Olsen considers the options available when creating a window wall
An extended track can be used to increase the size of opening for sliding doors
One of the biggest considerations of specifying folding or sliding doors comes down to a single piece of design: are you after a complete opening with folding doors or do you want as clear a view as possible through the doors all year round?
With folding doors the maximum size of panel you can achieve is generally 1000mm. At centres of this size the mullion spans approximately 150mm, which considerably breaks up any view. With sliding doors, or more pertinently, lift-and-slide doors, widths per panel of up to three metres, or even larger in some cases, can easily be achieved, to optimiseviews out of the home, and the amount of natural light that is admitted.
Where folding doors perhaps surpass sliding doors is that nearly 100 per cent of an opening can be exploited, leading to a free-flowing inside/outside living space. With sliding doors, as much as 50 per cent of the opening space can be lost with a fixed glazed panel, but by using a triple-track sliding system this can be reduced to approximately 33 per cent.
Alternatively special designs can be created for sliding doors so that a sliding panel opens into a pocket or on an extended track. Thus 100 per cent of the opening can be achieved, leading to no loss of open space and to uninterrupted views when the door is closed.
Ultimately however, the use of sliding doors over folding doors is one of personal preference and particular project needs.