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13 Different Types of Sliding Doors

Photo collage of different types of Sliding Doors

Sliding Door Designs

Types of sliding doors chart

Related: Sliding door dimensions


While synchro designs are straightforward, the telescopic may not be by the above illustrations.

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Here’s example of a telescopic sliding door:

telescopic sliding doors

Types of Sliding Doors

Below you will find sliding door ideas for your home.

Bypass Doors

Bypass door

Source: Lowes

Bypass doors have fixed panels that are hung adjacently to each other. Tracks are placed both above and below the frame of the door. They open by sliding in one direction.

Bypass doors are commonly used in closets or even as a way to separate two living spaces for privacy. 

Purchasing one of these bypass sliding doors isn’t going to be difficult, either. These can be bought at a very affordable price, meaning that you can easily put them on closets throughout your entire home.

If you are in need of new closet doors, then it would be to your benefit to consider installing these. The process will be simple and you won’t have to spend too much of your hard-earned money.

Pocket Sliding Doors

Planum 0010 Pocket Sliding Closet Door White Silk (32" x 80")

Source: Amazon

Pocket sliding doors are doors that slide into walls and are convenient for a number of reasons. The most apparent convenience of these doors is that they will disappear into the wall. A pocket sliding door will have a single panel and features no hinges at all. The door slides right into a space in the wall when you need to open it.

This works excellently when you want to have a nice door but are low on space. People use these for closet doors all the time and it works out very conveniently.

Pocket doors can also be excellent for pantries or even bedroom doors so it really just depends on your personal sense of style and preferences. When you are working with limited space, it is sometimes much easier to be able to slide the door into that space in the wall.

Pocket sliding doors themselves come in many different unique looks. You will be able to find a traditional wooden pocket sliding door and they can come in various different wood finishes.

It is also possible to find pocket doors with a more contemporary appeal. These doors originally became popular during the Victorian era so you will see a lot of them that go well with that interior design philosophy.

Depending on the level of your carpentry skills, you may want to seek some assistance in getting this style of door installed. Creating the space for the door to rest inside of the wall isn’t too arduous but if you don’t feel comfortable attempting to do that, then it might be best to call in some help.

Overall, you will have an excellent experience with these pocket doors and they will prove to be invaluable if you are working with limited space. For this reason, it can be worth it even if you have to hire someone to install the door for you.

Sliding Bi-Fold Door

Sliding bi-fold door

Source: Wayfair

There are also some doors that are bi-fold that still act as sliding doors. You will see these doors in pantries incredibly often.

The door will slide to one side when you open it, compacting both halves of the door towards one another. This isn’t as compact or space-saving as the pocket door option but it does work very nicely.

Many people enjoy the aesthetic created by the sliding bi-fold doors. If you want to have the look of a bi-fold door while still wanting to enjoy the convenience of having a sliding door, then this is a great option.

It isn’t something that you will use in too many places in your home but it will work well for your pantry or a closet. These doors can be installed very quickly too, so they are certainly convenient and user-friendly.

Patio Sliding Doors

Sliding exterior doors that open to a panoramic view outdoors.

Patio sliding door

Source: Lowes

Most homes in North America will have a sliding door that leads to the patio if the property features one. When you bring up the term sliding door, most people’s thoughts turn to patio doors immediately.

These doors have become synonymous with the term even though you also see sliding doors used in many other places inside of people’s homes. Everyone loves the convenience of patio sliding doors as they really do look quite nice when paired with a beautiful patio area.

You can find many styles of patio sliding doors but the most common will feature one fixed door panel and a sliding door that acts as the entrance. Some of these doors will be made mostly of thick glass panels to allow people to have a good view of the outside.

These doors are very popular for that reason and many people like having them just for the view. If you want to have the most convenient type of door for getting out to your patio or your deck, then you will want to install one of these as soon as possible.

Some patio doors can be incredibly ornate and others will be made to be more durable. You should think about what your needs are before you make an ultimate purchasing decision.

It is important to consider who is going to be using the door and how safe you need it to be. The more ornate doors may not be quite as durable as some of the other types. It is possible to buy an incredibly sturdy patio sliding door that features really tough glass and this might be your best option if you have children.

For the most part, these patio sliding doors are not difficult to install. If your home already has a doorway, then you may need to make some modifications to account for the size of these doors.

Those who aren’t confident in their carpentry skills may want to reach out to a professional if these types of modifications are needed before installation. Regardless, you will be able to install a really nice patio sliding door in your home at a reasonable price.

Sliding French Doors

Sliding french door

Source: Milgard

When you think of French doors, you probably don’t envision a sliding door. This is normal as the vast majority of all French doors are bi-fold and are made to open and close more traditionally.

There are French doors that make use of sliding techniques to save on space, though. Some of these French doors can even be used as pocket doors, which is very convenient.

One of the reasons why people love installing French doors in their homes so much is that they just look gorgeous. These doors are very ornate and have a sense of style that is all their own.

If you enjoy the look of a French door but don’t have the space to have the type of French door that swings open, then looking into a sliding French door is going to be very appealing. You can have the great look of this type of door without needing to use up too much space.

These doors work great to allow you to create the perfect living space to show off your sense of style. They can be used as patio doors but may also work well in other parts of your house.

It really depends on the situation and what you are looking for in your sliding French doors. Either way, you will be getting fantastic doors that will add a significant amount of charm to whatever room you are putting them in.

Shoji Door

ORIENTAL FURNITURE 7 ft. Tall Zen Shoji Sliding Door Kit - Rosewood

Source: Amazon

Japanese culture has really become incredibly popular in the west. Over the last several decades, many people in the western world have developed a deep appreciation for Japanese culture and that passion has extended into the arena of interior design as well.

It isn’t uncommon to see western homes designed with a traditional Japanese aesthetic in mind. The Japanese have a particular type of sliding door that they use and it is known as a Shoji door.

These doors are incredibly beautiful and are made out of wood and paper. They work similarly to a normal sliding door that you would see elsewhere, truth be told.

The wood of the door slides on a frame as you would expect. The big difference between this Shoji door and other types of sliding doors is that it has a unique look and it uses paper instead of glass.

Of course, the fact that it uses paper means that you will need to be careful with this door. The frame will be fairly strong but the paper itself will be prone to tearing if you aren’t careful.

This would likely not be a good door to install in your home if you have curious or mischievous children around. This is a door that is best suited to being installed in a home full of adults who will appreciate the beauty of the door and treat it with care.

You can buy kits that will help you to install a Shoji door in your home quite easily. If you love the look of traditional Japanese interior design, then you are going to really enjoy having this door in your home.

These work fantastically to help bring in a bit of light to your home without it being too much. People enjoy putting these doors as the entrances into a garden area, but they could work well for other purposes too.

Accordion Doors

Accordion doorSource: Home Depot

You have probably seen these accordion-style sliding doors in someone’s home. These types of doors are used for closets most often. They work very well for this purpose and they have their own unique design aesthetic. The name is definitely appropriate as opening them really does resemble an accordion to a tee.

One of the best aspects of an accordion door is simply how inexpensive they are to purchase. You can buy a door such as this for a very low price and it will work well for any closet situation you have in your home.

These can also be used effectively as pantry doors if you would like, though this is less common. Installing an accordion door is very easy as they simply slide along a little track that you hang up.

If you want the easiest solution for installing a new closet door, then looking into purchasing an accordion door is a solid idea. You can find these accordion doors at most major retailers and you will have plenty of colors and styles to choose from.

The look is really nice and the door is going to function well. This is perfect for when you need to install multiple closet doors quickly as the whole process can be completed in a timely fashion

Barn Doors

Barn doorSource: Home Depot

Of course, one of the most enduring images of a sliding door would definitely be the barn door. If you grew up in a rural area, then it is possible that your family had a barn of some sort.

You may be intimately familiar with how many barn doors slide open. There are different styles of barn doors but one of the most popular styles in modern times is the sliding barn door.

These sliding barn doors are really easy to install. They feature an upper track and a bottom groove for you to fit the door into. You will be able to easily install this door and then it will slide effortlessly from one side to the other along the track. This is a lot more convenient than a swinging barn door in many ways.

Being able to make use of a sliding door on your barn will help when you don’t have the space to swing one open. It is also simply much easier as you don’t have to use much effort to open or close the door.

This is going to make accessing your barn even simpler and you will love having your new door installed. It’s possible to find many colors and styles of these sliding barn doors so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a door that matches up perfectly with your barn.

Some people choose to install these types of doors in a garage as well. Having a side entrance into a garage can be convenient in many ways.

Whatever your intentions for this sliding barn door are, you will be able to make great use of it without having to go to great lengths. This is a simple door to use and it comes highly recommended.


Tempered Glass

Tempered glass door

Source: Wayfair

Buying a sliding glass door that has a tempered glass is highly recommended. You don’t want to buy a beautiful new sliding glass door and have to be worried that it isn’t going to stand up to regular use.

When you have a door that uses tempered glass, it is going to be more likely to stand the test of time. You won’t have to worry too much about anything breaking due to normal use or accidentally bumping into it.

This is going to keep you and your family much safer as well. Buying a sliding door that is more fragile could put younger family members at risk as you never want to expose children to being around broken glass.

Thankfully, the majority of modern glass sliding doors are going to feature a tempered glass of some sort. Make sure that the glass is tempered and strong before purchasing a new sliding door just to be on the safe side.

Ball-Bearing Rollers

Ball-bearing rollers door

Source: Home Depot

If you want to ensure that your sliding door on your closet is going to be quiet when it is opened, it will be best to look for one that has ball-bearing rollers.

This is going to help you to enjoy your closet door more readily without feeling as if you’re going to wake up your spouse every time that you need to grab a shirt.

It really is remarkable how quiet some of these sliding closet doors can be when they feature the right technology. These ball-bearing rollers are able to muffle the sound and the door feels very natural to use overall.

The hardware used to hang this type of closet door is very heavy-duty. You won’t have to feel concerned about it being too delicate for regular use.

Despite this, it manages to be very quiet when being slid open, so you’ll never feel as though you’re being a nuisance when others in the house are sleeping. This is really nice when you have someone in your home who works third shift.

Snap-Lock Closing

Spectrum HSROYAL3280WH ROYALE Folding Door, 32 x 80-Inch, White

Source: Amazon

Accordion doors are really useful but some people worry about not being able to close them as tightly as they would like. If you are a little bit particular about making sure that things are closed tightly, then you will want to buy an accordion sliding door with the snap-lock closing feature.

This feature is really convenient as it allows you to know when the door is closed properly by being able to snap it into place. This helps you to avoid leaving the door partly open and you will be able to know that it is being closed properly every time.

Many modern accordion doors will come with a feature such as this. If this type of feature is important to you, then you should do a small amount of research about the accordion door that you are looking into purchasing ahead of time.

This will allow you to ensure that it is simple to close it up completely. These doors are incredibly affordable so they will definitely come in handy for you when you’re in need of closet doors.

Hard-Fiber Rice Paper

Hard-fiber rice paper door

Source: Lowes

If you want to purchase one of the Shoji doors to achieve that traditional Japanese look, you might be worried about how well the door is going to hold up.

These Shoji doors are not inexpensive so you would feel terrible if something happened to the paper after spending so much money on it.

Thankfully, it is possible to buy a Shoji door that has more durable paper installed inside of it. You can purchase a Shoji door that makes use of a hard-fiber rice paper design.

This type of paper is very difficult to tear. You would really have to specifically try to tear the paper in order to puncture it or somehow ruin the door.

This makes installing a Shoji door much more practical and you will be able to sleep a little easier at night knowing that the paper isn’t too delicate. It’s definitely going to be the safest option for those who really want to make use of this type of sliding door.

Towel Bar

Towel bar door

Source: Home Depot

Sliding shower doors are among the most common types of sliding doors that you will see in someone’s home. Some of these sliding doors will feature a convenient towel bar that you can use to hang your towel.

This is nice as you won’t have the need to buy a towel holder to hang elsewhere in your bathroom. If you buy a sliding shower door with this convenient feature, then it will definitely be very useful.

Typically, the towel bar itself can also double as a finger grip for sliding the shower door open. The towel bar will be attached to the door very snugly so you won’t have to be concerned about pulling it off. This is going to be a feature that you will enjoy and it makes installing that sliding shower door even more worth it.


Are sliding doors secure?

Sliding doors do have a locking system, which makes them secure. They can be made more secure with a sliding door lock. They can be installed at the top of the door. It is in addition to the lock on the door. 

Can you paint vinyl sliding doors?

Yes, you can paint a vinyl sliding door, but you must use 100% acrylic paint or a urethane and acrylic resin blend. 

Do sliding doors need a bottom track?

If you have an interior sliding door, it does not need a bottom track. However, if you are installing a sliding door on the exterior, you will need a bottom track. 

Can you lock a sliding door?

Yes, you can lock a sliding door. There are various options available to allow you to lock a sliding door.

Can you paint aluminum sliding doors?

Paint does not adhere well to aluminum doors, but there are some types of paint that work better. Metal spray paint is one of the best types of paint to use. 

Can I replace sliding doors with french doors?

Yes, you can replace sliding doors with french doors. It is a great way to give your house a new and fresh look. 

What are pocket sliding doors?

A pocket sliding door is one that slides into a cavity in the wall, making it disappear almost completely when the door is opened all the way. These doors are a growing trend. 

What are the parts of a sliding door?

A sliding door consists of a few parts. The parts include the head, which is the top portion of the sliding door frame. It also includes the sill, which is the bottom portion of the sliding door frame.

Another part is the door jamb which is the vertical portion of the door frame. In addition, there is insulated glass and hardware associated with a sliding door.

How long do sliding door rollers last?

You can expect the rollers of a sliding door to last anywhere between 7 to 20 years. Cleaning your track can help increase the lifespan of the rollers. The weather can impact the life of the rollers. 

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