Sliding door design ideas, inspiration & pictures

Why choose sliding doors?

As interior doors go, sliding versions are the perfect combination of modern and yet a little retro as well, meaning that they work in every type of home, but they are particularly effective where space is at a premium, as they won’t negate access to anywhere, even when open fully.

Different types of sliding doors.

The most common sliding interior door varieties available from UK suppliers are:

Pocket doors: These look like standard sliding doors, but when open, disappear into hollow wall recesses, so as to minimise the amount of room needed for operation. Really popular in small houses, these doors look and function fantastically well.

Patio doors: Often bi-folding into a concertina shapes when in use, patio doors are ideal for connecting your home and garden together into one cohesive space. They are usually fitted in a dining room or kitchen, at the rear of a property.

Bypass doors: Commonly, these tend to be sliding glass doors, as they have a rail fixed to the top and are a natural go-to option for dividing a larger and more open space into manageable and functional chunks. They are also very widely used as closet doors, for a neat and ordered finish.

Pros and cons of sliding doors.

As with any interior design choices, there are both pros and cons to selecting sliding doors, which are as follows:


In homes where space is precious, sliding doors require no sacrifice of mobility or access in order to be used.

Certain types of sliding doors, such as pocket doors, actually create the illusion of more space. Sliding glass doors also allow light to flow, which will create the feeling of larger proportions.

Sliding doors are easy to maintain, as the simply run on rails or castors.

They are effortless to use and create a sleek, contemporary aesthetic.


Sliding doors can be a little more delicate than solid interior doors that are fixed with hinges, so are not always suitable for high traffic homes that see a lot of boisterous behaviour.

If you don’t maintain your rails regularly, corrosion can impact on the ease of use.

Little security is offered by sliding doors, as they usually pivot on their top edge only.

Hollow variations of sliding doors can be easily broken. Solid wooden doors are generally a more secure and long-lasting option.


Hardware for sliding doors.

Given that sliding doors are for interior spaces only, there should be no need for locking mechanisms, apart from rudimentary bolts on the reverse of bathroom doors, to ensure privacy. Because of this, you can focus all of your attention on one aspect of interior door hardware; handles.

The style of door handles that you choose will very much depend on your doors themselves, so consider the following:

Inset pull handles for pocket doors (any handles that protrude would prevent the smooth stowing of doors into the wall cavity).

Ergonomic, attractive handles that work with your door materials and colours, throughout your home.

You absolutely cannot afford to choose one style of handle for your sliding doors and then another for the rest, as this will create design disharmony.

Where is suitable for the installation of a sliding door?

The most effective locations for installing sliding doors are large areas that have an underlying sense of connectivity to other spaces. This is why open-plan homes frequently include sliding doors, for adding a little living room privacy when wanted and also, why kitchens frequently adjoin patios and gardens thanks for bi-folding doors. Naturally, as doors that connect to the garden will need proper locking mechanisms fitted, for adequate security.

How much do sliding doors cost?

You could spend as little as under £100 and find yourself in possession of some minimal yet charming sliding doors that need little specialist installation. Naturally, this budget will get you hollow, basic designs, but the amount it is possible to spend is relatively open ended. In fact, if you were to buy beautiful bi-folding doors, you could be looking at thousands of pounds and pocket versions will need construction work to be carried out, to create wall cavities, which will significantly add to the overall cost.