Sliding Doors vs. Swinging Doors

Sliding doors vs. Swinging doors?🚪

When deciding between sliding doors or swinging doors, it is important to consider the style and functionality of your space along with the desired style, color and appearance, energy efficiency, safety and security, and privacy of the door you are choosing.

Defining Sliding vs Swinging

Sliding doors open and close by sliding the operating panel sideways. Sliding door operations can be selected as left or right active panels and are available as two panel units, three panel units, or four panel units with two operating center panels.

Swinging doors operate in two choices: in-swing or out-swing. In-swing is where the doors open to the interior of the home, while out-swing is where the doors open to the exterior of the home. Swinging doors are available as one panel unit, two panel units, 2 panel True French units, and 3 panel units.

Pros of Sliding Doors

  • They are perfect for rooms without much space as they open sideways rather than having an opening radius.
  • They offer better use of your floor space, allowing you to place furniture close by.
  • They offer a more contemporary style.
  • The large amount of glass in a sliding door makes the room look spacious.
  • Provide ventilation with the use of sliding screens.
  • They are considered practical for people with disabilities.

Cons of Sliding Doors

  • They can be a bit more expensive than swinging doors.
  • If not cleaned frequently, dust/dirt can cause the lower rail to clog and make it harder to open the door.
  • If not properly installed, sliding doors can jam or fail in a short time period.
  • They do not always slide as easily as liked due to their heavy material.
  • Sliding doors do not fully open compared to swinging doors which can open to the full width of the door configuration.

Pros of Swinging Doors

  • They have the ability to fully open without any limitation or restriction.
  • They are easier to open with their lighter-weight materials.
  • They offer a more traditional option, so they are offered in a wider range of sizes, finishes, and styles to fit a home’s unique structure.
  • They can endure abrupt closing without breaking.
  • They are not as expensive as sliding doors.

Cons of Swinging Doors

  • They require a certain amount of space around them due to their opening radius.
  • If they do not have limiters, swing doors can hit and damage furniture or walls when opened abruptly.

Factors of Consideration

As mentioned earlier, there are other factors to look at when deciding on sliding or swinging doors: style, color and appearance, energy efficiency, safety and security, and privacy.

For safety and security purposes, a multipoint locking system is recommended regardless of what door type you purchase. Sun values our customers’ safety, which is why we have ensured we offer multipoint locking systems for our doors.

For style, sliding doors are more modern and are versatile. Swinging doors are more traditional and fit any style of home. The décor of the room and the glass options chosen contribute to the overall aesthetic of the room more so than the type of door itself.

For color and appearance, sliding doors and swinging doors both have multiple color, kick panel, and grille type and pattern options to fit the style of the home.

For energy efficiency, choose a glass type that provides good insulation, is low-e, and has energy star ratings. Sliding doors also have the option for a sliding screen, which provides good ventilation. Check out Sun’s energy performance ratings on all products by clicking here.

For privacy, you can choose an obscure glass, which uses a textured pattern to diffuse or obscure the view through the glass. Sun offers P516 (typical obscure) and Niagara glass that provide more privacy. Do keep in mind that some obscure glass is not compatible with SDLs and some other grille systems.


Sliding and swinging doors have their own pros and cons, but both offer beautiful views, easy repairs, and let in TONS of sunlight!☀️

Remember, sliding doors are a better option for a contemporary style and better use of floor space. Swinging doors are a great option for traditional styles and can open up to full width configurations. When it comes to making your final decision, you choose the door that best fits your requirements and preferences.

If you’re interested in a door that opens up design possibilities for spectacular views and unhindered access between the interior of a home and the beauty of the outdoors, Sun’s SunClad Bi-Fold Door would be perfect for you. Check it out on our website and check our blog in the next week or two to find a post all about bi-folding doors.

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