Thursday August 18, 2022

How to Find the Best Sliding Glass Doors

by Joann Whetstine

Do the patio doors you have in your home fit your needs? When you purchased your home, you may not have given a lot of thought to the style and type of doors you had, but, there are a number of things to consider if it’s time for replacement patio doors.

This article will focus specifically on sliding glass patio doors and how to find the best one to suit your home. From aluminum to fiberglass and vinyl, each material type can help provide a grand entrance to your patio and help you achieve your goals for outdoor living.

Dark Sliding glass patio doors are featured from an exterior view with a pergola covered patio with an outdoor kitchen with grill and wet bar.

New Sliding Glass Door Questions to Ask Yourself

When thinking about which sliding patio door is best for you, we recommend asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I want to retain the original size of my current patio door or expand the opening for increased daylight or air flow?
  2. How important is durability and ongoing maintenance?
  3. Am I looking for increased energy efficiency?
  4. How important is indoor-outdoor living?

Identifying the elements that are important to you is an important first step. Now, let’s look closer at patio door materials to help you narrow down your options.

1) Vinyl Sliding Glass Doors

Vinyl sliding glass doors are a great solution for either replacement patio doors, or new construction. Sliding doors work well in tight spaces or situations where your furniture is close to the door, whereas swing doors need the area clear for the door to open to the inside or exterior. Vinyl looks beautiful on a variety of architectural home styles and can even be ordered with a painted frame color for additional design flair. Vinyl is also exceptionally energy efficient, durable and requires very little maintenance.

2) Fiberglass Sliding Glass Doors

Fiberglass sliding patio doors are extremely strong and low maintenance. They are durable, energy efficient and can add a touch of elegance to any home. Milgard offers a fiberglass French-style sliding patio door in four exterior frame colors to match your home beautifully. The interior color can be white, or, choose to match the interior and exterior frame colors on Black Bean, Bark or Harmony (shown in photo).

Tan Ultra Series Fiberglass sliding glass doors featured in a kitchen dark blue cabinetry and an island with tan cabinets with three pendant lights

3) Aluminum Sliding Glass Doors

Aluminum sliding glass patio doors can give your home a contemporary feeling. If you are remodeling, consider adding sidelites and transoms for additional light and ventilation to create a wall of windows around your patio door (as pictured). The narrow frames and clean lines help you maximize your view and the strength and stability of aluminum make it a great choice for replacement or new construction projects.

Dark Aluminum Sliding Glass Doors Exterior View into office area with transom windows above and on sides

4) Moving Glass Walls Sliding Patio Doors

Glass walls are really stunning and have been gaining in popularity due to their ability to help expand living areas, supporting the indoor-outdoor living trend. They come in three operating styles: Bi-Fold, Pocket, Stacking, and each has its benefits, depending on how you plan to use the space. For example, the panels of a pocket door completely disappear from view when the door is fully open, because they tuck into the wall itself. With stacking doors, each panel stacks on top of the other as you open it (pictured below). And, bi-fold doors are bottom, instead of top loaded, which works well for remodeling projects when you don’t want to add a structural header to carry the doors weight.

AX550 Dark Bronze Moving Glass Wall Exterior View with large dark windows and green plants

We would love to know more about your project and which sliding glass patio door is your favorite. With custom sizes available and options that suit replacement, remodeling or new home construction, the possibilities are wide open when choosing the best sliding glass patio door for your home. If you need more inspiration, download our free guide with “6 Essential Tips for Choosing New Patio Doors” or browse our photo gallery.

6 Essential Tips for Choosing New Patio Doors

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Leave a comment


vinyl sliding glass door

Thanks for letting me know that vinyl sliding doors look nice on architectural home styles. My husband and I just moved into a new house. We want to replace the back door, so maybe we'll use a vinyl sliding glass door.

Vinyl Glass Doors!

I liked that you talked about different kinds of glass doors, and I loved the vinyl sliding glass door and the fact that it fits best in smaller places where the furniture is closer to the door. I've been wanting to remodel my house and glass doors are a must in our living room! I loved the vinyl doors so I'll make sure to look more into them, thank you!

install a sliding glass door

I just built a patio so I want to install a sliding glass door for it soon. I like your point about how aluminum patio doors have a narrow frame that lets you maximize your view space. I'll definitely consider this option so it's easier to see the whole yard from inside.

Great advice on sliding doors

My husband and I have some sliding doors on our home that connect to the patio but recently they've been getting stuck, and we're thinking of repairing or replacing them. Your article had some great information regarding this, and I liked how you said to consider aluminum sliding doors as these are strong and stable, and their narrow frames maximize our view. Thanks; we'll keep this in mind when getting sliding glass doors.

Vinyl glass doors require very little maintenance

It caught my attention when you said that vinyl glass doors require very little maintenance and durable. As you said, they are energy efficient too. My husband and I are interested in having a patio glass door installed for us. We want to make sure that we can separate the exterior part of our house from the indoor part without negatively affecting the aesthetic appeal of our house. We'll be sure to find a glass door company that offers vinyl glass doors so we can save money on repairs and replacements in the long run.

architectural style

You got me when you said that vinyl sliding glass doors can improve the architectural style of your house and are energy efficient. The house that we bought has a sliding door around its patio area. We noticed that it has minor cracks, so we are looking at our options. We'll be sure to consider having it repaired so we can benefit from its modern look.

Maintenance is also important

I think along with buying a best sliding door it is also important to understand that its maintenance is also important. Always hire professionals if you think that any repair is necessary.

Types of Sliding Glass Doors

Nice and informative blog written on sliding glass doors.

Which sliding glass door is right for me

This is really helpful when trying to decide which door is right for me. This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about sliding glass doors. Thanks for sharing.

modern feeling

It's great to know that glass doors can give a modern feeling. My wife wants to replace our patio door with sliding glass this year. We'll have to find a good contractor soon to have it installed.


Discover just how affordable Milgard Windows & Doors can be.

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