Sliding Door vs Hinged Door: What's the Difference?
Which is better, a sliding door or a hinged door? While both styles can provide great functionality and design appeal, there are important differences to consider before making a decision. In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of both doors. Whether you're looking for a new external door or an internal door, we've got you covered. Let's get started!
What are Sliding Doors?
Sliding doors are an entryway option often seen in both residential and commercial properties. Sliding doors are often used in modern homes as they can be aesthetically pleasing and provide easy access between two rooms or spaces. They’re often made of glass or other lightweight materials such as aluminium or PVC, making them ideal for living areas like patios, balconies, and conservatories.
Sliding doors also save space since they don't need clearance for people to walk through them, making them ideal for small or narrow openings where a regular door would take up too much space. This makes them perfect for small rooms or tight spaces as they don’t take up any valuable floor space when opened.
What are Hinged Doors?
Hinged doors are also a popular choice found in both residential and commercial properties. A hinged door opens by swinging away from the frame when opened. This door has a hinge located on its edge that attaches it to either the side of the doorway or to an adjacent surface. Depending on their size and application, these doors can be single doors, double doors, or bi-folding doors.
Hinged doors are usually made from a range of materials including timber, metal, and glass, providing benefits for energy efficiency, soundproofing, and aesthetics. They provide the user with convenient security thanks to locks that can be conveniently fastened to them too. Overall, hinged doors present an efficient and attractive solution for a variety of entrances.
Sliding Door vs Hinged Door - Key Differences
While both styles can provide great functionality and design appeal, there are important differences to consider before making a decision.
Visually speaking, sliding doors typically feature one wide, glass panel that moves horizontally along a track when opened and closed. In contrast, hinged doors open inwards or outwards towards the outside space and are typically segmented into two panels connected by one or more hinges. Unless they are fully mirrored or composed of glass panels, they often don't offer as much visibility and brightness to a space as sliding doors do.
Sliding doors fit snugly into their frames and they create a more consistent thermal seal than hinged doors. This often leaves small gaps when closed, which means less cool air escapes from your home. In addition, because sliding door panels don't need to open outwards or be swung open, it makes them ideal for those looking for improved energy efficiency for their indoor comfort.
Ease of Access
Sliding doors are much easier for people with mobility issues to use, as there is no need to open or close the door. Users can simply push or pull the door along its track. Additionally, areas with restricted space would benefit from sliding doors because they can be opened without needing additional space around them. Hinged doors, on the other hand, require extra effort as the user needs to open and close the door handle before entry or exit can take place.
Sliding doors move side-to-side or in a pocket without any outward swing, while hinged doors swing inwards or outwards from a hinge affixed to one side of the doorframe. This creates opportunities for different configurations and designs. With hinged doors, you can install French door systems with multiple panels stacked together. Sliding doors provide more flexible use of space because they require significantly less clearance than swinging models and don't interfere with walkways or furniture arrangements.
Sliding doors offer excellent space-saving potential as they don't interfere with an opening's interior design because they remain intact on the wall when opened. Hinged doors can require a large amount of space depending on how wide they are and how far away from the wall they swing open. However, hinged doors are also an effective use of space, some styles have outward openings which push against the wall rather than inward, essentially allowing it to remain free from obstruction.
Sliding doors offer unobstructed access to the room, without any hinges getting in the way. They are available in a variety of frames and can be installed using pocket or exposed sliding systems for an easy aesthetic. Hinged doors provide a more traditional or formal look with layered moulding, completed with hardware such as latch sets and handles. There are endless materials to choose from to get the desired style for any room or property, including wood, glass, and metal designs.
With sliding doors, the threshold acts as an anchor. It secures the frame and keeps it intact with the wall when being operated by holding its weight in place tightly. On the other hand, hinged doors use the threshold to keep them steady and balanced when open or shut. Its uneven alignment distributes pressure, creating a more stable design than what is offered by sliding doors.
Sliding doors are often seen as a more expensive option compared to traditional hinged doors. They generally require additional hardware, such as tracks and rollers, which can increase the cost of installation and their long-term maintenance if they experience wear and tear. However, when viewed in the long term, sliding doors typically have lower energy costs than similarly sized hinged doors due to their design which keeps air from escaping more effectively.
Pros and Cons of Sliding Doors
Sliding doors have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their sleek look, space-saving advantages, and convenience. As these doors slide instead of swing, you need a lot less room than with the other doors, allowing you to maximise your living or workspace. Sliding doors are also easier and quicker to open and close than traditional hinged doors and can be used as an entryway from both sides, making them ideal for busy households or workplaces with frequent activities.
Although sliding doors usually come with lots of benefits for homeowners, there are a few disadvantages of a sliding door that should be considered as well. They don’t provide much insulation, as they don’t form as tight a seal against drafts when shut as hinged doors do. Also, homeowners should stay aware that even though sliding door hardware is built very sturdy, it still needs to be maintained regularly in order to keep it running smoothly and prevent any potential jamming issues over time.
Pros and Cons of Hinged Doors
Hinged doors have many advantages. On the positive side, they can easily open into a room while also providing an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Hinged doors are also relatively easy to install, cheaper than other types of doors, and energy efficient. The ability to customise their appearance makes them even more desirable.
However, there are some drawbacks to hinged doors as well. They can be difficult to open and close if not correctly balanced, often require routine maintenance for upkeep, and must be wide enough for the swing of the door when opening. Additionally, if there is an obstruction in its way it can prevent it from opening or closing properly.
Both sliding and hinged doors can be easily customised with door handles, locks, and other hardware. Ultimately, the best option for your home will depend on your needs and preferences. Sliding doors can provide a modern look, but hinged doors offer more security and durability.
If you are still unsure about which door to select from the two, contact our door expert today, to help you make an informed decision about which type of door is best for your home!
FAQs on Sliding door vs Hinged door
Are sliding doors hard to maintain?
Sliding doors often seem like a low-maintenance and convenient option, but in reality, they can require a bit of upkeep to stay in good condition. The track that the door slides along can accumulate dirt and debris over time which can reduce its smooth operation.
Are sliding doors good for winter?
Sliding doors are a great asset when it comes to our winter homes. Not only do they add aesthetic charm that can brighten up our homes, but also provide extra insulation and convenience. These doors conserve heat produced from inside the house and can also reduce the chilling drafts that flow in from outside due to tightly sealed frames.
Are sliding doors better than normal doors?
Sliding doors are a great alternative to regular doors, as they can be used in tight spaces and save a lot of valuable space. Not only are sliding doors much easier to use, they don't require as much space to open and close and require less energy to operate compared to regular doors.
Where are hinged doors used?
Hinged doors have been a staple in homes, offices, and public buildings for centuries. The versatility of this clever invention means that it can be employed in any number of settings, from the interior doorways of residential homes to large factory entrances and even garden gates.
What is a double hinged door?
A double-hinged door is an entryway that has two hinged panels instead of one. Unlike a single hinged door, a double-hinged door revolves around two separate hinges and requires additional engineering and design considerations due to the additional weight placed on the fastenings and framing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SHABANA KAUSER
Shabana Kauser is the dynamic owner of Emerald Doors, the famous door-selling company in the UK with immense knowledge and experience in working with architecture, interior design, and home decor. She continues to share tips and technical know-how of balancing interior elements, door fittings, room aesthetics, and the like. Personally, she loves coffee, always dabbling with several blends.