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What Are Bifold Doors?

Bifold doors definition is doors that slide open, made from a series of panels that fold up against the wall like a concertina. Although conventional, single leaf doors are common in most modern homes, they can be incredibly inconvenient when you're trying to make the most of the space in your home.

A more attractive, sturdy, and unique alternative is a bifold door, which pulls open from the centre, giving a full view and full access to what's behind the door in one swift motion. Not only that, but the sheer heft of the sturdy doors, means the 'shuddering' you generally experience with sliding doors will be a thing of the past.

Bifold doors can be installed inside or outside your home, as a gateway to your garden or conservatory, or even as a way to split a larger room without losing out on that sense of space. So in terms of flexibility, there really is no better alternative!

What Is A Bifold Door?

Also known as folding sliding doors, bi folding doors or room dividers, bi fold doors are so-called because they can fold in or out to open up space. They also have a traffic door for popping in and out on a daily basis.

Bi fold doors are usually glazed with large glass panels that let plenty of light in. With folding doors, the door itself will slide open, whilst its panels fold up and stack against the wall in order to make the most of a space. As previously mentioned, bifold doors can be internal or external, with internal bifold doors generally used to cover smaller spaces like pantries, laundry rooms or wardrobes, and external bifold doors generally used to connect the inside of the home to the outside.

External bifold doors will usually be found at the back of a house, leading into a garden or summer house, but internal bifold doors are found in all manner of places and are suitable for any number of applications. Remember that with all exterior bi-fold doors, the doors themselves should be able to endure harsh weather conditions.

Bifold doors are available in a variety of materials like wood, upvc and aluminium. Timber bifold doors are particularly aesthetically pleasing and aluminium bifold doors are a popular choice for the modern home owner. You'll also find a multitude of colour options available.

Shop our range of internal bifold doors. Stunning folding glass doors to open up your home. Free delivery on orders over £750!

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How Do Bifold Doors Work?

Interior and exterior bifolding doors both use a simple tracking system that runs along the panels, which are connected on a train. The doors work by folding in on themselves and then gliding along the tracking system with the help of a series of wheels or a lower tracking system, which both lead to a smooth motion and quiet operation.

Bifold doors (particularly interior ones) generally come in pairs, with two doors folding to one side or with four that part in the centre with two doors folding back to either side. Your bifold doors will usually come with all tracking and fittings already installed, can be opened either inwards or outwards. It's this kind of flexibility that has led to their popularity in recent years amongst open-minded homeowners.

Most bifold doors will have anywhere between two and seven panels, all of which will be connected with hinges and attached to the roller track at the top or bottom of the door (or both). They are remarkably easy to operate, though it's advised that you don't get too carried away as if you use too much force you could end up pulling the doors out of the tracking system.

What are the Benefits of Bifold Doors?

Both internal and external bifold doors offer a significant amount of flexibility and can be customised to suit almost any requirement. They are ideal for connecting living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms and more, and could really make your home stand out, especially if you opt for a more bespoke configuration.

Flexibility is also a boon for both interior and exterior bifold doors, as you have a variety of materials to choose from (aluminium or timber, for example), as well as numerous different styles, textures, colours, finishes, and shapes. There are certain advantages, however, that are specific to exterior or interior doors. They are also deceptively easy to clean and are easy to fix and install yourself (as long as you have at least some DIY experience, otherwise you might end up doing more harm than good!)

External – The most immediately obvious benefit of using an external bifolding door is the spectacular views it offers, and the idea of bringing a little of the outdoors indoors (without any of the mess). Of course, this will depend on whether or not your garden or back yard is easy-on-the-eye or not, but chances are if it wasn't, you wouldn't have considered the option in the first place!

Either way, a set of bi folding doors will really maximise the amount of natural light your room gets. Security is also a major advantage, as exterior bifold doors will feature a locking system spread over multiple points of the sliding track instead of simply at one point.

Internal – Bi-fold doors take up very little space when they are open, which makes them the perfect option for smaller interior spaces like laundry rooms or kitchen pantries. This because they fold back on themselves, so take up far less space than french doors or conventional sliding doors.

With an interior bifold door opening into your wardrobe, you'll also be able to access the whole space at once, as it opens at both sides. They are also remarkably easy to install, but more on that later.

Are Bifold Doors Secure?

This is a particular concern for external bi-fold doors, especially amongst people who are not 100% sure about them. They can be very secure, though, more so, in fact, than most other types of external door (as we mentioned above), but the right measures need to be put in place to ensure this.

You'll want to make sure your exterior bifold doors have a decent locking system in place, which activates at multiple points instead of just one. You can also take measures to strengthen the glass of the door panels and the frames that support the doors.

Reinforced glass is definitely a sensible option if security is a major concern for you. Finally, you could always install an alarm, giving you a little extra piece of mind. This will obviously prove costly, though.

Do Bifold Doors Let In The Cold?

The answer to this question can vary, but good quality, well-fitted bifold doors should not ever be too cold, though if your external bifolding doors are opened wide on a hot day, they can help to cool your home without resorting to expensive air conditioning or flimsy fans.

The type of glass you choose will have a serious impact on the thermal efficiency of your doors. You could use energy efficient glass (with an R-value of at least 4.0), or use a special lining to maximise efficiency.

Even if you don't want to go to this extra effort, though, you shouldn't need to worry about your external bifold doors letting in too much of the cold, because they are built to completely seal your home from the outside world, and are just as effective at doing so as conventional doors.

Plus, the larger windows will spend all day letting the sun in, and if you then choose to adorn your doors with curtains or blinds at night, that heat should remain trapped.

Each different sliding door frame material will have varying properties too. Timber is often engineered to maximise thermal insulation and aluminium has a thermal break that helps keep heat transfer to a minimum. Bifold patio doors are also thoroughly tested for weather tightness.

Are Bifold Doors Easy To Install?

Once you have selected the right door size, bifold doors are relatively easy to install for DIY experts. Whilst it's not recommended for just anyone to attempt to install their own bifold doors, internal concertina doors will be much simpler to install than external ones because there is less to worry about with these door styles in terms of hardware.

If you have some DIY knowledge and are confident in your abilities, you should be able to tackle the installation of an internal bifold door yourself, but we'd highly recommend seeking professional help if you're looking into installing exterior bi fold doors.

Hopefully, we've been able to give you an insight into exactly what bifold doors are and why you should consider them for both interior and exterior applications. You really won't appreciate just how beautiful and flexible they can be until you take the plunge, though, so enough talking. Get out there and see for yourselves what a pair of bifold doors could do for your home!

Articles & Information

Internal Bifold Doors for Wardrobes

See how you can use our internal folding doors as a wardrobe door.

Internal Bifold Doors for Bathrooms

Elevate bathroom elegance: Explore the advantages of using internal bifold doors to maximise space and style in your bathroom.

How Do Internal Bifold Doors Work?

Elegance in motion: Learn how internal bifold doors work, offering space-saving convenience and an aesthetic upgrade for your home.

How Much Are Internal Bifolds?

Budgeting for style: Get insights into the cost of internal bifold doors and find the right option to match your budget and needs.

Internal Bifold Door Sizing

Perfect fit for your space: Our guide simplifies internal bifold door sizing, ensuring you choose the right dimensions for a stylish and functional design.

Bifold Doors For The Bedroom

Explore how bifold doors can create a seamless connection between your bedroom and the outdoors, adding tranquility and style.

Bifold Doors For The Kitchen

Discover the benefits of bifold doors for the kitchen, bringing in light and a sense of space to enhance your cooking experience.

Bifold Doors For The Living Room

Elevate your living space: Learn how bifold doors can transform your living room, combining style and natural light.

Making Adjustments To Internal Bifold Doors

Fine-tune your space: Learn how to make adjustments to internal bifold doors for a perfect fit and effortless operation.

Painting Internal Bifold Doors: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow our step-by-step guide to painting internal bifold doors for a refreshed and vibrant living space.

How To Install Bifold Door Hinges

Hinge on perfection: Follow our instructions to install bifold door hinges seamlessly, ensuring smooth operation.

How To Frame A Bifold Door

Frame with finesse: Our step-by-step guide teaches you how to frame a bifold door for a professional and polished installation.

Bifold Door Problems And How To Fix Them

Troubleshooting convenience: Discover solutions to common bifold door issues, ensuring smooth operation.

All About Internal Bifold Door Tracks

Smooth operation, sleek design: Delve into the essentials of internal bifold door tracks for a flawless, efficient door movement.

Internal Bifold Door Glazing

Explore the benefits of glazing for internal bifold doors to brighten and visually expand your living spaces.

All About Internal Bifold Door Handles

Handle it like a pro: Dive into our comprehensive overview about choosing the best handles for your internal bifold doors.

What Are Bifold Doors?

Discover the world of bifold doors: Learn what they are and how they can transform your living space with functionality and flair.

Installing Internal Bifold Doors

Follow our straightforward instructions to install internal bifold doors for a modern, space-saving solution.

How To Choose The Right Internal Bifold Doors

Open up your space with style: Our essential tips will guide you in choosing the right bifold doors for your home's layout and decor.

Bifold Doors: Your Frequently Asked Questions – Answered!

Unfold the potential of bifold doors: Get all your questions answered with our comprehensive guide on this versatile door style.

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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