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SMART vs Schuco Sliding Doors - Definitive Comparison Guide

SMART and Schuco have designed and engineered some of the best performing aluminium sliding doors on the market for fabricators to produce, but how do you know which sliding patio door in their range is most suitable for your application. This guide provides an overview of the SMART and Schuco range of aluminium patio doors and analyses them against the factors to consider when choosing a sliding door.

There are 4 main factors to consider when determining the most suitable type of sliding patio door:

  • Size limitations of sliding doors
  • Thermal Performance of sliding doors
  • Aesthetics
  • Sliding Door Prices

Size Limitations of Sliding Doors

The size of a patio door is limited by either the overall height, the weight of each sash, or overall width of the door.

The maximum height of a sliding door is governed by the strength of the meeting style (the upright where the different sashes/doors meet). The stronger the meeting style the greater the wind loading the door can withstand, and therefore the greater height the door can be made and still achieve weather tightness .

The maximum weight of each sash is governed by how strong the rollers are, and what weight they are able to carry.

The overall width of the door is governed by the maximum number of sashes the door can have, and is also a function of maximum sash weight, sash height and glass combination. The glass thicknesses used in the sealed units, or whether the units are double or triple glazed all contribute to the weight of the sash, and with larger sashes you need thicker glass otherwise the sealed unit would not withstand the wind loadings. All these factors affect the sash weight, and overall maximum door size.

The table below outlines the different aluminium sliding patio doors in the SMART and Schuco range and compares them to the size limiting factors above.

Model Maximum Sash Height Maximum Sash Weight Max Sash Size
(using duoble glazed units with 6mm glass)
Max Sash Size
(using triple glazed units wtih 6mm glass)
Maximum No of Sashes
SMART Slide 2000 2100mm 200 Kg 2500mm x 2100mm
 
2000mm x 2100mm
 
6
SMART Visoglide Plus 2500mm 250 Kg 2500mm x 2100mm
2500mm x 2500mm
 
2500mm x 2100mm
2200mm x 2500mm
 
6
Schuco ASS50 3000mm 300 Kg 3000mm x 2400mm
3000mm x 3000mm
 
2700mm x 2400mm
2200mm x 3000mm
 
6
Schuco ASS70HI 3000mm 300 Kg 3000mm x 2400mm
3000mm x 3000mm
 
2700mm x 2400mm
2200mm x 3000mm
 
6

Thermal Performance of Sliding Doors

The thermal performance of an aluminium sliding or patio door can be measured by its U value. The U value measures heat loss through the door, and is a function of the thermal performance of the frame and the thermal performance of the glazing within the door.

However, different doors can accommodate different thicknesses of sealed glass units, so some patio doors can accommodate higher performing glass units than other patio doors. The table below outlines the different thicknesses of glass units each door in the SMART and Schuco range can accommodate, along with the overall U value of the door that can be achieved.

Model Max Sealed Unit Thickness Overall U Value
28mm Double Glazed
(Ug=1.2)
Overall U Value
28mm Double Glazed
(Ug=1.0)
Best Glazing Spec* Overall U Value
@ Best Glazing Spec
SMART Slide 2000 32mm 1.8 W/m^2K 1.7 W/m^2K 6-20-6 (Ug=1.0) 1.7 W/m^2K
SMART Visoglide Plus 38mm 1.7 W/m^2K 1.6 W/m^2K 6-10-6-10-6 (Ug=0.8) 1.4 W/m^2K
Schuco ASS50 32mm 1.7 W/m^2K 1.5 W/m^2K 6-20-6 (Ug=1.0) 1.5 W/m^2K
Schuco ASS70HI 52mm 1.4 W/m^2K 1.3 W/m^2K 6-16-6-16-6 (Ug=0.6) 1.0 W/m^2K

*Refer to our article on modern high performance glazing to see how these U values are acheived.

Aesthetics

How a product looks is purely a subjective matter, however each of the SMART and Schuco Aluminium Sliding Doors have particular design features that may influence your decision. These features basically fall into the categories of profile thickness, design configurations and hardware options

Profile Thickness

The main part to consider when comparing profile thickness on a patio door is the meeting style. This determines the amount of profile that you will see between the panes of glass. The slimmest meeting style of all the doors is the SMART Slide 2000, however this comes at the expense of restricted size limitations (see paragraph above). The SMART Slide 2000 is also a 'wrap around' patio, which means the sashes are pre-glazed in the factory and are harder to re-glaze on site (more of a consideration for the installer than the consumer, unless you intend to locate the patio in an area where the glass might get broken quite often - adjacent to a golf course or cricket pitch perhaps!).

Straight Slider vs Lift and Slide

The operation of the aluminium patio door can either be termed a straight slider or a lift and slide. With a straight slider the handle and key is used to unlock the door, and the door is pushed/pulled along the track. With a lift and slide door, the handle rotates through 180 degrees, and this operation lifts the sashes a few millimetres, enabling the doors to be pushed/pulled along the track with less friction. The lift and slide door is particularly useful where you have extremely large sashes / panes of glass. Also with a lift and slide door you can turn the handle whilst the door is in an open position and the door will settle back onto the track.

The type of door also influences the type of handles that are available. The lift and slide require longer handles, and both SMART and Schuco have their own range of handles that they supply. It is possible to custom fit different handles to the different models of doors, and some of the different options are shown below.

Mono Rail vs Twin Track vs Triple Track

The number of tracks a patio has determines the configuration of doors possible. With two tracks you can have two doors slide behind each other, and likewise with three tracks you can have three doors slide behind each other. By adding a fixed panel that does not sit on a track it is possible to have three doors slide behind a fourth fixed panel. All of the doors mentioned in this article have both twin and triple track options, but only the SMART Visoglide Plus has the option of a fixed fourth panel, resulting in this being the most configurable of all the doors.

Twin Track Configurations

F.L (R.F) F.L (R.F)
R.L R.L
F.L.F (F.R.F) F.L.F (F.R.F)
F.L.R.F F.L.R.F

Triple Track Configurations

F.L.L (R.R.L) F.L.L (R.R.L)
F.L.L.R.R.L F-L-L-R-R-F
F.L.L.L (R.R.R.F) F.L.L.L

The table below shows the different thicknesses of meeting style for each patio, along with the different configurability of each door:

Model Meeting Style Thickness Glazing Type Straight Slider Lift and Slide Twin Track Triple Track Optional Fixed Panel
(RRRF or FLLLL configuration)
SMART Slide 2000 35mm Wrap Around Yes No Yes Yes No
SMART Visoglide Plus 83mm Beaded Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Schuco ASS50 94mm Beaded Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Schuco ASS70HI 108 / 118mm Beaded Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Sliding Door Prices

The price of a sliding door depends upon a number of factors, including size, configuration of door and type of door. The table below provides a guide to how the price of each door compares with one another.

Model Price
SMART Slide 2000££
SMART Visoglide Plus£££
Schuco ASS50££££
Schuco ASS70HI£££££

Gallery

SMART Visoglide Plus with Fixed Fourth Panel (F.L.L.L configuration)

SMART Visoglide Plus with Fixed Fourth Panel

SMART Slide 2000 with 35mm meeting style

SMART Slide 2000 with 35mm meeting style

Schuco ASS70HI Lift and Slide Door

Schuco ASS70HI Lift and Slide Door

Schuco Windows and Doors Smart Architectural Aluminium