The Ultimate Guide To Sliding Glass Doors

Updated:  May 9, 2024

If you’re looking for information on sliding glass doors, you’ve come to the right place! Use our ultimate guide to sliding glass doors to learn everything you need to know, from the different styles and types, to the best rooms for installation, to security features, and energy efficiency.

What Are Sliding Glass Doors?

View From A Modern Living Room Through Large Sliding Glass Doors To A Backyard With Patio Furniture, Neatly Trimmed Grass, And A Wooden Fence, Under A Clear Sky.

Sliding glass doors, also known as sliding patio doors, are glass doors that open on a horizontal track. They consist of large panels of glass in vinyl or aluminum frames, providing exceptional views. Their design makes it easy to operate even when space is limited. As a result, they can be installed wherever wall space allows.

What Is The Difference Between Sliding Glass Doors And Garden Doors?

There are quite a few differences between sliding glass doors and garden doors.

Sliding glass doors

A Modern Backyard With Artificial Green Grass And A Large Sliding Glass Door On A Brick House, Under A Clear Sky.

Sliding glass doors don’t open on hinges and typically have two or more large glass panels that feature stationary windows and at least one sliding glass panel on a track. Most homes have two panels, one fixed and one operational. They are very cost-effective and provide access to the backyard with uninterrupted expansive views. They also come with heavy-duty screens, designed to keep small kids or large pets safe while allowing you to enjoy cross breezes without the worry of bugs.

Garden doors

View From An Open-Plan Living Room Through Large, White French Doors Showcasing A Landscaped Garden With Lush Greenery And A Neatly Trimmed Lawn.

Garden doors on the other hand are hinged and swing open and closed. Also known as French doors, they require clearance to operate. They typically feature two operational doors, although some might have one operational door combined with a fixed glass panel. They also provide lovely views and can be installed to open outwards or inwards to accommodate space restrictions.

What Are The Best Rooms For Exterior Sliding Glass Doors?

A Family Of Three Stands By Large Sliding Glass Doors In A Modern Living Room, Looking Out At A Garden.

Typically, homeowners install sliding glass doors as an access point between the home and garden or backyard. This would be at the back of the house or in some cases, the side. Sliding glass doors for patios are ideal for homeowners who want the light and views of garden doors but lack the space to accommodate the door swing, whether on the exterior or interior of the home.

How Energy Efficient Are Sliding Glass Doors?

Woman Sitting By An Open Sliding Glass Door, Gazing Out At A Mountain Landscape, Natural Light Filling The Modern Room.

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that ENERGY STAR® sliding glass doors offer one of the best energy savings of all exterior home improvements at an impressive 55%!  They are equally as energy efficient as steel or fiberglass entry doors, using high-quality materials such as low-E glass to keep heat out in the summer and in during the winter.

If you’re unfamiliar with ENERGY STAR®, it is a set of guidelines that direct the Technical Specifications for Residential Windows, Doors, and Skylights sold in Canada. Issued by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the specifications determine the criteria for the ENERGY STAR® initiative and apply to any manufacturer that signs an agreement with NRCan. As a result, when shopping for sliding glass doors, it’s important to look for the ENERGY STAR® label so you know they meet the highest standards of quality and energy efficiency. It’s also important to hire a sliding door installation company like Weaver to ensure the dimensions and specifications are carefully considered to eliminate cracks where cold air can enter your home in the winter.

What Are The Best Styles Of Homes For Sliding Glass Doors?


There really is no limit to the style of home appropriate for sliding glass doors. They are completely customizable with a variety of colours, grilles, and hardware to suit any architectural style. That said, executive homes tend to lend themselves better to the formal look of garden doors. However, when space is an issue, the sliding door can be designed to look like elegant French doors for that more stylish feel.  

Are Sliding Glass Doors Secure?

Close-Up Of Black Handles On A Glass Sliding Door, With Focus On The Foreground And A Blurred Background.

Today’s sliding glass doors are designed with secure features that help keep your home safe. For example, we use a special “D” design on our handles which makes them easy to use but also provides superior security using a twin-point locking system. We can also install top locks and kick locks for added security using bolts that secure the panels to reduce the risk of break-ins. Doors can also be installed with a security bar feature that lies in the sliding track, making it impossible to operate the door when the bar is in place. 

Do The Large Windows Interfere With Privacy?

Frosted Panels On Sliding Glass Doors

If you want the natural light and convenience of sliding glass doors but are concerned about privacy, there are several privacy glass options to suit your needs, including attractive yet private textured and frosted designs. 

What Are The Different Styles Of Sliding Glass Patio Doors?

Modern Patio Area Of A House With Sliding Glass Doors Opening To A Dining Set Inside, Overlooking A Grassy Field Under A Clear Blue Sky.

Sliding glass patio doors are completely customizable, allowing you to create the ideal style for your home. For example, our doors can be tailored to your taste with the following style options:

Colours & Finishes

The beauty of vinyl sliders is that they are exceptionally low maintenance without the worry of colours fading or paint peeling and cracking. Vinyl colours remain true because the vinyl material is “tinted” through and through. As a result, even scratches or gouges do not remove the colour. Our vinyl sliding glass doors allow you to colour coordinate to suit the interior or exterior of your home, with a selection that can be as bold or subtle as you desire, including:

  • White
  • Blue white
  • Pearl gray
  • Beige
  • Forest green
  • Heron blue
  • Burgandy
  • Black


You can match your sliding glass panels to your home’s windows, or design your door with the elegant look of French doors using grilles. They can be installed either externally or internally and come in the same colours as your frames or in an assortment of metal finishes.


The ergonomic “D” handles are available in four finishes, so you can easily match your style and decor.

How Heavy Are Sliding Glass Doors?

Modern Living Room With Large Sliding Doors Open To A Deck,

Sliding doors are heavy for security and durability yet are designed with functional track hardware for easy operation. The rollers glide smoothly and quietly in the track, and the ergonomic “D” handles are easy to grip.

Ready to schedule a free quote for your new sliding glass doors? Click here to get in touch!


garden doors, patio doors, sliding glass doors

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Weaver has over two decades of experience and provides comprehensive installation services for windows, doors, and aluminum in the Barrie region, making it a convenient option for all project sizes.