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Sliding Doors VS Bi-folding Doors

Sliding Door

Sliding Doors VS Bi-folding Doors

Aluminium sliding doors and bi-folding doors are one of the most sought after features for homeowners in the UK for their homes.

What is a Sliding Door?

Sliding doors run on a track, either mono rail, duo rail or triple rail depending on the configuration of your doors. The doors will either slide to the left or the right, with the panes sitting behind each other. Hidden pocket versions allow the sliding door to be inserted into the wall to create a complete open wall. Lift and Slide versions are also available, the Lift and Slide mechanism, lifts the door onto wheels when the handle is turned, making for effortless opening of large panes of glass.

What is a Bi-folding Door?

Bi-folding doors, also known as folding sliding doors, are doors which concertina together when opened. These doors can either open inwards or outwards depending on the available space. When opened, it completely opens up the room to the outside.

Choosing the right bi-fold or sliding door for your property is important, not only to create the wow factor but also in terms of how you will use the door.

Both options allow you to open wide apertures of your home to the outside, and flood your home with light, but which options is right for you?

The View

One of the main reasons to want a bi-folding door or sliding door is to make the most of the view, be that a view over the countryside, out to sea, or your garden.

Sliding doors allow for large expanses of glass, with minimal sightlines in order to make the most of the view.

Due to the multiple panes within a bi-folding door, when closed the view is interrupted more, compared to a sliding door. However when opened bi-folding doors allow you to fully open up a side of the room. Whereas with a sliding door, you would inevitably still have a portion of the aperture closed, as the panels slide on top of one another. That said, a pocket can be created for the door to slide into, which like the bi-fold would then fully open up the room to the view.

Space

Space is another influencing factor when choosing between a bi-folding and a sliding door.

Due to the sliding door panes stacking on top of one another, they don’t take up any additional space inside or outside of the house when opened.

With bi-folding doors, opened either in-wards or outwards, do need space in order to be opened and stored when open. Therefore are less practical when space in at a minimum.

Configurations

Both bi-folding and sliding doors allow for multiple different configurations depending on your requirements. See our bi-folding configurations here and our sliding door configurations here.

Our sliding doors can span heights of up to 2.7m, with the bi-fold reaching heights of 2.5m. Both allow for a corner less option, allowing you to open up two walls of a room. The Bi-fold can also be used in bay’s allowing you to create a striking architectural feature.

Both bi-folding and sliding doors allow for a low threshold option, allowing the lines between the inside and outside to be blurred.

Double or Triple Glazing

Both bi-folding and sliding doors are available with double or triple glazing.

Take a look at the performance pages to see how the two systems compare, in terms of thermal efficiency:
Sliding doors performance
Bi-folding doors performance

Ventilation

Lift and slide doors can be opened a little and locked back into place to allow ventilation into a room, whilst keeping the room secure. With a bi-folding door, a whole panel has to be opened.

Summary

In summary it does depend on what is most important to you. If you are looking for a seamless transition between the inside and outside, then bi-folding doors might be the right choice, whereas if you are looking to maximise the glass size and make the most of the view, or if space is limited, then sliding doors might be the right choice.

We would recommend visiting a showroom and speaking with an expert to experience the two types of doors for yourself before making your decision. To find your local showroom, please get in touch.