Bifolding or sliding doors? Which is better?

One of the decisions you’ll need to make when buying patio doors is choosing between bifolding and sliding doors. In this article, we give you some helpful hints in order to help you decide which is best for you. 

sunflex SVG20 sliding doors

How to decide between bifolding and sliding doors  

Both bifolding and sliding doors offer you one of the best patio door solutions. Thanks to their slimline frames, easy slide or fold action and excellent styling, you’ll get a functional and attractive product in your home. 

Where they differ is their styling, frame to glass ratio and using them day-to-day. Your house style is also worth considering when choosing between the two. 

First of all we list the differences between bifolding and sliding doors. 

Glass to frame ratio

A sliding door typically comes in two, three, four or six panel designs. The nature of these doors mean you get less visible aluminium than a bifolding door.  Therefore, where maximum glass sizes and the least visible aluminium matter, a sliding door may probably be a better solution. 

With sliding panels up to 3metres wide and 3metres high with most of our products, sliding doors give you the biggest glass sizes, meaning more light, a better view and a brighter outlook through closed doors. 

Bifolding doors come in two up to ten panels. Therefore the more panels you want, the more visible mullions you get.  Unlike sliding doors, bifolds come at maximum sizes of around 1.2m wide and up to 3m high. 

The good news is our products are the slimmest on the market for sightlines.  Starting at just 110mm, our bifolds are elegant and give you slimline profiles even if more in number than a sliding door. 

In short, if you want the best possible views and largest glass sizes to suit your opening, sliding doors are best. 

Using your doors day to day

Even though you’ll love the idea of opening up your home in the summer, enjoying al-fresco dining, it’s also worth remembering most of the year, your doors are closed. Therefore it’s equally important to consider the different functionality when choosing between bifolding and sliding doors. 

If your home is smaller with only one patio door out to your garden, this is usually used frequently. For instance, we all use our doors to let out a pet, take out the washing or for ventilation.  A sliding door needs pushing or pulling left or right.  A bifolding door comes with hinged doors, sliding and folding. For this reason, think about what door is easier to use every day in your home. 

One of the best things about a bifolding door is the option of a ‘traffic door’. A traffic door lets you use a closed set of bifolding doors just like a regular hinged door.  You can let yourself in and out without having to fold all the panels back every time. 

Our advice is to try the doors in our showroom and look at the different functionality both bifolding and sliding doors offer. 

Similarities when choosing between bifolding and sliding doors

In spite of the unpredictable English weather, opening up your home in the summer months is one of the best things about a new patio door. 

Both open up your home connecting it to the garden. A sliding door needs to rest behind the remaining panels. Therefore you’ll get 50% or 66% of your available opening. A bifolding door typically provides up to 90% of the available opening, however, they take up space when folded. 

Therefore, smaller patios and gardens may benefit from a sliding door.  The folding stacking nature of a bifold won’t encroach on a larger decking area or garden. 

Security, energy efficiency and weather performance

When choosing between bifolding and sliding doors, both doors come with the best security, energy efficiency and weather performance. 

You can expect with either door multi-point locks with high security cylinders and built-in protection features.  Both door types come with advanced seals, gaskets and rebates, designed to keep your home dry and room sealed. 

For energy efficiency, thermally insulated frames combine with high specification glass units. As a result you get low U-Values and excellent door energy ratings, helping you lower your heating bills. 

The low or flush threshold with bifolding and sliding doors. 

Even better for you, both bifolding and sliding doors come with the option of a low or flush threshold. As a result, they provide a minimal step and flush flooring with decking. 

The best way to understand the relationship between the threshold and your floor levels is visiting our showroom. We can also explain how we achieve this desirable feature of both patio door types. 

The best way to understand the relationship between the threshold and your floor levels is by visiting our showroom. We can also explain how we achieve this desirable feature of both patio door types. 

image of white bifolding doors in thatched cottage

Choosing between bifolding and sliding doors. Top tips. 

  1. Always view doors in a showroom. There’s no better way to understand sightlines, aesthetics, tracks and thresholds.  
  2. Consider your house size and type. Smaller houses benefit from the fully open aspect of a bifold, appearing to enlarge your home. Sliding doors are better for larger homes with bigger gardens or great views. 
  3. Think about functionality and everyday use.  Bifolding doors may be more functional in homes with only one back door thanks to their traffic door feature. 
  4. Think about privacy and shade. Patio doors have the bigger glass sizes. 
  5. Always use a company experienced in supplying both bifolding and sliding doors

When you buy a patio door from aluhome, you’re getting one of our top British or European brands. Every one of our products comes with latest technology design, engineering and components. Importantly they all come with the best in security, weather performance and energy efficiency.  

Contact us today to discuss your requirements and visit our showroom to view our extensive range of contemporary patio doors for your home. 

Some of the images on our website illustrate how products may look and are indicative. Please contact us for current product details and specifications.

Gooches Court,
Opening Hours
Monday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday Closed

Based on 27 reviews
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Charles Twort
Charles Twort
17:28 15 Oct 21
What a fantastic company! I had been searching for a specific configuration of interior and exterior doors and windows... and was struggling to find them. Then, by accident I came across Tim's company. From the moment we started to communicated I knew who I wanted to work with. Tim's techncial advice from choosing the right solutions, through to how to manage the site build requirements was second to none. The professionalism of his surveying and installers teams, didn't let me down in any department. Always professional, courteous, and tidy, while at the same time a pleasure to work more
Carl Amess
Carl Amess
14:05 07 Oct 21
Exceptional company to purchase from, small enough to care but large enough to supply the sliding doors in a... configuration we couldn't find anywhere else. Frame rebate was one of the smallest we could find with 3 extremely large doors that did not need to be fixed in any specific position when open. We can know look out on our back garden and barely notice the doors. Tim and Anita are both Amazing and so are the guys that fit the Doors. Very happy to recommend!!read more
09:03 06 Oct 21
A completely: professional, knowledgeable, courteous team at Aluhome that we would wholeheartedly recommend.Customer... service from start to finish has been exemplary.We would strongly recommend anyone who is in the market for new bi-folds to visit the showroom. As with other reviewers, it would have saved us an enormous amount of time.We would emphasis the whole team, as from start to finish we have had a seamless experience.Our install was not without it’s technical challenges. Solutions offered up by other suppliers did not match our desires. Tim listened and took the time to understand what we ultimately were looking for. Combined with Aaron, they have provided a superb solution that matches our brief perfectly.Manufacturing timescales were explained and the forecasted install date was achieved as smooth as could be wished for.The install was also seamless. Aaron and the install team were again: professional, polite and took great pride in their work.We are now the proud owners of two sets of high-end, beautiful bi-folds, provided at a competitive price. We have worked with a truly professional company and are thankful we placed our trust in Aluhome as it has been completely repaid.Mike and Debbieread more
Anthony Holmes
Anthony Holmes
22:18 19 Aug 21
Thanks to ‘Aluhome’ for first class (well Informed) advice with regard to the suitability of replacing our existing ... French doors with a Less obtrusive Aluminium framed Sliding Door system.What a difference! - the views into our garden now they are clear of window frame obstructions is delightful. This coupled with more natural light to the interior, is another bonus.The installation was carried out by fitters who clearly knew their trade and with the minimum of inconvenience to us.We are happy to report that the finished job from appearance, practicality and quality, exceeded our more
Beth Loder
Beth Loder
08:39 28 Jul 21
Tim and his amazing team have been a godsend during our extension project. His advice and friendly chats together with... his highly experienced team of surveyors and fitters made the whole experience simple and hassle free. What he doesn’t know about his products isn’t worth knowing and we came away from the showroom feeling knowledgeable and that we’d made a great informed product choice. A big thank you to the whole team, and I promise once the garden's done and the kitchen's in we will update our photos which currently I’m almost embarrassed to upload as they don’t do the bifolds justice at all! We love them, the light is amazing, thanks again Tim & Team!read more
rick davies
rick davies
13:07 24 Jul 21
Based on our recent experiences, we are happy to recommend aluhome. During a visit to their office and display room Tim... was able to give a comprehensive description and assessment of all aspects of the door and windows we were thinking of installing (replacing 25 year old wood framed patio doors and windows). The timing of delivery and installation was as predicted. The cost was more competitive than similar offers. The installation team were on time, friendly, competent and efficient. And they left the patio area as clean as it was beforehand. And we are now very pleased with our new patio door&window. Best wishes, Rick and Moread more
Lorna Kavanagh
Lorna Kavanagh
18:25 23 Jul 21
A quick and professional job, from an experienced team who care. Tim took the time to understand the project and... budget, you just can't beat face to face customer service. Aaron and Terry were reassuring and informative at every step and the install went very smooth. I always felt like I was in good hands and nothing would be a problem. Thank you guys, I'll raise a glass as I enjoy my new view!read more
Emma Price
Emma Price
11:27 19 Jul 21
We used AluHome to design and fit steel-look replacement french doors and windows at the back of our house in central... Stamford. Tim and the team at AluHome have been outstanding all the way through the process. They took time to understand our requirements and communication has been exceptional throughout. There were no delays, the doors look wonderful and the installation team were prompt, knowledgeable and paid a high level of attention of detail. There is no need to look elsewhere, we strongly recommend Tim and the more
Claire Gaunt
Claire Gaunt
21:27 12 Jun 21
Highly recommend.After searching the internet high and low for information about sliding doors, Aluhome were able to... provide all the information I needed. From my first phone call I felt confident that they were the company I wanted to use.From start to finish the service has been second to more
Mike Farrah
Mike Farrah
17:10 29 May 21
Great experience from start to finish. Tim was extremely helpful in assisting us with the initial enquiry for French... doors and windows that needed a specific “U” grade for building regs. He invited us to the the showroom and gave us a thorough walk through of the products. The quality of the product is second to none. Aaron - in charge of fitting- worked closely with our builder in terms of planning and measuring as well as giving some on site advice and recommendations.The provision and installation was on time with no issues and very professional.The French Doors now form the focal point of our kitchen extension and have really made the project.We highly recommend Tim and Aluhome!read more
michael dunford
michael dunford
09:13 22 May 21
We are delighted with our new front door from Aluhome. Tim and his team were a pleasure to deal with throughout.
Kevin Riley
Kevin Riley
19:56 10 May 21
A big thank you to Aluhome and all their team. Fantastic service from the moment we contacted on a Sunday. From the... solving of an issue we had (large opening and our wish to have 3 leaf), with doors new to the market and the overall quality of service and product. The 2 x bifolds and back door are excellent and we are delighted. The attention to detail throughout is amazing. Thank you!read more
Jill Dent
Jill Dent
08:51 04 May 21
We visited Auhome to help choose doors for our new extension. We met Tim who was very helpful and extremely... knowledgeable and offered useful information to help me decide between sliders or bi folds. The showroom has a good choice of doors which again helped with our decision. I am delighted with the Sunflex sliders we chose, they completely make our room, great quality and fitted expertly by the team. Thank you Tim and all at Aluhome in Stamford. I would thoroughly recommend more
Carrie Armitage
Carrie Armitage
09:54 21 Apr 21
Extraordinarily good looking aluminium windows; excellent service; fantastic fitters who were punctual, tidy and did a... great job. Highly recommended and a great personal service from more
Stuart Bailey
Stuart Bailey
10:49 10 Apr 21
We had decided to replace our old UPVC french doors with aluminium doors and had already researched different brands.... Having decided that Origin was the right product for our house, we approached Aluhome for a quotation. From that point onwards the whole process was quick and efficient. We met Tim at the showroom in Stamford who gave us excellent advice on options for glazing bars, handles etc.etc.We were happy with the price and delivery was much quicker than we had expected with good communication throughout.Fitters Aaron and Terry were a pleasure to deal with where nothing was too much trouble. They were careful and tidy at each stage and had all of the right tools and equipment to do a good job.Any issues during the installation were dealt with professionally and quickly to our satisfaction.Overall a really good experience and well pleased with the more
Simone Lynch
Simone Lynch
13:56 25 Mar 21
A warm welcome at the showroom in Stamford which has a range of products on show. We were shown the options available... to us as we were looking to buy bifold doors. We were advised on what would suit us best and the various options available as regards colour, handle options etc. They were fitted very quickly and although we had a couple of issues they were dealt with quickly and efficiently by Tim. Very pleased with our doors and the service from Tim and his fitters. Would more
Joy Bates
Joy Bates
10:08 23 Mar 21
AluHome fitted all new windows, including two sliding doors to our unusual 1960's house.Response to our initial... contact was very prompt and we decided to visit their fabulous showroom in Stamford where we were made very welcome and received excellent technical advice, helping us to make our final decision.Communication has been brilliant throughout with Tim the owner. The fitters Aaron and Terry were a pleasure to deal with - nothing was too much trouble. We had some issues due to the quirky nature of our house but these were dealt with efficiently and without fuss.We are very happy with our windows - the transformation is amazing.Thank you team AluHome!read more
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Published on July 24, 2020