With a sliding door, you can move the door back and forth along a track instead of out and in like a standard door. This can be beneficial for space-saving reasons---a sliding door sits in a pocket, never intruding into the room. But whether it is an exterior or interior sliding door, there are a few disadvantages of this type of entryway.
Installation is not a breeze when it comes to a sliding door. The installation process involves more than simply nailing the door into a set of hinges. You must install tracks on both the top and bottom of the door frame and position them perfectly so that the door won't be crooked or difficult to slide. The bottom of the sliding door may also have wheels that you must align to the tracks.
The Track is a Magnet for Dirt
The track of a sliding door is a magnet for dirt and grime. The track is made up of a series of grooves that can accumulate large amounts of debris. It is hard to keep the track clean, especially in the case of an exterior door. It is an ideal place for mold and mildew to form, especially on exterior and sliding showers, since the door sits on top of the track for long periods of time and is constantly exposed to moisture.
Over time, a sliding door can eventually develop jamming issues due to dirt or rust from the metal parts. In the case of a door jam, the sliding door is difficult to move and may not close completely, which in turn presents a security issue for an exterior door. The door might even jump off of the track, which would require a whole new installation. You may have to grease the tracks regularly in order to keep the sliding door moving properly, but eventually you will probably have to reinstall the entire door if jamming becomes an issue. This is more common in aluminum and glass sliding doors, which are heavy and can be very difficult to move.