Sliding vs Folding Doors – which would you choose?

The trend for using architectural glazing in the home – whether new builds or for home extensions and renovations – shows no sign of abating. One trend that seems to be particularly prevalent is for sliding or folding glass doors leading from the living space directly into the garden.

Firstly let us explain the difference. Bifold doors, or folding sliding doors, open up with a concertina motion by folding the panels together, so that when fully open, there will be a stack of panels at one side, or even both sides, of the opening. The doors can either open inwards or outwards, depending on how you prefer to use the space.

Large aluminium glass extension SDL Akzent Plus          Open bifold folding doors SL 80 installed in residential home in Beaconsfield

Sliding doors, on the other hand, open by sliding one or more of the panes of glass behind another. Therefore, when in the open position, there will always effectively be at least one pane of glass acting as a window.

Design, fabricate and install bespoke glazing for three new build homes in Studland, Dorset          sliding aluminium door with tracks Cero slimline system

Managing director of ODC Door & Glass Systems Tim Hedges explains:

“As a rule, we find that where the opening to the outside space is not particularly large, our customers tend to choose bifold, or folding doors, as they benefit from being able to have the space open to the garden. Where the opening is larger, we are seeing more people opt for sliding doors as, for them, it matters less that one-third, or perhaps even half the space, will still be a glass panel. Sliding doors will have much less visible profile (or frame) when closed. For example, we have just finished an installation of sliding doors where our client’s house has a stunning view onto Poole Harbour. The choice of sliding doors in this case was absolutely the right one.”

Sliding door system ODC 300 in rural location, Studland Dorset          Enhanced thermal, insulation and security glazing sliding doors ODC 300 & windows ODC 75, Studland Dorset

Another important factor to remember is that bifold doors can run on a single track, whereas sliding doors will have two or more tracks. This will impact how the threshold will look. So, for those of us lucky enough to be embarking on a home renovation project, there is a lot to consider, and as Tim reiterates: “It is key to plan the glazing elements of your project early. High quality glazing is a considerable investment.”

 Featured in the Dorset Society magazine July 2017

Need help with your project? Come and visit our London or Poole Showroom and speak to our team of experts.

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