The Best Patio Doors for Indoor/Outdoor Living

Summer entertaining usually revolves around the patio, deck, or porch as people move outdoors for dining and relaxing. Patio doors provide natural light, create easy connections between indoors and out, and offer wide openings to catch those fresh summer breezes. Which type of patio door is best for your home? With many styles and colors to choose from, the best patio door is the one that matches your home’s architecture and provides the right functionality.

Browse through some gorgeous ideas and read on to learn all about the different types of patio doors, with tips for designing with the latest materials and colors!

Types Of Patio Doors

Elevate Sliding Patio Door

Manufacturers categorize patio doors according to their operating characteristics, so let’s look at the various types:

Swinging or Hinged Patio Doors

Marvin Elevate Swinging Patio Doors

Swinging doors are a popular style of patio door; they swing on hinges to open and close. Depending on the layout of the room, a swinging door will have either one or two panels that operate. Most swinging patio doors swing into the room (known as in-swing doors) so they need interior floor space in order to open. Because this can interfere with furniture layouts, swinging patio doors are not practical for every room. However, swinging doors are one of the more affordable patio door options so they continue to be popular.

Sliding Patio Doors

Elevate Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding patio doors have one or more panels that operate by gliding sideways along a track. The simplest sliding patio door has one or two glass panels that operate, and one or two that are fixed. Most styles also incorporate a screen door panel to keep critters out (or pets and kids in).

French Patio Doors

Marvin Ultimate Sliding French Door

When a patio door has muntins or grids to make it resemble a traditional window, it’s called a French Door. (Note: In some localities homeowners use the term “French door” to describe patio doors without grilles too.) Whether they have grilles or not, all “French door” patio doors have just one or two glass panels that can open. They may either swing open or slide. You’ll find this popular door style in both traditional and modern homes.

Marvin Elevate Swinging French Door

Bi-Fold Patio Doors

Marvin Elevate Bi-Fold Patio Doors

Bi-fold patio doors, also called folding or accordion-style doors, have panels hinged together that fold like a fan when open. This type of door is ideal for creating window walls that open for indoor-outdoor living. The folded glass panels are stacked off to the side. Most often used to make patio door openings wider, bi-fold doors can be connected to create wall openings up to 55 feet wide. Expand your living space with a window wall that virtually disappears.

Lift & Slide Patio Doors

Marvin Signature Ultimate Lift & Slide Patio Door

Lift & Slide patio door is a unique sliding door design made up of several glass panels that stack neatly to one side. “Lift & Slide” refers to the precise engineering that allows door panels to slide effortlessly with a simple pull. For a seamless indoor/outdoor transition, Lift & Slide doors are available with recessed sills and a wall pocket to conceal the panels when the door is open. They are ideal for creating walls of glass that bring the outdoors in.

Multi-Slide Patio Doors

Marvin Signature Ultimate Multi-Slide Patio Doors

Multi-slide doors are designed to expand the view with narrower frames. As they slide the moving panels are aligned in a row. When open, the panels either stack side-by-side near the edge of the opening or tuck into a wall pocket. When closed, the frame of each panel overlaps the frame of the panel beside it, reducing the amount of window framing. Some multi-slide doors are available with push-button motorized operation for easy opening and closing.

As you can see, patio doors are available in countless configurations and door sizes to suit the architectural design of any home. On a new construction project, multi-panel patio doors offer an opportunity to increase connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces with wider openings.

Marvin Ultimate Sliding Patio Door

For renovations and home improvement projects, replacing a new patio door will instantly make your home more energy efficient. The engineering and materials in today’s exterior doors are far superior to older wood or aluminum frame patio doors. Your choice of door style can also improve the home’s traffic patterns and increase floor space. Consider replacing in-swing doors with a sliding patio door, or choosing a multi-slide door to open the wall up to the outdoors.

Marvin Ultimate Sliding French Doors

The Best Materials For Patio Doors

Compared to the wood and aluminum patio doors of the past, today’s doors are designed for maximum energy efficiency, weather resistance, and low maintenance. Plus, they’re available in a range of colors and materials that make it easy to create custom looks. When selecting new patio doors, you’ll have a choice of the following materials:

Vinyl: Vinyl patio doors are popular for their affordability, and they’re typically easy to order in standard sizes. Because dark-colored vinyl fades more easily, vinyl patio doors are usually white or beige. Vinyl also has a shorter lifespan than other materials because it can warp in hot temperatures.

Aluminum: Extruded aluminum is strong, light, and nearly maintenance-free. This high-quality material is low maintenance and 100% recyclable. Patio doors may be made of solid aluminum, or aluminum-clad wood can protect the exterior of wooden patio doors. Aluminum sliding glass patio doors are long-lasting and available in a wide range of finishes with superior color retention.

Fiberglass: Highly impact-resistant and more rigid than vinyl, fiberglass expands and contracts at virtually the same rate as glass so it creates a very stable door frame. It also has exceptional energy efficiency and is available in dark colors that will resist chalking or fading. High-density fiberglass doors are perfect for harsh climates and will maintain their appearance for many years. Marvin’s fiberglass patio doors are made from its premium composite material, Ultrex® fiberglass. To learn more check out our guide on the benefits of fiberglass windows and doors

Wood: Solid wood patio doors are a popular choice because they offer finish options for almost any architectural style. Wood is a versatile, renewable resource that provides excellent insulation, and allows for a custom stain or paint color. Wooden doors do require regular maintenance. However, with modern paint coatings and sealants, wood is now a durable choice. A multi-step paint or stain process is applied at the factory and baked on for long-lasting performance.

Marvin offers an impressive selection of door color options across their product lines, from beautiful wood finishes to sleek black and whites, to nature-inspired hues or rich, bold colors. Every finish is made from the highest quality materials to help protect your exterior doors from the elements.

Homeowners can customize almost any patio door with options like window grilles, low-E glass, and built-in blinds. Choose from a wide range of factory finishes, including custom paint colors. To learn more about different patio door styles and materials, check out The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide To Marvin Doors.

Marvin Elevate Bi-Fold Wood Patio Door

Patio Door Energy-Efficiency

The final thing to consider when choosing your new patio doors is their energy efficiency. The type of glazing makes a big difference in how well windows and doors protect the interiors from heat and cold transfer. Here are the glass options to consider when you meet with one of our patio door experts:


Marvin Patio Doors At Ring’s End

Are you building a home or considering replacement windows? You’ll love Marvin’s extensive selection of designer window options – and their uncompromising quality. Choose among four high-quality collections and a range of price points, each with an industry-leading warranty.


Our patio door experts make it easy! They’re ready to help you navigate through the choices, set up an installation plan, and deliver your doors safely and efficiently. Visit a Ring’s End showroom, or schedule an in-home appointment with one of our Marvin experts. Get started today!

Marvin Doors FAQs

Why do I need an appointment to shop for doors?

Because there are so many options to consider, selecting doors for your home takes time and it’s important that a member of our team is available to work with you.

Where do I find a factory-trained Marvin Windows & Doors installer?

Ring’s End offers direct installation of all your Marvin window and door products. Our installers are licensed and fully insured. They follow the manufacturer’s recommended installation methods, to ensure each door we install meets the manufacturer’s warranty criteria. Our installers are certified as EPA Lead Safety Renovators. Registered in Connecticut, New York (Westchester County), and Rhode Island, our installers deliver the highest quality services throughout the region. Click here for more information.

What is the Marvin Door warranty?

All Marvin windows and doors are covered by a substantial, industry-leading Limited Warranty that proves they stand solidly behind their products. For detailed warranty information, visit the Marvin website.

What is Marvin Door’s Energy Efficiency Rating?

All Marvin doors are assessed and rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and are Energy Star certified. The NFRC provides a uniform national rating system for the energy performance of doors and windows. To compare Marvin door collections and find the best energy-efficient doors for your project, Marvin provides an Energy Data calculator on their site.

Where are Marvin Doors made?

Marvin Products are manufactured in the USA.