6th Mar 2023 -

An external glass door can blend fantastically within both modern and traditional buildings while flooding natural light into them. Whether looking for glass front or back doors, you’ll be choosing between a few different designs, and will need to decide whether to opt for clear or frosted glass.

Types of External Glass Doors

External doors and internal doors may look similar but are typically very different in construction. External doors will need to offer far more strength and protection, both to keep the buildings they access safe and to protect against the elements like wind and rain. 

There are a range of external door material options, with solid wood, uPVC, metals like aluminium, and composite doors (which combine several elements) being the most popular. When discussing external doors, there are three main door types to consider, front doors, back doors, and patio doors, all of which can be bought with glass-panelled looks.

Glass Panelled Front Doors

front wooden blue door

Standard doors tend to be split into two categories, flush and panelled. A flush door will have a smooth, flat appearance and be considered the more modern of the two. 

Panelled doors will have details on their surfaces in the form of either recessed or outlined panels, offering a far larger range of designs. While there are a few exceptions, a panelled door will normally offer a more charming and rustic look, blending with older properties. The mortise and tenon style of panelled hardwood door has been used for thousands of years and is still used to produce great quality doors today. Both front door styles will be available with glass panels in a range of designs.

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Glass Panelled Back Doors

Opting for a glass-panelled back door is probably even more popular, as there are fewer privacy concerns. Having a design with a large glass panel could help bring plenty of outside light into a kitchen or living room. 

While all external doors with glass panels would be suitable, back doors have their own unique designs, while still prioritising protection from intrusion.

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External Sliding Doors

glass sliding doors

For those looking to prioritise light within a home, then an exterior patio door design could be a better choice than a standard front door. Sliding patio doors are an iconic look, and will feature the largest uninterrupted glass panels of any design. 

The large glass panels will be installed on a track, and typically surrounded by timber, uPVC, aluminium, or composite much like an external door, with aluminium sliding doors offering a sleek modern look. The main drawback of sliding glass doors is that they cannot open as widely as bi-fold doors, with the width of at least one panel always remaining in place.

External Bi-Fold Doors

Bi-fold patio doors will be made from several framed glass panels, which are connected on a track and hinged to fold together like a concertina. They can either be designed as one set of panels that fold to one side or two sets that meet in the middle and fold to either side. 

This means that, unlike other patio door designs, bi-fold doors can be installed around a corner. External glass bi-fold doors will either be hung from the top track or resting on the lower track, with top track doors costing more and requiring reinforcement and lower track installations more prone to issues with their opening movement. 

A benefit of bifold doors is that they can be kept fully open, joining an interior and exterior space, ideal for events like summer parties.

Exterior French Doors

white boarded glass doors

French exterior doors are another type of patio door, designed as a double door set that joins centrally. French doors can be designed with large framed glass panels, and will often be installed with fixed glass panels on either side to let in even more light from outside. It’s worth keeping in mind that French doors will have a smaller opening than the other patio door options.

Clear or Frosted External Glass Doors?

While bringing light into a property is crucial, installing large transparent panes of glass on a home can also bring in unwanted invasions of privacy. In cases where a large glass panel would make a home visible from the street, many opt for frosted glass instead. While obscured glass, with its variety of textures, is perhaps a more traditional look, frosted glass can look great within flush doors and modern homes. Depending on the location of your property, the privacy of your garden, and your own attitude, you may not need frosted glass.

You can also opt for toughened safety glass to help ensure the safety of your doors. Making sure that all external glass doors are double-glazed is also crucial, as it will help to minimise any heat loss.

Looking For a Full Glass Outside Door?

While patio doors contain a large amount of glass, they will always be bordered by one of the standard materials mentioned above. In domestic properties, outside doors that are simply constructed from large panes of glass will not be used. However, such doors can be found within commercial buildings like shops and offices.

Beautiful External Doors Delivered Across the UK

If you’re looking for high-quality internal or external doors, you’ll find an authoritative range available through our website, including external glass doors. Our doors category also covers handles, hinges, and frames. Building Materials Nationwide is the only location you need for supplies, whether you’re a professional or a DIYer. 

For customers in the industry, our trade accounts are a must-have. Pairing you with a dedicated account manager, we’ll be able to source you the exact products and supplies you need through our nationwide supplier connections, delivering them to you at a competitive trade price. We’ll save you time and money, getting you what you need, when you need it. 

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