The Best Sliding Garage Doors

How do sliding garage doors work?

Sliding doors can be seen in various parts of the home, such as closets or patios. However, adapting this concept to garages needs some clever engineering to accommodate the larger size of garage doors. Unlike smaller sliding doors that may simply overlap or tuck away neatly when opened, garage doors need to manage much larger panels.
Manufacturers typically address this challenge by creating doors that slide along a curved track, allowing them to rest flush against the garage’s internal walls when opened. Watch this mechanism in action in this video by Ryterna Doors:

Multiple panels, connected together, make up side sliding garage doors. These panels move horizontally along a track. This setup differs from barn doors, which consist of a single flat panel that slides as a whole piece. The track, often curved, enables the door to open and fit snugly against the garage’s walls. Rather than protruding into the driveway or occupying overhead space that could otherwise be used as storage. In this article, we will explore the best sliding garage doors to see which one could work for your home.

Material Options

Sliding garage doors can be made from a variety of materials, including but not limited to steel, aluminum, wood, or vinyl. The choice of material typically affects the door’s weight, which in turn influences the ease of manual operation. Lightweight materials such as aluminum or vinyl are easier to move along the track. Although they may not provide as much insulation as heavier wood or steel panels.

For those living in cooler climates, it’s worth considering doors that incorporate insulation to help maintain a comfortable temperature inside the garage. While manual operation is straightforward due to the lightweight design of most sliding doors, automated systems are often the choice.

Installation and Considerations

This type of garage door may be installed as a DIY project but does require careful planning and execution.
To ensure smooth operation, the tracks must be precisely aligned and securely mounted. For those considering an automated door opener, professional installation is recommended to handle the complexities of the setup.

Choosing a slide-to-the-side garage door comes with its set of advantages and challenges that homeowners should consider:

Pros:

  • Maximized space: By moving horizontally, these doors allow homeowners to utilize the space above the door frame for storage.
  • Ease of use: Sliding doors are generally easier to operate, especially with the addition of automated systems.
  • Safety in maintenance: The absence of torsion springs in these doors reduces the risk of injuries that can occur during DIY maintenance tasks.
  • Compact operation: These doors do not require any space in front of the garage to operate. Which are ideal for homes with short driveways or those facing busy streets.

Cons:

  • Wall space requirements: The sides of the garage must be kept clear to accommodate the open door, which could limit the use of wall space for storage or tools.
  • Vulnerability to weather: The tracks of sliding doors can be prone to collecting snow and ice, which may obstruct the door’s movement unless preventative measures are taken.
  • Higher initial costs: As these doors are less common than traditional overhead garage doors, they tend to be more expensive to install, though prices may decrease as they become more widespread.

Now let’s take a look at the best sliding garage doors in the market:

What we like:

  • 42mm thick PU-foamed panels for superior insulation
  • Partial opening for easy pedestrian access
  • High-quality polyester-primer coating prevents streaky rain marks
  • Complete customization

The Hormann HST Side Sliding Sectional Garage Door is designed for modern homes, particularly where space utilization and quiet operation are necessary. This door type is distinguished by its side-sliding mechanism, which allows it to open horizontally along the garage’s side, preserving ceiling space for storage or other uses. Each door panel is constructed from 42-mm thick, PU-foamed sandwich panels that provide superior thermal insulation and soundproofing. One of the standout features of the HST model is its capability for partial opening, which facilitates easy pedestrian access without the need to open the entire door. Additionally, Hormann offers various design and color options so homeowners can customize the door to match their home’s architectural style. This combination of functional efficiency, customizable look, and built-in safety features makes the Hormann HST an excellent choice for homeowners.

Read the full review >>

What we like:

  • Customizable to fit the garage layout
  • Compatible for both manual and electrical operation
  • More than a hundred design choices
  • Aluminum hardware

Ryterna designs its side sliding garage doors to function smoothly in settings where it is important to maintain free ceiling space. You can configure them to open either manually or electrically, ensuring they are compatible with most mainstream operating systems. You can customize the aluminum hardware on the doors with a powder coating to complement the interior style of any garage. The design incorporates a low profile threshold that can be integrated into the existing garage floor. This minimizes the risk of tripping and facilitates a cleaner look. Ryterna also offers a broad selection of design options, including a variety of window styles that can be transparent, matte, frosted, or tinted to meet specific privacy and light entry preferences.

They also have more than 100 different panel designs, each available in various surface textures and colors. This extends to even the minor details, such as the option to include stainless steel appliques for a more refined and contemporary appearance. These features collectively make Ryterna’s side sliding garage doors a highly adaptable and stylish addition to modern homes.

Read the full review >>

What we like:

  • Has anti-lift device, lockable handle and manual release
  • Insulation and weather protection
  • Wide range of designs
  • Suitable for industrial settings

Raxdoor’s side sliding garage doors are versatile and suitable for both residential and industrial uses. Manufacturers use high-quality steel, aluminum, or timber to construct the doors, ensuring durability and strength. They fill them with polyurethane foam to maintain temperature control and enhance energy efficiency. A 24V DC motor equips the doors’ horizontal sliding mechanism, which includes a soft start and stop function for smooth operation. This motorization ensures the doors operate quietly, with a noise level below 60 dB. For security, Raxdoor integrates an anti-lift device, a lockable handle, and a manual release option. They can also customize the design, with over 20 color choices, various finishes, and several panel designs. The maximum dimensions are are up to 5500 mm width and up to 2750 mm height. These features collectively make Raxdoor’s side sliding garage doors a versatile and practical choice for modern homes.

Read the full review >>

Sliding out

For homeowners considering an upgrade to their garage door, the slide-to-the-side model is both practical and stylish. Features like ease of access to the garage, extra storage space, and having a wide range of stylish designs to choose from are a few of the advantages of sliding garage doors. These doors are increasingly seen as a clever solution for modern homes, addressing both functional needs and spatial constraints. Hormann HST Side Sliding Sectional Garage Doors are great for effective use of space and energy-efficient properties, ideal for environments where thermal regulation and quiet operation are priorities. Ryterna modifies the classic design with extensive customization in terms of design and functionality. Raxdoor adapts durability, security, and advanced technology, ideal for  both commercial and residential applications. These are the best sliding garage doors the market has to offer, with each model catering to different needs and has individual benefits.

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Bobby Cray

My initial goal is to cover everything there is to know about garages. It was through experiences with my Dad that I developed a deep appreciation for garages and their potential. Whether you're looking for tips on optimizing space, tackling DIY projects, or transforming your garage into a functional and remarkable space, I've got you covered. If I learned anything from my him, is that we can all be Garage Masterminds. And have a blast along the way.


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