Bifold Doors For The Living Room
If you’re looking to inject a little bit of wow-factor into your living space, then a large, folding door is a sure-fire way to do it. Internal bifold doors come in a range of shapes and sizes, but they’re all built in much the same way: a series of panels are connected to one another via hinges so that the entire thing can fold back in a concertina. Each panel is then attached to a rail along the top (or bottom) of the door, which restricts its movement along a single plain, and prevents it from swinging outwards across the room.
This sort of door holds the considerable advantage that it will never open out further than the length of any given panel. This feature comes in handy in several rooms in the modern home, but it’s especially so when it comes to the modern living room. Let’s take a look at why.
Why Install Bifold Doors in the Living Room?
There are several benefits of the bi-fold door in the living room. Let's have a quick run-down of the benefits to bifold doors for the living room:
- Customisable sizes
- Allow the living area and neighbouring rooms to flow seamlessly
- Enhances natural light
- Can open inwards or outwards
- Inserting glass panels can make a room appear larger
Now, let's take a deeper look at these benefits:
The first, and most obvious, is that they can be made very, very big. In practice, they function more like a temporary wall that can be at any moment collapsed to form an entirely new, larger space. If your living room adjoins the dining room or kitchen, this means that those sitting in front of the television will be able to easily hold a conversation with the person who’s doing the dishes.
This extra space is a good thing in and of itself – after all, the living room is where we want to be at our most relaxed, and a restrictive, claustrophobic environment is unlikely to facilitate this. We should also consider that folding doors come with a great deal of glazing. This makes it possible to see much further than before, even when said doors are closed. You don’t have to be consciously looking at the door to perceive this advantage; the sense of space will be palpable whenever you occupy the room.
The dispersal of natural light through the home will also contribute to the sense of space. It’ll also help you to save on your energy bill, as you’ll be less inclined to reach for that light switch – even during gloomy days.
Now, you might achieve the same advantage through a traditional set of French Doors – that is, a set of ordinary double doors with glass panels built into each one. But these sorts of doors can’t be made much larger than a certain, standard size, and this restricts the amount of extra light they can offer. One might pair a set of French doors with sidelights (windows built into the wall on either side) or transoms (windows built into the space above the door) in order to improve light-dispersal – but such additions are immobile, and thus can’t open up new space in the same way that a folding door can.
Which Glass is Best for Lounge Bifold Doors?
When selecting a bi-fold door for your lounge, you’ll have several different options to choose from. Besides the material the door is made from, the sort of glass you choose will have the largest effect on the way the door ultimately looks. Glazing for bi-fold doors comes in all manner of different designs. You might find glazing arranged into vertical stripes, or you might find a more traditional grid of rectangles. For maximum light dispersal, of course, you’ll want a door that’s totally covered by a single pane of glass.
If you’re looking to reduce noise pollution and heat transfer between the rooms of your home, then you might consider double-glazing. This technology sandwiches a layer of inert gas, like argon, between two parallel panes of glass. It’s a technology that’s now ubiquitous across the country. Double-glazing is possible on an interior door, but it’s less desirable than it would be on an exterior one. If you’re going to be frequently collapsing the door to form a single larger room, then insulation probably doesn’t feature near the top of your priorities.
The choice between opaque and transparent glass, on the other hand, might form a pressing concern. The latter will allow light to pass through, but it’ll be dispersed to the extent that you’ll be unable to see what’s on the other side. Transparent glass, on the other hand, is entirely see-through. Opacity comes on a sliding scale – manufacturers often describe it as a percentage, with 0% opacity glass being entirely transparent.
For the most part, opaque glass can be created in one of two ways. It can either be blasted with sand prior to installation, or it can be augmented with a layer of spray-on frosting, which makes the surface of the glass rough, and helps to diffuse light. The latter option can be pursued after the door is installed, making it more flexible than the former, which must be implemented at a factory level.
Generally speaking, sandblasting allows for more precise detail and fine etching than other methods. On the other hand, once you’ve blasted the glass with sand, you’ll be unable to restore it to full transparency, and so you’d better be sure of your decision before opting for factory-made frosted glass.
As an alternative to frosted glass, you might consider a set of blinds or curtains which hang independently over each of the door’s panels and thus don’t restrict its movement. If you’d like to entirely prevent light from moving from one space to another – for example, while watching a film – then a set of thick blackout curtains will do the job admirably.
When selecting a folding door for your living room, you’ll have a myriad of different options to choose from. Since a door of this size is invariably a dominant feature of the room, it’s important to install a variety that matches with the surrounding décor. In this regard, wooden doors tend to be more accommodating than metal ones – though uPVC can present a tolerable alternative for the budget-conscious.