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What Are Some Different Types of Sliding Doors?

C. Ausbrooks
C. Ausbrooks

Sliding doors open horizontally by sliding along a track. They are mounted on or suspended from the track and slide in either direction on roller wheels. There are many different types of sliding doors available to consumers today.

Pocket doors are sliding doors used most commonly in areas where there is no room for a hinged door. A pocket door slides along its own length and disappears into a compartment, or pocket, in the adjacent wall. The rollers are typically located on an overhead track, although they are available with floor tracks.

Shoji screens have been used in Japan for centuries.
Shoji screens have been used in Japan for centuries.

These doors are used in many applications, including bathrooms, closets, offices, utility rooms, or other areas of the home where space constraints inhibit the use of traditional doors. They are sometimes used to create an architectural effect and can be found in both single and double door varieties.

Arcadia doors are another popular type of sliding doors. They are rectangular in shape and made of glass. An Arcadia sliding door is mounted on rollers parallel to a fixed glass panel of similar shape. It aligns with the adjacent glass panel when fully open and slides back into place when closed.

These doors are used most frequently as a barrier between the interior and exterior of a home, usually leading to a backyard or patio area. In this application, an Arcadia door is also called a patio door. The name is derived from an affluent manufacturer of this particular type of sliding doors.

Bypass doors are sliding doors often used for closets and pantries. They slide past and behind one another when open. When closed, they stand adjacent to one another and effectively block the opening or entrance. Bypass doors are fitted into tracks at both the top and bottom of the door frame.

Other types of sliding doors include louvered or shuttered, mirrored, French and shoji screens. Louvered or shuttered doors are typically used to cover storage closets, utility rooms or pantries. They have the look of real shutters and usually have two doors that slide inward from a central point.

Mirrored doors are technically a sub-type of sliding doors. They can be found as both pocket and bypass doors. They are usually installed in bedroom closets to give the room a larger feel. They also serve the dual purpose of providing a full length dressing mirror in the room.

French doors, although typically swinging, are now available in sliding variations to save space. These are traditional French doors modified to slide instead of swing forward into a room.

Shoji screens are another type of sliding door. They are made of wood and translucent paper and have been used by the Japanese for centuries. They have many uses but have become popular in contemporary design with Asian influences. They are most often seen opening onto garden or backyard areas.

Discussion Comments


@heavanet- I don't think you need to spend a lot of money on your sliding doors for your patio, because even those that are value priced are attractive and do the job. If you look for inexpensive models that are also on sale, you may potentially save hundreds of dollars on your new doors.


@heavant- There are many types of sliding glass doors for patios, so the style you choose really depends on your taste and budget.

Some manufacturers make sliding patio doors that have blinds built inside the two layers of glass. These doors are great because they are convenient and attractive. Another benefit that they offer is that the blinds stay clear of dirt and dust, so cleaning them is one less thing you have to worry about.

If you are on a strict budget, sliding patio doors with built in blinds may be off your list because they can be a bit costly. There are many types of inexpensive sliding exterior doors to choose from at most home improvement stores.


Does anyone have some suggestions for choosing the best sliding doors for patios? I have to replace mine, and I am at a loss about which style to buy.

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    • Shoji screens have been used in Japan for centuries.
      By: jpskenn
      Shoji screens have been used in Japan for centuries.