Choosing the right glazed door system
15 May 2019
In 2018, one of the most popular home improvements homeowners made to increase the value of their property was adding bifold kitchen/garden doors*. There’s no doubt that Bifold Doors have been a popular choice to add modern glazing to all types of properties, however, we’re seeing an ever-increasing growth in Sliding Doors.
Adding glazed doors to a property is becoming a very popular and sought-after addition, whether you’re looking to open up access to outdoor entertaining spaces, flood previously dark areas with light and or simply modernising your existing doors. In terms of a home improvement project, when you work with the right builder and supplier for your glazing, it’s also a relatively simple transformation that can be done within weeks.
All of our Bifold and Sliding Doors are manufactured in the UK, to your precise measurements, using the latest safety and security standards. The choice between Bifold Doors and Sliding Doors is often a very personal one, however, there are also key differences and benefits to both styles of door – find out below which one might be best suited to your project.
There’s no denying that Bifold Doors have been the popular choice over the years as the number of homeowners deciding to improve rather than move has increased. And they are a great way to add contemporary glazing to a property.
The biggest advantage of choosing Bifold Doors – also sometimes known as concertina doors, sliding folding doors and accordion doors - is that you can open up an entire wall of glass to create completely unobstructed views and access between your home and outdoor space. Usually designed with an odd number of panels, 3 or 5, depending on the width of your opening, your bifold system also features a ‘traffic door’, which allows you access without having to open up and fold all panels.
With a 3 or 5 panel configuration of Bifold Doors, a traffic door allows you access without the need to open up all of the panels.
View our bifold door case studies
Bifold Doors generally have more door panels than Sliding Doors, which tends to create a more obstructed view when the doors are closed. However, the Exact FD85® Bifold Door has one of the slimmest sightlines available at just 105mm - plus each pane can span up to 1.4m, so you can achieve a 4.2m span in just 3 panels.
Another advantage of Bifold Doors is the flexibility of design which allows you to choose whether to slide to the left, right – or even opt for a split stack with doors folding on both sides. Depending on the space you have, you can also choose for your Bifold Doors to open inward or outward for the best solution. To operate your Bifold Doors, you will need to have space for the doors to open and stack, for some properties this can be an issue and that’s where Sliding Doors can be the right option.
Open up a whole wall of glass with Bifold Doors, creating unobstructed access between the beautiful kitchen-dining room and patio in this Bromley project.
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In contrast to Bifold doors, the design of Sliding Doors means you can achieve an impressive glass to frame ratio. For example with the Viiu system, as seen in our Herondale Avenue project, our client has a 99% glass to 1% frame sightline, creating a near-unobstructed view with just a 35mm interlock area.
Sliding Doors are a very popular choice where the stack of Bifold doors would eat into precious space such as a balcony, patio or smaller garden. Using a sliding door system like the CP130 also creates the unique and breath-taking corner configuration, allowing you to open up 2 sides of a room without the need for a fixed corner element.
With the CP130 Sliding Door, you can create a stunning corner configuration as seen in our Colchester project
View our sliding door case studies
Whilst all of our Bifold Doors run on high-performance gearing, with Sliding Doors you can choose to upgrade from manual operation to automatic, with an integral motor controlling your doors from the push of a button on the wall or via a remote control.
When it comes to sliding doors, you'll also want to consider whether you choose a 'lift & slide' sliding door system. As the name suggests, the sash is lifted and hovers above the rail during opening/closing providing you with an effortless movement, no matter how large your doors. Find out more about the lift & slide system in our recent article.
Of course, there are some occasions when a combination of Bifold Doors and Sliding Doors is the best option. Our recent project in Woodlands Road, Bromley combines both door styles across the property to maximise space, light and access in each room.
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Deciding between bifold and sliding doors
Whilst it's not possible to do this in real life, the below photographs effectively demonstrate the different view achieved between a bifold and sliding door installation.
Fully open up the room with the bifold door system which features a more visible frame profile, or achieve a near-uninterrupted view with the sliding door system and open up less of your glazed wall? It's not an easy decision!
Our carefully curated range of Bifold and Sliding Doors are all manufactured from high-quality aluminium to provide structural integrity and strength, which allows you to achieve larger spans and superior running. Aluminium doors are also more resistant to the outside elements as well as being 100% recyclable.
Having worked on traditional, modern and contemporary homes over the years, our Project Managers are equipped with all the knowledge and expertise you need to decide on the best door for your project.
During your Initial Project Consultation to kick your project off, we will discuss your project in detail to understand what you are looking to achieve and assist you in choosing the most suitable glazing systems for your complete glazing package.
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*Source: 2018 Barclays Home Improvement Report