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using glass gliding patio doors as interior doors

13 years ago

I'm not sure if this is the right sub-forum, but I wasn't sure where else to put this question: We are renovating our apartment in Manhattan, and to carve out office spaces for both my husband and me (we both work A LOT at home), we are putting in small studies in the LR and BR, where we want them to be mostly glass to let the light from the window through to the rest of the apartment. To do this, we need to have glass doors with glass wall panels going along the walls of the small office spaces. Sorry in advance for the length!

Here are our priorities:

1) They need to let in lots of light (and air when opened) from the windows (on the office side) to the rest of the room. We'd like simple modern lines, with more glass and minimal wood framing (but we don't want it to look like a cubicle or a storefront).

2) They also need to be fairly sound resistant (i.e. if one of us is talking in the phone in the office, it's fine if someone outside the office can hear the rumble of our voice, but not OK if they can make out all the words).

3) There isn't really enough room for French doors or swinging doors - we really need sliding doors.

The contractors we've spoken to have insisted that 1)standard interior sliding doors will offer no noise insulation, no matter what you do with them and 2) we will hate using patio doors inside, because they will "look funny" and the bottom rail will bother us.

Despite what the contractors are saying, I really feel that using the Andersen narroline gliding doors (4 panels, two of which open in the middle) will be the best option for achieving our above stated goals. The apartment itself will be pretty streamlined and modern. The problem is that no one in NYC seems to have these doors in stock so that we can see them in person before we make a final decision - I can only see the photos on the Andersen website, and these are pretty limited.

So here are my questions:

1) Has anyone here used these doors? If so, can you think of any downside to using them as interior doors in a modern apartment? (We don't care about the fact that one side is white PVC and the other is wood.)

2) Is having a bottom track in a sliding interior door really a problem? I mean, isn't it no higher than a standard door lintel, especially since I think we'd have to put the door track on the concrete subfloor and do the wood floating floor around it? (Or we could put a kind of door lintel wood piece on either side of the track...)

3) Are we missing something? Is there some other perfectly good reason why the contractor would be correct in insisting that using these doors as interior doors would be a problem?

4) Will we have any problems sliding these doors open/closed, or should they slide smoothly without too much effort?

5) With two sliding doors that slide into one another, is it difficult to get them to slide into the right place against one another, or does this operate pretty smoothly on the Andersen doors?

5) Any other ideas about how to achieve our aims that we haven't thought of?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice!

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