Inline vs lift and slide sliding doors – which is best?

When it comes to choosing the best sliding doors for your property project, it is worth comparing inline vs lift and slide sliding doors. Both types of sliding door operation will give you the same fantastic benefits you get with a sliding door – large glass panels, fewer aluminium mullion profiles, masses of light filling a room and a great open aspect, whether the doors are closed or open. We’ve created a helpful guide explaining inline vs lift and slide sliding doors to help you decide which model is best for you.

Comparing inline vs lift and slide sliding doors

alunet black lift and slide doors with a fixed panel in a kitchen explaining inline vs lift and slide
Lift and slide doors are easy to identify with a distinctive coating L-shaped long handle.

If the styling of your patio doors matters, the good news is that both inline and lift and slide designs use the same frame profiles. So if you’ve seen a particular sliding door model, such as our cutting-edge and ultra-modern Europa sliding system, available in both opening methods, you don’t need to compromise, if you see an inline model and wonder if the lift and slide would look different.

When comparing inline vs lift and slide, both door types provide you with many of the same features. Slim aluminium profiles, the same style of standard or thin interlock, insulated aluminium profiles, quality glass and a choice of over 150 colour finishes.

You can also get the same door designs, in two, three, four or six panels.

The differences between inline and lift and slide sliding patio doors

The significant difference when comparing inline vs lift and slide doors is firstly, how you want them to open.

Inline sliding doors use the conventional sliding door method. That is, the door panel set within its outer frame and track. Operating the door involves unlocking it and then pushing to the desired position.

Lift and slide doors use a different operation. Whilst it still uses patio door rollers and other components, the gearing throughout is a little more sophisticated. Rather than just pushing the doors to where you need them, they raise off their track, ready to slide to their desired position. This raising can only be a few millimetres but it is visible when you unlock the doors.

Inline vs lift and slide doors and how they operate.

One of the significant differences when comparing inline vs lift and slide doors is how they unlock and operate, which may be a deciding factor. The second is the patio door handles and locking operation for each type of door because they both differ.

With inline doors, they usually come with a separate handle from the locking system. The handle only functions as a method to push and pull the doors. Locking the doors can involve a lever set into the handle to secure the doors with an additional key cylinder to secure.

The handle and locking method on lift and slide doors differs. Here, the handle performs the function of securing the doors and also being used to move them. Lift and slide door handles are larger and more distinctive in appearance. Unlike inline sliding door handles that are fixed to the door, lift and slide handles rotate 180 degrees.

Rotating the lift and slide handle engages the lift mechanism and the door is then ready to slide to the desired position. When you close the doors you rotate the handle the other way and the door panel sets back down.

The key differences between inline vs lift and slide

Lift and slide doors can be lighter to move because of less friction and weight on the door rollers. They are widely used in heavier door panels. However, most inline sliding doors feature a very advanced design and rollers meaning they can also be easy to move.

The other difference between these two doors is that lift and slide doors let you secure the door in the partially open position. Slide the door along the track, rotate the handle, and the door sets back down. Whilst this feature does not offer the same security as a fully locked door, it is good for partially opening the door for ventilation, securing it and it can’t be pushed from the outside.

Making the best choice – inline vs lift and slide sliding doors

alunet black lift and slide doors with a fixed panel in a kitchen explaining inline vs lift and slide

Your choice of the two opening types may depend on the styling of the door handles. For inline doors, you usually get more options in handle design, whereas the lift and slide handle usually only comes in one style and in a choice of colours.

You may find the inline handle more comfortable, while others find the lift and slide handle better in use. We recommend viewing and trying the doors and deciding which one is best for you. If the facility to set the doors down and secure them in the open position also appeals, lift and slide is the type to go with.

Remember that all ultra-slim bonded sliding doors designed for new extensions only, only come in an inline design.

Trade suppliers of contemporary sliding doors – get in touch today.

At 23 DOORS, we manufacture the latest-generation Europa ESS47 sliding doors, suitable for replacing older patio doors and providing a modern door solution for new extensions.

Contact us today for a fast trade quotation and discuss your project requirements with us. Our inline or lift and slide doors come in a choice of standard colours or special order colours. We also offer a range of handle colours, double or triple-glazed options, and we expertly manufacture our doors in our modern Manchester factory.