Sliding door mechanisms

Sliding doors are a very convenient and compact design that is perfect not only for dividing the interior space, but also for zoning rooms. This is a versatile modern option that is very popular. When choosing sliding doors, it is important to know what mechanisms they have and how they work..


Sliding interior doors, depending on their design, are divided into certain types. So, there are:

Rail with a different number of leaves

These can be structures with a rail at the top or bottom, or there can be two-rail models. The most popular are products on one top rail. They look very elegant and unusual. Such doors can be both single-leaf and double-leaf. It all depends on the width of the passage in which they are installed.


Such doors are quite unusual and completely transform the interior of any room. They are quite massive. All such structures are in the shape of a semicircle. As a rule, they are made of tempered glass with a thickness of at least 8 mm. This design also assumes the presence of a rail mechanism. This type of door is perfect for zoning..


These are models that fold to the side and each sash is assembled in a zigzag manner. Each section of such a door is superimposed on each other in turn and the door folds very compactly. The construction looks very light and usually has a striking design. They can be installed in any aisle.


Such a mechanism assumes, when the door moves, a shift of the canvas inward and to the side. This type includes a compartment door. In this case, there is a special frame on the wall adjacent to the entrance, in which the sash is located at the moment when you open the door. In addition, such models can have specially designated places in the wall, in which this structure is hidden..


These are very unusual models that involve the combination of two door designs at once: sliding and swing. This variety is perfect for installation in a living room and is very popular because it is very convenient.

Principle of operation

Most of the models have mechanisms with guides. The door leaf is usually presented in the form of one or two leaves, but there are also models with a large number of leaves. The canvas moves along guides located above and below on special rollers. So, there are models with a single-track type of movement, in which the lower guides are completely absent, and the canvas moves along the upper.

Two-runner type – when the door slides along the lower rail, and from above it is supported by a stop to ensure an ideal vertical position. Such a principle of operation has structures with a large weight..

The principle of movement of the sash can be different. She can move along the wall, as if superimposed on it. The second option is to move inside the wall. It would be correct to say that the door leaves are hidden not inside the wall, but inside the cassette located there.

Another option is overlapping movement, when one movable sash overlaps the main blind, standing motionless. This option is the simplest, but not very convenient, it is completely unsuitable for narrow aisles..

Design options and their characteristics

Door designs can be varied. So, there are the following types:


This option differs in that it allows you to open two sashes at the same time. In this case, the door leaf is divided in two and opens in different directions along the wall. As a rule, lighter materials are used for this, since in general the structure will not withstand a heavy door leaf. The design includes rollers, guides, cable, hooks, as well as special fasteners. This is a rather complex but generally reliable mechanism. It will be quite difficult to install such a door on your own, therefore, installation is most often trusted only by professionals..


This design option is suitable for installation if the sliding system includes at least two doors. As a rule, these are two or three leaves, which, when opened, move in one direction. The doors are fixed with a special synchronizer and are placed not on one guide, but on two different, parallel ones. Thus, the sashes also move apart synchronously, but one main sash pulls all subsequent ones. This structure is fixed either at the top of the doorway or at the bottom with an aluminum profile. It is along them that the sashes move with the help of support carriages..

As a rule, rubberized rollers are used in this design, which allows the structure to move very smoothly and quietly..


It is a very convenient hidden mechanism that hides behind a specially designed false panel. In another way, this design is called a compartment. A threshold is not used for its installation. This mechanism is fixed to the top of the door.

A feature of the invisible mechanism is that its installation is possible only if initially during construction a place was provided for it inside the wall.

If the thickness of the wall is not enough to hide the sliding doors in it, then a special pencil case can be used for this. Thus, this indicator can be increased by the size of the pencil case. The invisible mechanism is used only if the door is not glass. In this case, it is unacceptable to use such a door leaf..


This mechanism is also called Standart. It is a structure without a threshold, which also does not have a bottom rail. The door slides only along the top rail. The structure itself is of an open type and moves to the side along the wall. Mobile suspended doors can be easily installed by hand.


The mechanism of this type is most often made of steel. This design is of an open type and includes a steel rail, rollers and a door leaf. This mechanism is most often purchased for fairly spacious aisles. The barn mechanism is quiet and smooth. As a rule, this quality is ensured by reliable bearings. Often this mechanism is supplemented with a special closer.


This design option has rollers not at the bottom, but at the top. That is, the guides are most often located on top, and the door structure is attached to them with the help of special elements and moves along it with the help of special rollers that roll only along the upper part of this runner. Such a mechanism is perfect for decorating an apartment or house in a retro style..


Such a sliding design presupposes the presence of additional fittings in the form of a lock or a lock mask. The latch or lock is mounted in a locking mechanism that will be triggered at the moment the lever is pressed. The locking mechanism may be different. For this, buttons are often used, which at one moment are able to block the movement of the door. So you can close it and lock or open and fix it in a position convenient for you. The locking mechanism is installed in any door leaves. Such designs can be with a latch, turnkey or magnetic.

Sliding systems

There are also various variations of the sliding systems..


Such a system assumes the presence of a separate runner for each door leaf. Thus, when you open a given structure, each half slides over and the other over it. Most often, in this case, models with two door leaves are used. But if there are three canvases, then the sliding system becomes three-way.

An alternative option for the coplanar extension system is to install the central section on a separate skid, and the two extreme ones on one common one. Thus, it will not be possible to open two sections at once, since two door leaves located on one runner will not allow this to be done. When closed, they have a stepped open design. One part of the guide will always be visible.

Door leaves are installed in separate skids more often than in general ones. This option is suitable for both two and three door leaves. This way, when the doors are closed, they line up and close the guides. For this, the extension system is supplemented with special brackets with a running gear. Such a door is somewhat reminiscent of a compartment, but when opened, the door leaf shifts a little forward and to the side, which differs from a compartment door. Closing the door, the canvases are put in place and the ladder system becomes invisible.

The coplanar extension system differs in that it is a combination of several types of mechanism at once.

It is a very comfortable and versatile design..


This is a system, the mechanism of which is based on supports. It does not have a frame and it also needs guides. As a rule, these can be single or double structures. Both metal and plastic are used as material for guide sliding systems of this type. But the guides themselves are usually very narrow, so they save space in the room. No milling is required to install such a door..

Ghost, or hidden

This design and all door fittings are completely closed from prying eyes. The guides are not visible either above or below the opening. Most often, it is still located on top, but it is very invisible, thereby expanding the space. There are very convenient hidden models in which the guides are not located in the door frame, but directly inside the door. Thus, only the bracket and rollers are mounted on the wall. So the sliding system becomes completely invisible, and when you see it, you even get the feeling that the door is literally floating in the air. Such door models and sliding systems are perfect for more modern interiors, as they look very unusual and elegant..

Aristo, or swivel

It is characterized by the fact that it is powered by a swivel mechanism. As a rule, aluminum profiles and other components from the same material are used to create it. This is one of the most reliable and durable sliding systems, which at the same time saves space. It is quite easy to install and operate..

Advantages and disadvantages

A huge advantage of any sliding structure is its compactness. It allows you to reduce the doorway and makes it lighter. It is also able to make the passage wider and higher, especially for suspended models. The sliding structure does not require opening, so you can furnish the room into which the door leads at your discretion, without taking into account the structure of the door.

It is also a great advantage that such the door moves very smoothly and silently. She will not wake up households with unnecessary claps and other loud sounds. In addition, the sliding door mechanism prevents the tails of animals or children’s fingers from slamming, as the door closes very smoothly..

Separately, the advantages of coplanar sliding door systems should be noted. This mechanism minimizes the appearance of unnecessary gaps, which cannot be said about other doors. This ensures not only the proper level of sound insulation, but the whole structure in the closed form creates a sense of unity. Another advantage of the coplanar system, like other types of closed structures, is that the guide rails are closed from prying eyes. In addition, since they are inside the structure, they do not accumulate dust and dirt, so it becomes quite easy to maintain the structure..

The coplanar system has many advantages over compartment doors, since the passage is completely free and the door takes up much less space. The same can be said about the models – “accordions”, since they are compactly assembled near the door jamb when opening.

The sliding door mechanism has various latches, which is its undoubted advantage. That way, you can lock the door in a fully open, half-open or closed position and can adjust and ease your passage. In addition, such a mechanism and this function allows you to prevent the doors from slamming at the wrong moment..

Another advantage of sliding doors is that they do not require a small space and can be installed by almost anyone. This applies to the most simple mechanisms, such as a coupe or an accordion. In addition, the appearance of such products is a great advantage. They look more interesting compared to classic swing doors. There are more possibilities for design and choice of different types of movement.

But such doors have a number of disadvantages. For example, some systems, such as coplanar systems, have limitations in the size of the doorway..

They are acceptable only if the width of the door leaf is from 150 to 300 cm. If the width of the doorway is larger or smaller, then installation will not be possible. These systems also assume weight restrictions. The door must weigh no more than 55 kg, otherwise the mechanism may not withstand. The same applies to suspended sliding doors..

The disadvantage of almost all sliding doors and their mechanisms is that they cannot provide the proper level of sound insulation. This is due to the fact that the sliding system is not completely sealed, in which it is very inferior to swing structures. This disadvantage is due to the fact that the design includes many components and there are gaps between them. That is why sliding doors are rarely used for installation in the kitchen or bathroom. They easily let in odors, excess noise and can distract other household members..

To noisy rooms for meeting guests it is better not to install such doors, since sounds will penetrate in any case. Due to the low tightness, the sliding door mechanism does not provide adequate thermal insulation, since cold air currents can penetrate from one room to another, forming drafts.

Another disadvantage is the high cost of such structures in comparison with classic swing ones. By itself, this mechanism is not very reliable and requires special care. It must be lubricated and checked periodically..

Swing doors are more resistant to external influences than sliding doors. Sliding models cannot cope with the protective function. In addition, some mechanisms can jam, especially for hidden types that hide inside the wall..

Thus, to correct this flaw, you may even have to dismantle the wall, which is difficult and problematic..

How to choose?

For light door leaves, hinged synchronous mechanisms are more suitable. This is due to the complex design and in the first case, the presence of the upper guide, and in the second – the presence of several parallel guides. Plastic structures are also perfect for them. For doors – “accordion” often use fabric elements.

The most versatile is the chipboard door. Such material is lightweight and practical, besides, it is quite inexpensive. Along with them are universal models from MDF, which also fit any door mechanism. Such models are often pasted over with veneer or decorated with carvings by milling..

For many sliding door mechanisms, an important requirement for the canvases is the presence of absolutely identical sashes in size. That is, they must be equal in length and width..

This applies to coplanar models as well as accordions, synchronous models and compartment doors. Concealed telescopic structures are completely unsuitable for the use of glass doors.

Even heavy wood models can be selected for pencil cases. For folding mirror doors, a compartment mechanism can be used. For lightweight door designs, almost any type of mechanism can be used. In this case, you can choose a telescopic, hidden, synchronous mechanism, as well as rotary or radius products. For models with two doors, a coupe-type mechanism is most suitable.

When choosing a mechanism for sliding doors, great attention must be paid to the materials from which it is made. It is better if it is metal, even if the door frame is wooden. When choosing, try not to skimp on buying such doors. Otherwise, the design will serve you for a very short time..

Much attention is paid to the roller system. This is especially true at the moment of installation, since a skew or an incomplete set of components and guides can lead to breakdown of the entire structure. When choosing, rely also on the permissible materials for a particular mechanism, as well as on the weight of the structure itself. If the mechanism is not too reliable, then it is better to give preference to light materials for the door. When choosing a mechanism, try to also take into account the size of the doorway and the canvas itself..

For reviews on some mechanisms for sliding doors, see the following video.

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