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How Do Internal Bifold Doors Work?

Internal bifold doors have become an increasingly popular alternative to regular internal doors in recent years due to their fabulous space-saving features. They make perfect room dividers and their ability to fold neatly to one side and completely open up a living space is pretty much unrivalled by any other internal door style.

Here, we’re going to explore how they work, customisation options and handy tips on how to install bifold doors as well as how to open and close them effectively.

Are internal bifold doors easy to operate?

Yes, internal bifold doors are generally easy to operate. Despite often being made from expansive and heavy glazed panels, they’re designed to fold and slide smoothly along a track system, allowing for effortless opening and closing - making them a particularly suitable choice for those with mobility issues who may struggle to open regular sliding doors or French doors.

Most modern bifold doors are equipped with hardware that ensures smooth operation, such as top and bottom rollers and pivots that run along a track. As internal folding doors typically require minimal effort to push or pull, they’re very convenient for daily use.

How do internal bifold doors open and close?

Internal bi fold doors consist of two or more panels that are hinged together and connected by a track or rail system at the top and bottom.

This allows the doors to fold and slide along the track when opening or closing. The panels are typically linked by hinges known as pivot hinges, which enable them to concertina smoothly as they move along the track. For more information on door tracks, please read our handy guide all about internal bifold door tracks.

When fully opened, the panels of an internal bifold door stack neatly against one another, creating a compact profile that helps make the most of your floor space.

To open a bifolding door, you simply need to slide one panel away from the opening, causing the remaining panels to follow suit and unfold. This folding action allows for a wide opening while minimising the amount of space required for the door to operate.

Due to the flexibility of bifold doors, they can usually be opened in one or both directions, and can open inwards or outwards for maximum versatility.

How do you open an internal bifold door?

Opening internal folding doors is a simple and intuitive process that involves gently pulling or pushing the panels along the track. To open the door:


Locate the leading edge or handle of the first panel.


Grasp the edge of the panel and pull it away from the opening.


Continue pulling the panel until it reaches the fully open position.


If the bifold doors consist of multiple panels, repeat the process for each panel until the desired opening size is achieved.

How do you close an internal bifold door?

Closing an internal bifold door is equally straightforward and can be done with minimal effort. To close the door:


Begin with the door in the fully open position.


Push the leading edge of the first panel towards the opening.


As the first panel moves along the track, the remaining panels will follow suit and unfold away from each other.


Continue pushing the panels until the door is fully closed and the panels are flush against one another.

By following these simple steps, you should be able to easily open and close sliding folding doors. Whether used to divide rooms, create flexible living areas, or add a focal point to your interior design scheme, internal bifolding doors offer a versatile and practical solution for most homes.

Do internal bifold doors need a bottom track?

Internal bifold doors typically have a bottom track for stability, but there are a number of bifolding door systems that have been designed to operate equally well with just a top hung track. The bottom track tends to serve as a guide for the doors, ensuring they move along smoothly when opening and closing.

A bottom track would also be used to help distribute the weight of the doors more evenly, preventing them from sagging or becoming misaligned over time. But this isn’t needed with bifold doors that feature a top hung system (such as our Roomfold Standard and Roomfold Grande range).

It’s worth noting that if a folding door system is designed to work with a bottom and top track, it must be used. Omitting the bottom track when installing bifold doors could cause damage later down the line.

What hardware is needed to operate internal bifold doors?

To operate internal bifold doors smoothly, several types of hardware are typically needed:


Bifold doors are equipped with hinges that allow them to fold and unfold along their length. These hinges are usually attached to both the top and bottom edges of each door panel.

Rollers or Wheels

Rollers are installed at the top (and sometimes bottom) of the door panels and glide along a track installed in the door frame or floor. They enable the smooth opening and closing of the doors.


Tracks are installed at the top and sometimes at the bottom of the door frame to guide the movement of the doors. The rollers or wheels on the door panels slide along these tracks, helping with stability and easy operation.

Handles or Knobs

These are attached to the leading door panel, allowing users to grasp and pull the access door open or closed.


For added stability, some bifold door systems may include guides installed at the bottom of the door panels. These guides help keep the doors aligned and prevent them from swinging or wobbling when opening or closing.

Locks or Latches

Depending on the location, some internal bifold doors may feature locks or latches to secure them in the closed position. These can be simple twist locks, drop bolts, magnetic catches or more elaborate locking mechanisms for added security and privacy.

For extra convenience, most quality bifold doors are supplied with all the fixings and hardware you'd need, apart from the door handles (as these are a design feature and everyone has their own preference, you get to choose them yourself). When getting ready to install bifold doors, always check you all of the relevant pieces ready to reduce any chance of downtime and additional labour costs.

Are internal bifold doors customisable?

Yes, internal bifold doors can be customised to suit various design preferences and functional needs. You can choose from a wide range of materials, sizes, finishes and panel configurations to create a tailored look that works well with your interior space.

Style and Finishes

Bi fold door panels can be finished with paint, stain, or laminate to match existing decor or create a focal point in the room. Wooden internal bifolds are often available unfinished or primed so you can colour however you’d like.


Internal bifold doors are available in a variety of materials, including; solid wood, large glass panels, metal and composite. Each material offers its own unique characteristics in terms of durability, aesthetics and maintenance needs.

Panel Configurations

The number and size of panels can be customised to accommodate different door openings and architectural styles. Common configurations for folding doors include two-panel, three-panel and four-panel designs, with options for equal-sized or varying-sized panels if needed.

Internal bi folding doors are regularly used to continue the look throughout the home created by bifold patio doors, so you might wish to match the colour and design this way. Crittall-style patio doors being a great example of where this transition from external to internal works perfectly.

Style and Function with Internal Bifolding Doors

If you have small rooms, want to improve natural light or you're keen to create a more seamless transition between living spaces, then internal bi fold doors might just be for you.

If you're contemplating swapping out other door styles for bi fold doors but you're not quite sure how they work, we hope you've found some answers to your questions here. If not and you'd like to know more, just give us a call and one of our internal door experts will be more than happy to help!

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If you have a question which isn't covered by one of our handy guides, why not drop us an email and we'll be happy to assist.

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