Type of Glass Door – How should I choose?

Type of Glass Door – How should I choose?

Glass doors give indoor spaces a modern look

Are you looking to purchase glass doors for your property? The good news is that there are a wide variety of glass door options available in the modern era. Each of these door types offer distinct advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right glass doors can be tricky, so this guide can help you narrow down your choices to make a suitable selection.

What are Glass Doors?

As their name suggests, glass doors are doors made of glass. These doors usually feature frames made from wood or metal. However, modern glass doors may also feature frames made from special materials such as vinyl.

Benefits of Installing Glass Doors

Glass doors have been around since the early 20th century. Such doors are favored for their modern aesthetic and because they allow light to freely pass through into rooms. The right glass door arrangement can help fill an indoor space with natural light and give it a warmer and more welcoming appearance.

Types of Glass Doors

There are many types of glass doors available in the present day. You may prefer one over the other due to functionality or simply as a personal preference. The various glass door types available include:

Sliding Door

Black sliding doors

Sliding doors are doors that open by sliding horizontally. Such doors could be mounted onto a ground track for guided sliding. Alternatively, they may be suspended from a track above the frame. Sliding doors offer swift and easy access to areas that are commonly used. They are ideal for patios, backyards, and gardens.

Advantages of Sliding Doors
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  • Saves space by sliding along the wall.
  • Easy to move.
  • Can adjust the opening width easily.
  • Disadvantages of Sliding Doors
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  • Prone to collecting fingerprints as users may open them by touching the glass.
  • May develop jamming issues due to dirt and rust along the top and bottom of the frame.
  • Lift Sliding Door

    Lift sliding doors appear similar to ordinary sliding doors at first. However, they feature a mechanism that lifts the door panel off their track before sliding horizontally. They also have a handle to ensure the door locks in place in its closed position. These doors are ideal for patios as they can be opened easily and without using much force.

    Advantages of Lift Sliding Door
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  • Easy to open
  • Creates a great air seal that reduces heat loss
  • Disadvantages of Lift Sliding Door
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  • Mechanism may get stuck and leave the door unable to shut properly or lock
  • Folding Door

    Folding glass doors

    Folding doors feature multiple panels that fold and unfold when opening or closing the door. These doors work great as room dividers in homes. They are also commonly used for wardrobes.

    Advantages of Folding Doors
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  • Folding design makes these doors compact.
  • Add a great aesthetic to indoor spaces.
  • Disadvantages of Folding Doors
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  • Folding design makes these doors compact.
  • Add a great aesthetic to indoor spaces.
  • French Door

    French doors feature glass panes across the majority of their length. They are also called french windows as they tend to resemble tall windows. These doors are commonly used for patios because they add a nice touch to home exteriors.

    Advantages of French Doors
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  • Beautiful appearance.
  • Easy to open and close.
  • Disadvantages of French Doors
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  • Require sufficient space to swing open and close.
  • Poor energy efficiency as the seal between both doors isn’t tight.
  • Hinged Single Door

    Hinge single doors feature a single swinging door. Such doors may have single or multiple glass panels. Hinge single doors are commonly used for shower cubicles and in commercial buildings.

    Advantages of Hinged Single Doors
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  • Quiet to open and close
  • Offer moderately good soundproofing
  • Can install a lock easy
  • Disadvantages of Hinged Single Doors
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  • Requires space to swing open and close
  • Can create vibrations through adjacent panels if used as a partition door
  • Pivot Door

    Pivot doors feature a pivot above center of the door that allows them to turn or swivel. Unlike hinged doors, this design does not require hinges along the door’s sides. They typically use two pivots, with one at the top and one at the bottom of the door. They are frequently used as patio and front-entry doors.

    Advantages of Pivot Doors
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  • Available in larger sizes than other door designs
  • Add a modern look to indoor spaces
  • Disadvantages of Pivot Doors
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  • Do not offer the great seal that traditional hinged doors provide.
  • Pose a finger pinching hazard when closing.
  • Stacking Door

    Stacked doors in a building

    Stacking doors appear similar to ordinary sliding doors at first glance. However, they feature multiple sliding doors in front of each other. These panels may be thinner than the ones used on single panel sliding doors. They are commonly used as vista viewing doors.

    Advantages of Stacking Doors
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  • Take up less space thanks to their panel stacking design.
  • Easy to control airflow into the home or building.
  • Disadvantages of Stacking Doors
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  • Multiple panels can take more time to clean.
  • Sliding mechanism may jam after accumulating rust and grime.
  • Types of Glass Door Frames

    Glass doors are available with different types of frames. It is also possible to find glass doors that are frameless. Let’s examine each of these types.

    Vinyl /uPVC Frames

    Unplasticized polyvinyl chloride or uPVC is a common building material used in residential properties. This compound is used in door frames because it serves as a great substitute for wood while remaining affordable.

    Pros of Vinyl /uPVC Frames

    • Able to withstand cracking, peeling, warping and fading.
    • Great thermal protection thanks to inherent properties of uPVC compound
    • Available in many different styles and colors
    • More affordable than wood and aluminum framed doors

    Cons of Vinyl /uPVC Frames

    • Prone to sagging over time.
    • Appearance may lack character compared to wood

    Aluminum Frames

    Aluminum frames feature frames made from aluminum. Doors with these frames offer many benefits due to the material advantages aluminum provides. They require little maintenance and do not need to be polished. They are also strong and weatherproof, which improves their lifespan.

    Pros of Aluminum Frames

    • Strong and durable.
    • Can withstand environmental elements.
    • Environmentally friendly, as aluminum is easy to recycle.

    Cons of Aluminum Frames

    • May oxidize over time, giving it a worn white appearance
    • Can be stained by prolonged water exposure.
    • Installation can be costly due to welding involved.

    Wood Frames

    Wooden frames are frames made from a type of wood such as pine and cedar. Wood has been used in doors for centuries, and looks even better when in glass door frames. Such frames offer a nostalgic appearance that is considered classic.

    Pros of Wood Frames

    • Versatile, and can be used in most indoor and external applications.
    • Light and durable material that supports its weight well.
    • Absorbs sounds and minimizes echo in indoor spaces.

    Cons of Wood Frames

    • Frame may rot after prolonged contact with water
    • May develop mold and decompose over time
    • Tends to be expensive


    Frameless glass doors typically feature thick tempered glass plates. They often include a thin rail on top and below them. Frameless glass doors are commonly used in restaurants, bars, and cafes. Many shops also use them for their entrance doors.

    Pros of Frameless Glass Doors

    • Allow more light to enter through the space than framed door designs.
    • Help the area they are set up in look more spacious.
    • Do not accumulate mold or rust.
    • Easy to clean.

    Cons of Frameless Glass Doors

    • Tend to be expensive due to the thickness of the glass panel.
    • Do not offer a good seal.
    • May crack or shatter if struck.

    Glass Type

    The glass panels used in glass doors come in many different types. This includes:

    Clear Glass

    As their name suggests, clear glass panels feature a clear appearance that allow you to see through them freely. They allow light to pass through easily, which can help brighten up indoor spaces.

    Frosted Glass

    Frosted glass doors feature a clear glass panel that was turned opaque using acid etching or sandblasting processes. This frosted appearance makes the glass translucent. This partially obscures visibility while still allowing some light to pass through.

    Tinted Glass

    Tinted glass doors feature glass that is made darker through the addition of coloring. This tint could be completely black or shades that are lighter. This type of glass can help make indoor spaces more energy efficient by limiting the amount of heat that enters via sunlight. These tints also limit glare and offer extra privacy in the indoor space they are set up in.

    Reflective Glass

    Reflective glass can be tinted or clear glass that features a thin layer or metal oxide on its surface. This reflective coating provides a mirror-like appearance and can pair well with other building exterior features.

    When set up properly, reflective glass allows you to see outside clearly without letting the inside be visible. This glass type also reflects sunlight, which can help save on energy costs.

    Low-E Glass

    Low emissivity or Low-E glass features a special glazing that improves thermal efficiency. This glass looks similar to ordinary clear glass, but offers energy saving benefits. Low-E glass can also offer better UV protection than clear glass. This can help protect your furniture and family from UV-ray exposure. In addition to this, it offers less glare than clear glass.

    Laminated Glass

    Laminated glass panels are created by bonding one or more layers or glass with special resin. This layer helps hold the glass panels together when struck. Laminated glass doors offer better safety than ordinary glass doors, and are commonly used for shop front doors and conference rooms doors.

    Tempered Glass

    Tempered glass doors use a special type of glass that has undergone thermal or chemical treatments to enhance its strength. This type of glass is commonly used in shower doors as the glass is able to withstand hot water temperatures. Tempered glass tends to break into rounded or cube shaped shards rather than jagged uneven pieces. This makes it safer to install in bathrooms compared to other glass types.

    Ready to Get Started on Your Next Glass Door Project?

    If you are ready to get started on your next glass door project, please contact WANJIA. We are one of the leading producers of glass doors, and also offer a wide variety of other doors and windows. You can see our selection of glass doors at our website.

    We offer high-quality glass doors you can rely on, and at affordable rates. We ensure each of our glass door products are easy to install. Our experts can guide you in both the door selection and installation process. Please contact us today to take the next step in your glass door project.