Choosing Cold Room Doors: Sliding or Hinged?


In the realm of cold room, the choice of cold room door type — sliding (also known as gliding doors) and hinged (commonly referred to as swing doors) — is a critical decision for operational efficiency and energy management. Sliding doors, known for their space-saving design, are becoming increasingly popular in modern facilities, while hinged doors remain a staple due to their robust construction and traditional appeal. This guide delves into the specifics of sliding and hinged cold room doors, helping you navigate through their characteristics to select the most suitable option for your needs.

Cold Room Doors

Materials and Construction

Sliding doors, known for their practicality in space management, typically utilize materials like aluminum, fiberglass, or reinforced plastics. These materials are chosen for their lightweight and durable nature, facilitating smooth and effortless movement. Their corrosion resistance is a notable advantage, particularly in environments with fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels.

In contrast, hinged doors are constructed from more substantial materials such as stainless steel or solid wood. The use of these heavier materials in swing doors translates into increased durability and security. This robust construction is especially beneficial for areas requiring high security and where door strength is a top priority.

The material choice significantly influences the door’s performance, particularly in terms of operational efficiency and energy conservation. It also affects maintenance requirements; lighter materials typically demand less upkeep compared to heavier ones, which might need more frequent checks and balances due to their weight and usage.

Thickness and Insulation

Sliding Doors

Sliding doors offer a range of panel thicknesses: 75mm, 100mm, 120mm, and 150mm. This variety allows for tailored insulation solutions to meet diverse requirements. The core of the door is made from 100% polyurethane foaming material, known for its excellent insulation properties.

The options for the door’s steel plate include stainless steel, color steel plate, and embossed aluminum plate. These choices provide not only durability but also add to the aesthetic value of the door. Additionally, sliding cold storage doors are suitable for a wide temperature range, from -45°C to +50°C, making them versatile for different environmental conditions.

sliding door

Hinged Doors

hinged door

Hinged doors provide a range of panel thickness options: 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, and 180mm. The steel plate options are similar to those of sliding cold room doors, including stainless steel, color steel plate, and embossed aluminum plate. They can be made with single or double open modes, with door height options ranging from 800 to 1300mm and 1500 to 2700mm, and door width options ranging from 1800 to 2200mm and 2100 to 3000mm. The temperature range for swing doors is also from -45°C to +50°C. Suitable for cold storage, low-temperature freezer rooms, medium-temperature processing room, and thermal insulation devices, these doors accommodate moderate door sizes and frequencies of use.

These doors are suitable for various settings, including cold storage, low-temperature freezer rooms, medium-temperature processing room, and thermal insulation devices. They are designed for moderate door sizes and moderate door opening frequencies. Like sliding doors, the material used is 100% polyurethane foaming.

Opening and Closing of Cold Room Doors

Sliding doors operate using a track and roller system, which is ingeniously designed to facilitate easy and smooth horizontal movement. This system typically involves a set of rollers or bearings mounted at the top or bottom of the door, gliding along a fixed track. The precision engineering behind this mechanism ensures minimal effort is required to open or close the door, even when dealing with larger door sizes. This mechanism allows for horizontal movement, making them ideal in areas where space is limited. This feature is particularly advantageous in settings where rapid and frequent access to the cold room is necessary, such as in busy commercial kitchens or medical facilities.

sliding door parts
hinged door parts

The mechanics of hinged doors are rooted in their simplicity and time-tested reliability. Attached to their frames via two or more hinges, these doors operate on a pivot, swinging outward or inward. The number of hinges and their placement is carefully calculated based on the door’s weight and size to ensure stability and ease of use. Hinged doors can be designed to open in one direction (single swing) or both directions (double swing), offering versatility in various settings. In environments where a more traditional door operation is preferred and space allows, swing doors provide a robust and reliable solution.

What type of cold room door should I use?

Sliding doors are particularly suitable in environments where space is constrained, especially in corridors or narrow passages. In such scenarios, hinged doors might reduce or obstruct the necessary space for passage. For instance, if a corridor requires frequent access, installing a gliding door can avoid occupying too much space when opened.

On the other hand, if the walls of the cold room are not large enough to accommodate a sliding door, a hinged door (possibly with two leaves) may be the only solution. This is especially common in small cold rooms or in situations with limited spatial layouts, where the design of swing doors can adapt flexibly to these space constraints.

For particularly large spaces that need to be sealed, or when bulky pallets need to be moved in and out – which may be difficult to maneuver with a swing door in the way – gliding doors are generally the more ideal choice. The design of sliding doors allows for larger opening spaces, making the transport of large items or equipment more manageable. In contrast, hinged doors might pose an obstacle in high-traffic operational areas.

Carefully considering all these aspects during the design phase is crucial in order to select the type of door best suited to the specific characteristics of the environment in which it will be used. The right choice of door type not only affects the daily operational efficiency of a cold storage facility but also relates to long-term energy consumption and maintenance costs.


Sliding doors and hinged doors each have unique design features that make them more suitable for different types of cold storage environments.

  • High Traffic Cold Storage: Sliding doors are particularly suitable for areas requiring frequent access, such as commercial food warehouses or large catering facilities.
  • Space-Limited Cold Storage: In environments where space is at a premium, like urban food retail outlets or small cold rooms, gliding doors offer a space-saving solution without compromising access.
  • Large Opening Cold Storage: For spaces that need to be sealed and are particularly large or where large pallets and equipment need to be moved in and out, gliding doors are the ideal choice. Their design allows for larger openings, facilitating the handling of large items.
  • Moderate to High-Temperature Cold Storage: Suitable for a wide range of temperatures, from moderate to high, sliding doors in these environments can provide efficient space utilization and convenient access.
  • Heavy-Duty Usage Cold Storage: Hinged doors are ideal in environments where doors need to withstand frequent and heavy use, such as industrial cold storage or manufacturing plants.

  • Small Cold Storage: Hinged doors provide flexibility and reliability for small cold storage facilities where door size and frequency of use are moderate.

  • Low-Temperature Environments: Especially suitable for low-temperature cold rooms and freezer room where maintaining consistent internal temperatures is critical for product preservation.

  • Strict Temperature Control Cold Storage: For environments requiring stringent temperature management, like pharmaceutical storage or deep-freeze warehouses, swing doors offer superior insulation and a more effective seal.

Commercial Walk In Freezer in restaurants


Ultimately, the decision between sliding and hinged doors should be made with careful consideration of the specific operational requirements and spatial constraints of the cold storage facility. By aligning the door type with the facility’s unique needs, one can ensure efficient operation, optimal space usage, and maintain the required temperature control, contributing to the overall effectiveness and sustainability of the cold storage operations.

If you’re still unsure about which door type to choose, feel free to contact us for further assistance. We’re here to help you make the best decision for your cold storage needs.

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