Architects and specifiers are always looking for new and interesting ways to create a slim and minimal design to their glazing. But when you are looking at specifying a slim door system there are many other elements to consider such as performance, design and opening types. Not all slim framed door systems are created equal but below are some of our favourites and most popular options for slim framed doors
For an Ultra Slim Aluminium Frame
For those looking for the most minimal frame possible the minimal windows® sliding door, system is our first suggestion. These aluminium sliding doors have a vertical sightline of only 21mm, meaning they are the slimmest insulated door option available.
Each sliding pane can be up to 8.5m2 each which gives you a really impressive glass to frame ratio. In fact on projects that specify the glass doors to their maximum sizes the large glass plus the slim frame make these sliding doors look even slimmer (if you can imagine that!).
As the system is aluminium you can select any RAL colour to powder coat the frame. This means that they can be colour matched to existing windows or to the exacting colour design of the building.
All locking, thresholds, performances and accessibility issues have been fully thought through in the design of this system. You can even do some really interesting things with the design of these doors such as sliding pocket doors, opening corners of various angles, Juliet balcony designs and oddly shaped doors.
For a Slim Aluminium Frame + Improved Performance
So you want a minimal aluminium frame but improved thermal performance? Then the triple glazed sister of the minimal windows® system is the best option.
The aptly named minimal windows 4+ system has all the best design characteristics of the standard minimal windows® system but with 4 improvements:
- Improved thermal performance thanks to the ability of the frames to carry a triple glazed unit.
- Larger sliding panes of up to 12m2 per unit.
- Enhanced protection from the elements evident by its certified Hurricane Resistance and Impact testing.
- A higher level of sound insulation (up to Rw 43dB)
To support the larger and thicker sliding glass panes the vertical frame is slightly larger at 26mm but thanks to the large glass sizes this increase in frame is hardly noticeable.
For a Slim Frame
With an elegant 37mm profile these timber doors are the slimmest in the entire world! The timber frames can be made from a selection of timber species but the most popular option is an Oak frame. The wooden profile is then stained, oiled or painted in order to get the timber finish and design that is requested. A dark timber stain to the frames can provide you with the appearance of a walnut framed door which will immediately add a touch of luxury to any project.
Each timber framed sliding pane can be up to 15m2 however due to the difficulty in sourcing lengths of responsibly sourced that are over 3m long it is recommended that each sliding pane is under 3m x 3m. The system is tested to sliding panes much bigger than that but the larger panes may push the project out of budget quite quickly.
For Doors that Completely Disappear
You can easily create completely frameless windows from structural glazing to create a striking punch through a building to the outside. But structural glass is a fixed glazing technique and only possible on elements of glass that don’t need to open.
To get a frameless window that also opens to create a large doorway the HIRT Swiss Descending Window is the leading alternative to a traditional door system. The sinking glass façade descends at the push of a button and completely disappears below the floor. The resulting doorway is completely open and frameless which immediately connects the inside and out.
Thanks to the frameless design when the doorway is closed you can also achieve a completely frameless finish if you choose to fill the descending window with frameless structural glass. Alternatively, you can install whatever door system you want within the HSDW (including any of the minimal options in this post).
For a Minimal Frame in Thermally Broken Steel
It is now possible to get an ‘art deco style’ slim steel frame PLUS proper thermal break technology!
Steel framing has often been chosen for those looking for a ‘trendy’ minimal frame. But the issue with these traditional slim steel systems is that they are non-thermally broken. This is absolutely not suitable for windows and doors to modern projects for many reasons (thermal insulation reduction, condensation on frames, damage to internal building finishes are but a few).
The Mondrian® External system from IQ offers a mix of minimal steel frames and impressive thermal break technology. The resulting steel doors have an overall frame (vent plus frame) profile of only 47mm and average Uw values of below 1.6 W/m2K.
For a Steel Look Design + Cost Reduction
Steel framed systems are a premium architectural glazing option and offer luxury design projects and artisan and bespoke finish. They are exclusive, the crème-de-la-crème of glazing, and handmade completely bespoke, therefore do carry a high price tag.
If you would like to recreate the appearance of a slim steel framed door with a reduced cost then you can opt for a ‘steel look’ system. These door solutions are normally aluminium framed and designed to recreate the appearance of steel at a lower price point.
The Sieger Legacy Range from Hedgehog Aluminium is the perfect example of this type of door system. The Sieger Legacy door has an overall frame (vent plus the fixed frame) of only 58mm which is only 11mm larger than the steel equivalent. This creates the minimal frame door design you want, with integrated glazing bars to your specific design requirements, all at a lower cost.
In short, there are many options available for you if you are looking for a minimal framed door system and this list is absolutely not exhaustive. If you would like any further information about any of the door systems listed here, or any other options available, please do contact the team at IQ on 01494 722 880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may be interested in downloading our Guide to Specifying Sliding Doors which gives you some further information about some of the sliding doors listed here as well as a price guide. To receive your own FREE copy just click here.