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Bi-Fold Doors Vs Sliding Doors



Struggling to decide between bi-fold doors and sliding doors?

It’s fair to say that both bi-fold and sliding doors are beautiful contemporary products that will add instant style to any home. In particular, adding a bi-fold or sliding door to living areas offers a stylish transition to your outdoor spaces. As a result, the addition of new exterior doors will add value to your home, especially if updating tired or dated door styles. 

While it depends on the individual property, as well as your personal tastes as a homeowner, here are the key differences between bi-fold doors and sliding doors to help you make an informed purchase decision.

Top tip: As UK manufacturers of aluminium bi-fold and sliding doors, please skip to the end of this post to discuss your specific project requirements with our technical team if you’re ready to purchase. 

The difference between Bi-fold doors and sliding doors

Bi-Fold Doors

bi-fold doors uk

Bi-fold doors are best characterised by the concertina effect they give when fully opened. While it’s possible to add a ‘traffic door’ which acts as a normal door, usually bi-folds are fully opened to gain access to your outdoor space. 

The main appeal of bi-fold doors is they capture any outdoor view beautifully, as when fully opened, there’s no frame or glass in the way. Practicality-wise, the lack of restriction also means you can seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces. There can be slightly more physical effort involved when opening a set of bi-fold doors, depending on how many panes of glass there are, and how well the track system has been installed. That said, aluminium door frames offer superior strength while being lightweight which is definitely worth bearing in mind. 

Bi-Fold Doors Pros

  • Creates a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Zero glass or frame in the view when fully opened.
  • Possible to have a ‘traffic door’ installed on the end pane to ensure continual garden access without having to fully open each door to get outside? 
  • Can house integral blinds inside the glass for additional privacy or sun protection. 

Bi-Fold Doors Considerations

  • Requires indoor and outdoor clearance space.
  • Pane sizes tend to be smaller to allow for the concertina effect when the doors are folded on each other when fully opened. 
  • Not as easy to open out compared with a simple sliding door if using materials other than aluminium.

Sliding Doors

sliding doors uk

Sliding doors sit within a frame and offer the ability to be partially opened. Unlike bi-fold doors, you cannot achieve a full absence of any glass or frames with a sliding door.

That said, it’s not always possible to install bi-fold doors due to the clearance required, with apartment balconies being one such example. Therefore, sliding doors offer more flexibility because no clearance room is required. This also means you can opt for more glass and less frame with sliding doors because no concertina mechanism is needed. Instead, the door simply needs to be able to slide side to side on the track. 

If you are looking to make a simple upgrade to your home or integrate an open-plan aesthetic, sliding doors are not complicated to install. By the same token, they will give a refreshed look to your property, all while being easy to clean, maintain and operate. 

Benefits of sliding doors

  • Sliding doors allow for more glass and less frame. 
  • Slimmer sightlines.
  • Much larger pane sizes are possible with sliding doors, versus bi-fold doors.
  • Won’t swing into the garden space or house, making them more ideal where space is tighter. 
  • Easier to operate correctly. 
  • Some styles have the ability to lock the doors along the track so that you can keep the room ventilated without leaving the door fully open. 

Drawbacks of sliding doors

  • You’ll never have the full aperture open as you would with a bi-fold, as the doors stack behind each other rather than fully opening. Therefore, if you want to create uninterrupted views, bi-folds would make a more suitable choice. 

Aluminium Bi-Fold Doors & Sliding Doors UK

It’s fair to say that both bi-fold doors and sliding doors each have their merits, along with points to consider depending on your property type and user requirements. 

ABS manufacturers aluminium windows and doors across the UK. This includes bi-fold and sliding doors, meaning we can custom-make doors in all shapes and sizes. Using aluminium means your doors will benefit from excellent longevity while looking fantastic all year round. 

When you contact us, we can run through the security, U-values, air permeability and suppliers warranty of any door you wish to purchase from us. These aspects are essential to ensure a quality installation that will look great for many years to come.

We can also offer architectural powder coating to both protect and personalise your new doors. 

Ready to start your project, or in need of further advice? Please get in touch either by dropping us an email or giving us a call on 01623 721 172 to speak with our team. 

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