for the user and designer is that you will not notice the difference. The interlock sizes, depths and widths will be the same and no change in the minimal appearance of the glass sliding doors will be seen.

The other difference you might see when you choose a door that opens in both directions is additional locking.

If you have an electronic locking system for your glass sliding door, then you will have no visual difference to your sliding door elevation. The same electronic controlling device will unlock and lock your doors as would be expected on a single direction sliding door.

If you have a manual lock for your glass sliding doors, then you will see a lock at both ends of the sliding door elevation. This is to lock both ends of the sliding glass in place.

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Which glass sliding door system should i specify to open on both sides?

Both the minimal windows and the minimal windows 4+ sliding door systems can be designed to open on both sides. The slim vertical interlocks and locking systems on both door types have the ability to be engineered into a multi-directional sliding door system for a flexible glass façade.

For help and advice as to which of our sliding glass doors systems would be suitable for your project, get in touch with the team today.

We will also be able to advise on the optimum specification for your glass sliding door and offer advice and guidance to get the most from your glass door installation.

Get in touch with the minimal windows UK team here.