Sliding door linear guide

Sliding door linear guide ? You have to move a door, but you are not sure whether to opt for a linear rail or a telescopic slide for sliding door ? CHAMBRELAN offers you solutions with its sliding door rails, guides or drawer slides.

If you are unfamiliar with the terms telescopic slides and guide rails, we invite you to consult our various blog articles on this subject.

We have written this article to help you choose the most suitable linear guide for an industrial sliding door, an exterior sliding door or a sliding door for interior fittings.

Contents :

  1.  Linear rail for sliding doors
  2.  Telescopic slide for sliding doors
  3.  Special cases of sliding door guides
  4.  Options

1 – Linear rail for sliding door

A – General presentation

As a general rule, we recommend the installation of a linear guide rail, also known as a sliding door runner rail. A linear guide rail is an assembly consisting of a sliding block, either with Recirculating ball bearing runner or Rollers runners. This (or these) runner(s) slide(s) inside a U-shaped rail.



linear guide rails with ball bearing runner or roller runner  are designed for horizontal or vertical guiding applications. They are designed to operate in an environment where the temperature is between -20° and +80°C.

The rail is designed for fixed mounting. The runners (ball or roller) move in the rail and slide the door.

CHAMBRELAN linear rails have the following characteristics:

      • The rails are available in lengths from 150 mm to 2 metres in the standard version.
      • It is possible to produce the rails to measure to obtain the desired length or to drill fixing holes according to a drawing to be supplied to us.
      • They are available in galvanised steel, anodised aluminium or stainless steel.

 We limit the length of the rails to 2 metres to avoid any damage during transport.

For lengths greater than 2m, we propose to butt the rails together to reach the required dimension. Joining several linear rails together is simple and does not require any special work, just care during mounting.

 CHAMBRELAN designs and produces ball or roller  runners inserted inside the rails, which can individually support up to 600 kilos. Remember that the load given is indicated PER runner, two runners in a rail will therefore support twice the load per runner.

The preferred mounting method is to position the door track on major axis and at the top, and to add a guide at the bottom (a simple U-profile may suffice).

This is to prevent the door from swinging out of position and the door runner from slipping out of the track.

We always recommend mounting on major axis, as the load is higher in this position compared to minor axis mounting.

B- Choosing the right guide

    • The choice of rail depends on :
      •  The available space called the footprint,
      • The load of the sliding door, housing or cover, The number of runners to be used according to the size of the leaf or its weight.
      •  Mounting direction: major axis or minor axis
      • And of the translation – the devloppment

Depending on your environment or conditions of use, you can select rails and runners in steel, aluminium or all stainless steel (304L)! For example, for an external sliding door system, you will choose a stainless steel rail and runners.

    • The choice of runner :
      •  A recirculating ball bearing runner is extremely resistant and reliable over time, and is therefore recommended for industrial environments. Recirculating ball bearing runners will support more loads than roller runners.
      •  A roller runner will support less load. Its advantage is that it is much quieter than the recirculating ball bearing runner version.

These rail  are available with polyamide-coated rollers for even quieter running. The roller runners are therefore more suitable for domestic applications such as interior design, traditional joinery or the creation of movable partitions.

C – Examples of linear rail :

      • D409

This anodised aluminium rail is supplied with the AL40 hard anodised aluminium ball bearing slide which can support 15 kilos on major axis per runner. Thanks to its small dimensions, it is ideal for very small spaces and medium load movements.

      • E53 / ST53 / D52 family

The special feature of the E53 steel rail and its ST53 stainless steel or D52 aluminium versions is its profile which accepts both recirculating ball bearing and roller runners.

The ball bearing runners can support heavy loads of up to 170 kg per runner!

The roller runner, ideal for quiet suspended sliding doors or dusty environments, can support up to 100 kg per runner on major axis!

      • E98

This rail made of drawn, hardened and zinc-plated E98 steel is designed for ultra heavy loads!

The G12 recirculating ball bearing runner made of nitrided hardened steel can alone support up to 600 kg on major axis and 400 kg on minor axis

And the load capacity depends on the number of runners in the rail. Two runners will support 1200kg, four 2-ton 400…

D- Special environments

      • Mounting in high temperatures (more than 80°C continuously)

In the case of use at high temperatures (over 80°C) specific versions of the runners must be used. Standard versions with plastic parts could be deformed and damage your installation! This is particularly the case for industrial sliding door rails.

      • Mounting in a polluted environment

We recommend the use of roller runners for a polluted environment! Indeed, the raceways in roller runners are easier to clean to remove all dust and particles than in a recirculating ball bearing runner. In addition, the rails used with roller runners do not need to be lubricated. Grease is not very compatible with dust- and sediment-filled atmospheres.

To find out more about the maintenance and lubrication of our door sliding rails, we invite you to read our dedicated article on this subject: “Lubrification of CHAMBRELAN telescopic slides and guide rails? »

In addition, this type of runner includes two wipers that repel large impurities that can hinder the movement.

If you wish to use a recirculating ball bearing slide, choose the E53 range, which offers a wiper kit to be fixed on certain ball bearing runner (G53 runner and the G57 runner).

Do not hesitate to contact us to let us know your constraints and your specifications. We will guide you to the most suitable sliding door rail kit.

2- Telescopic slide for sliding doors

A – General presentation

In some cases, the linear rail cannot be installed :

      • for reasons of access: it must be left free of obstacles,
      • for aesthetic reasons: no guides should be visible.

Telescopic slides can also be considered! The choice is made according to the load to be moved and the desired development.






Declined in the following characteristics, the CHAMBRELAN ball bearing slide will know how to adapt to your project :

    • Standard length of 150 mm up to 2 metres in steps of 50mm or 100mm.
    • Three extensions are available: partial extension (75%), total extension (100%) or over extension (150%), custom manufacturing is also possible.
    • Medium to heavy loads: CHAMBRELAN telescopic ball bearing slides can support loads from 50kg to 1500kg.
    • Three materials available: anodised aluminium, galvanised steel or stainless steel.
      •  Zinc plated steel: this is the material most commonly used by industrialists. Thanks to its sturdiness and solidity, while offering a reduced cost, CHAMBRELAN‘s zinc-plated steel sliding door rails or telescopic rails will satisfy you for your projects. We also offer special treatments to increase resistance to corrosion or wear and vibrations!
      • STAINLESS STEEL: the essential for pharmaceutical, medical, clean room or marine environments! For these environments with strict sanitary requirements, stainless steel is the most appropriate material!  Also, for the installation of a guide rail or telescopic rail for external sliding doors, we prefer stainless steel!
      • Aluminium: ideal for the manufacture of slides for sliding doors and linear rails supporting light to medium loads!  These highly corrosion-resistant slides are supplied as standard in stainless steel balls and are offered at a much lower price than the equivalent stainless steel slides.

The CHAMBRELAN ball bearing runner, made up of elements that slide on ball bearings, allows for a general EXTRACTION of a sliding drawer, tray or protective casing. But, of course, you can also install a sliding door!

The point to consider is the extension deflection under load: Every telescopic system undergoes a “buckling” effect when extended: deflection; its value is indicated in our data sheets.

This deflection can be unacceptable if aesthetics are of prime importance, particularly in the case of video screens or tables or mirrors that need to be moved.

We recommend installing a pair of slides on your sliding door to support the total load and thus improve the guidance of your equipment! However, please note :

      • to space the slides sufficiently far apart to avoid swaying
      • and not to install a ground slide which could be contaminated by foreign bodies blocking the extension.

Please note that we offer certain options on our range of telescopic slides to best suit your needs: The double extension in particular, which allows a door to slide on either side of a fixed frame! Thus, your door can open on both the left and right sides! Indispensable for certain installations!  We explain it in our blog article dedicated to this option: “Designing a double extension drawer »

B – Some examples of telescopic slides for sliding doors :

    • RA5R :

This slide in galvanised steel with reinforcing balls and synchronisation system is resistant and can support loads of up to 175 kilos per pair when mounted on major axis!

Designed with a total extension , it grows 100%! Available in anodised aluminium or stainless steel, offering multiple options such as locking (3 types of locks), double extension, or vertical mounting, this all-terrain multi-function slide can be easily integrated into all types of projects, such as the installation of an industrial sliding door!

    • ST26 :

You don’t necessarily need a total extension? And your mounting has to withstand an average load? Finally, stainless steel is indispensable in the environment of your project (medical or marine?)?

We have what you need! The ST26 stainless steel two-piece ball bearing slide is designed for mounting in a small space! It offers smooth and silent sliding! It can support up to 80 kilos per pair when mounting on major axis! And we also offer the double extension option for this slide! You also have the possibility to obtain the same slide (similar size and load) but in a galvanised steel version!

    • RA774 :

In contrast to the previous slide, you wish to obtain a 150% extension! Once again, CHAMBRELAN has the standard solution in its range!

The RA774 zinc-plated steel telescopic rail is designed in 4 elements, which means over-development! E.g.: A 1000mm slide offers a 1500mm extension; ideal for access to the back of a drawer. Reinforced ball bearing slides with synchronised opening, its load capacity is up to 220 kilos per pair on major axis!

Perfectly adapted to slide an ultra heavy load, even when mounted vertically (after factory modification)! Ideal if you are looking for a slide for long sliding doors!

C- Good to know :

    •  You must take into account the weight of your door, of course, but also the number of opening cycles. If you have any specific requirements, please contact us so that we can offer you a solution adapted to your constraints.
    • What is the budget? It is well known that steel is cheaper than aluminium, itself cheaper than stainless steel! To optimise your budget, opt for galvanised steel! In addition, CHAMBRELAN offers optional anti-corrosion treatments to increase their resistance!

3 – Some special cases of sliding door rails

A- Vertical sliding door – Machine protection housings :

When you install a sliding door guide on a linear or telescopic rail, it is generally for horizontal sliding.

However, for certain types of mounting, a vertical guide can be used for

      •  a machine protective housing
      • or the opening and closing of a SAS transfer door
      • or for an industrial sliding door. This process is also known as a guillotine door.

In this case, it is best to use guide rails.

If you need to install telescopic slides, please consult us. The slide must be modified with compensating punctures to limit the offset of the ball cages, a phenomenon due to gravity, and thus reduce the total movement.

B – Long length sliding door :

CHAMBRELAN offers lengths between 150 mm and 2000 mm as standard! A wide choice of lengths for the manufacture of sliding doors! We recommend manufacturing rails in lengths of up to two metres to ensure the integrity of our rail during transport.

However, You need to install on rail, a sliding door of 3 metres, 4 metres, 5 metres or more? CHAMBRELAN has the solution or rather the solutions!

      • Linear guide rail in several pieces: Thus, we can manufacture rails to be installed end-to-end directly on your installation (for example, for a sliding door of 6 metres we offer 3 rails of 2 metres)!
      • Linear guide rail in one piece: If the first solution does not suit you, we can manufacture a linear guide rail in one piece in the length of your choice (up to a maximum of 5.5 metres)!

However, please note that we prefer you to transport the linear rail by your own means or by commissioning a carrier for the reasons explained above.

Also consider increasing the number of runners in the rail to ensure optimal sliding! Do not hesitate to contact us for more information on this subject!



C – Sliding door suspended or to be fixed to the floor?

You have selected the ideal linear guide rail or telescopic slide for sliding your industrial door or transfer module door! Now you have to ask yourself the question of mounting! Will you opt for a suspended sliding door or a sliding door to be fixed to the floor?

    • Suspended sliding door :

Indeed, mounting your suspended sliding door is recommended because it avoids contaminants in the rail.

However, there are a number of things you need to be careful about.

The first is the pendulum effect! If you install your door on the upper part or on the ceiling, without providing a floor guide, your door will undergo a pendulum effect that is dangerous for the rail and for the user.

In this case, you must provide for the installation of a simple guide in the lower part of your door.

Please also note that we do not recommend that you mount your sliding door by fixing your rail upside down to the ceiling. This can cause the door to pull out. It is preferable to install your major axis rail on the wall!

If necessary, you can also install a rail for a suspended sliding door of 3 metres, 4 metres or more, by consulting us for a custom-made solution!

    • Sliding door to be fixed to the floor

Although it is technically possible to install your sliding door by fixing it to a floor rail with a guide at the top, we do not recommend this possibility. External contaminants can enter the rail and runner movement.

D – Single, double or triple sliding door?

    • Sliding rail for double or triple doors in nested mounting


Mounting nested doors or nested casings means that the doors can be nested inside or on top of each other to save space when the system is folded up.

To ensure that the panels overlap instead of sliding sideways, telescopic slides are required.

However, two points should be taken into account:

      •  the first is the dimensioning of the slides, because the torque supported by the fixed slides can quickly rise and exceed the load capacities of the slides.
      • the deflection can be important because the lengths, the play and the loads are added together. It is therefore necessary to take this into account, or better still, install a castor or load take-up at the end of the last sliding panel.

E- protective housing

Does your project require the installation of a machine protection housing?

In order to keep a simple, ergonomic and efficient use of the production machine, a sliding housing is a simple, elegant and reliable solution.

Whether horizontally or vertically sliding, both telescopic slides and guide rails can be used. By the way, we have previously written an article on our blog to help you choose between linear and telescopic guide rails! Have a look!

In contrast to the guide rail, which is present over the entire extension,the telescopic slide closes and expands and therefore retracts completely, leaving full access when closed. Thus, the protective cover, installed on these telescopic slides, completely frees up the working space.

In addition, we can install locks on the telescopic slide itself! Then you will be able to lock the installation in three different positions :

      • Lock out (protective cover up) in the open position
      • Lock in (protective cover is down)
      • Locking out and in position (protective cover both raised and lowered)

The user will have to unlock the slide by pressing a latch on the slide to move the housing.

However, we prefer the installation of a guide rail for protective housing :

      •  it can be installed horizontally, as well as vertically, without undergoing any modification. The telescopic slides must be adapted to the vertical mounting, which is raised and lowered by the addition of stamping. In this way, the ball cages will not be impacted by gravity.
      • They are not subject to the phenomenon of deflection and the guidance will be perfect from end to end of the slide.

To complete this mounting, we have slam lock handles which significantly improve the ergonomics of use.

      •  Easy to handle
      • Possibility of multi-position indexing

4- Options :

slam lock handles :

To handle and lock your industrial or domestic sliding door safely and ergonomically, we offer slam lock  handles and indexing (especially for vertical mounting).these slam lock handles can be installed both horizontally and vertically. You can also install these slam lock handles on even heavy exterior sliding doors! They adapt to all types of environments!

 CHAMBRELAN also offers a wide range of options for all these sliding rails for doors and linear rails to adapt to all types of projects:

    •  Made to measure
    • Specific lubrication
    • Specific treatment
    • Backlash-free mounting
    • Drilling plans
    • For extreme temperatures (from -65° to +350°)

Do you have an idea? Do you have a project?  Contact us to discuss it!

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