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Internal Bifold Door Glazing

Now that you've (presumably) decided to install internal bifold doors in your home, thereby increasing not only the financial value of your home but its aesthetic value as well, there are many variables to consider. Whilst you should obviously start with the doors themselves, what you should look at next is the glazing, as one of the primary reasons so many people have fallen in love with bifold doors in recent years is the amount of light they can bring into a room, and how much larger and more open they can make a space look. Without adequate glazing, this is almost entirely negated.

What Are Glazed Doors?

What does glazing mean? To answer that, let's look at a glazed doors definition. Technically speaking, any door with a glass panel and top and bottom rails could be called a glazed door. The word “glazed,” in fact, actually derives from an old middle English term for “glass.” So essentially, an added panel of glass is what glazing means.

Glazing can be mounted on the surface of almost any window sash or door stile, usually made of wood, aluminium or PVC. The glass is generally fixed into a rebate in the frame, but toughened and laminated glass can be glazed by bolting panes directly to a metal framework. Glazing is not only a way of making any surface into a window, which is why it's become so popular to use in bifold doors, but it helps retain collected heat, meaning it's perfect for internal use.

What Are Double Glazed Doors?

Double glazed doors have two glass panels instead of just one. There is usually a gap between the two panels that creates a vacuum to provide better insulation. Sometimes, the gap is filled with gas which also reduces heat transfer. Generally, double glazed doors offer better thermal efficiency and soundproofing than single glazed doors.

Why Choose A Glazed Interior Bifold Door?

The real question you should be asking is, why should I NOT choose a glazed interior bifold door? It depends very much on what you'll be using your bifold doors for, of course. If you are installing your doors to cover a kitchen pantry or a wardrobe in your bedroom, then glazing might not be the best option, as these are situations where the entire point of the doors is to hide or store something. In the case of a pantry, a glazed window could actually be a negative, as the glazing tends to trap heat, and that's the last thing you want if the whole point is to keep foods at a sensible room temperature. If your interior bifold doors have been installed as room partitions, however, or in a situation where the light flow is important, there is no good reason not to at least consider glass panels.

Let there be light – Installing an interior bifold door with glass inserts is definitely a good idea is you want to bring a little more light to your room and just generally increase the light flow throughout your home. The glass panels will also trap heat, so it will help your home stay warm at night. Basically, a bifold door with glass panel is the perfect way to break up your home without sacrificing the amount of natural light coming into it, and glazing is generally much simpler to install than a new window, which would require expensive fitting, and potentially planning permission!

Wide open spaces – Installing glazed bi fold doors in your home will have an instant and dramatic effect on the look and feel of whatever space you decide to put them in. Depending on the style (which we'll be covering later) they could also completely shift the atmosphere of the room, especially if said room was feeling a little dated. Indeed, glazed bifold doors are a simple, cost-effective and striking way to bring any room bang up to date! Many modern homes, meanwhile, can often feel more like a collection of smaller, separated spaces than a cohesive 'home' and bifold doors with glazing can really help open up your entire homestead!

See where you're going – This might sound more than a little obvious, but one of the main advantages of glass its transparency. Not only can installing internal glazed bifold doors help you see into other rooms for obvious reasons, but they can make your home safer, for example, in the case of kitchens and children's rooms, by allowing you to keep an eye on what's going on at all times, and know exactly what your children are up to! It could also help when it comes to familial communication and closeness, which many have argued is severely lacking in the 21st century!

If you're not ready for an interior door with glass design, then there are some other options you could choose. You can install an interior door with glass above or at the side. An interior door with glass panel at the top is known as a transom door, or a door with an added transom. This is not common with internal bifolding doors as they already let plenty of light through.

Another option for increased light flow is an interior glass door with sidelight. It is possible to add glass lights or 'sidelights' to bifold doors where the door opening is particularly wide, but these tend to be a more common addition to French doors.    

Types Of Glazed Internal Bifolds

Glass Material – Interior bifold doors with glass panels aren't all the same, and there are different types of glass available. Common types of glazing that can be used in interior glazed bifold doors include clear and tinted float glass, tempered glass, and laminated glass, as well as a variety of coated glasses, all of which can be double or triple glazed. There's also the possibility of frosted glass, which would be perfect if you want to enjoy the extra light offered by glazed doors without sacrificing your privacy. This option would be particularly useful when installing glazed doors for bathroom where privacy really matters.

Frame Material – The main options you'll be looking at when it comes to your door frames are wood, UPVC or aluminium. Obviously, an interior glass door with wood frame is by a large margin the most desirable material as it's a perfect middle ground between good looks, cost, and security. PVC is obviously the cheapest option, but it won't last half as long as a wooden option. Aluminium, meanwhile, is generally far too expensive an option for most internal applications. Wooden bifold doors with glass can offer quite different looks. The colour and style of wood you choose will depend on your personal preferences. Natural oak or pine is always a good look, and can always be stained at a later date and given fresh coats of varnish to hold off the ravages of age.

Style – Style is everything when it comes to interior design, so it matters just as much with your interior bifold doors. The first stylistic aspect to consider is the actual glass panels on the doors themselves. You could opt for long, large panes of glass that cover almost the entire door panels, smaller panels, or even panels that have been designed to make your bifold doors look almost more like windows than actual doors. You could also have glass panels installed with wooden slats to break up the natural light as it enters the room. Why not install blinds on your doors so you can control how much light is let in?

Glazed Interior Bifold Doors: Troubleshooting

How to paint glazed doors

This can prove tricky, as you obviously don't want to get any paint on the glass. So before you begin, make sure the glass is masked by applying masking tape, but remember to use a box of putty and a knife to make sure the edges are straight. When painting, try to use a rather dry brush and refrain from using a roller as this is a rather delicate job that requires more precision. Also, when you're done, remove the tape carefully!

Bi fold glass door repair

If the glass itself is broken, then you might need to replace the panels. If you're looking at the wear on the frames, however, you could use a simple sealant to plug any cracks or paint over any blemishes.

Bifold door glass replacement

Removing the panes of glass individually and replacing them with fresh ones is quite a daunting task that requires a steady hand and at least a modicum of DIY experience. Cutting glass can be difficult and dangerous, so we would recommend hiring a professional to do the job for you! the same goes for how to glaze bifold doors, this is a job best done professionally.

How do I install my internal, glazed bifold doors? 

Whilst removing broken or undesirable glass panels might be a difficult and fiddly task, installing fresh ones could actually be a simple job. Most often, the wood panels that make up your bifold doors will slot into grooves cut into the stiles and rails of the door, and if that's the case, it's simply a matter of removing the wooden panels and replacing them with glass ones.

Conclusions and final tips:

Hopefully now you're ready to choose and install your very own glazed internal bifold doors. There's a lot to take in, but you'll be more than happy you took the leap!