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February 16

Panoramic Doors vs Nanawall vs LaCantina – What Is The #1 Folding Patio Door on the Market?

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Panoramic Doors Vs. Nanawall Vs. LaCantina


Introduction

Today we are going to compare three of the most popular folding patio doors on the market — Panoramic Doors vs Nanawall vs LaCantina. We’ll present an in-depth assessment of each company’s door systems and present recommendations at the end. 

Our goal was to use our deep experience in the windows & doors industry to understand the folding door landscape and find out how each company stacks up.  

The main difference between the three patio door systems is their different features, cost and materials. We will provide the pros and cons of each door system, helping you decide between these three door manufacturers.

If you’d rather skip right to the comparison chart click here. 

LaCantina: Overview

If you visit the La Cantina site, you’ll see they are all about the lifestyle. Their marketing team has even created a campaign around “Living the La Cantina Lifestyle.” Putting aside from the slick marketing, they are a pioneer in the folding door system space.

They sell a wide range of doors including: folding doors, sliding doors, swing doors and screens. But we are focusing on their folding doors to keep our comparison apples to apples. 

NanaWall: Overview

With over 30 years experience, Nanawall was the first to introduce and popularize folding glass wall systems in North America. Each Nanawall is a custom, turn-key solution. They offer a variety of door systems including: Folding Glass Walls, Sliding Glass Walls, Frameless Glass Walls, Minimal Sliding Glass Walls, Sound Rated and Speciality Glass Walls. We are going to focus on their Folding Glass Wall which they acknowledge on their website is just another for a bi-fold, or accordion style patio door. 

Panoramic Doors: Overview

Panoramic Doors is relatively new to the scene. Founded in 2010 the goal was to bring indoor-outdoor living to the masses. Panoramic Doors makes folding doors, folding windows and retractable screens. 

The main thing that separates Panoramic Doors from any other folding door system on the market is the fact that each door panel in the system operates independently of the next. They have the only independent door system available. Their patented invention and technology is their main selling point — and we have to say it’s pretty impressive.

Before You Buy

You likely have a lot of questions about the specific features of Panoramic Doors, Nanawall and LaCantina door systems but let’s start by looking at some things you need to decide on before you even try to compare each brand.  Depending on your individual taste and style one door system may appeal to you more than the other.

New Construction vs Existing Home 

As you’ll see when we compare each brand in depth below, some companies work far better when trying to retrofit an existing door opening. That’s because there is a big difference between a top hung and bottom track door system. 

Which folding patio doors are top hung vs bottom track supported?

  • LaCantina only offers a top track folding door system.
  • Nanawall offers both top-hung or floor supported folding glass walls. 
  • Panoramic Doors only offers bottom track door systems.


What’s the Difference Between Top Hung vs Bottom Track Folding Patio Doors?

What's the Difference?

Top-Hung Bi-Fold Doors

Bottom-Track Bi-Fold Doors

Ease of use

With top-hung bi-folds, all the weight is at the top of the frame. This can make it more difficult to open and close the door over time as the weight of the doors puts pressure on the entire door system.

Bottom-track doors are able to distribute the weight more evenly as they have a low center of gravity making it easier to open and close the door, even after years of use. Plus the doors are more stable than top-hung bi-folds.

Ease of installation

Top-hung bi-folds need a strong beam overhead to bear the weight of the wall or roof above. You need to ensure the door header can withstand the weight, especially when retrofitting an existing door opening. This makes top-hung doors much harder to install in existing homes.

Bottom track supported door systems do not require a header to support the weight of the doors which means they are much easier to install when replacing a door. Bottom-track doors are also easier to install if you have a new construction project. 

Look

Top-hung and bottom-track folding patio doors are available in a wide range of materials, colors and styles which will complement all styles of home design, even the most contemporary designs.

Top-hung and bottom-track folding patio doors are available in a wide range of materials, colors and styles which will complement all styles of home design, even the most contemporary designs.

Maintenance

Top-hung bi-fold doors do have a bottom guide track. Dirt, leaves and debris can still accumulate. However, this typically doesn’t affect the sliding motion of the doors.

When the doors are open, dirt, leaves and debris can sometimes get stuck in the bottom track, affecting the doors’ sliding motion.

This can be solved by proper maintenance.

How will you use the door?

When deciding between Nanawall, LaCantina and Panoramic Doors you need to consider how you will use the door.

  • Will the door always be fully opened or closed? 
  • Do you have furniture that may interfere with how the door functions?
  • Do you want to be able to open each panel independently to let in some air?
  • Do you have a need for multiple doors on either side of the door system?  

NanaWall Door System Configurations

NanaWall folding door systems have the unique advantage of hiding the doors in a closet or parked remotely if that is important in your design. Additionally they have the option to create virtually any shape such as segmented curves.  

However one of the biggest limitations for residential installations is that the panels do not operate independently so you are unable to open a single panel for some air. You must open the door in the middle which doesn’t allow air to flow into your home evenly. 


LaCantina Door System Configurations

LaCantina is well known in the industry but they lack any unique configuration options. Their door systems must open in the middle. You can open the door slightly but as we pointed out with the Nanawall doors that doesn’t allow for even air flow. This makes it much more difficult to enjoy your doors all year round as you are stuck with an opened or closed configuration.


Panoramic Doors Configurations

Panoramic Doors are a patented system of panels that slide and pivot independently. This allows for multiple configurations that are not possible with bi-fold or multi-slide doors, including configurations that create an opening ideal for ventilation. 

What allows Panoramic Doors door panels to operate independently of one another is their patented tongue-and-groove interlocking hinge system. Whereas most companies use an exterior hinge system to link doors together, Panoramic Doors' uses small interlocking pins so that your doors can be connected together like a traditional hinge system or completely separated and operated individually.

This feature also allows the space on either side of the door to be usable, unlike with bi-fold doors where space must be kept clear to open the doors. Individually sliding panels also make Panoramic doors lighter and easier to operate.

Panoramic Doors do not have any hinges like traditional bi-fold doors. Aesthetically, this creates a cleaner look from the inside and outside and reduces the pinching hazard of the door, which is an important factor if you have children at home.

Price Comparison of LaCantina vs Nanawall vs Panoramic Doors

Whether you are a contractor, architect or homeowner you might be curious how the pricing between these three door systems stack up. 

Comparing the pricing of different door systems is not a straight-forward endeavor, because each door comes with different sizes, features and configurations. 

But before we get to the good stuff it’s important to understand the hidden costs of a folding patio door system.

How Much Do Folding Patio Doors Cost?

Beyond the cost you get on the quote you should consider these three hidden costs:

  1. Cost of structural support (header) - Most folding patio doors, such as bi-fold doors, hang from the header — a large beam above the opening of your door. If you want to replace a sliding glass door or french door a top hung door requires structural changes driving up the cost of your project. 
  1. Cost of maintenance - when each door in a door system is hinged together it means the hinges will need maintenance over time. Plus the entire door has to function as a single unit which may affect their functioning over time. Keep in mind the additional maintenance cost when pricing out your project.

LaCantina Vinyl Door with Hinges

  1. Cost of sales staff - this is a hidden cost none of the door manufacturers will disclose of course. But we mention it because one of our door companies sells Factory Direct, which means they cut out all the middle men in the process. Panoramic Doors is the only company that sells Factory Direct. This means the price will typically be better than other companies who must split a piece of the pie with all the middle men.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the design, usability and budget factors, let’s look at the features of each of the different door systems as well as strengths & weaknesses. 

Door Materials

Doors come in a variety of materials — vinyl, aluminum, and wood. 

Available in Wood

Only two of our three door companies offer wood doors — LaCantina and Nanawall, likely because fewer homeowners are choosing wood these days and Panoramic Doors was founded in 2010 when wood was falling out of favor.

Pros + Cons of Wood Folding Patio Doors

Pros

  • Wood is a classic look for a door 
  • Offers excellent thermal insulation

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Lacks a modern look
  • More Maintenance
  • Won't last as long
  • Wood doors are  very heavy which may affect how the door functions over time 

Conclusion:

A wood may look good in a mountain cabin but many homeowners are leaning toward more modern looking designs. Plus wood patio doors require a lot of maintenance and upkeep as you will have to clean the wood at least once a year and reapply stain and seal every couple of years.


LaCantina Wood Doors

Lacantina provides you with hand-crafted hardwood doors which are an excellent option. They design your hard-wood doors according to your specifications.

LaCantina's original wood door systems is a timeless classic featuring the natural beauty and organic aesthetic of wood. Available in a wide range of standard and custom wood species, ready to seal, stain or paint. 

Features:

  • High quality engineered wood for strength & performance
  • Vertical grain Douglas fir and mahogany wood species in stock or custom order any species



NanaWall Wood Doors

Where others might find veneers acceptable, Nanawall provides the highest quality materials engineered to match any architectural style. This includes both residential and commercial projects. NanaWall wood framed glass wall systems are manufactured in Germany, providing the world-class quality and long-term reliability you expect.

Features:

  • Long-term performance and heights up to 10’ (3050 mm) and panel widths up to 3’ 7” (1100 mm) 
  • Convenient swing entry doors can be placed within the chain of panels or at the side jamb.
  • Top-hung models that offer inward or outward openings
  • Rated, certified, and labeled in accordance with NFRC 100 and 200
  • Wood components are 100% solid wood of choice, cross-grained and triple laminated for strength


Available in Vinyl

Only LaCantina and Panoramic Doors offer vinyl doors and for good reason.

Pros + Cons of Vinyl Folding Patio Doors

Pros

  • Retain their color forever 
  • Ideal for hot & cold climates
  • Energy efficient
  • No finishing required
  • Low maintenance
  • Will never have to be repainted
  • Lighter than aluminum

Cons

  • Not recommended for hurricane-force wind

Conclusion:

Vinyl has improved a lot over the years and looks great in modern homes. It blends well with the exterior and is very easy to maintain. 

LaCantina Vinyl Doors

LaCantina brings high quality contemporary styling to the vinyl doors market. Designed to appeal to the needs of a broader market, the vinyl system performs well in all environments, matches popular vinyl window packages and is the ideal solution for home renovations and new construction.

Features:

  • Energy efficient, high quality vinyl doors withstand outside elements
  • No finishing required and low maintenance
  • Up to 6 panels
  • Wide range of glazing options for improved thermal performance

Panoramic Doors Vinyl Doors

The Panoramic Doors vinyl folding patio door brings the beauty and flexibility of the folding/bi-fold to the vinyl door market. Because the panels operate independently of each other, there is no concern with expansion and contraction problems common to the vinyl bi-fold door.

Features:

  • High quality extruded vinyl
  • Thermally efficient
  • Tongue-n-groove interlocking panels
  • Hingeless individual panel operation
  • 3-Point locking system



Available in Aluminum

All three companies offer aluminum doors because aluminum is one of the most popular choices for door material right now. 

Pros + Cons of Aluminum Folding Patio Doors

Pros

  • Inherently strong material reduces weight
  • Good thermal performance (i.e. energy efficient)
  • 100% Recyclable
  • No finishing required
  • Low maintenance
  • Ideal for hot & cold climates
  • Low maintenance
  • Large selection of colors

Cons

  • Not a great match for period buildings or older homes as it doesn’t match the look and feel of the home
  • Tend to be more expensive than vinyl (although still less expensive than wood)

Conclusion:

Aluminum is a great choice for many homeowners who want a higher end material for their project.


LaCantina Aluminum Doors

The LaCantina aluminum patio door system redefines contemporary style. The Aluminum System's clean design features a 2 3/4" narrow stile and rail profile, allowing for more glass and light. The Aluminum system is perfect for residential and commercial projects in moderate climates or as an interior space divider.

Features:

  • High quality extruded aluminum up to 1/4” thick for strength & performance
  • No finishing required and low maintenance
  • Strength and rigidity for oversized panels
  • Single lite panels up to 10' tall without the need for a horizontal mullion
  • Up to 20 panels, 10 in each direction
  • Wide range of glazing options for improved thermal performance, safety protection and privacy


NanaWall Aluminum Doors

The NanaWall aluminum framed folding glass door is designed to provide long-lasting performance and combat extreme weather conditions. Enjoy the benefits of the superior thermal break design which maximizes energy efficiency whatever the exterior conditions. 

Features:

  • Long-term performance
  • Custom powder coated frames
  • Panel heights up to 12’ and widths of 4’
  • Exceptional weather performance 
  • Superior thermal break to maximize energy efficiency


Panoramic Doors Aluminum Doors 

Panoramic Doors are available in Aluminum which is the best option to go with if you want larger doors. You’ll be able to get your doors custom-made with panels that are 10-feet-tall. Depending on how many panels that you add to your system, you’ll be able to get panels that are as thin as 26-inches (in the case of single-panel doors) or as wide as 234-inches (if you opt for a larger 6-panel setup). Configurations can be stacked for a total system width of up to 50-feet.


Features:

  • High quality extruded aluminum for strength & performance
  • Robust panels suitable for all environments
  • Proprietary eeCoreTM thermal core for reduced thermal transfer
  • Unlimited width system
  • Single lite panels up to 10’ tall without the need for a horizontal mullion


Ultimate Comparison Matrix of Panoramic Doors vs Nanawall vs LaCantina

There are so many features and options to choose from that it can be challenging to decide which door system would be best in your home. That’s why we created this feature matrix to help you get started.

Feature

Panoramic Doors

LaCantina

NanaWall

Available in Vinyl

X

X


Available in Aluminum

X

X

X

Available in Wood

X

X


Independent Door Systems

X



(Hingeless Operation)



Sizes

Unlimited Width x 10' Height

52' Wide x 10' Height

60' Wide x 12' Height

Colors on Aluminum Doors

200+ RAL Colors

Can match nearly any color

200+ RAL Colors

Two Master Swing Doors

X

X


Inswing + Outswing Doors

X

X

X

Installation Requires Experienced Contractor

X

X

X

Offer Screen Doors

X

X


Maintenance

Moderate

High

High

Engineering 

Bottom Track

Overhead

Bottom Track or Overhead

Design Aesthetic

Modern, Clean, Futuristic

Spanish Riviera


Price

$$

(Factory Direct)

$$$$

$$$$

Limited 10 Year Warranty

X

X

X

Delivery Time 

6-8 Weeks

5-7 Weeks

7-9 Weeks


What is the Best Folding Patio Door on the Market?

The best folding patio door on the market is Panoramic Doors because they have the only independently hinged door system which means you can open each door, creating dozens of configurations beyond just pushing the doors to the side. You can allow the perfect amount of air flow by moving just one side.

Panoramic patio doors are designed unlike other patio doors on the market.  It is fair to say these aren’t actually patio doors because of its hingeless system as well as the way the doors slide, turn and open.  

A well engineered, high quality, innovative door system, Panoramic Doors slide and pivot functionality, premium grade materials and expert craftsmanship earned this doors system the #1 spot in our door showdown. The way these doors work and the added versatility over regular bifold patio doors is their best feature.

What Makes Them So Special

Let’s review a couple of the main features that makes them the best selling brand and a superior choice for your project.

Unobstructed Views

Unlike other door systems, such as screen doors, sliding doors, and french doors, Panoramic Doors have an innovative design that allows for a sleek and clean appearance, completely unmatched by previous door systems on the market.

Panoramic doors allow you complete control of your viewing experience with options that will enable airflow, protect against insects, and offer an unobstructed aperture.

A Centerpiece of Your Project

Remove the boundary between your home and the outdoors with a Panoramic Door System. With uninterrupted views spanning entire walls, they become an eye-catching centerpiece and increase both the appeal and value of your home. Whether you want to take advantage of fantastic views, maximize natural light or make a small room feel larger, Panoramic Doors will work with you to craft a bespoke solution in the material, size and shape of your choice.

Ease of Quoting

Many door companies will make you wait up to a week to get a quote. Or even worse, they Panoramic Doors are available to purchase through our factory direct sales representatives throughout many areas of the US. Just request a quote through our online pricing app or fill out an easy form to get started.

Two Master Swing Doors

The Panoramic Door is unlike any other folding door on the market. We have completely re-imagined how a folding door should operate. By putting the weight of the panels on the bottom track we are able to reduce the amount of hardware needed while creating a door that is easier to operate and more useful.

Rather than using hinges that tie the sashes together with the way traditional bifold doors do, the Panoramic Door has individual sashes that operate independently of the others. This gives you more flexibility in how you use your patio door. Thus panoramic doors act as two master swing doors.

Here is the link for further demonstration

Inswing Doors

Panoramic doors allow you to swing them open inside, this allows the rest of the panel to slide and swing open.

The Panoramic Patio Door System gives you what no other can, more freedom, more flexibility of opening in the inside, less structural requirements, easier installation, at an affordable lower cost. We offer a state-of-the-art patio alternative, never compromising on quality.

Outswing Doors

Every Panoramic Door provides an Outswing door for easy entry and exit. The Signature Series aluminum door offers the option of having a swing door on both ends of your door system as illustrated by the following pictures.

    

Longevity

Panoramic doors can last for more than 30 years if they are in good working order with regular maintenance.

You can increase the lifespan of panoramic doors by deep cleaning the door tracks and rollers by removing the door from the door frame.


Have comments? Let us know about your experience with each door system or ask us about something we didn't cover.  


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