Glass Lift Doors

A simple concept but when aesthetics are a priority you need to know the detail.

  • How much glass will you see?
  • Does the door panel have a frame?
  • What about the operating mechanisms, can you see them?
  • What is the quality of finish?
  • How much do they costs?

Glass lift door panels offer a significant visual enhancement to your lift but the price for fully glass doors can treble or more when compared to doors with glass panels, so understanding the detail and what you are getting for your money is essential.

Our lift consultants have gathered together their experience and this article explains the basic features and design principles that you need to be aware of when designing with glass doors in mind. 

Framed and Frame-less Glass Lift Doors

The first two images shows typical examples of framed glass doors. The last two are examples of multi-leaf framed glass doors.

There is a significant improvement in aesthetics of the frame-less panels which offer and a unobstructed view, almost as if it is a glass wall.

Usually, with framed glass doors, the framing gives structure, rigidity and strength to the door panel. The glass panel needs to be toughened so it can stand impact and is safe in use but it takes little operating load.

With glass framed doors the glass forms the structure of the door and needs to have all the above qualities.

The depth of the frame varies considerably and there is a correlation between the amount of frame and the cost with lower profile frames increasing the cost.

The difference in cost of frame-less to framed glass door panels is huge and unless your budget is flexible enough to the take this increased cost, then there is balance to be sought between, on the one hand, perhaps a low profile, good quality framed door and a frame-less one.

We should also mention that with the frame-less door the glass panel needs a small profile at the top and bottom to fit the door running gear. However, this can be partially hidden by the door bottom and top running track.

Under Driven Lift Doors

Conventional Top Mounted Door Operator Conventional Top Mounted Door Operator 2

On practically all lifts the doors are driven by a door operating mechanism (the door operator), located on the top of the lift car. When the lift arrives at a floor the car doors (which are driven) engage the landing doors and both the car and landing doors are powered open, then closed.

On scenic lifts subject to your design, it may be desirable to show some of the working and if not, then some of the door operating mechanisms can be simply hidden from view in a cowling or box. But it is very difficult and to hide everything and if if your design requires an ultra-slimline look then there exist products in the market that drive the doors from below.


Under driven lift glass door operator 3 Under driven lift glass door operator 4

As you can see from the two photos on the above, the door operator is slim-line, minimum profile with practically none of the moving mechanisms showing. Mounting the door operating mechanism in this way can vastly improve the look of your lift but again the compromise is cost. Although several manufacturers make these  products they do not come cheap.

Curved Doors

Curved glass door operators Curved glass lift door operator Curved glass door operators 2

This is also possible with a few companies manufacturing the glass doors and operating and running mechanisms.

The first picture shows a lift with a curved door operator and curved framed doors. The second is of a top driven minimal frame-less door and the final picture combing the curved operation with a bottom driven door.

The designs of these are not as flexible in terms of door opening and radius of curvature and you will need to select from what options the makers have.

If you are looking at designing a more bespoke scenic lift with glass doors then a variety of variations of glass panel doors are widely available in the market. with some innovative solutions of hiding the operator beneath the car and of having a curved door operation giving more scope for improving the aesthetics.

Our Lift Consultants have a great deal of knowledge about the lift industry, the products available and the companies that manufacture, supply and install them. The Lift Consultancy offer a design consultancy services for whatever stage of your project from concept design, through selection and tendering to project management and final site commissioning. We also offer a CAD drawing service so you can see your designs taking shape.

With such specialist products, getting independent advice early on avoids the risk of becoming ‘locked’ into particular lift contractors and their product offerings. With the right knowledge of what is available and the costs, an informed decision can be made that achieves the aesthetic design desired within the costs available.

Get in touch with the team today to find out more about glass doors for your lift.

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