An essential pillar of a window or door is the typology, thus, the opening type. Whether it is hinged or sliding, there is a combination and an excellent variety to choose from, depending on the raw material one would be picking and the brand of the fittings.
If we had to compare Aluminium, uPVC and timber apertures, the majority of the options are available in all three materials. Raw material manufacturers and fittings brands tend to collaborate for the innovation of such possibilities, and this collaboration might restrict certain materials or brands from having the initial availability of such options.
Let’s divide the typologies into two simple families, hinged and sliding. In the hinged family, one would find the traditional sideways opening, inwards and outwards, usually for doors. Then there is the tilt and turn and tilt and slide, where the primary pane has the possibility of opening inwards while it can also be left tilted for ventilation, the latter option it slides rather than opening inwards. These options are ideal for medium-sized doors where good insulation is required while offers flexibility regarding ventilation. The reason why the tilt and slide doors are put into this category is that the system uses the same profiles as if it were a hinged system.
Then there is the bottom, and top hung, primarily used for high-level windows or where cleaning is not an issue, where either can be opened manually or with an electric motor. Then there is the central pivot. The central pivot option is ideal for those apertures that have a view since they can be manufactured in quite a large size, excluding any middle mullions, offer excellent insulation and a perfect option for cleaning since the external glass rotates 360 degrees to the inside.
In the sliding family, there is the inline sliding, which is the purest form of sliding aperture, mainly used in medium-sized doors where insulation is not in the top priority of the client. For large format doors, there is the option of lift and slide, where each pane can be as large as approx 3mtrs by 3mtrs, thus making it a favourite with glass enthusiasts. The benefit of such doors is that the mechanism allows for the sliding panel to rest on its own when it is parked and seals on rubber rather than a brush, making a much better seal. An advantage that aluminium has over uPVC and timber is the slim version of the sliding doors, where it offers a similar performance of the lift and slide but with much smaller profiles. On the other hand, an innovation from the brand Roto had brought a new bread of sliding doors, called smart slide. This is a mixture of tilt and slide together with the lift and slide option. Using a combination of profiles, it allows having smaller mullions while offering an excellent seal and security.
For each typology, there are different brands which differentiate themselves by the possibilities available. Sometimes it is challenging for the end consumer to go through all these possibilities, both due to time limitation and technical abilities. Therefore, choosing your supplier based on industry knowledge and flexibility is what improves the chances to have a glove fit solution for your needs.
During my next article, we will go into further detail into the temperature and sound insulation factors and on what factors one has to base his or her decision.