January 19, 2018

7 Best Design Options For Slim Framed Doors

Written by Rebecca Clayton

minimal windows 4 plus

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 Sliding Door

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.

minimal windows® sliding doors to a rear extension project in London


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 Sliding Door + 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.

minimal windows® 4+ are available in larger panes and better thermal performance

The aptly named minimal windows 4+ system has all the best design characteristics of the standard minimal windows® system but with 4 improvements:


    1. Improved thermal performance thanks to the ability of the frames to carry a triple glazed unit.


    1. Larger sliding panes of up to 12m2 per unit.


    1. Enhanced protection from the elements evident by its certified Hurricane Resistance and Impact testing.


    1. 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 the Slimmest Bifold Door in the World

The main division between aluminium bifold doors and sliding doors has long been the difference in sightline; sliding doors give you the slimmest sightlines but bifolds allow you to open the whole aperture.

That division is now smaller with the launch of the Sieger Lux Bifold.

The Sieger Lux Bifold has the slimmest frames of any bifold on the market.

This is a thermally broken, aluminium bifold door which has an ultra slim 30mm profile. When incorporated into a bifold door installation the overall vertical junction you get is only 74mm (at least 20mm slimmer than the next slimmest bifold on the market).

With integrated drainage, structurally bonded glass, high levels of weather performance and modern ironmongery, the Sieger Lux Bifold represents the next step in the evolution of the bifold door.


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.

descending glass window to living room

To get a frameless window that also opens to create a large doorway the 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!

Thermally broken steel doors from the Mondrian® Range

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.

four pane bi folding door with glazing bars A steel look bi folding door from Hedgehog Aluminium

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 hello@iqglassuk.com.

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.