Sliding plastic windows: 7 tips for choosing

6 min

Hinged and folding plastic windows are the most popular choice for owners of city apartments and private houses. Against this background, sliding systems seem undeservedly forgotten. They allow you to save space on the balcony and beautifully decorate a terrace or veranda. We understand the advantages, disadvantages, types and features of the choice of sliding plastic windows.

Advantages and disadvantages

Sliding windows are successfully installed on loggias, balconies, verandas and terraces. They retain all the advantages of the usual hinged plastic windows, but at the same time they allow you to gain in space and get a more interesting and outwardly attractive system.

The advantages of sliding windows:

  • saving space. Hinged windows require some space to open the sash. Plus, if there is something on the windowsill, then all items will have to be removed. Fully open sliding windows will not take up a bit of space, and for a small balcony this is a significant advantage;

  • fixing the leaves in a certain position will not allow them to open or slam shut under the influence of a draft;
  • wide possibilities of glazing, i.e. the swing system can replace conventional windows of any size or be installed from floor to ceiling;
  • sliding windows have a lighter and more airy look, and some systems are completely devoid of jumpers, opening up a gorgeous view of the city or natural landscape;
  • high strength and reliability despite visual lightness;
  • sliding systems allow you to organize warm and cold glazing;
  • the mosquito net in such windows also moves, allowing you to completely free the window opening;
  • ease of opening and closing the flaps, fixing them;
  • the ability to install a window of any size.

Among the shortcomings, we note:

  • the moving parts of the system must be lubricated once a year;
  • difficulty in leaving – one of the doors will be difficult to wash;
  • the system is not suitable for narrow sections of glazing, so the sashes will not have much to move;
  • lift-slide and tilt-slide glazing systems will not allow the window opening to be fully opened, but this is not such a significant disadvantage;
  • the system is inferior to traditional hinged windows in terms of thermal insulation and protection from moisture.

Usually, a plastic profile is used for sliding systems, less often an aluminum profile is used, even less often a wooden one. Among the plastic profiles for sliding windows, Rehau profiles proved to be the best. The company is constantly improving its products and offers energy-saving profiles with different characteristics (number of chambers, mounting width, etc.). To be guaranteed to get windows with the famous German profile (and not a fake with a big name), it is better to turn to trusted manufacturers. Residents of Odessa and the south of Ukraine can recommend the NOVIKON company, which since 2004 has been producing windows based on energy efficient Rehau profile and is guaranteed for 15 years.

Types of sliding windows

Depending on the design features, sliding windows are:

  • lifting and sliding;
  • sliding folding (accordion);
  • tilt-and-slide;
  • frameless glazing is distinguished separately.

Lift-and-slide windows

This system is often used for glazing terraces and verandas. The mechanism of movement of the doors resembles the one implemented in sliding wardrobes. When the sash is opened, it is slightly raised, the frame shifts to the width of the sash located next to it and moves along its guide. When the sash is closed, the mechanism works like a clamp. Lift-and-slide windows provide good protection from cold, moisture and drafts, as the design includes a rubber seal.

The structure consists of at least two frames, one of which will be load-bearing and the other is movable. Often a mosquito net guide is installed in parallel.

The system is distinguished by high strength and stability, it allows you to install fairly massive frames with a size of 200 * 300 cm. The disadvantage of this type of windows is that the entire opening cannot be completely freed from the frames, since one sash is hidden behind another. Nevertheless, it is this type of construction that is often used in private houses for fencing terraces and verandas, for glazing a living room. The system maintains excellent visibility and becomes a reliable barrier to cold. The threshold, as a rule, is made low, almost invisible, because the border between the street and the house seems to be erased.

Tilt-sliding windows

This mechanism resembles the principle of opening doors in tourist buses. First, you pull the sash towards you, and then move it to the side, while the rollers of the moving sash move into a parallel track. You can move the sash completely, or you can fix it in a certain position by turning the handle. In addition, like hinged windows, tilt-and-slide windows can be opened to the ventilation position.

Like tilt-slide windows, tilt-slide windows are provided with a rubber seal that protects the apartment from cold and noise. The system is used for glazing balconies, loggias, as well as terraces and verandas. Here, alas, you cannot do without a threshold, therefore you will have to move a little more carefully, and manufacturers recommend installing special overlays on the threshold, which help protect the profile from possible damage.

When considering the glazing system, keep in mind that the moving sash will move slightly forward, i.e. in front of the window, it is necessary to provide for a space of 12-13 cm wide. Also take into account that it will be impossible to completely free the glazed area from the glazing – some sashes will be motionless.

Sliding folding system (“accordion”)

Such windows open like the famous accordion doors. The sash moves to the side and folds like an accordion, allowing you to completely free the entire opening. If desired, you can open only one or a few doors. Yes, the ability to completely empty the entire window opening is a big plus, but the main disadvantage of this system is its low tightness.

“Accordion” is not able to reliably protect an apartment from cold and noise – it will become an obstacle to wind and precipitation, therefore it is suitable only for cold glazing of loggias and verandas. The sliding folding system should not have more than 7 doors, and the maximum opening size is 650 * 230 cm. In addition, it is necessary to provide a place where all the doors will fold.

Frameless glazing system

Frameless glazing allows you to preserve the opening view as much as possible – neither partitions nor profiles will interfere with you. The doors are made of impact-resistant glass and are attached to one or two guides. To open the window opening, it is necessary to alternately move the sashes to the side. There are no “dead” zones – the opening can be completely cleared, and all the doors will be neatly placed near the edge.

Frameless glazing is suitable for both balconies and terraces. The glass is at least 6 mm thick, so the construction is completely safe. The system of gaskets makes such a window airtight, but still, in terms of heat and sound insulation, frameless glazing is inferior to analogues. It is suitable only as cold glazing when the balcony or veranda is not supposed to be used in the summer as a heated living space.

The system is suitable for balconies of all shapes, transmits a lot of light, protects well from rain and wind, and the sash on both sides will be easy to clean.

Where to use sliding windows?

You can use them anywhere, here are just a few examples:

  • loggias and balconies. The first two sliding window systems are suitable for heated and insulated windows. If the view opens up beautiful, and according to the documents everything can be agreed upon, then you can arrange glazing into the floor and admire the scenery. Residents of new buildings are easier in this regard. If the developer used glazing in the floor and installed ordinary swing windows, then they can be replaced at any time with a sliding system;

  • gazebos and terraces in the country house in a country house are simply created for sliding glazing systems;
  • for a living room in a country house with access to the street, a sliding system will also be appropriate;
  • office premises and trade pavilions;
  • restaurants and cafes.

Yes, sliding systems are somewhat more expensive than standard swing systems, but the significant benefits are worth paying for.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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