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All About Internal Bifold Door Handles

If you've made the decision to liven up the interior of your home with a set of internal bifold doors, you might also want to consider accessorising to make sure they are perfectly suited to your personal design preferences and give your doors that final, perfect finishing touch. You'll be looking at precious little extra outlay for bi fold door handles, and it's a job you should quite easily be able to undertake yourself, with no supervision. Remember, that bifold door handles are not simply a decoration, they are integral to the functionality of your doors. If you are installing new handles and removing old ones, you might find your doors very difficult, if not impossible to operate. With this in mind, let's begin.

Positioning Door Handles: Where To Put Handles On Bifold Doors?

Before you think about installing your handles, you'll need a decent grasp of not only where to place door knobs for bifold doors, but why. Aesthetically, the bi fold door handle location is largely up to you, as it's technically workable to have your handles positioned in most areas of your doors and on most panels. If you place your handles in a position that works mechanically, as well as aesthetically when putting handles on bifold doors, your doors will end up lasting longer and will be easier to operate on a daily basis. Poor handle placement could also result in broken doors, especially if they're used often. To find out more, take a look at how bifold doors work

In most cases, the ideal position is with the bi fold door handles located in the horizontal centre of the middle two doors, as this acts as a compromise between smooth opening and smooth closing, keeping friction to a minimum to avoid excessive pressure on the tracking system. If the handles are placed too far to the right or left, the force on the guide pins can eventually lead to the doors wearing on the tracks and vice-versa. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, you could position your handles near the outer hinge edges of the centre doors. This way, the doors will open more easily, but closing them will be slightly more difficult.

Whatever configuration you choose, always make sure your bi fold door pulls are on your centre (or leading) doors. If there is no centre door (in a two-panel configuration, for example) always put the handle on the door that's not permanently attached to the wall. You should also always place your handles at the vertical centre, and if you have to pull too hard to open your doors or push too hard to close them, you might need to try again. Thankfully, it's not particularly difficult to do this, as we'll discover below.

How Do You Install Door Handles for Bifold Doors?

Here we'll take you through a simple guide that should take no more than 10-minutes to prepare your internal bifold door handles.

  • If your doors are flat, measure around 36-inches from the floor on each of your leading doors and make a mark in the centre, and on both sides. If you are positioning your bi-folding door handles elsewhere, obviously these instructions will not apply (see above).
  • For paneled doors, find the centre of the middle rail and make your marks there.
  • Next, use a 1/16 inch drill bit on your electric screwdriver and drill directly through the hole and then screw your bi-fold door handle on the other end. Your handle should also have come with apparatus and its own literature explaining how to install quickly and safely. 


This is an incredibly basic installation, though it will not always be so basic, especially if you're using a door handle with a projection. Nine times out of ten, when you're dealing with internal bifold doors, the handle will be a basic door knob, that will require very little, if any extra hardware.

If you are installing a more ornate handle, there could also be a handle backset to consider, which will be installed behind the door and will act as a mechanism to keep the handle secure. In this case, the installation will vary depending on the hardware supplied with your purchase. This is definitely something you should consider when you're shopping for and choosing your handle.

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How Do I Choose Handles For Interior Bifold Doors?

You might be surprised just how many options are available to you regarding bifold door handles, and which you choose will ultimately be based on three primary factors; the size and weight of your doors, your personal taste, and what you can afford. Before you start choosing door handles, take careful measurements of the depth of your doors, as this will be the most important factor to consider logistically when choosing the best handles for bifold doors.

Door Knob or Door Handles for Bifold Doors – Whilst a proper handle might seem like a more classic, ornate, and impressive option, more often than not it's really not required. Bi-fold handles are, however, a lot easier to operate, and might be the best option if you, or anyone in your family, suffers from arthritis. They are also easier for smaller children to use, especially if the doors in question are rather large and/or heavy.

Locking Mechanism – With an internal bifold door, you're going to want to steer clear of keyed locks, as the idea of trapping someone inside a pantry or wardrobe without a key is a terrifying thought indeed. Instead, something that requires turn buttons is a good bet, if you are looking at making your bifold door a little more secure.

Bifold Door Hardware – Certain types of handle and/or knob will require different kinds of hardware in order to fit them properly. Make sure your door can logistically handle (pardon the pun) this hardware before you make your decision.

Size – The size of the handle you choose should relate to the size of the door it's going to be attached to. What size door handle you'll need is open to debate, of course, but a general rule is that any handle should be able to sit on the door without looking out of place. Do your research online and you should be able to ascertain the handle size that will best suit your specific situation.

Material – In terms of material, your choices will probably be limited to wood or metal. For smaller bifold door configurations, such as wardrobe or pantry doors, wooden handles or knobs would certainly suffice. They are also easy to paint and customise to your liking.

Style – Now this is very much down to your own specific preference. You'll obviously have more to choose from style-wise with handles, though door knobs are easier to customise, especially wooden door knobs.

Internal Bifold Door Handles and Locks Problems and Queries

  • If your door handle is sticking or feels a little stiff, chances are it might simply need a little lubrication in the form of grease of petroleum jelly on the springs.
  • Failing that, there is a chance your handle might have been over-tightened when it was attached. If this is the case, the fix is simply a case of loosening the screws a little.
  • Conversely, and this is especially true of bifold door knobs, your handles and/or knobs might, over time, begin to feel a little loose. If this is the case, simply take a screwdriver and tighten the handle/knob until you're happy with the results.
  • If your door handles are falling prey to the elements, and are looking a little dirty, simply take a damp cloth and wipe it up and down the shaft of the handle, being sure to dig into the crevices.

Hopefully, this has covered all of your potential queries regarding internal bi-fold door handles. If you have more questions, though, there is a wealth of information available online.


Image credit: "Door Handle" by www.trek.today is licensed under CC BY 2.0