• Understanding the Basics of Sliding Doors

    Benefits, Options, and Obstacles of Sliding Doors- Soft Closers & Rollers

    What are soft closers and what are their function?

    Soft closers allow a sliding door to open and close with control regardless of the speed and force used to move the door. This component also allows one to move the door with considerably less effort. Soft closers are most notable in many kitchen cabinetry doors and drawers.

    For most sliding door companies, the soft closers are a piston/damper with tiny plastic wheels and a pin passing through that is required to attach the damper. A small plastic trigger activates the damper. A small bolt and a brass nut attach to small brackets atop the door that weighs between 175-200 pounds. When the door is opened or closed, the soft closer moves back and forth being activated by the trigger arm.  This concept works adequately for casual usage. If the door is used on a daily basis, the soft closers and other components have a tendency to fail.

    In addition, if the soft closer needs maintenance the entire track system must be disassembled and reassembled. This process takes two specialists approximately 60-90 minutes per door to remove the soft closers, valance, door stops, trigger arms, and door and reinstall and readjust the system.  This technology is basic but becomes very expensive when requiring constant maintenance. 

    The ADA Sliding Door Solution:

    Our reimagined solution consists of recessing the soft closer into the head of the track, using heavy-duty rollers that can stand up to daily use, and support the weight of the door at all times. Our soft closer is installed into the head of the track and secured by anti-vibration nuts and bolts. We use two 4” aluminum roller carriages with four 11/4” pressed ball bearing nylon wheels and a ½” built -in trigger arm. The roller carriage attaches to a custom heavy-duty bracket with 3/8″ anti-vibration nuts and bolts. The track is also pre-assembled and set within a ½” of the desired clear opening. The soft closer is removable without removing or readjusting the door. The valance and two screws are removed and the soft closer is replaced. (Figure 1, Figure 2).

    Figure 1: ADA Sliding Door Solutions Soft Closer
    Figure 2: ADA Sliding Door Solutions Heavy Duty Roller System



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  • Understanding the Basics of Sliding Doors

    Benefits, Options, and Obstacles of Sliding Doors– Introduction

    Why are sliding doors so popular in the medical and commercial industry?  Are all sliding doors created equal?

    Sliding doors have been around for some time and within the last 5-7 years they have gained popularity.  We are seeing them used in a variety of commercial and medical settings, some of which include:

    • Hospitals/Exam Rooms
    • Urgent Care Offices
    • Veterinary Installations
    • Government Buildings
    • Conference Settings

    Conservation of Space

    There are several reasons for their popularity, with the first and foremost being the Space Saving qualities. Sliding doors require a very small amount of floor space while satisfying the American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Sliding doors, however, do require an overlap. The larger the overlap the more space is required for the opening and door leaf. This in turn requires more space and is costly. Our system uses a 6” overlap, the smallest in the industry.  We can provide a 42” clear opening out of a 48” door leaf, which is a huge saving with regards to cost and time.

    When using a sliding, door as compared to a hinged door, you have the potential to conserve 15-30 square feet of programable space.  This conservation of square footage allows the project team to take advantage of the increase in dollars per square foot in any given setting (Figure 1). 


    Acoustic & Air Infiltration

    In addition to space savings, acoustics and air infiltration are an important part of sliding door success.  Enhanced acoustic ratings are achieved by adding an automatic drop down and rated gaskets around the perimeter of the jamb and along the inside of the trailing edge of the door. 

    What You Can Expect In Upcoming Posts:

    This blog thread will explore all of the different sliding door components and options that must be considered when choosing a system. Join us on our journey breaking down the: Benefits, Options, and Obstacles of Sliding Doors!

    Upcoming Posts:

    • Soft Closers
    • Rollers
    • Trigger Arms
    • Door Stops
    • Brackets
    • Active Safety Features
    • Pre-Assembled Tracks


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  • Space Saving Solutions

    When designing your next project, consider using a sliding door. Our MedicalSlideTM and CommercialSlideTM are the perfect space-saving solution.

    When it comes to sliding doors, we know you have a choice. Choose the one with independent soft closers and ball-bearing rollers & guides.