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Terminology for Sliding Glass Doors

When specifying a minimally framed sliding door, it is important to understand all the terminology used. There are also various names given to slim sliding doors that essentially all mean the same thing.  

Here we go through some of the most commonly used terms used for sliding glass doors and specification.  

sliding doors

The various names used for slim sliding glass doors.

We would refer to the design of the Keller minimal windows solutions as a slim sliding glass door or an ‘ultra slim’ sliding glass door.  

This name ticks all the boxes.  

The frames are slim, the door slides, and they are mainly made of glass. The NextGeneration Slider – View actually offers 99.3% glass within the opening, showcasing the minimal nature of the framing used. 

However various specifiers, architects and designers may refer to these types of structurally bonded glass doors in a different way. 


Structurally bonded glass doors 

Structural bonding is the process by which metal (or another material) is chemically adhered to the glass. With the Keller minimal windows systems, the glass and frame are structurally bonded together. This is part of what allows the frames to be so minimal and also contributes towards the high security and performance statistics that can be achieved. 

A structurally bonded glass door is any form of glass door which uses structural bonding to engineer and create the glass door. Care must be taken when specifying structurally bonded glass doors. The process of structurally bonding minimal profiles onto large elevations of glass is a highly technical and precision process that must only be completed in factory settings and by experts. Structural bonding should not occur on site and any structurally bonded system should come to site with the profiles already attached to the glass. 

All of the Keller minimal window solutions are structurally bonded, including the pivot doors and vertical sash windows.  


Frameless Sliding Glass Doors 

As the name suggests, this term refers to sliding glass doors that have no frame. Although, many specifiers will use the term when looking for a sliding glass door that has as little frame as possible.  

When you search for the term ‘frameless sliding glass door’ you will find lots of examples of internal glass doors. That is because for a glass door have any form of weather tightness and thermal insulation the sliding door will need at least a small amount of frame. True frameless sliding glass doors can only be used internally or on spaces where no weather rating is required. 

A minimal frame – as seen in the NextGeneration Slider View – is required to weather-seal the sliding glass doors together. The sliding glass doors go from floor to ceiling and wall to wall with no frame, so the vertical interlock is the only element of frame you see. This is the closest option for a frameless sliding glass door you will get for an external sliding door with high performance.  


Slimline Sliding Doors 

slimline sliding door is actually a specific product however, many sliding doors suppliers will use this term to refer to the slim nature of their frames. 

Sliding doors can be referred to a slim line when they exhibit very minimal sight lines. However, the term is not specific and cannot be used to equal different sliding door systems across the market. 


Slim Patio Doors 

Slim patio doors is a another phrase used as a general term to describe a sliding patio door with minimal frame. The traditional look of a patio door is quite chunky and cumbersome. The term patio door brings forward visuals of white U-PVC sliders to the rear of the house.  

Slim sliding doors like minimal windows are a completely different class of sliding door with thermally broken aluminium frames and structurally bonded profiles onto high specification glass. However due to the high use of the term patio door to refer to any door at the rear of a property, the term slim patio door could be used to describe these types of systems.  


Glass Sliding Doors 

Glass sliding doors is another variation of terminology used to describe the same type of door. As the name suggests a glass sliding door is a sliding door that is made of glass. This could refer to any type of sliding glass door from the slim line systems you see from minimal windows to slightly thicker profiled aluminium doors you see elsewhere. 

Variations of Sliding Glass Doors


When looking for a specific style or configuration of glass doors they can be referred to in a number of ways. 

Sliding Glass Doors by Number of Tracks 

Sometimes specifiers will refer to a sliding glass door by the number of tracks that they have. This shouldn’t be confused with the number of sliding panels that is within a sliding glass door. Thanks to the bespoke engineering and flexible nature of the minimal windows door, you could have multiple sliding glass panels that only slide on two or three tracks. 

Additional tracks mean additional depth to the lighting door installation. 


Sliding Glass Doors by the Number of Glass Panels 

A more accurate way to describe a specific glass door configuration would be by the number of glass panels in the elevation. For example, a two pane sliding door or three pane sliding door refers to the number of glass panels that you can see. 

These multi panel glass doors could have a number of different configurations but by referring to them by the number of glass panels it is easier to visualise the design the architect or specifier is looking for.  


An open corner glass door 

An open corner glass door is a sliding glass door that opens at a corner connection. When the glass doors are open there’s no frame left, only open space. Although a typical 90-degree open corner glass door is most popular, the Keller minimal window systems can open on a corner of 65 to 170 degrees depending on the architectural design.  

Open corner glass doors can be an inverted corner or an externally facing corner depending on the design and requirements. 


A pocket sliding glass door 

Pocket sliding glass doors are linear sliding glass panes that can be slid away into a pocket within the building structure. Sliding pocket doors use a specific detail to ensure weather connection and weather tightness between the glass doors and the pocket. You can have any number of glass panels sliding into a pocket however, you need to ensure that the pocket is built to the right size to accommodate them. 


Vertically sliding glass walls 

Slim sliding glass door systems like the Keller minimal window systems can be easily engineered to create vertically sliding glass walls.  

These are sometimes referred to vertical sash windows or guillotine windows. 

They used the same sliding glass door technology with structurally bonded panels however the engineering and sliding action is altered to allow for the different plane of movement. 

Learn more about sliding glass doors.


The world of slim frame sliding glass doors is not simple. Looking at pictures and enjoying the minimal aesthetic that you can see is only part of the process when specifying these types of minimal glass door systems. You need to ensure you know what you’re getting and understand the differences between the systems before making decisions. 

If you are interested in finding out more about the different options available for a sliding glass door contact the team at minimal windows. We will be able to pass you on to the best contact for your area in the UK.