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Sliding Door Costs & Types

While there are a plenty of different door types on the market, many homeowners are drawn to the sleek and attractive look of sliding doors. Sliding doors, sometimes called gliding doors, work by moving from side to side on wheels along a straight track. They can be functional and practical as well as appealing, but they may not always be the best choice. Use this cost guide to learn more about the benefits of sliding doors, the drawbacks, the various materials that can be used for this door type, upgrades and variations on the style and what homeowners should know about installation.

The Costs

  • Average Minimum Cost of Sliding Doors: $200 per door

  • Average Maximum Cost of Sliding Doors: $2,500 per door

Benefits of Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are perhaps one of the most appreciated doors that can be used in residential homes, and it has a lot to do with their aesthetic appeal, their ability to let in lots of light and air and their small footprint. Sliding or gliding doors can stay in the open position without slamming shut like a traditional hinged door, which means that homeowners can enjoy a refreshing breeze or direct sunlight whenever it is desired. This also allows individuals to carry larger pieces of furniture into the home than they could with a more traditionally-sized door. The look of sliding doors is also appealing, especially if there is a large glass pane to let in natural sunlight and facilitate views of the outdoors. Finally, sliding doors are so appealing because they don't have hinges and can therefore take up less space in the home.

Drawbacks of Sliding Doors

Unfortunately, even the most attractive and upscale sliding doors do have some drawbacks. Among them are that sliding doors can slip off the track and require realignment, and glass panes in sliding doors may not be durable. Lots of natural sunlight might translate to greater passive solar gain, andglass may need more cleaning and regular maintenance. Sliding doors are more expensive than many traditional doors, and installation may take longer and be more challenging.

Best Places to Use Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are very versatile, and they can be used as both interior and exterior doors within the home. The most popular way to use sliding doors, and glass sliding doors in particular, is as a door between an indoor living space and an outdoor patio. When the door is fully open, it creates a large indoor and outdoor dual space that brings together the best of both worlds. Another common use for sliding doors is in built-in closets. The lack of hinges allows homeowners to have more space to utilize as the closet rather than wasting it on a traditional hinged door that swings open and closed.

Vinyl Sliding Doors

There are a number of different materials that can be used to construct sliding doors, but vinyl is one of the least expensive and most popular. Vinyl or PVC sliding doors are affordable, readily available in standard sizes from most building and retail stores and are designed to last for long periods of time without damage, rust or fading colors. Vinyl is also easy to keep clean, and it typically requires very little in terms of maintenance. However, vinyl is not aesthetically appealing to everyone, despite the sheer number of textures and colors that can be selected for vinyl sliding doors.

Aluminum Sliding Doors

Sliding doors made from aluminum are among the strongest and more durable options on the market. They slide well along the tracks and can be one of the easiest types of doors to install. Despite their strength, aluminum doors are naturally lightweight, which makes them easier to remove from the tracks if realignment is ever necessary in the future. In addition, aluminum sliding doors are a very affordable option, which is a big plus for anyone on a limited budget. However, this type of door may not insulate as well as materials like wood or vinyl.

Wooden Sliding Doors

In terms of natural beauty, wood often takes first prize among sliding door materials. Offering warmth and appeal, wooden sliding doors are beautiful when installed either as a simple closet door or as the bridge between the patio and the interior living space. Wood is also a great thermal insulator, which ensures that the home is as energy-efficient as possible. The price is perhaps the biggest drawback of wooden sliding doors, but even that is avoidable by opting for a wooden veneer over a door made from a material like steel or vinyl. This compromise gives homeowners the appeal of wood with the durability and affordability of a much cheaper material.

Upgrades That Influence Total Cost

Sliding doors are available in a variety of designs, materials and styles. For that reason, the cost of them can fluctuate substantially based on a number of different factors. Size is perhaps the biggest influence on the cost of a sliding door, and larger doors that need to be customized will be the most expensive of all. If glass is used in sliding doors, as is common for exterior doors, the cost will depend on the insulation and thickness of the glass. Thicker glass or double paneling may cost more upfront, but the energy savings may help buyers recoup their expenditure within a few years. If screens are used along with glass, the price of the total installation will also rise. Finally, whether the sliding doors are being replaced entirely or installed with new tracks will play a role in the final cost of the project.

What Homeowners Should Know About Sliding Door Installation

For most homeowners, installing a sliding door is something beyond their comfort level. Many door businesses, as well as independent installation companies, will provide professionals that install sliding doors at the home for an additional cost. Typically, a single sliding door will take roughly four hours to install, and that will cost between $100 and $300 depending on the provider.

Last updated on Apr 23, 2014

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