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.
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.
Choosing between bifolding and sliding doors. Top tips.
- Always view doors in a showroom. There’s no better way to understand sightlines, aesthetics, tracks and thresholds.
- 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.
- 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.
- Think about privacy and shade. Patio doors have the bigger glass sizes.
- 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.