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What is a bifold door and how does it work?

by Francesca Coleman Carr

People ask us lots of questions about bifold doors, one of which is “What is it?”. Well, a bifold door is a folding door that has one or more panels. They differ from conventional doors because they do not swing outwards in one motion, but rather fold into the door frame. This is similar to an accordion or concertina in how it moves.

Our bifold doors will work in a variety of settings, but they are perfect for linking indoor and outdoor areas together. Many people struggle to link their internal and external spaces together effectively, but our team can help with a free survey and advice. One major benefit is that they can fold across large distances by using multiple panels.

You need to contact us now to find out more about what doors or windows will be right for you. There are many different options to choose from so get in touch today and enjoy our swift installation service.

bifold doors

How does a bifold door work?

Now that we know what a bifold door is, it’s time to learn how they work.

The idea of a bifold is something of a misnomer. The ‘bi’ part of the word suggests that it merely folds two panels together to open, but many doors will have a lot more panels than that.

When you close your bifold door there is a look similar to that of a wall with panelling, albeit with a higher likelihood of glass and a see-through design. There will also be handles on one or more of the panels to ease opening and closing.

These panels run along a track, this is on the bottom of the door frame. They slide along this track using wheels. This folds the panels into the side of the door, so they tuck away out of sight.

The mechanism of action essentially flips the panels from their outward-facing position and on to their sides, which makes for very efficient use of space.

When should I use a bifold door?

It is possible to use a bifold door in many settings but the most common would be in an outdoor setting. This is a frequent sight in the following areas of a home or other building:

Balconies

Using a bifold door on a balcony will provide a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors. This is a good method to draw the feeling of the outdoors to the inside of a room.

The fact that bifold doors invite the outside inwards can also enable people in flats to take advantage of any views. This is because many buildings where people live in flats have accommodation on higher levels than in a house.

Small balconies, and smaller areas in general, can benefit from a bifold door. This is because there are very few materials visible on most of the doors, aside from glass. As a result, there is more light able to travel through the glass and illuminate the inside of a space.

Terraces and patios

Many people want to have a garden that they can open up onto from their kitchen, using doors that work in a similar way to balconies. This creates a feeling of airiness and makes the atmosphere much more spacious.

Bifold doors are good for this purpose. There are also some aspects of the nature of a terrace or patio that make bifold doors a particularly good option.

Patios and terraces are commonly much longer and therefore require a longer track and more panels to reach all the way across. The bifold door mechanism is particularly suitable for opening doors covering a larger distance.

Summer houses and pool houses

A summer house or a pool house are common buildings that will be suitable for bifold doors. They let in light and are also relatively simple to open and close properly, so are very suitable for this type of building.

Outdoor buildings may require a little bit more security, and the fact that a bifold door uses a track and can feature multiple interlocking points makes them even more of a wise choice in this setting.

Such buildings may also be more subject to the effects of weather, particularly as their use is primarily seasonal. Many people find cleaning doors annoying. However, a bifold door design allows for easy cleaning.

Bathrooms and showers

One less common form of bifold door is a bifold door in a shower. Bifold doors are good to help make spaces feel larger, and a small pokey bathroom is a good place to do this.

Even a larger bathroom can benefit from a bifold shower door. They enhance the feeling of space by giving you full access to the shower area without the door protruding into the rest of the room.

A clean design can also add to the aesthetic value of such a bathroom. The bifold look can be sleek and they will also require less thick framing when inside a shower, as there is little requirement for security or stronger glazing. This may help reduce their cost too.

Other reasons why bifold doors are a good choice

The feeling of space, the way that bifold doors draw in the visuals they look out on, and the flexibility of their mechanism are all features that can make them suitable in a range of spaces.

However, there are further benefits that make them a desirable option for many people depending on their circumstances or situation. These include the following:

Security

A sense of security is important for many types of building, particularly outbuildings or those that may not have regular occupancy. Pool and summer houses are a good example of this, as we discuss earlier.

However, security is also important for flats and other buildings too. While a bifold door is secure at multiple points, there are other ways to improve security on them and to make sure they are sturdy.

These methods include strengthening the glass in the door panels and adding reinforcing the frames for an even higher level of strength and a heavy-duty design.

Design options and customisation

One excellent feature of the bifold door is the ability to customise them very extensively. Not only will they have a lot of different options in terms of the material of the frame, such as wood or metal, there is also a lot of choice in the glass too.

If someone wants a particularly thick type of glazing, for example, in a colder climate or an area where there are high levels of noise pollution, it’s possible to find a suitable piece of glass depending on your needs.

Colours and style options are also a very easily customisable aspect of bifold doors. Whether that’s a green wooden design for a subtle summer house or a silver metal design for a vibrant balcony. There are many options available depending on taste.

Bifold door designs and installation

For more information about the benefits of bifold doors on your property you can view our blog post here.

Bifold doors are a foldable design that helps save space and add light to many types of room. They work using a track system for a smooth opening and closing action.

The first step to take in developing your bifold door design project is to contact us for more information. Our expert team provides a fast installation service that has left us with many very happy clients who adore their results.

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