What types of doors are made from glass?
The transparency of glass is it's biggest drawcard, and the reason it's often the material of choice in areas with nice views and lots of natural light. Rear and internal sliding doors, stacker doors and bifold doors all regularly containing glass, as do French doors and the doors in shower recesses.
Glass isn't always used as a completely transparent medium though - in many cases a textured glass sliding door can be used to offer a gentle barrier between two areas, or to let light in through a panelled front door without compromising security or privacy.
How are glass doors constructed?
Glass doors in homes are rarely made solely of glass - in most cases, doors either feature large, framed panels of glass, or smaller glass panels set into a predominantly wooden/fibreglass/UPVC door.
For larger applications, such as for a glass panelled sliding door, the panels are laminated and typically contain several thicknesses of glass joined together. These are cut to size and framed before installation. The laminate bonds the glass together to prevent it from shattering in case of breakage, and also helps increase security by making it harder to smash through.
How do glass doors perform?
- Security – Glass is quite fragile and can easily be broken to obtain entry so is usually backed up by a security door if used in a front entranceway. Laminated glass is stronger, and glass alternatives like Plexiglass and Lexan offer much greater strength (at a significant cost).
- Weatherproofing – Glass is highly weather resistant and will not discolour over time, although it does require regular cleaning to maintain its looks.
- Soundproofing – While not perfect, glass does an adequate job of absorbing sound, which is surprising given its relative thickness. Double or triple glazing options or special laminates can also be applied to improve soundproofing.
- Cost – Price is largely determined by what kind of glass is being used, but glass doors are generally more expensive - especially when they require special installation or glazing options.
- Weight – Glass is quite a heavy material and some laminated glass panels may require additional support as a result.
- Thermal insulation – Glass can be responsible for a considerable amount of heat loss, although adding even one additional layer of glass can make an incredible difference to the insulation offered.