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Bi-fold Or Sliding Doors? The Pros And Cons

June 3, 2019

Sliding doors or bi-fold? Which do you prefer? There are always pros and cons to weigh up, but if you consider the location of the doorway and the use that will be made of it, it’s easy enough to decide between them.

Here we’ll consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of them.

Understand Your Space

Folding door hardware tends to be used when the open doorway needs maximum width. So, for example, if you have a room that opens out onto the garden, and the owners are looking to do some alfresco dining or to extend their living space out into the open, you’re probably wise to go for the folding door.

If on the other hand you have a tight space, a sliding door is going to require less space either side of the track when open, saving space in a small room or garden. However, the trade off is that you will only have around half of the opening that a folding door would offer.

Now obviously, this is a matter of preference too. But generally speaking, bi fold door hinges are best used in areas where the doors all folding to one side (or both sides) will not cause issues, regardless of the doors folding inwards or outwards. Sliding doors always slide on the track line, but they will reduce the doorway - something that is fine in many homes and conservatories with smaller gardens.

Whichever option you choose, the tracks and running gears should be kept clean and free from debris. Also consider what furniture you will have in the close vicinity of the door and how it will fair when doors are either folded or slid in that direction. If this opening also serves as a daily access point, consider an odd number folding door arrangement that makes a handy standard swing door opening without further effort.

Style As Well As Function

Bi-fold doors usually need frames around the glass, although frameless glass systems are available for areas such as glass rooms or commercial areas not requiring residential thermally efficient values. If your requirement is for maximum visibility when the doors are closed, you might opt for the sliding door instead, with larger panes of glass giving free view to the garden.

In terms of security, there’s really no big competition. Both can be fitted with multi-lock systems, with tracking that prevents the doors being lifted out. Either choice, and you’ll be as safe as houses, as they say.

So if you’re just considering the look of the thing during the cooler months of the year, you might decide to go for the potential to have wider glass panels and a sliding mechanism. However, there’s something to be said for the option to open the whole wall to the beauty of the outdoors when the sun is shining and guests are arriving.


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