USA: Sliding Doors: Sliding Door Manufacturers
ABOUT SLIDING DOORS
Sliding Doors may be used internally, as individual doors or as room dividers. They may also be used as exterior doors. The most critical part of the sliding door is the sliding door track. This needs to be selected to carry the required weight, and may be in single, dual, or triple track form. Special door hardware, including door handles, is needed. Sliding doors may take the form of a sliding folding door, this has the advantage of opening the whole side of a room to the outside. Sliding doors are usually made of wood or fiberglass; sliding glass doors are also available.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TYPE
There are three main applications: closet doors, internal doors, and external doors. In all cases the door may be made up of panels which slide over each other (bypass doors) or may have a folding construction, where each door panel is hinged to the next, so that the door can fold up in concertina fashion.
Choosing sliding closet doors
When choosing closet doors, you need to consider the mechanism, the material, and the style. The simplest mechanism is the bypass door, with the doors suspended from overhead tracks and kept in place with a locator track below. There are normally two tracks, allowing just under half of the area to be opened at any one time. To provider a larger opening, three tracks can be used, so that for each section of three doors two-thirds can be opened at any one time. The alternative mechanism is the folding door, or bi-fold door. This consists of a number of vertical door panels, which are hinged together, and which are each suspended at one edge from an overhead track. They can then be opened in concertina fashion, with pairs of doors folding into the room. Although this type of mechanism is rather more complicated and liable to failure, it does have the advantage that the whole of the area can be opened up at the same time.
Sliding closet doors are available in a wide range of materials including solid wood, medium density fiberboard, and glass. The medium density fiberboard may be painted or provided with wood veneer; it may also be decorated with recessed moldings. Glass for doors may be clear, white, colored, or mirrored. Some manufacturers offer a faux suede finish for sliding closet doors; this gives a soft, warm, feel to the bedroom.
In terms of style, we would strongly recommend adopting a style for the sliding closet doors which is consistent with the style of the house. Decorative doors, with traditional moldings, will not look well in a modern building. For an older building, we would advise taking your style guidance from the designs of the existing internal doors and windows. This will help the sliding closet doors to blend into look of the whole room.
Choosing sliding internal doors
Sliding, as opposed to hinged, internal doors are used in two main cases. Firstly, they are used in small rooms such as store rooms off kitchens, where there is not room for a hinged door to swing. Secondly, they can be used in the form of double pocket doors to create an opening between two rooms. This needs to be done when the building is built, as it is very difficult to retro-fit. Pocket doors slide away into the thickness of the wall, providing a clear and attractive opening between pairs of rooms.
Sliding internal doors are available in the same range of materials and finishes as conventional hinged doors.
Choosing sliding external doors
Sliding external doors are used to provide glazed openings between living rooms and the outside yard or patio. They are double glazed to reduce heat gain and heat loss; lower emission glass may be used for improved energy performance. Sliding external doors are available in wood, vinyl, and aluminum. We would advise using the material which is consistent with the other doors and windows of the house, so that the external sliding doors blend in with the look of the house as a whole. In the case of wood, well-seasoned hardwood should be used, to avoid twisting or warping. Vinyl is an economical and practical option, but tends to have thick frames, and can look rather cheap; it is now available in wood-like colors as well as white. Aluminum is a popular and practical material for sliding external doors; it can be supplied powder coated in a wide range of colours, which tends to look much better, particularly in an older house, compared to bare aluminum. An expensive but attractive option is wood clad with aluminum. This provides a maintenance-free aluminum surface on the outside, combined with a warm and attractive solid wood surface on the inside.
LEADING USA MANUFACTURERS
The leading manufacturers selected by Abacus Construction Index, which are described below, have comprehensive websites, with information on all aspects of sliding doors, including online catalogs, specifications, colours and materials for sliding doors, and care and maintenance.
Bartels USA. Bartels USA supplies custom interior doors and door hardware, as well as an inventory of wood doors and barn door hardware. It specialises in high quality products imported from Germany, and has a showroom in the Design Centre of the Americas, in Dania Beach, Florida. The Bartels philosophy is to supply doors that do not simply perform a function, but raise the concept of the door to something extraordinary. Bartels USA sliding interior door hardware is suitable for glass, wood, and laminate doors.
Johnson Hardware. Johnson Hardware, based in Elkhart, Indiana, is a leading manufacturer of sliding hardware. The product range is grouped into: Pocked Sliding Door Hardware, Wall Mount Sliding Door Hardware, Sliding Bypass Door Hardware, Sliding Multi-Pass Door Hardware, Bi-Folding Door Hardware, and Multi-Folding Shutter Hardware. Johnson Hardware's Wall Mounted Door Hardware is available in two versions, to carry doors of up to 200 pounds or 300 pounds. It comprises a heavy-duty extruded aluminium box track, and 3-wheel hangers with ball bearings. The Johnson Hardware website contains a comprehensive information section, with articles on: Application Guide, Image Gallery, Customer Photos, Quality Control, and downloadable Parts List. There are also downloadable installation instructions for each type of door hardware.
Kestrel. Kestrel, based in Stowe, Pennsylvania, has been manufacturing interior and exterior shutters and doors, including sliding doors, since 1989. Their wood shutters, closet doors, and folding screen room dividers are made to order in the factory in Stowe. All Kestrel products are made in their own factory from hardwood, joined with deep pocket mortise and tenon joints, which are pegged for greater durability. Product categories in the Kestrel website include: Exterior Shutters (based on historically accurate American and European designs), Interior Shutters, Closet Doors, Louvered Doors, Board & Batten Shutters, Folding Screens, Plantation Shutters, Bifold Doors and Sliding Closet Doors. Other sections of the Kestrel website include: Photo Gallery, Blog, Testimonials, Shutter Quote, and Door Quote.
Kristrack. Kristrack, of Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, is a manufacturer of sliding and bifold door track for residential and light commercial applications, with associated hardware and accessories. It is a division of A.K. Draft Seal Ltd, which specialises in the manufacture of weatherstrips and thresholds. Kirstrack sliding doors are available in knock down, half knock down, and ready made form. The Kristrack website is organized into the following main sections: Pocket Door Frames, Sliding Track, Bifold Door Track, Hardware & Accessories, and Hardware for Exterior Folding Doors. Kristrack sliding track is available to carry doors weighing between 60 pounds and 440 pounds, and is available in single, dual and triple track. Accessories include Pulls, Latches, and Knobs for sliding doors. The Kristrack website contains photo galleries for doors and windows.
Raydoor. Raydoor was founded in New York city in 2000 by furniture designer Luke Siegel. It manufactures sliding doors and walls, with laminate frames and translucent acrylic panels. The laminate frames are available in: Maple, Memphis Cherry, Brown Cypress, Metallic Muslin, and Brushed Aluminum. The sliding door panels are available in Clear Frosted, Opal Frosted, or Oyster Linen. Six horizontal lattice design options are available for sliding doors, with one to five bars. All bars are evenly spaced on the front and back of the panel. In addition to single track, dual and triple track is available. Raydor doors are aimed at clients who appreciate a modern, functional aesthetic, but also value the hand-craftsmanship of fine furniture. Raydor offer doors with the warmth appropriate to the personal setting of a home or private office; they also offer doors compatible with the cool, clean appearance of a contemporary public space such as a corporate conference room.
OTHER RELATED PRODUCTS
Publisher: Abacus Construction Index is a professionally edited directory of recommended construction websites, published by Extonet Ltd. It is financed only by Google advertising; no payment is received from included websites.