What are stacker doors?
Stacker doors (also referred to as 'stacking doors') look like sliding doors, but contain more moving panels. A simple example of a stacker door can be found in many glass shower screens, where of a three panel door, two of the panels slide back and stack on top of the first. These doors are normally made of glass with aluminium framing to give strength and allow plenty of light into the shower stall.
How do stacker doors work?
The doors consist of long and relatively narrow panels which slide on a wide rail with several channels to keep them separated. There are stops connected to the inside edges of the panels to allow them to engage the next panel in sequence when opening, and to push it back when closing. When they're used as external doors, sliding door type locks are used to secure them.
If the stacker doors are made of glass, they generally need to feature glass manifestations - intentional, obvious markings to stop people from accidentally smashing straight through them.
Where are stacker doors used?
Stacker doors often feature as vista viewing doors that can be opened up in summertime, while remaining tightly secured against the weather in winter. Because the panels stack, they don’t need as much room as hinged varieties once opened. This is also why they're ideal for shower screens and as wardrobe doors.
What variations are there on stacker doors?
Depending on the purpose of the door, the glass in the panels may be opaqued in some manner or be kept perfectly clear. Transparent panels may allow for vista views, but may not be welcomed in the shower.
The framing for the doors is normally made of aluminium, though wooden frames are often used for doors on the outside of the house because they're considered more attractive and conduct less heat. Western red cedar is a particularly attractive and sturdy wood for this type of door.
If you're considering stacker doors as external doors for your home, it's also worth remembering that heat travels very easily through single-glazed, untreated glass. Stacker doors that use double glazing units, low-e glass or solar window film will help significantly to control heat loss.